Japanese made Jacksons

Dave L

Member
Messages
1,284
The original Pro models from 1990 to about 1994 are great, you can tell these by the Schaller Floyd and ebony fretboards. They are getting more expensive again, so I guess people are starting to remember how good they really were. Jackson scaled the specs back a bit for the rest of the japanese run from about 95-96. First they went to rosewood boards, Takeuchi floyds and OEM pickups or Duncan Designeds, and later they opted for real Duncans and the Floyd 1000 bridges until production ceased maybe ten years ago. For the money anything from that post-95 era is one of the best buys out there, they are very solid guitars if not quite up to snuff to the earlier production.

For a time even the low-end Performer stuff was japanese and perfectly fine, those can be had for a song.
 

gulliver

Silver Supporting Member
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9,847
I think it's worth looking for them. Even if the difference isn't night and day, you're getting top quality and they will only increase in value.
 
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What is the reputation of Japanese made Jacksons? What are your opinions?

thanks a lot - Gags
The original Pro models from 1990 to about 1994 are great, you can tell these by the Schaller Floyd and ebony fretboards. They are getting more expensive again, so I guess people are starting to remember how good they really were. Jackson scaled the specs back a bit for the rest of the japanese run from about 95-96. First they went to rosewood boards, Takeuchi floyds and OEM pickups or Duncan Designeds, and later they opted for real Duncans and the Floyd 1000 bridges until production ceased maybe ten years ago. For the money anything from that post-95 era is one of the best buys out there, they are very solid guitars if not quite up to snuff to the earlier production.

For a time even the low-end Performer stuff was japanese and perfectly fine, those can be had for a song.
Yep, agree with Dave here. I have a few Professional Pro models and they’re absolutely top notch. Got em both for a song because I don’t think the shop that had them knew what they really were, every bit on par with the USA versions of those guitars.

The lower end MIJ stuff is pretty solid too, just plan on swapping pickups and probably the trem to have a really solid player.

Here’s my favorite Jackson I’ve ever had, a 1990 Fusion Professional Pro. One of the few guitars not being sold off by me in favor of headless models these days:

 

xzacx

Member
Messages
1,539
The older ones are great for sure, but as mentioned, prices have gone up. Unless it was something really specific like the three-pickup Warriors, or a Charvel 750XL that doesn’t really have a USA equivalent, I don’t think they’re worth overpaying for when you can get a used USA for such good prices.
 

Dave L

Member
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1,284
Yeah, on the topic of the 750XL that whole toothpaste-logo era of japanese Charvels from 88-91 are basically the same as the early japanese Jacksons. Top notch stuff. I like those better than the earlier Charvel Model series, the JT6 bridge and Kahler-style nut are OK but I do prefer a Schaller or OFR.
 

skhan007

Silver Supporting Member
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9,535
I've been a Jackson player since the 80's and I can say, without a doubt, the gap has been closing between the US and import models. The current imports (I've played a bunch) are REALLY good. Good finish, good fret work, indistinguishable neck profiles compared to US versions, and decent (could be upgraded) components.
 

j_el_jee

Member
Messages
1,359
I have a Jackson MIJ DK24m that I picked up 10-12 years ago for $250, best I can tell, it's an early 2000s. Those came with 4 conductor Seymour Duncan JB & 59 pickups (the real deal) and a Jackson trem, which I swapped for a Gotoh. Anyway, its very fast, stable, lively, and has been a great workhorse. I later grabbed an identical second one for $190, but eventually sold that to a buddy. I think they're amazing guitars for the money. After using this for awhile, I sold my Anderson Cobra and all the PRS's because I couldn't justify the cost difference.... they were basically 10x more.

I've played a few non-Japanese imports and oddly, they've all felt pretty "dead" to me. For example I had a Jackson Adrian Smith SDX (Indonesian, I think) that was just DULL, so I offed it pretty quickly.

You might also consider a MIJ Charvel. A few (maybe all?) of the "Model" series from the 80's were japanese. I snagged an 87 or 88 Model 6 off CL for $180 (pic in avatar) that has become my favorite guitar for my current band project... The model 6 is neck-through, bound, and mine came with an original Floyd Rose.

Edit: not enough guitar pics on this thread

 
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xzacx

Member
Messages
1,539
Yeah, on the topic of the 750XL that whole toothpaste-logo era of japanese Charvels from 88-91 are basically the same as the early japanese Jacksons. Top notch stuff. I like those better than the earlier Charvel Model series, the JT6 bridge and Kahler-style nut are OK but I do prefer a Schaller or OFR.
I actually love the JT6 design—I think that's the best integration of fine tuners to this day even. It was just so cheaply made unfortunately.
 

Henry Terry

Member
Messages
333
I can recommend my guitar, the Jackson SLSMG, which was made in Japan. I bought it in 2005, and it was new when I bought it. It is very thin and very light weight, and it sounds good played through a Marshall stack (JCM 900 2100 SL-X head with a 1960A cabinet and a 1960B cabinet), a Fender Super Sonic head with Marshall cabinets and a Vox AC15C1.

The SLSMG has a neck-through body which is also a strings-through body, a fixed bridge, 24 jumbo frets, a 25 1/2 inch scale-length and a compound radius fretboard (12 inch to 16 inch). The neck is made of mahogany. The body wings are made of mahogany. The fretboard is made of ebony. The factory installed pickups were two humbuckers - EMG HzH3s, which are passive. Models made starting in 2007 have an EMG 81 at the bridge and an EMG 85 at the neck. I replaced the passive pickups in mine with two EMG 81s.

The Jackson SLSMG has been my main guitar - at times my only guitar - since I bought it.
 
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j_el_jee

Member
Messages
1,359
I can recommend my guitar, the Jackson SLSMG, which was made in Japan. I bought it in 2005, and it was new when I bought it. It is very thin and very light weight, and it sounds good played through a Marshall stack (JCM 900 2100 SL-X head with a 1960A cabinet and a 1960B cabinet), a Fender Super Sonic head with Marshall cabinets and a Vox AC15C1.

The SLSMG has a neck-through body which is also a strings-through body, a fixed bridge, 24 jumbo frets, a 25 1/2 inch scale-length and a compound radius fretboard (12 inch to 16 inch). The neck is made of mahogany. The body wings are made of mahogany. The fretboard is made of ebony. The factory installed pickups were two humbuckers - EMG HzH3s, which are passive. Models made starting in 2007 have an EMG 81 at the bridge and an EMG 85 at the neck. I replaced the passive pickups in mine with two EMG 81s.

The Jackson SLSMG has been my main guitar - at times my only guitar - since I bought it.
PICS!!!!!
 
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7,809
The late '80s to early '90s Pros were on par with the USAs. But by the mid '90s, pointy heavy metal guitars costing $2000 became seriously out of fashion for a time and the high quality MIJs were nowhere to be found.
Here is my '92, one of my all-time favorite metal guitars. :beer



High end Charvels of the same era were basically the same thing. My '91 Charvel 650 Custom is a near twin to the Soloist, but with matching headstock and rosewood board, plus the Schaller tremolo route is slightly different. I brought this one back from the dead (it had languished as a pearl in the closet of some swine for many years) with a full EMG set, SPC mid boost, and very recently, new Dunlop 6100 SS frets. This is my #1 active pickup guitar. :beer



The Soloist neck on these is basically the ultimate shred neck as far as I'm concerned. Beefier than some, but as fast as you are, however fast that is...
 
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