Phil Collen has always had some pretty cool models throughout the years with Jackson, and I've been a huge fan of his USA model for quite some time. I decided to try out how the Pro Series compares, and while it does some things quite well, there were other portions that I wasn't too pleased about. The guitar has a poplar body, a maple neck-thru neck with an ebony fretboard, binding, 24 extra jumbo frets with sharkfin inlays, a licensed floyd rose, HS configuration, one volume, one tone and a three way switch.
The quality of this guitar was quite nice. The fretwork was very solid on this. The ends were beveled properly, and the tops of the frets were crowned nicely. There wasn't a ton of fret wear on this, so I was able to get some low action without any issues. The floyd on this is licensed, but it's not too bad. The neck-thru design is real nice for getting up to the higher frets. HS isn't for everyone, but it suits me quite well. I miss the fact that it doesn't have an insane top. One of the things I loved about the USA models was the quilted maple top and mahogany body. That's now gone in favor of a plain top and poplar body/wings. If it were up to me, I'd have this a lot closer to the original specs.
The guitar had a Sustanic pickup in the neck and a Duncan Custom in the bridge. The Custom is great for those thicker sounds without getting too muddy. It has enough high end to make sure you cut through the mix without a problem, and it has enough bass to help thicken everything up. The wood combo with this pickup was unique, and while I generally prefer the Custom with mahogany, it wasn't too bad of a tone. Its ceramic magnet helps it stay tight, but it's a little less organic than the JB. The neck pickup was real cool for leads, and the sustaining switches that were added on reminded me of the actual signature USA model. It can deliver some smooth lead tones, and I got some nice cleans too.
The guitar is pretty solid, overall. If you're looking for an alternative to the Phil Collen model, this could be what you're looking for. Just keep in mind that this isn't exactly the same as the one he uses. It's a bit different, and not everybody will like that. The good news is that they aren't too expensive on the used market.