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Best Jackson Electric Guitar Reviews

Founded in the 1970s, Jackson Guitars is one of the leading musical instrument companies. Its owner Grover Jackson didn’t take the company to a high level at once. Still, young Randy Rhoades, who had just become Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist in Black Sabbath, helped him by ordering and designing an exclusive guitar for himself. This brand has won many fans in the world of Hard Rock and Metal instruments, so today, I have prepared a review of the best Jackson electric guitars for you. Let’s touch this magic together, and at the same time, you will find out why these instruments are so good.

Our pick
Jackson RRX24
Jackson RRX24
Best Jackson guitar
The Jackson X Series Rhoads RRX24 offers excellent tone, ultra-fast playability, poplar body, maple neck, laurel fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets, and reverse Jackson pointed 6-in-line headstock. Read the full review.

Jackson guitars comparison table

Guitar Scale, in/cm Fretboard radius, in/cm Neck joint Detailed review
Jackson RRX24 best overall 25.5/64.7 12-16/30.4-40.6 bolt-on Review
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 under 1000 25.5/64.7 12-16/30.4-40.6 bolt-on Review
Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS22 for beginners 25.5/64.7 12-16/30.4-40.6 bolt-on Review

Is Jackson a good brand of guitar?

As already made clear, the Jackson brand is really good. But what exactly makes its instruments so great? First, Jackson’s guitar models are diverse in design style and pricing. So musicians with different tastes and financial means will be able to own them. Secondly, the quality of Jackson’s parts is amazing and seriously affects the sound. Of course, buying the most inexpensive model, you should not expect to find the same electronics in it as in the more expensive ones, but still, the manufacturer keeps the trademark at all levels. Since the guitars are mainly aimed at performers of heavy genres of music, they use powerful pickups such as EMG, Humbucker, and single coils, with the first two variants being more common than the latter. But perhaps the clearest proof of Jackson’s prestige is the celebrities with these electric guitars in their arsenal. But we’ll discuss that a little later.

Best Jackson guitar models

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Jackson RRX24 – best overall

In this Jackson RRX24 review, I bring you a regal and proud guitar, as the manufacturer calls it, with a fantastic tone and incredible playability. Jackson developed its offset V-shaped design in collaboration with young Black Sabbath guitarist Randy Rhoads in the 1980s. The guitar has changed since then, but it continues Rhoads' legacy with dignity, delighting those lucky enough to get their hands on it.

Body

Jackson RRX24

The unusual guitar body is made of Basswood, which is considered a soft and inexpensive wood, but also has excellent midrange emphasis from the humbucker, as well as being lightweight and easy to use. And the chrome fittings, consisting of a bridge, volume, tone controls, and sealed Jackson molded tuners, will last you a very long time.

Sure, it's hard to imagine playing this guitar sitting or lying down, as it won't be comfortable, but you can enjoy all its benefits on stage! Even its different colors will shine in the lights: black with neon-green bevels with reverse shark neon-green inserts and chrome hardware; black with yellow bevels with reverse shark pearloid inserts and gold hardware; black with neon-pink shark inserts and black hardware; gloss black with reverse shark black inserts and black hardware.

Pickup system

As for the Jackson Rhoads RRX24 specs, they are excellent for an electric guitar of this rank. I'll start with the two active Seymour Duncan Blackout pickups (bridge AHB-1B and neck AHB-1N), which are made for Metal playing with their powerful and highly compressed signal. The brand is one of the leaders in humbuckers, so they are quality and durable. The pickups' configuration is HH, meaning they give a warm tone without noise. They are controlled by two volume controls (separately for each humbucker), one tone control, and a three-band switch.

The Floyd Rose Special provides dive bombs and plucking harmonics without going out of tune with a double-locking tremolo system in the bridge. If the humbuckers lack versatility (they can't be separated), the bridge makes up for it. However, some will find it difficult to tune the strings.

Neck, fingerboard, headstock

The Neck-Through-Body maple fingerboard with graphite reinforcement and scarf joint is incredibly fast. It's sturdy, heavy, and compact, emphasizing midrange and treble. It's 25.5 inches long, and the Compound radius of the Laurel fretboard is 12"-16". There are 24 Jumbo frets with reversible shark-eye inlays and a pointed Jackson headstock with Floyd Rose Special Locking Nut. That's all about the fingerboard and its components, but I can't help but say that it's one of the most comfortable I've ever had the pleasure to hold. The manufacturer did literally everything he could, and it's up to your skill to take it from here.

Sound quality

Jackson RRX24 photo

After reading not only this article but many reviews from happy owners of this guitar, you will realize that the Jackson X Series Rhoads RRX24 sounds like a monster. The humbuckers provide a searing, powerful tone and a crisp sound at the same time. But it's not clean. You can't play any part on this guitar without distortion; that's not what it's for. It feels great in Jazz, Blues, and Grunge because it has enough warmth. But the hyper-speed riffs, shredding, and amazing sustain on high notes make it also perfect for Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk, or Hair.

Key specs
  • Scale, in/cm: 25.5/64.7.
  • Frets: 24.
  • Fretboard radius, in/cm: 12-16/30.4-40.6.
  • Type: electric.
  • Body material: basswood.
  • Neck material: maple.
  • Neck joint: bolt-on.

It’s the best Jackson guitar for metal by any measure. It’s a Monster! But remember that you can’t play any part in it without distortion, that’s not what it’s for. That said, in jazz, blues, and grunge, it feels great because it has enough warmth. But the hyper-speed riffs, shredding, and amazing sustain on high notes make it perfect for Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Punk, or Hair.

Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 – under 1000

My Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 review is dedicated to an interesting model made in Indonesia, like most Jackson guitars. It's not cheap, but it doesn't cost a fortune, so it might appeal to many who appreciate good playability, decent sound, build quality, and unusual appearance. Let's go!

Body

Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2

Well, those who like to stand out from the crowd will love the two colors of Neon Pink or Slime Green finishes. These colors are stage-worthy; you'll be seen even from Mars! They look incredibly cool on the Alder body in Gloss, which resembles the Strat shape, but with sharper edges and is, therefore, a licensed Jackson Dinky shape. The two deep notches give the guitar the aggressiveness it needs, especially when combined with the hardware in black (pickups, bridge, tone and volume controls, and slide switch and tuners), and provide access to the high frets. The DK2 is fantastically beautiful, comfortable, and reliable.

Pickup system

Now let's take a look at the Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 specs. And there is something that might surprise you! A pair of humbuckers from one of the world's leading manufacturers sounds great, and you won't have to worry about replacing them for years to come. More power, more sustain, more sound!

The Seymour Duncan JB TB-4 bridge and the Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N neck with HH configuration are controlled by single volume and tone controls and, at the same time, a five-position switch that opens up the range of pickups for playing a variety of styles. Mostly heavy, but also ones with some distortion, like jazz and blues.

The Floyd Rose 1000 Series recessed tremolo bridge with double-locking for improved tuning stability also fits the guitar's style perfectly, though some might find it challenging. Well, this guitar will satisfy the needs of sophisticated players as well!

Neck, fingerboard, headstock

The neck didn't let you down, either. Made of Maple, it is attached to the guitar's body by a reliable Bolt-On system with graphite reinforcement and a scarf joint. The urethane coating is hand-applied, feels great in the hand, and is conducive to fast playing. Then there's everything for the comfortable playing of heavy styles. For example, the 12"-16" radius Ebony fingerboard with 24 Jumbo frets is perfect for chords and solos, and the crank adjusting wheel mounted on the heel allows for quick and comfortable fingerboard relief changes. Finally, a pointed beveled head with Jackson sealed die-cast tuners and inlaid offset Pearloid dots, as on many Jackson models, completes the Metallic look of the Jackson Pro.

Sound quality

Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 photo

The Jackson Pro Series DK2 Dinky sound is amazing. By changing the gain mode and switching the pickups, you get a wide range and variety of tones. The melody and riffs of classic rock, the warmth of jazz, aggressive metal - all distortion styles are available to it. Yes, it's not as versatile as many models of its rank, but Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans will definitely love it. I mean, what's so surprising? It was created for that purpose!

Key specs
  • Scale, in/cm: 25.5/64.7.
  • Frets: 24.
  • Fretboard radius, in/cm: 12-16/30.4-40.6.
  • Type: electric.
  • Body material: alder.
  • Neck material: maple.
  • Neck joint: bolt-on.

The Jackson metal guitar Pro Series DK2 Dinky sound is amazing! By changing the gain mode and switching the pickups, you get a wide range and variety of tones. It has the melody and riffs of classic rock, the warmth of jazz, and aggressive metal – all distortion styles are available to it. Yes, it’s not too versatile, but Hard Rock and Heavy Metal fans will definitely love it.

Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS22 – for beginners

Although the Jackson company was founded relatively recently, in the 70s of the last century (unlike many competitors, engaged in production for over 100 years), it is still firmly established in the market, producing a wide range of models, among which there are budget ones. So today, in the Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS22 review, I will introduce you to a cool JS series model for pretty little money, which has excellent playability and a set of additional virtues that will definitely interest you. Let's get started.

Body

Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS22

The body of the guitar is made of Poplar with a Satin-coated arched top and has a Dinky shape that is very similar to the SuperStrat. Poplar is an inexpensive wood, yet it has good tonal qualities, especially in the mid frequencies, and it is also light and soft.

The double cutaways give the Jackson Dinky JS22 style and character, especially with the beveled edges, which in addition to the design intent, make it easier to access the high frets. The top has two tone and volume controls and a humbucker selection slider, which, like the bridge, are in black and add to the guitar's appearance of aggressiveness. There are four body colors in the lineup: Metallic Blue, Natural Oil, Satin Black, or Snow White. And they all look very cool.

Pickup system

The two original Jackson High-Output Humbucking pickups with ceramic magnets for the bridge and neck are pretty high-performance. With the HH configuration, they promote a clean, voluminous, warm tone and an old-school metallic sound. They're not versatile. Sure, they're not the most reliable construction, but you must remember the guitar's price here and settle down. For their rank, these are good components. The operation is simple, with volume controls separately for each humbucker, one tone control, and a 3-position switch: bridge, bridge, and neck, neck.

The bridge here is a thorough two-point tremolo with individual bridge saddle adjustments. Don't push it too hard, and it will hold up to anything you play on it, even bends with a dive bomb (but not all the time). The tuners here are molded and Jackson-branded, too. They hold intonation very well. Yes, the Jackson Dinky JS22 specs are generally designed for Metal, but it's still worth taking it with restraint and saving it from too aggressive a load.

Neck, fingerboard, headstock

The Maple neck is attached to the body by a Bolt-On system with graphite reinforcement and a scarf joint, so it's very stable. It's smooth and wide all the way around, and the 24 Jumbo frets are pretty low, which will also be helpful, especially if you're just starting to play. The Amaranth overlay has a full-size 25.5" Scale Length and 12"-16" Compound Radius, making it fast and comfortable and providing a low-frequency response. Pearloid inlays in the shape of shark fins add style to the guitar, which is completed by a beveled pointed head. And that's further proof that it's Metal.

Sound quality

Jackson Dinky Arch Top JS22 photo

So what does the Jackson JS22 Dinky sound like? As you have already realized, it will appeal to those who do not want to spend all the money out of their pockets to buy an instrument yet and still like to play the heaviest music. Don't look for any clarity, just distortion, crunch, and bite. This guitar does great with speed soloing, tapping, shredding, and sweeping, and overall sounds powerful and very decent. Add an amp to it, and you'll be amazed at how good it is for its segment.

Key specs
  • Scale, in/cm: 25.5/64.7.
  • Frets: 24.
  • Fretboard radius, in/cm: 12-16/30.4-40.6.
  • Type: electric.
  • Body material: polar.
  • Neck material: maple.
  • Neck joint: bolt-on.

Another best Jackson electric guitar JS22 Dinky sound will appeal to those who don’t want to spend all the money out of their pockets to buy an instrument yet. Don’t look for any clarity, just distortion, crunch, and bite. This guitar does great with speed soloing, tapping, shredding, and sweeping, and overall sounds powerful and very decent.

FAQ

What famous musicians use Jackson guitars?

So which celebrities use Jackson guitars? Of course, they are mostly performers of the heaviest styles. Here are just a few of them: Adrian Smith of Iron Maiden, Mick Thomson of Slipknot, Corey Beaulieu of Trivium, Scott Ian of Anthrax, Phil Collen of Def LeppaPhil Demmel of Machine Head, Christian Andreu of Gojira, Mark Morton of Lamb of God, Chris Beattie of Hatebreed, Dave Ellefson of Megadeth, Misha Mansoor of Periphery, Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit, Andreas Kisser of Sepultura, Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells, Jordan Ziff of Ratt, Jake Kiley of Strung Out, Jeff Loomis of Arch Enemy.

If you want to know what Jackson guitars sound like in advance, just turn on tracks by one of these bands. But since you’re here, maybe you’ve already heard them? Yes, these instruments are truly made for distortion.

Are Jackson guitars only for metal?

Yes, Jackson guitars are designed for metal. They are aimed at musicians of the heaviest genres. Their electronics, fingerboard design, and other details are built for fast, hard playing, and the results are superb. But does that mean you can’t play other genres? If you have your hands and your guitar, you can even play “Jingle Bells,” but should you? Will you like what you hear? Sure, some models are more versatile than others, and you can play jazz, blues, and other styles that allow for some distortion. But I think these guitars won’t do for styles that require a clean sound. However, everything depends on your wishes, tastes, and preferences.

Are Jackson guitars good for beginners?

Yes, some models are undoubtedly suitable for beginners. Jackson has a starter lineup, so if you’re a fan of heavy styles and you’re just starting out on your career, you can safely start with them. In addition, their prices are very affordable, and the build quality will allow you to play them for a long time. Some models of the more advanced rank, having a thin fingerboard, can also suit beginners and musicians with small hands.

Is a longer-scale guitar harder to play?

Guitars with longer scales have a significant difference. The strings on these scales have more tension. Other things being equal (a gauge of strings, length of string outside the nut and saddle, bend angles, etc.), strings on a short scale are more elastic, lend themselves more easily to the fret, and require less extension of the hand. So some people may find it harder to play such an instrument, their fingers will encounter more resistance, and the notes will be extracted tighter. But I think that’s a matter of habit and preference. It’s quite possible that you won’t notice the difference if, for example, you have strong fingers. Or maybe you will become a fan of the long scale. But without trying it, you won’t be able to answer this question.

Also, you can consider those decent electric guitars:
Yamaha electric guitars.
Fender electric guitars.
ESP electric guitars.
Schecter electric guitars.

Or you can choose an electric guitar for your style:
Electric guitar for grunge.
Electric guitar for death metal.

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About M. Lacey
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