JS30KE Kelly review by Jackson

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (141 votes)
Jackson: JS30KE Kelly

Price paid: A$ 500

Purchased from: Mall Music

Sound — 9
I play a lot of various kinds of metal ranging from Iron Maiden, Megadeth to Cannibal Corpse, The Red Shore etc and this is absolutely wonderful for it. I run this through a Peavey Vypyr when at home and a Peavey 6505+ for live situations. Its not a noisy guitar, but it packs a f--king punch. When distorted this thing is ablaze with all the power you need for high gain metal. Sadly, this isnt the case for cleans which leave a little to be desired. I don't use them alot though (on this guitar anyway) so I don't care too much.

Overall Impression — 10
For all my metal needs, this is perfect. I'm notoriously fussy about all my guitars and this was no exception. It was the first guitar I ever bought and she's been with me now for four years, since I started playing. Since then, it's been modified with EMG 81 and 85 pickups, Schaller strap locks and Grover tuners and its still one of my favourite guitars out of the four I own ( I also own a Jackson DK2M, Jackson DKMG, and an Agile Interceptor Pro 727)if it were stolen, I'd probably cry for a week straight and then torture the bastard who took it, but I would definetly buy it again. There are only two things on this entire guitar I don't like, one being the neck dive issue and the other being the lowest cut away being too small and making sweeps and soloing a bit harder. Other than that, it was and still is everything I want in a guitar. With a few upgrades from the Standard this beginner series guitar can compete with guitars well above its price range. I would highly recommend not only this guitar, but Jackson Guitars as well for anyone looking for a metal oriented guitar.

Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar definetly withstands live situations, and better than some guitars I've had with a much bigger price tag.I've never had a problem on stage with it, spare a few string breakages, but that happens to everyone. I replaced the strap buttons instantly with Schaller strap locks because I didn't want to leave anything to chance with this beauty. I've gigged with it solidly for a long time now as both my main weapon and as a beackup and would trust it to go an entire set without a back up. The finish is still going strong too, with no signs of wear anywhere on the body (that may be because I baby all my guitars and polish them regularly after each use).

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When I bought it the action was perfect, and there wasn't a single flaw anywhere in the finish. Pickups needed to be raised only slightly for my liking, the bridge was set in place perfectly, no dead or buzzing frets whatsoever. I was pretty astounded by this, since its only an entry level guitar.

Features — 9
Not sure when this monster was conceived, but I know its of Indonesian crafting. 24 frets, amazingly thin neck, rosewood fretboard, Indian Cedro body (NOT ALDER), metallic red finished. The body style is reminiscent of a Gibson Explorer, but much more metal and way better looking IMO. Tune-o-matic bridge, passive Jackon CVR2 pickups, volume and tone control with a three way toggle Switch for pickup selection. Comes with Standard Jackson tuners and strap button.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I bought this guitar around Christmas 2005, it's not bad, it was 300 plus tax american, same as the other models in the JS30 series like the offset flying V (Rhoads V) and Warrior I believe it was, and some other one I can't remember. It's a solid guitar, that's for sure, alder body is very resistant to accidental dings and hits. Electronics should be replaced, as well as the stock humbuckers. Action needed to be fixed, put cut up pieces of credit card under neck, and it's still not perfect, but eh, it plays well and was worth the buy.
    Panterica wrote: wtf mine was 899.99 .....at guitar center
    Are you sure the guitar you bought wasn't the KE2? That would make sense for it to be $900. But a JS30KE? You got ripped off if you bought it for that much.
    JAMR wrote: wtf mine was 899.99 .....at guitar center dude i think u either got screwed... or there was false advertising involved...
    Or he could be talking about the KE2 rather than the JS30KE.