Price paid: £ 250
Purchased from: A friend
Sound — 8
As far as sound goes, this guitar is awesome. With my band I play in the style of a lot of old school metal (Crue, Slayer, Sabbath, early Metallica) and some NWOAHM stuff (Five Finger Death Punch, Trivium, etc)but I also have a death-metal solo project that I use it for. So if that's your vibe then this is the axe for you. Versatility and power in one lovely big lump. My signal chain is guitar-> Tubescreamer -> Cybaby -> ISP Decimator -> Amp (A Marshall AVT150H head, hot-rodded with the circuit board from a JCM 900) and it KILLS. It also sounds great through my ol' Roland Cube when I'm teaching/doodling at home. The only criticism I can level at this guitar sound-wise is that the neck pickup get a touch muddy when you play very high up the neck (19th fret upwards) but the bridge pickup sounds dandy so it's not a huge deal. Clean sounds are also very good, nice and warm, although a little quiet for my taste.
Overall Impression — 9
For the music I play (see above), this guitar is nigh-on perfect. I picked it up as I was looking for a super-strat to replace an LTD KH-202 I sold and my choices were either a B.C. Rich Assassin or a Schecter C-1+. My mate offered me this guitar and man, am I glad I took it. It's spectacular. My favourite features are the solidity and durability of it (despite being a floating bridge it never even thinks about going out of tune), the range of sounds it's capable of producing, and, admittedly, it's killer looks. The only thing I'd criticise is that I'd prefer it to have EMG 81's instead of the HZ's, but the HZ's are still great pickups in their own right. If this guitar were lost or stolen I'd definitely pick up another one as it's great. An ideal axe for a newer player looking to buy their first "real" guitar, or even a seasoned pro looking a decent workhorse for not too much money. I've been playing for 10 years and I own an extensive collection of very high-end guitars, and this baby holds it's own with any of them. All in all, a very solid and impressive effort form Jackson, and one that I'm very pleased with indeed! Obviously there are better guitars than this (I'm considering selling my LP Custom to get a Jackson Custom Shop version of this guitar) but I don't think that many guitars in it's price range can compete with it. Great piece of kit all round.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar does indeed stick the pace of live playing and it's one of my main guitars for live play (alongside my Ibanez SZ320, Michael Kelly Patriot Premium and Gibosn Les Paul Custom). Strap buttons I can't really comment on as I replaced 'em with Dunlop Strap-locks as soon as I got it (force of habit) but they were of a good size and seemed solid. Finish is tough as hell and apart form marking up a little with fingerprints etc it doesn't seem like it's gonna wear off anytime soon. I use several guitars when gigging due to different tunings for different songs etc but if I was forced to gig the DXMG without a backup I'm confident it would stick the pace. I'm heavy-handed in my playing style and this beast takes everything you can give it and hits right back. Top class.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action, fit and finish were all spotless when I bought this guitar. Admittedly I bought it off my friend who's a guitar technician so I knew it would be spankin' when I bought it but even so it was still great. I've had no problem what'soever with it in this regard. The finish, becasue it is so high-gloss, marks up a little easier than I would like but that's not the guitar's fault really. I've been hitting this thing hard every day for around a year now and it's still as fresh as a daisy. That's one thing about the Japanese-made Jacksons, they built 'em tough as hell.
Features — 9
Jackson DXMG, made in Japan, circa 2001 I believe. Fairly standard setup here, nothing outlandish. 24 fret Maple neck with rosewood fretboard bolted onto an Alder body. Comes loaded with EMG HZ4A pickups in neck and bridge (passive versions of the legendary EMG 81) 3-way toggle switch, one volume control, one tone control. Tremolo system is a surprisingly stable Jackson double-point tremolo system, essentially a Licensed Floyd. Two very cool features are the reverse headstock and sharkfin inlays. While they add nothing to the guitars playability, they certainly look cool! For the price I paid these features are all excellent and add up to a very good value guitar. I'd admittedly rather have two EMG 81's but hey, you can't have it all.