Jackson has launched its new Concept Series, giving custom shop-level upgrades to four of its electric guitar models while aiming to keep the price points for these beastly builds as low as possible.
The new range sees the Rhoads V, King Kelly, Soloist and Dinky models each get buffed up with unique features primed for a diverse array of modern metal guitarists.
“Think of unconventional takes on our revered, high-tech Jackson shapes at an enticing price point,” Jackson says of the series. “That’s what players have; a line-up of instruments designed for the serious-minded, high-performance guitarist, featuring upgrades and attributes typically found on custom shop creations.”
That results in four fresh takes on revered Jackson models. They come in all-black gloss or satin finishes (because colour is for the weak). It makes for a series of guitars that look like they’ll beat you up even after you’ve given them your lunch money.
They all come equipped with Jackson’s signature super-thin three-piece and graphite reinforced necks, which boast 12-16” compound radius ebony fretboards and 24 jumbo stainless steel frets. They also offer glow-in-the-dark luminlay side dots for shredding in even the darkest hellscapes.
Each model, however, also packs its own unique melee of specs to appeal to riffers of many different disciplines and preferences.
The Rhoads RR24 FR H sets about continuing Randy’s legacy in a fresh way, featuring an alder body and maple neck, which is color-matched with the body’s finish. It has a 25.5” scale length and a Floyd Rose 1000 series double-locking tremolo system complete with a golden whammy bar.
A feisty EMG 81 humbucker can be found in the bridge – its only pickup – which can be given additional firepower thanks to the EMG Afterburner boost. Accessed via the guitar’s push/pull pot and dialled as per your preference, it delivers up to a 20db boost to give your clean tone a black eye or push a tube amp into overdrive. A golden volume pot joins this black knob for contrast.
There are also Jackson-sealed die-cast tuners and dual-locking strap buttons. Its black gloss finish is visually bordered with subtle black and white pinstripes, whilst shark fin inlays swarm its ebony fretboard.
The Super Strat Soloist SL27 EX, meanwhile, is the most visually striking of the four: yellow pickups – with a single coil in the neck and humbucker in the bridge – and a yellow 12th fret shark fun inlay cut out from its blacker-than-black gloss design. It too has a 25.5” scale length.
Jackson says this pickup combination sees the TB-6 deliver “a perfect blend of power and tone – thick, boosted mids, big lows and fat highs.” The Hot Rail, meanwhile, offers a deep and warm tone without wading through mud, and a heat that resists the temptation to distort.
Elsewhere, the King Kelly KE looks like a shark that's been raised solely on a diet of Slayer. Again, it offers a 25.5" scale length and alder body (wings included) and a three-piece maple neck with that all-important graphite reinforcement.
Bare Knuckle Aftermath pickups, used by everyone from Tesseract to Northlane and A Day To Remember, are the choice for its twin 'buckers. These volcanic Alnico V touting active pickups are known for their ability to handle even the daftest of down tunes, blending an even mix of clarity and aggression.
Once more it's equipped with a Floyd Rose 100 double-locking tremolo, volume and tone pots and a three-way pickup toggle. Conversely, it comes with a sleek satin black finish to contrast the gloss of the Rhoads and Soloist.
Lastly, the eight-string Dinky MDK HT8 MS caters for extended-range enthusiasts. It packs Fishman's coveted Fluence and Fluence Modern pickups to get the most out of its basswood body and maple neck combination.
The 25.5-27.5" multi-scale guitar is locked in place with a fixed Hipshot bridge, with tuning stability supported by a Graph Tech XL nut, those Jackson-sealed die-cast tuners and locking tuners.
The Fishman Modern PRF-M39-CB1 (bridge) and Fluence Modern PRF-M39-AB1 (neck) offer a two-voice system for greater tonal versatility. It is accessed via the tone control's push/pull function, which sits alongside a volume control and three-position pickup blade.
All of the four guitars come with a foam Core case included. The Rhoads and Soloist cost $1,999, with the eight-string at a surprising $1,899. The Kelly King is the most expensive of the range and costs $2,1999. All guitars are available to pre-order.
For more information on the new Concept Series range, head to Jackson.