Price paid: A$ 1000
Purchased from: Guitar Factory
Sound — 9
The guitar suit me down to a t, and is awesome for metal/hard rock. Besides what others say I find this guitar quite versatile and performs nicely when clean, especially with nice Jazz or Blues tones. At the moment I am in search for a new amp, however the DKMG performs very well through my Fender practice amp. The effects I use with it are my Zakk Wylde Cry Baby and my Boss MT-2 Metal Zone distortion, the guitar sounds great through them.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall I view the DKMG as being like a high end sports car like a Ferrari or Porsche. It is lighting fast, looks stunning, purrs like a kitting, but won't be as durable or have the longevity of other models, like say a Strat or Les Paul. I play mostly hard rock/metal on this guitar and it is perfect for it, I couldn't imagine a guitar that is more perfectly suited for a wide range of metal tones or styles. I've been playing for 9 years and have used this Jackson for 1/2 of this period, I own it with a Fender Stratocaster and a nylon string Acoustic (as well as pedal etc). If this guitar somehow slipped from my hands into a black abyss, I would probably buy another guitar...not because I don't like it, but mainly because I like to mix things up. I might go for a Les Paul-esque model of guitar, because I love that heavy, chunky feel. I love the sound this guitar makes when set up perfectly and run through my effects pedals. It sounds awesome when playing heavy riffs (Pantera, Lamb of God etc.)as well as when playing some face melting solos. I don't hate anything about this guitar, I just think the volume knob should stop being a little bastard. My loves greatly outweigh my petty little dislikes. My favourite feature is the EMG pickups, I would get these on any guitar I get in the future. They are by far my favorite feature...(The reverse headstock is pretty bad-ass too, I could take some eyes out with that baby). Before I bought this I compared it to other guitars of similar style/price like Schecter models, ESP/LTD guitars as well as other Jackson models and settled on this with no regrets. I chose this guitar because it sounded, looked and performed better hands down (much like that first time you test Drive a Bugatti Veyron). I don't wish it had anything else, it's simply brilliant, and I would highly recommend this to metal players.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar would definitely withstand live playing... just make sure you have a guitar technician (i.e. guy with long hair down at the guitar shop) to make sure your volume knob is on properly, if this came of in the middle of a gig. The hardware is probably the least durable thing about the guitar, with annoying little things like oxidised bolts and screws, but this can be easily fixed. No problems with strap buttons or anything like that, they are there to stay. I can definitely depend on this guitar, however I would recommend a back up just incase, seeing as the guitar is quite fiddly, and you don't want to be trying to fiddle with the set-up in the middle of the gig. The finish on the guitar is awesome and will take many years before the wear on this is noticeable.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was set up perfectly when I bought it, however I had to quickly educate myself on how to set it up when changing string gauges etc. This is a very tedious process and can take up to two hours the first few times you do it. I recommend you memorise the gauge of your string to save you from having to continually set up your guitar. The pickups were adjusted perfectly and in many ways the sound they give is one of my favorite features of the guitar. When I first purchased the guitar it was perfect with no flaws, however as I stated earlier, everyone seems to have the problem with the volume knob becoming loose. The paint job was perfect with no flaws or marks on it, and after 3 years hasn't warn whatsoever, except for a few minor chips, which would be expected on any guitar from a long time of use and wear.
Features — 8
The model I own is a 2006 model, manufactured in Japan. The neck is rosewood and has 24 jumbo frets with small Shark tooth inlays that are different to the Standard "large" tooth inlays on other Jackson models. The body is an arch top, and comes in a choice of 10 colours, although mine is the 'cobalt swirl' gloss finish which I think looks really nice and doesn't show up finger prints that much. As can be seen in images the guitar is in the 'super-strat' style. The guitar came with a locking Floyd Rose whammy bar setup which performs awesomely, however changing strings and tuning can be tedious and takes some practice (you wouldn't buy this guitar for a 12 year old). The pickups on this bad-boy are crunchy as crackers. EMG Active 81/85's which are an awesome combo and perform well in a variety of styles and genres (they perform really well when run through a distortion pedal etc.)On the guitar body is a volume knob and a tone knob as well as a three way pickup selector. Like others who own the guitar have complained, the volume knob does become loose over time which is annoying, but easily fixed with a screwdriver. The tuners are Jackson tuners and work very nicely. My guitar came with no accessories or case, which was expected. It was hard to find a case for this bad boy, but when I did it was totally cool.