Purchased from: Local Mom and Pop Retailer
Features — 10
- Japan. Serial 9853xxx neck pocket stamps June 2011.
- 24 jumbos, 25.5,rosewood board/maple bolt on neck, pirahna inlays, thin Speed Neck.
- Solid alder body, black satin finish.
- Dinky body (approx. 7/8ths Strat size)
- TOM string thru bridge.
- Active 81/85 EMG
- Vol/Tone/3 way blade
- Jackson logo'd Jin Ho Korean tuners
- Molded Jackson hard case.
Sound — 10
Fits metal and that's why I got it. I run through a Zoom 16 track recorder/stereo monitors or a 1990 Marshall mini stack. Great tones all around. I can't imagine how people say EMG's are only hard rock/metal pickups? Both the neck and bridge produce great clean sounds with no effort. Of, course they don't have the dynamics of a passive, but I don't consider that to be a deal breaker. Overall, I'm a 40% active, 60% passive guy. It's more a variety thing for me, I'm not a huge "tonechaser." My gear is limited as I just record/play at home these days. I love to hook this thing up to a big rig in a large venue and really see how it fills a room and shakes the walls. Lol... I'd need earplugs for that these days...
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Retailer had a great setup already. Only "flaw" would be a plastic nut that was cut sufficiently, but not great. I immediately installed a bone nut to achieve an absurdly low action. The low E saddle is almost as far ahead as it'll go, but it's intonated. They cut it a little close, but the range is sufficient to intonate and that's all that matters. I did notice while removing the neck that one of the screws was badly mis-shapen. It looks weird, but it functions. Also, the screws in the rear electronics cavity cover weren't exactly drilled in straight, but, again, it functions properly and that's what matters.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Live? Easily withstand live playing. 5+ years and it's still solid. The satin finish went shiny and blotchy, but that was expected. I recently refinished it and made it gloss instead of satin with a Lightning Sky graphic. The strap buttons are certainly solid and when I removed one I found a screw that was plenty long enough to keep it secure for many years to come in my estimation. As mentioned, anyone that knows about satin/matte finishes knows they'll get shiny from your hand rubbing it. This one went very blotchy. It looked like it was covered in fingerprints even though it was clean. I'm not sure if they all get blotchy or just shiny, but if you want a spotless looking guitar for years to come I wouldn't recommend satin/matte.
Overall Impression — 10
Simply put, this Japanese guitar does everything as well as my USA SL2HT at about 1/3 price. All of my friends agree... Some choose it over the SL2HT. The bone nut allowed fantastic tuning stability. Many people blame tuning issues on the tuners when the nut is the issue. These Korean tuners are as reliable as the Gotoh Jackson tuners on my USA. I've played 35 years. Your experience may be different, but THIS guitar is a gem and it's undeniable. This is the second generation DKMGT (2006-11). The first generation (2002-5) had passive EMG-HZ's/3 knobs/boost feature.