JS32T Kelly Review

manufacturer: Jackson date: 05/13/2014 category: Electric Guitars
Jackson: JS32T Kelly
I play heavy music and this guitar definitely does the job perfectly. Not only does it look great, but it sounds great too.
 Sound: 7.9
 Overall Impression: 8.3
 Reliability & Durability: 7.9
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.9
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (7) pictures (4) 31 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8.8
JS32T Kelly Reviewed by: zamir666, on october 26, 2010
3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 494

Purchased from: Music Theme

Features: The JS32T Kelly that I got was made in India. It's got 24 Jumbo frets, two Jackson humbucking pickups, stock Jackson tuner heads, a 3 way pickup selector and one Volume and Tone knob each. The hardware's all chrome and the neck is a bolt-on maple neck with the Standard Shark tooth inlays like most Jacksons have. It also comes with a Jackson gigbag and some wrench for adjusting the truss rod which I feel is nice. // 9

Sound: I play a lot of heavy music like Thrash Metal, Metalcore, Punk etc. I'd say this guitar gets the job done well. I play the Kelly through a Vox AD30VT and the sound is just magnificent. The stock pickups have a very nice tone. They handle heavy distortion very well and even the clean tones sound great. I haven't tried using the Kelly on a lighter genre like Pop Rock yet but I'm guessing it's mainly meant for more heavier music. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: When I went to the shop and picked up the guitar, everything felt great. The action was set nicely, intonation was all right. I don't have to do any adjustments to it. At most, I'd just replace the strings with a new set. The tuner heads feel very firm as well compared to other guitars I've owned. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I've only had it about a day but I'd say this guitar can stand constant gigging. It feels very durable to me. The only fear I have is that the paint on the more sharper corners will chip off which is a very common thing for pointy-shaped guitars. The strap buttons feel very secure and since the guitar isn't very heavy, I think that the strap buttons won't fall off too easily. The paint job definitely is well finished so I doubt that they'll wear out anytime soon. // 8

Overall Impression: Like I mentioned earlier, I play heavy music and this guitar definitely does the job perfectly. Not only does it look great, but it sounds great too. The fact that it doesn't weigh too heavily is one thing I like about the guitar as I bring my guitars out for jamming sessions and gigs a lot. It was also nice of Jackson to supply a gigbag with the guitar so that I don't have to purchase one for it. I've been playing for about 5 years by now and due to the fact that I've been playing with cheap Deans and Samicks all this time, this guitar definitely feels better to me. Even though I'm more of a Flying V guy, the Kelly feels nice to me as well. If it were stolen, I'd probably get a King V version from the JS series though. // 9

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overall: 8.2
JS32T Kelly Reviewed by: flyfshr, on april 29, 2011
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 400

Purchased from: Picker's Alley

Features: 24 fret string through body shark tooth inlays compound radius neck, thick near the headstock and then flattens out towards the body 1 volume, 1 tone 3 way toggle switch dual humbuckers, Jackson's house brand comes with gig bag, fairly nice one actually, embroidered logos, lots of pockets for tab books, spare packs of strings and whatnot made in india body is indian cedro bolt on neck // 9

Sound: Sounds "ok" through my cheap little Line 6 amp, sounded alot better through the Fender tube amp at the store so I'll base my sound review on that. The Standard pickups actually did not sound all that bad, in fact I plan on just leaving it stock, I'm sure some of the Custom pickup connesseurs will disagree but for someone looking for an affordable blue collar guitar that sounds decent off the rack I think this does pretty well. I think I'll save my pennies for a better amp instead of pickups, no pickup swap is gonna make my Line 6 spyder sound any better than it does. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: My guitar was setup perfect, action, intonation, pickup height was absolutely perfect, although the volume know was loose, the dealer quickly fixed that for me though, I couldn't find any other flaws, no fret buzz or blemish, scratchy pots etc... The colour I picked is "snow white". I believe they come in white, grey, and black. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I imagine this guitar would do just fine for live playing, which mine won't be however, my wife, kids, cats, dog, friends.. Are all I play in front of my major concern as with alot of pointy/sharp edged guitars is that it is fairly easy to chip the paint on the corners if your not really careful. // 6

Overall Impression: I play mostly metal, for 25 years now, judas priest, maiden, megadeth, even metalcore, all that remains, etc.. Classic rock. It's pretty versatile, was playing "the rover" by zeppelin yesterday and then "bomber" by motorhead. I love the feel and look of the guitar, I've wanted one ever since I saw a pic of Friedman with one as a teenager, 15 to 20 years ago. It's taken me awhile, glad Jackson made a decent cheaper line so working stiffs like me can still have one and put food in our kids mouths. If it were lost or stolen I'd probably go for a rhoads or king v just to change things up though. // 8

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overall: 6.8
JS32T Kelly Reviewed by: Tobse, on august 01, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 299

Purchased from: Guitar Center LA

Features: - Year manufractured: I bought it in winter 2010 so I think it was made somewhen in 2010 - Frets: 24 jumbo frets - solid top - Wood: Maple body and mahagony neck - Finish: black even finish - Body Style: similar to the Gibson Explorer - Bridge: Tune-O-Matic - Volume, Tone and 3-way pickup controls - 2 Jackson double-pickups - Guitar Center gave me a Gigbag with the guitar Im not that experienced with guitars but looking at the average of guitars I saw in different sotores, this is quiet good. // 8

Sound: Mostly I play punk and metal. The sound is really heavy and dark what I think is best for these deep menancholic songs like some of In Flames but I don't get a clear aggressive sound from it like Godsmack or Disturbed likely uses it, there's always some lazyness in the sound. That might be couse ba the fact, that I use thicker strings since I alays tuned thi guitar in Drop C. I am using an Ibanez TBX15R (http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/reviews/guitar_amplifiers/ibanez/tbx15r/index.html) with heavy distortion. It also produces great pinch-harmonics but also these sound deep and heavy but great to me. The effect that the tone and pickup-switches make to the sound is extreme so there are lots of variaties. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought the guitar it was set up correct and tunes. But one day later, I don't know what happened, the G string hit the 3rd fret so that it was only possible to use the G string on the 3rd fret or higher - deep shit. So I went back to the store and the fixed it. Untill today everything is fine with it. // 4

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitly withstand a live playing. But I am pretty sure that one would have to add a break to the gig or some story-telling from the singer to tune the guitar - at home, weather I play on it or not - it stays in tune for at most 2 hours and then at least one string is hearable out of tune. But the fact that I am using thick strings, as said before, allows me to perform bandings that I only hold the guitar with the banding finger and nothing else. So theoretically I would use it without backup but practially: Who knows what happens? Strings as wood get used by time so some shit can always happen. Therefore I would not go an any gig without a backup. All the controls are solid and hold a lot. The finish is a bith thin. I don't think that it would wear off by playing but I bought some crappy wall-mounts for it and one fine day it broke and the guitar fell just about 20cm down on my e-piano below and it took off a small part of the finish at the lower corner. At this part, as far as I can see, the finish is only about 1, 5mm thick. // 8

Overall Impression: As said I play metal and punk and for metal its a great guitar. I've been playing for 2, 5 years now and piano for 9 years so my fingers were already trained when I started. Along this I own a Vintage Stratocaster and my Ibanez amp but I think about buying an affect panel. If this guitar was stolen I would definitly buy another one. Its a good guitar but it is less than I expected from it. I really love the pinch-harmonics, I love them. But I hate that the Bridge is very high and therfore the strings are a bit too far from the fretboar so I have to press them down deep on the high frets what's a big disadventag when playing solos. I compared it to my Vintage Stratocaster and on some other Jackson guitars along the store and chose this one because I didn't have that much money and the price-quality relationship is good in my sight. So finally I am really satisfied with this guitar but I expected more from it but though I don't feel I bought something wrong. // 7

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overall: 7.8
JS32T Kelly Reviewed by: Dimefan1993, on october 17, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 350

Features: Indian made Jackson. Rosewood fingerboard on maple neck, 24 jumbo frets with the sexy Shark tooth inlays. Indian Cedro body, black finish. String-thru body with a Tune-O-Matic style bridge. CVR2 humbuckers with one volume and one tone, three way toggle switch. Jackson tuners. The guitar came with a nice gig-bag, lots of pockets and such, pretty useful. // 8

Sound: I play mostly metal, might do grunge here and there or alternative but usually metal. The guitar will do what I want it to do pretty well, it doesn't complain. The CVR2's are pretty muddy and would be worth changing. The output isn't too great either, but all in all they work. I would recommend changing them out if you're really trying to find a great tone. The neck is fast and playing this guitar feels great. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: From the factory, it was set up pretty great. I had to adjust the action a little tiny bit but that wasn't a big deal. The tone control was a little loose but fixing that wasn't a problem either. Everything else was set up pretty decently. No flaws with the finish of the guitar when I bought it. Other than what I mentioned, no problems with it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I've had the guitar for maybe a year and a half now and it seems pretty solid but it's age is starting to show. The nut around the jack comes loose pretty often now and the wiring inside is starting to fail. The neck pickup has little to no output at this point, it's useless. The finish is pretty thin and it's starting to chip at the corners and crack in some places. I've never gigged with the guitar, but I'm pretty sure it could do it. I handle the guitar pretty roughly when I play and it can take anything I throw at it (or throw it at). // 7

Overall Impression: Overall I'm pretty pleased with the guitar. It does everything I ask of it and it never fails me. I love this thing, and I don't think I would ever get rid of it. If it were lost or stolen, I would definitely buy another Jackson, but probably a King V. It does need some modification to be something truly awesome but even without mods, this guitar is great quality and for the price it's a pretty decent deal as well. // 8

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overall: 7.6
JS32T Kelly Reviewed by: givemeajackson, on november 17, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 270

Purchased from: mhm music

Features: 24 jumbo frets, Indian cedro body, 25.5 scale neck, thin and wide d profile, unfinished neck. Tune o matic bridge, 3 way switch, 2 Jackson CRV2 humbuckers, 1 volume, 1 tone. Basic features, but not much more needed for a metal guitar. // 7

Sound: First of all, I play metal. All kinds of metal. I tune my guitar anywhere from e standard to drop A, my strings are Earnie Ball 10-52 for any tuning from e to drop C and Dunlop 10-60 for everything below. I use an Engl Ritchie Blackmore and a Line 6 Spider II 30 watts without any effects. The guitar isn't very loud unplugged and very bright, but with surprisingly good sustain. It sounds pretty good for metal, the neck pickup can produce a clear, smooth and sustaining lead sound, while the bridge pickup puts out a tight attack and a lot of bass while palm muting. No muddyness with deep tunings if fat strings are used. Clean it's not brilliant, but while using both pickups it's possible to get a bright and shiny sound that's good for picking chords or funky stuff. It isn't excessively noisy, average humm I'd say. Great sound considering the price. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The neck feels just awesome, I love the Jackson neck profile. Factory set up was good, I just don't get why they always have to put .09 strings on metal guitars. So I set it up myself and put on my favourite 10-52s. In terms of bridge, frets, neck and tuners there were no flaws at all, the only problem I have is the toggle switch. It recently started annoying me cause in 1 of 4 switches to the bridge pickup it doesn't switch properly. Will fix that with a new switch. Overall good, if that toggle wouldn't be so bad. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I gigged it few times, it did well. Hardware is sturdy, finish is pretty sturdy too. Strap buttons are solid, but badly placed, the guitar is a bit neck heavy. Fixed that with replacing them. I would never do a gig without backup cause if you break a string you're screwed. // 8

Overall Impression: For metal, it's a good guitar. I play since 5 years, and it doesn't slow me down or limit my playing. I own a B.C. Rich Warlock bronze too, and the Jackson is clearly the better guitar! The neck is just a dream, and it looks cool too without any annoying tremolo system. It it would be lost or stole, I probably wouldn't buy it again, I'd go for a Schecter Omen Extreme cause of better woods, but I'd sure miss it. For this price it's an excellent choice. I own it for 2 years now, and I don't regret buying it. // 8

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overall: 8.8
JS32T Kelly Reviewed by: mizzt, on september 04, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 290

Purchased from: Somusica

Features: - Made in India - 24 fret neck with a broad playing surface & jumbo frets (that offers a very comfortable playing experience, specially for metal lovers) - 25-1/2" scale maple neck - Neck joint: bolt-on - Fingerboard radius: compound 12"-16" - Solid body made of alder wood - Finish: gloss, gun metal grey - Body style: Kelly (JS32T) - from Jackson Bloodline - No neck bindings - Moto Shark fin white inlays - Bridge style: tune-a-matic stop string thru - Controls: volume, tune, 3-way toggle pickup switch - Pickups: 2 Jackson humbuckers - Included accessories: Jackson gig bag // 9

Sound: I am proud to say that my heart has metal'ish roots. But I am also proud to tell that I love all genres of music. Jackson Kelly is absolutely "suitable" for metal. As we know, Jackson guitars are natural and obviously made for these alternative genres, to sound wild but always firm. The distortion is perfect and enchanting. I can tell it sounds really good and bright. If you want to play jazz or blues, it won't disappoint you, but I alert you for the fact of the way it sounds. You won't get that bright shiny sound... You may try every single amplifier or effects. It won't do it. This means Jackson Kelly is not that dynamic, but if you are a metal / hard rock lover, you will have a perfect buddy there. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Everything was on its place when I got it. Sometimes the pickup switcher loses the connection when I change the position, but the seller warned me when I bought it, so it may be an imperfection of one of them. I am giving an 8 because I don't think it's fair to punish the classification due to that imperfection. It is probably just mine. // 8

Reliability & Durability: Jackson Kelly is a guitar for us to go through thunder and flames! It has a strong structure and perfectly withstands live playing as many other things. If you take care of it, it will surely last long. I is not deceiving. Kelly has the shape of an axe... That tells you everything! Love it and she will serve you well. // 10

Overall Impression: Kelly is a good match for metal and all the variants, what is the thing I usually play. I like to use it with my amplifier - which is a Peavey Vypyr 75 - that is equipped with 3 "magic" buttons: stompboxes, effects & amp. Each of them has a variety of options that you can combine the way you want. That is awesome, because you get a huge amount of footswitches and effects inside your amplifier! It is very interesting to try new things or get just the right sound for the song you will play. The shape of Jackson Kelly is very comfortable and let's you rest your hands. It is not too heavy or too light. It's just perfect. Something I wish it had... Probably the floyd rose feature. // 9

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overall: 8.4
JS32T Kelly Reviewed by: lexustech48, on may 13, 2014
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Guitar Trader/musicpower.com

Features: Made in Indonesia, 2013 or 2014. From Jackson:

- Satin Black finished Basswood body
- 24 Fret, 25.5" scale Maple neck; Jackson Tuners
- Dual Jackson High Output Humbuckers w/ 3 position toggle
- Tune-o-matic bridge, string through body
- 1 Volume, 1 Tone
- Black Hardware

All the features you need for a great metal/rock guitar. Only option to add would be a locking tremolo, but that is what the JS32 Kelly model is for. Regardless of price point, this is a great set of features for a metal guitar.

Body features classic Jackson beveling, the neck has the more exclusive white binding treatment. Would have gone great with a painted bevel option but looks good on its own. // 9

Sound: Actually sounded decent with the stock Jackson HO pickups. By no means a tone ready for recording, but light gigging would have been ok. Played well enough though, that I felt it warranted a pickup upgrade for the best sound/tone it had in her. So Ive loaded some Seymour Duncans; a '59 in the neck and the Invader in the bridge. Sounds GREAT for metal and rock when distorted. Set neck construction and higher quality body wood would set it over the top. That's what the USA series is for though. Cleans are decent, but the JS32T, even with a '59 in the neck is built for distorted tones. Respectable, but a Strat, Les Paul, or other well known clean tone guitar would eat it for lunch. Distorted it more than gets the job done.

For the price point as equipped from the factory: 7. With Duncans: 8.5 maybe a 9 with top line pots, switch and wiring. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: For the entry level Jackson Kelly, I was impressed with how it came out of the box for fit and finish. Satin paint was even, no noticeable blemishes. Kelly shape is smooth and appears to have been made without issues. Neck joint is solid, neck finish is satin and feels VERY fast. Neck wood is uniform and appears of good quality. Minor MINOR fret end feel moving up and down the finger board but nothing I would mark down for. Pearloid Sharkfin inlays look very good, installed well on the fingerboard. Intonation seemed ok as did all other aspects of the guitar. Regardless of make and model Id recommend a professional set up. Hardware is black and appeared blemish free, same with the pickups which came with a plastic protective cover over the faces. Neck and headstock binding appears to have been applied well and appears seamless.

For the price point as equipped from the factory: 9. // 9

Reliability & Durability: With proper care and periodic adjustments I see no reason this guitar wont last a long time and be completely dependable. As with ANYTHING abuse/neglect will significantly reduce its useful lifespan. With fresh strings and assuming no key changes, Id feel confidant gigging without a backup. My one chit here is the Satin finish on the body. This goes for ALL satin finished paint jobs though so no real knock to Jackson: it WILL scratch easily, it will turn glossy where your arms and hands make contact with it over time. I had a Gibson Gothic Explorer and its satin finish did just that. I fully expect this finish to do the same. That being said, I wish Jackson would have offered this guitar in Gloss Black, Gloss White and Satin Black. I WOULD have picked the gloss black.

I knew what I was in for with the Satin finish however so no shock. IF it gets bad enough, Id pay the money to have it stripped and painted gloss in the future, but thats way down the road. For reliability/durability of the guitar itself from the factory: 9. With the inclusion of the Satin paint and NO gloss black option I'm going to knock a mark off: 8. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, I'm extremely happy with my Jackson Kelly. If your into the Explorer style shape, my opinion is this blows the Epiphone Explorers out of the water in price, sound, fit and finish. LTD EX and Snakebites I'm sure are close in comparison as are the current Dean's. I think the Jackson just felt better. Also consider that the Jackson JS line is STILL Jackson, and the body shapes are original designs that have stood the test of time.

Great choice for hard rock; heavy metal is its forte. If lost or stolen, Id definitely buy a new one. Aside from the lack of a gloss black finish, I doubt there is anything more someone could ask for at this price and position in the Jackson lineup. Also, unless your a professional musician who tours and records, I seriously doubt you would need more than this guitar offers to have fun, play with friends, or do some light gigging (parties, small venues, in front of your cat/dog etc). Great buy, great guitar! Glad it's a Jackson! // 9

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