Purchased from: Dawsons Music (Liverpool)
Sound — 8
The Jackson guitars are typical metal guitars and the JS30DK is of course no exception giving Precision sound for older metal such as Metallica, Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden. The unfortunate thing about this model is the Floyd-Rose, although great for my style, it means the guitar cannot be down tuned as the floating bridge drops which means it is impractical for those into more modern music played in Drop D/C tunnings. however the model is available with a fixed bridge and these type are ideal for playing styles like Bullet for my Valentine, Children Of Bodom and Still Remains. I use a Line 6 Spider II with mine and find it allows the guitar to produce a HUGE range of sounds it can effortlessly change from The Beatles to The Sex Pistols to Metallica. I rate it 8 out of 10 purely because there it can't be down tuned which slightly limits the range of sounds from a full swing of all styles.
Overall Impression — 9
As most of this review suggests I'm a metal guitarist and for me it is perfect both for metal and for the more rock style playings like Guns N' Roses and Led Zeppelin. My only problem being that it lacks compatibility to play more modern Drop-Tuned styles like Bullet for my Valentine or Children Of Bodom. I own a B.C. Rich Ironbird aswell which does help with these styles but not reccomended over the Jacksons as jagged shape means a lot of chippd paintwork and hard time trying to take it to practices or gigs etc. without sustaining damage. The only thing I would reccomend is to those guitarists Who would prefer to play the more modern styles of metal, aswell as older, that they should get one with a fixed bridge (but still two humbuckers) so they can achieve these styles.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Although in a band we have never played Live as of yet so I cannot comment on how it withstand Live playing. The strap buttons stay solid and the only problem will b with straps themselves I use Levi's straps and reccomend them or similar as there is a fair bit of weight within the guitar and begginners straps like those in a Stratocaster pack would be unsuitable and unrealiable to play with. The entire guitar is built to last after an unfortunately collision with my knee in practice the guitar took no damage but left my knee bruisd throughout so I would imagine it would survive a drop or two. The only problem I could find with the finnish is that the black finnish picks up a lot of dust and fingerprints, not too sure bout the other colour models, but with a simple dust cloth it is easily cleand again.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was seemingly perfect off the assembly line, the humbuckers were both set level to pick up similar levels of sound from each but guitarists who predominantly play metal it may be advised to raise the bridge end humbucker slightly to catch a fuller sound. As with most guitars it is also advised to change the set of strings the bridge was set to accept Ernie Ball regular slinky (or similar gauged) strings, If you wish (like I did) to place a heavier or lighter gauge set of strings, I suggest that before proceeding you should consult a website, book or guitar expert about the change over as there is a lot of messing about with the inner springs and bridge level to make the guitar perfect again. I didn't find any of these as flaws jus personal decisions that I though would be useful to other potential buyers.
Features — 10
The model I have is one of the ones made in India, it is possible to get Japanese made ones which cost a few 100 extra having never tried one I couldn't say whether the difference is worth it. With a 22 fret rosewood neck packled with jumbo frets it is considerable perfect to pull of most sounds effortlessly. It's two controls are a master volume and master tone which quite limits it to most sounds being controlled by amp settings but the two sets of Jackson humbuckers (using a 3-way selector) compliment the perfect amp settings of most major makes like Marshall or Line 6. The body itself is Strat style and comes in black (like mine), dark metallic-red or blue. It has a floyd rose bridge system with tremelo and locking on the top of the neck to keep it in perfect tune with little need to re-tune for months.