School Me On Jackson Guitars

Discussion in 'Standard Guitars' started by ascl, May 17, 2019.

  1. ascl

    ascl SS.org Regular

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    I have (and have owned) a bunch of different guitars, mostly ESP's (LTD, Standard, Original and Navigator) but also PRS and Ibanez... and I am starting to GAS for a Jackson, specifically a King V... most likely second hand, to keep the costs down.

    Now, for ESP, PRS and Ibanez, the "tiers" of quality are pretty easy to figure out (mostly), and if I see a second-hand Ibby or PRS or ESP, its easy to understand if it is a budget guitar or a premium one. With Jackson.... I'm completely at a loss. So, I have two questions:
    1. Which of the Japanese made Jackson (or Jackson related brand, ie Jackson Stars etc) V's are worth trying to find? I see some comments saying that some of them (from a certain era?) rival the made in the USA ones, but some of them are just cheap. How do I tell the difference?
    2. Do the MIJ Jackson's feel like MIJ Ibanez Prestige? (this is another comment I have seen, and tbh it puts me off a bit -- not because they are bad, but Ibanez are not for me. Tried and didn't suit.)

    In an ideal world, I'd be able to play a bunch and figure this out for myself, but this is tricky from my location. Also, I think a USA made V is ideal, but again, due to location, this is expensive. I do semi-regularly travel to Japan however, hence a leaning in that direction.

    Or do I just accept I am an ESP-whore and get an ESP made V of some kind (the stupid upside down sharktooth bugs me for some reason, but I know I love the feel of ESP guitars. I played one of these https://sevenstring.org/threads/bir...esp-40th-anniversary-rusty-iron-arrow.318571/ last year, and it was, of course, amazing -- and also just a little (!) on the expensive side!).
     

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  2. Cynicanal

    Cynicanal SS.org Regular

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    The MIJs that rival the MIAs were the mid-90s Professional Pro series (not to be confused with the later MIJ "Pro Series"). They had "Professional" on the headstock, bound ebony fingerboards, sharkfin inlays, and were neck-through; this makes them easy to distinguish from the cheaper MIJs (that said, those cheaper MIJs are still very nice guitars, roughly on par with a Prestige Ibanez in build quality IME).

    As far as feel, it depends on the exact guitar -- Jackson necks in that era weren't standardized at all. Some were Ibanez thin; others felt like a medium-thin modern C.
     
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  3. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician SS.org Regular

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    The 90’s Professional series, and there was also the Japanese “stars” series which are also great.

    I own a pre-dinged up Professional soloist and only want to sell it because I never play it. Even with all the dents/scratches it had when I bought it it was CLEARLY exceptionally well made.

    The Jackson Kevin bond V is mid-2000’s is great and I’d recommend that tier of MIJ, but it’s not quite the 90’s Professional.
     
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  4. mogar

    mogar SS.org Regular

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    The early 90's professional series is indeed very good, however the prices they go for in recent years has climbed as high as their reputation. Now, as far as the King-V's go, you'll have a hard time unless you're fine with a bolt-on. To my knowledge, apart from the Jackson Stars stuff (of which I have no experience), there were only 2 neck-thru's in the range. The Dave Mustaine sig KV-1 and the later KV-4 (2001). The Mustaine sig goes for $1500 all day from what I've seen over the years and the KV-4 can be had a bit cheaper, usually $600-$1k depending on condition/seller.

    If you don't mind a bolt-on, there is the King V Standard and the later (96-99) KV-3. Both are pretty good players and solid little workhorses with the KV-3 offering sharkfins and upper wing recessed jack over the Standard's dots and lower wing jack.

    Now, if I were after something nice, I'd honestly just sit tight and wait on a USA KV-2 or KV-2T to pop up somewhere. I see far more of those than the MIJ stuff for sale anyway and it's only a matter of time until you find one in your price range.


    One more thing, Jackson is super cool and has pdfs off all their catalogs from 1983-2010 archived on their site if you feel like checking out all the interesting stuff they made through the years.
     
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  5. ascl

    ascl SS.org Regular

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    Thanks everyone, that gives me something to go on!
     
  6. Spicypickles

    Spicypickles 8 string Warrior

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    Find an Ltd DV8. They’re legit and fairly cheap
     
  7. ascl

    ascl SS.org Regular

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    If I can't find the Jackson I want, I will do exactly that. I know and love ESP guitars, but I'm superficial and want sharkfin inlays that are the right way up :)
     
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  8. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    I've only played two MIJ Jacksons, a KVX10 which was ok but not something to write about, and a DK2M which was good but not MIJ Prestige good.
    I was fortunate enough to find some great deals on USA Jackson's and they are way way better than the DK2M. Neck profiles on all of these are thin and shreddy but not Ibanez thin.
     
  9. TedintheShed

    TedintheShed Retired bassist pretending to play guitar

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    Many 90's US Jackson are completely affordable, often going for $1200-$1500 and sometimes even less.
     
  10. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE SS.org Regular

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    The DK2M's did have shitty bridges but once you upgrade those they're stellar.
     
  11. decoy205

    decoy205 SS.org Regular

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    I have one professional series Jackson from 90 it is extremely well made. And two lower tier concept guitars from the same factory from 93-94. All three are excellent build quality. I actually do not mind bolt ons at all.

    I love the tone of all the jacksons I’ve played. I’ve had a couple of mij Ibanezes where the tone was meh. The Jacksons almost always sounded and felt good. I agree to try and find a nice USA V they are killer and sound huge.
     

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