JS32 Rhoads review by Jackson

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 8.3 (35 votes)
Jackson: JS32 Rhoads

Price paid: € 295

Purchased from: Musicstore

Sound — 7
I mostly play 80's rock and metal but I also have a romantic side. I play it through a Roland Cube 15 XL which has Boss effects built in (overdrive, distortion, metal zone and extreme) I mostly stick to distortion. The pickups deliver quite a good sound for such a cheap guitar, but in my opinion too much bass... I usually end up having the bass on my amp really low and the treble very high to get a good sound. Lately I also bought an MXR Distortion+ but I don't like the sound of the pickups through that at all (I like it for my other guitars but for the Jackson I just can't find the sweet spot). The sound variety isn't that big, it's a humbucker guitar so it's hard to get say SRV sounds out of it, but for my style of music it's good.

Overall Impression — 8
For my style of music it's a good match but then again why would someone who wanted to play blues buy a Rhoads, this guitar is made for heavier genres. I have been playing guitar for somewhere around 3 years and I have owned this guitar for 1, 5 years. I also have an Epiphone Les Paul Custom which I have owned for 2 months (before that I used my brothers guitar). I am very happy with this guitar, it was my very first own electric guitar so of course it has a lot of emotional value as well. If the guitar was stolen I wouldn't buy another one just 'cause it's not the same one... I would either save up for a more high end Rhoads or track down the thief en ram the tall wing in his youknowwhat.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I have played several gigs with this guitar and it has withstood all of them without a backup, but lately with the pickups failing I would use this guitar as a backup and my Epiphone as the 'main' guitar. The hardware itself seems to be able to last if you take good care of it, the straps buttons are solid but can be a bit annoying (position wise) for some people. The finish seems very decent and hasn't peeled off because of wear in my case, but then again I have only owned this guitar for a year and half.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was playable out of the box, just had to tune it right and it was all good. I did change the strings pretty fast to D'Addario's just 'cause I like them, the ones that it had from the factory were more than decent. Lately the guitars wiring has been failing a bit, it happens sometimes that when switching pickups it just dies and you have to keep ramming the selector to get it back to work. The wood is very tough, I have ran into things A LOT with the tall wing and it has withstood most of it (some of the paint came off, but of course guitars weren't made to hit things). My volume control came off after like a year but a simply screw job can fix that.

Features — 8
It was made in India somewhere in 2010 and it features 24 frets which are easy accessible thanks to the Rhoads shape. The body has a nice solid black finish which doesn't chip away easily (unless you run into stuff, which can happen with the tall wing). The body itself is made out of Cedro and the bolt-on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. The body is, of course, a Rhoads. It's one of those shapes that you can adore or absolutely hate... I find it quite practical because you can easily access the lower frets and if you place the short wing between your legs when you sit you can play in an angle, which is pretty handy! The guitar has a String-thru body but there are also models, albeit a bit more expensive, that have a Floyd Rose. It has 2 CVR2 Jackson Humbucker Pickups, but seeing as I'm not really an expert in pickups I'm not gonna talk about it that much. The volume and tone are all master and it features a 3-way pickup selector. My guitar came with a free Jackson gig bag which is pretty nice. My rating might seem a bit high but I'm keeping the price in mind too!

2 comments sorted by best / new / date

    The balance is terrible. I first I thought it was a minor problem, but it's actually extremely irritating. When you stand up and play, it's impossible. Whenever I let go, the neck slides down past the body. I have have to hold the neck up while playing and it ruins my playing. That is my only complaint about this guitar. Overall, I love this guitar to death.