Price paid: € 729
Purchased from: Piens Musicplanet Deinze (Belgium)
Sound — 8
I play rock and metal most of the time. So a superstrat like this Jackson is what I was after. It's been played through several amps now, solid state and valve. The TB4 bridge pickup by Seymour Duncan does what I expected it to do. Nice powerful rock sound. It's easy to pinch harmonics with this one and I love the sound of it. The middle pickup however sounds kind of silent compared to the other ones. The sound is warm to bright just a little low output. It's a STK-1 single coil (with one extra passive) when switching between pickups I have to adjust the volume on my amp to be on the same level. I know it's designed like that and that's exactly the sound the pick up should give, I just don't think they should've put it on this guitar then. This is of course a matter of opinion. The neck pickup however (the Sustainiac) gives way more output volume and it sounds warmer than the middle one in my opinion, but it has more static buzz. The Sustainiac itself when used to sustain is a nice toy to play with. Once you select it, it automatically switches to bridge pickup (not mentioned on the Jackson website) and there's a control switch to make the strings vibrate in either the pitch of note you just played, the harmonic of it or mixed mode. It takes some time to get used to, as the other strings tend to vibrate as well, so you have to compensate that with muting the strings with your other fingers when possible. I'm overal satisfied with the sound of the guitar and it delivers what I expected it to do. They might have omitted the middle pickup or chosen another one there, but it's fine like it is as well. I tried playing country, fingerpicking, blues and even jazz on the guitar. It's pretty versatile and you can always change the settings on your amp or tone knob to alter the sound.
Overall Impression — 7
I play classical guitar as well as blues and country. For that I have my nylonstring classical guitar and my acoustic steel string. The Jackson can handle the country and blues part, but for jazzy things it sounds a bit too crisp. Guitar sounds however can be heavily influenced by the choice of amp and it's settings. I wish I had asked about to Sustainiac a bit more. I didn't know that when I would switch it on to sustain, it would automatically switch to the bridge pickup. Not that it matters so much, but I switched to other playing style recently in which I would prefer the Sustainiac together with the bridge. However my favorite feature is still the Sustainiac. I compared it to an Ibanez R1570 but I didn't like the sound of the basswood body. I thought it was a bit pricey as well. I did like the feel of it's low profile Floyd Rose style tremolo. It made me look for another guitar that had this feature and that's how I got to this Jackson. I can't say I regret my choice really, but the fret buzzing issue mentioned above makes me think about selling it again and going for a hing end guitar anyway. The problem with shops here in Belgium is that most of them don't have Jacksons in stock so you can't really testplay them. Also most of the tested out guitars have scratches or marks from other customers testing them out. I like mine new, untouched. Wish I had looked a bit further before buying this one. I figured since I already have one for 17 years and served me very well, what can go wrong? I'm left with a double feeling. I love playing the guitar and it looks and sounds fantastic, but my old and cheap one, which doesn't sound so great as this one (but close) plays better. And that's something people shouldn't feel when buying a new instrument.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I dragged my old Jackson along everywhere I went and after 17 years it still looks and plays amazing. The only reason I switched was because I got tired of the color and needed one with a double locking trem. It never let me down and as I stated above, I never had to adjust anything to it. One thing that bothered me about that old Jackson is that the nut of the input jack came loose very often. I was disappointed that after a few minutes of playing on this new one, the exact same thing happened. The strap buttons however never got loose. I never kept the old Jackson in it's bag, the color and it still looks fantastic. So based on the fact that I haven't owned the new one long enough to judge, but also that my old one is still in excellent condition after daily playing for 17 years, I give it a fat.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Now here's why I wanted to write this review. I ordered the guitar 3 months ago and they said they would deliver it to the store a month later. So I was a bit disappointed when I had to wait 1 and a half month longer. When it arrived, the strings were out of tune, so much that I had to loosen the locking nuts and tune them myself. Not that I mind of doing that, but they could've done that in the factory I think. The action of the guitar is also a bit too high for me. And it does have fret buzz on most of the strings. This is the second Jackson I own. I bought a cheap Jackson PS2 performer back in 1994, it didn't have jumbo frets, just medium sized. I haven't adjusted the truss rod since and haven't lowered the action, and yet this guitar has no fret buzz whatsoever and the action is definitely lower. Other than that, the guitar looks fine. No scratches, no flaws. It looks amazing and is sturdy built. I've tried to lower the action, which worked, but the fret buzzing is worse. It's not audible when through the amps, but it bothers me when I hear it on lower volumes, clean or even when I play unamplified. I live in a urban setting with lots of neighbours and small children, including my own, so I can't play really loud at nights. What I can't understand is that a cheapo Jackson of 17 years old has less buzzing problems than this new mid range one. I don't know it it's because of the Floyd Rose style tremolo, but this guitar doesn't have as much sustain as other bolt on necks I own. But for that I can always turn on the Sustainiac, right? I hope I can fix the problem with the action/buzzing. Until then I rate this section a
Features — 9
I bought myself a fine looking Japanese made Jackson DK2S Dinky in Inferno Red. I had to wait a few weeks for it to arrive in the store I bought it, so I think it's made in 2011. I don't think I have to describe what features the Jackson Dinky has, because it's a well known guitar. This one comes with the Sustainiac system. I can not rate it low on how it looks and what features it has, because it's what I ordered in the first place. I would've like for Jackson to use another tremolo on the guitar. Not that I have had problems with this one, it does what it's designed to do and doesn't go out of tune, but I know it won't stay like that forever. It would've been nice if they had stick to the dimensions of Original Floyd Roses so I could retrofit one later when the knife edges of this one go dull.