#1
Hey guys. I just wanted to toss this on here and see what yall think about the whole thing before I actually undertake it.
So I'm thinking about getting a used Jackson kelly and taking her apart. I'll likely keep the electronics and hardware as is. If anything maybe new pickups, but nothing over the top.
However, I'd like to maybe repaint the body. I'm thinking satin black back, electric blue front (nice and bright haha). The difficult part is that I'd like to find a replacement neck. If possible a maple fretboard with a reverse headstock.
So my question is, how doable is this really? Preferably without having to order some special one off neck or anything.
Thanks guys. I appreciate it
#2
What model of Kelly are we talking about here? The MIJ KE3? Those and the older Professional Kelly's are the ones I see get modded the most often.

Assuming we're talking about a KE3, replacement necks for MIJ Jackson Pro's are easy to find on ebay. But a maple fretboard with a reverse headstock is not going to happen; there's no such thing on the production models.

I think the neck pocket on the KE3 share the same dimensions as the Pro Dinky's, although I'm not sure. Ask jcfonline just to be certain. I can't think of why they would be different from just looking at them. It would be very advantageous of you if they were compatible because that would mean you could have either a DK2M neck (Maple fretboard, non-reverse headstock), or a DKMG neck (Rosewood fretboard, reverse headstock) for the Kelly. Whatever you choose depends on what is more important to you.

Regarding hardware, replace the Floyd Rose. The Jackson Licensed Floyd is not that great, but fortunately the OFR and Schaller FR's are drop-in replacements. The Schaller Lockmeister Floyd is identical to the OFR in terms of dimensions and material quality, and they're even made in the exact same factory. Yet depending on where you live, they may be cheaper in price than an OFR. So you may as well get one of those if that's the case. Once you've done all that, you'll have an epic guitar.

The stock pickups in the KE3's are Duncan JB/Jazz, which are good pickups. You might not even want to change them.

If the guitar you're looking at buying isn't a Pro Series or one of the better Professional Series, I might not bother going to such lengths unless you just want to mod the guitar for the learning experience. Which I can understand.
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#3
that's part of why I wanted to ask. I'm not so sure when it comes to jacksons. As for the model, I'd like a hard tail more than a Floyd rose. I'm not a big fan of trems. And if I were to choose between reverse headstock and a maple fretboard I'd choose maple fretboard. Reverse head stocks are just cool.
So a ke3 would be the best model to look for? Or would another?
#4
Also, to answer your query of why I want to do this, I would like a guitar that's my own. It probably sounds silly but quality isn't really an issue to me here. I have high end high quality guitars. IMHO no Jackson is going to come close to my custom prs. I just think the kelly looks really cool and I'd like to get one and make it different from everyone else's. I'm not interested if it's going to cost me thousands of dollars or hours and hours of my time. I just think a bright blue kelly with a maple neck would be really cool.
#5
Quote by Lgarretto
that's part of why I wanted to ask. I'm not so sure when it comes to jacksons. As for the model, I'd like a hard tail more than a Floyd rose. I'm not a big fan of trems. And if I were to choose between reverse headstock and a maple fretboard I'd choose maple fretboard. Reverse head stocks are just cool.
So a ke3 would be the best model to look for? Or would another?

As far as I know, there are no Jackson Kelly's that have been made in recent memory that are bolt-on with a fixed bridge, that are worth modding. Unless you count the very rare 7 string MIJ Kelly.
Quote by Lgarretto
A It probably sounds silly but quality isn't really an issue to me here. I have high end high quality guitars. IMHO no Jackson is going to come close to my custom prs.

You may want to look at the USA Selects then.

But seriously, given the pricepoint of the old MIJ Pro Series, you'll be pleasantly surprised of how well made they were. The fact that they're starting to appreciate in value on the used market since they stopped being made in Japan should tell you something.
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#6
Actually I was kinda thinking about doing this to a js32t. I'm sure the pro series are great, but if I can find a maple neck that will fit a js32t I'll just do that. I don't wanna spend too much. And id rather have a hard tail.
#7
There's a chance that the Pro Series necks might fit the JS bodies, but I'd do some more research into that. But the DK2M neck (the maple fretboard one) has a shelf cut for a locking nut which isn't appropriate if you just want a fixed bridge.

I think your best option is a DKMGT because while it doesn't have a maple board, it is bound, has a reverse headstock, and it comes with a standard nut like what you'll want. But again, do some research. Ask jcfonline as to what they'd recommend since they know about the Pro Series like the back of their hands and probably know exactly which bodies can fit their necks and which ones can't.

There is also such a thing as the KE3R, which is bolt-on reverse headstock as well. But again, that guitar has a floyd and a locking nut which isn't what you want.
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#8
if you dont mind potentially getting a fret dressing (leveling) done there is plenty on ebay from china. If they are figured maple oh god I'd have fun if I lived in america.

a floyd rose original 1000, grovers and some CTS push pulls or whatever won't break the bank though and a jackson logo is pretty easy to come by on ebay. I'll have links later tonight maple or ebony fretboards are about 100$ us dollar.
#9
I believe the hardtail Jacksons have a special bridge to match the compound neck radius. I'm not sure how special that really is but something to consider if you swap it out.
Guitars:
Jackson Kelly KE3 - MIJ (Distortion/Jazz)
Jackson DKMGT Dinky (EMG 81/85)
ESP E-II Eclipse Custom (JB/'59)
ESP LTD EC-1001FR (EMG 81/60)
Fender MIM Strat

Amps:
Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier Roadster 212
Laney IronHeart IRT-Studio
Peavey Vypyr 30
Peavey ReValver Amp Sims
TOOOO many T.C. Electronic Pedals. . .
#10
+1 on replacing the floyd, unless you block it, then don't bother. If you can't find a nice reverse headstock neck, stick a lefty in and buy those sticker inlay side dots I heard those stay on for about 10 years. I am pretty sure Mighty Mite sells some reverse headstock necks for floyds, but I'm not positive. They are the cheapest necks I trust besides Guitar Fetish. You could also take a chance on one (I know there are some I've seen them) from the new ones shipped from china on ebay, but those can be good or bad.
#11
Quote by metalmingee
I believe the hardtail Jacksons have a special bridge to match the compound neck radius. I'm not sure how special that really is but something to consider if you swap it out.

It isn't anything special. Its just a typical 12" radius.
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I also have to do that. Cottaging this weekend