I have to admit I probably own way too many guitars, and as a reviewer I’m subjected to a constantly rotating selection of instruments. As a result, I’ve found that a lot of guitars sound the same after a while, and sometimes I just know exactly how a guitar is going to sound the second I plug it in, particularly if the guitar has two humbucking pickups.
Well, my friends, I now have to admit I was completely taken by surprise—in a very good way—by Jackson’s new Pro Series Dinky DK2. Perhaps it’s because it’s the first guitar I can recall ever playing with a body made of a tone wood called okoume.
Traditionally okoume is layered into plywood used to build boats because it’s light, flexible and rot-resistant, but guitar builders have discovered it has tonal properties similar to maple with much less weight, plus an attractive grain and color similar to mahogany. The wood, combined with Seymour Duncan humbuckers and versatile wiring, gives the Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 a distinctive, attractive voice that really stands out in a crowd.
FEATURES The Pro Series Dinky DK2 with an okoume body is available only with a natural satin finish; the same model is also available with a gloss finish in a selection of three colors, but these versions have an alder body. Beyond that, the features of all Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 models are the same. The one-piece maple bolt-on Speed neck features Jackson’s innovative three-bolt “wrap around” neck joint, which provides a deeply sculpted heel for playing comfort while remaining rock solid. Other neck features include a 25.5-inch scale length, 24 jumbo frets, 12-to-16 inch compound radius, hand-rubbed urethane gel finish, ebony fingerboard, offset dot inlays placed adjacent to the low E and A strings and Jackson’s signature pointed six-in-line angled headstock affixed to the neck with a scarf joint.
Electronics consist of a Seymour Duncan JB TB4 bridge humbucker, Seymour Duncan ’59 SH-1N neck humbucker, fiveposition blade pickup selector (humbucking bridge/bridge inner coil/both inner coils/neck inner coil/humbucking neck) and master volume and tone controls. Hardware includes a recessed Floyd Rose FRT-O2000 double-locking tremolo, sealed die-cast tuners and metal dome-style control knobs, all with a black gloss finish.
PERFORMANCE What I admire the most about the Pro Series DK2 is how it combines a very stripped-down, streamlined aesthetic with a surprisingly versatile selection of tones, thanks to its Seymour Duncan pickups and a very well-conceived pickup-wiring scheme. Instead of employing push-pull pots to engage single-coil tones, those settings are instantly accessible with the blade selector switch.
Perhaps a handful of players will miss the middle/dual-humbucker setting, but I very much find the funky, honking dual single-coil tone a much better alternative (go ahead, try to resist playing “Free Ride” after you select the middle setting). The bridge humbucker is very powerful but clear, with a bold midrange and focused bass that rock hard. On my Friedman Pink Taco, the bridge pickup was already overdriving the amp at the lowest gain setting, while the single-coil settings were spanking clean. At performance volume levels, I found I could get a wide variety of clean and overdrive tones just with the guitar’s pickups and controls.
The Pro Series DK2’s playability is everything guitarists have come to know and love about Jackson guitars. This is a speed guitar with an extremely fast-playing slim neck profile, and the neck heel might be the most “invisible” example I’ve ever encountered from a bolt-on instrument. The okoume body’s light weight makes it a pleasure to play for hours on end, and the guitar remains perfectly balanced when playing in a standing position.
LIST PRICE: $1,224.48
MANUFACTURER: Jackson Guitars, jacksonguitars.com
● The body is made of okoume, a lightweight tone wood that combines an attractive appearance similar to mahogany with the brightness and definition of maple.
● The Seymour Duncan JB TB4 bridge and ’59 SH-1N humbuckers are wired to provide a wide variety of hard-rocking humbucker and funky single-coil tones.
THE BOTTOM LINE
With a street price under $1,000, the Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2 is a hell of a bargain for players who need a wide variety of awesome humbucking and single-coil tones plus the incredible playability that have make Jackson guitars the shredder’s choice.