I've got 20+ years experience with guitars. I was going to originally buy an older used LTD M-1000 neck-thru(before the newer lame set-thrus showed up.) This review is a comparison of the two. Just out of curiosity I started playing the SLX and was extremely impressed with how natural it felt in my hand on all areas of the neck. Don't get me wrong the M-1000 felt nice too and IS a higher end guitar with an alder body and Floyd Rose tremolo. Here I'll break it down. NECK COMPARISON: The M-1000 neck starts getting thicker sooner towards the neck joint area, whereas the Jackson SLX has more continuity staying the same thickness until the last few inches right before the neck meets the body. Though the thickness remains constant on the SLX its contour changes more naturally as your hand moves up the neck than the M-1000s. Another plus is that 24th fret access is slightly easier with the SLX since you don't have that extra bit of tapered neck thickness to compete with. The M-1000 neck also feels a little thicker and wider overall. My hands are average size so my review is a good middle ground. SOUND COMPARISON: Clearly this runs into an active vs. passive debate which I won't get into. I will say that being an EMG 81 fan I was impressed with the Duncan Designed pickups. For those who don't know Duncan Designed are Seymour Duncan pickups outsourced to Korea. This enables Seymour Duncan to provide a quality pickup made with cheap labor so they can pass the cost savings to the consumer on mid-level guitars. Jackson advertises this guitar as having Duncan Designed HB102's BUT with a CERAMIC bridge pickup. THIS IS INCORRECT! The HB102s are both alnico 5 magnets and are the Duncan Designed "version" of the famous SH-4 JB/SH-2n Jazz Seymour Duncan models. The output of the bridge pickup is not far behind my beloved 81. In fact I like the tone/output combination of these so much I am in no hurry whatsoever to replace them with actives as I originally thought I'd be. OVERALL: This is where my 5 star review got knocked down to 4 stars. Jackson's QC needs to work on consistancy. My particular SLX was purchased online and unlike the one I played at the store it was poorly setup from the factory. I had to adjust EVERYTHING, just to bring it to FACTORY SPECS. Had I been inexperienced I would have thought the guitar was of poor quality. The meat and potatos of higher end guitars are all there. The Floyd Rose Special does it's job and stays in tune and like the pickups, are set in maple thanks to the thru-body design just as higher end guitars. The feel, sustain, and tone are that of a high end guitar. The quality cut of rosewood is better on the SLX. As far as the basswood compared to alder body is concerned, I felt the string vibration resonating through the body a tiny bit more on the SLX...but then again that could also be due to the M-1000 having a little more wood overall making it feel a bit more solid. The SLXs binding is a nice touch and the perloid sharkfin inlays look a heck of a lot like real MOP. Mine is the snow white color. As pictured online it looks bright white, thankfully in person it's actually an off-white similar to olympic white. I am happy with my purchase and hope this review helps others.