Price paid: C$ 500
Purchased from: Long & McQuade
Features — 8
- Year - 2015 (Most likely, as it is not obvious)
- Made in China
- 24 fret
- Floyd Rose bridge
- Passive Jackson pickups
- Comes with a tone control, volume control, and a 3-way switch
- Ordered with a gig bag
Sound — 8
This guitar suits the style of music that I play fairly well. The pickups are obviously not the most high quality but the JS32 line is meant to be affordable so that didn't come as a surprise to me. They're good enough to play some thrash metal, maybe classical metal, but I later replaced them with L500XLs as I got into heavier stuff and once you go past drop D on this thing, it doesn't sound its best (unless you upgrade it). I'm using this guitar with digital effects running through my computer, and I was able to get a lot of good playing out of it (Playing music such as Metallica, Megadeth, Pantera, etc.) but after a few months I had decided that the pickups aren't enough for me because the cleans feel a bit too bright.
To summarize what I have said, this guitar is good if you'd like to play Metal or if you would like to upgrade it to be more versatile as I have.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was surprisingly well set up at the factory, but I wasn't quite happy with the Floyd Rose as the B string kept coming loose when I would dive bomb. This was quickly corrected as I let the strings stretch out and I readjusted the tension of the bridge and the locking nuts at the top of my neck. I was also unhappy with my pickup rings. They had been overtightened at the factory leading to cracks forming around the screws. This was a quick fix when I talked to Jackson about it as they sent me replacements for free and everything was fine after that.
As for the neck and paint quality, I found the paint job to be at 90% of what it could be. The neck has small and virtually un-noticeable marks where the metal bits go in for the frets on its side, but the paint on the body is fairly well done. The cavities have fairly rough paint inside (Tremolo and control cavities are not sanded), but I guess that's fine because I'm not a perfectionist. Otherwise, the finishes and fits are very good for such a guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is actually surprisingly reliable. I've been playing it for about half a year now, at least an hour every day on average, and it has not broken at all, or even had the settings come off on travel on bus and in the back of a car. This guitar feels like it would last, regardless of it being cheap, because the build is fairly sturdy. I also really like the finish, because it can take a beating. I've hit the corners of the V shape on the wall and on my table and so far I don't see any scratches or dents. The only real problem I noticed was that when I used a certain kind of pick it scratched the area under the strings, but that's expected of any guitar.
Overall Impression — 8
I play metal anywhere from AC/DC to Slipknot and this guitar is a perfect match for that. I transitioned from being a beginner guitarist to being good with this guitar and I absolutely love it. I don't own any other gear but I have owned an Epiphone and I'd say Jackson's affordable guitars are better, but that's just my opinion. I wish I had asked about the Floyd Rose bridge though before I bought it, because it's a pain in the butt. But I still use it. If I lost this guitar I would 1) Cry in bed for a day and 2) Go straight back to the store and buy myself a similar one.
A lot of people wonder about the shape of it. It's actually very comfortable to wedge the wing into your leg and play standing up because it stays there and is very stable. I bought this guitar for the look and I've found out since then it does way more than that. This guitar is very good for the price in my opinion, and I would recommend it to anyone who's considering buying this!