Speed is a quality often sneered at as though public displays of Roman candle lead guitar were somehow immoral or lacking emotional complexity. But speed can be essential. Where would heavy metal be without an uptempo rhythm ﬁgure, or a helter-skelter solo?
The Jackson brand was built for speed, and its high-performance ideals have matured to the point that its entry-level JS series includes guitars such as this. This is classic Jackson. The Dinky body is a familiar arch-topped take on the S-style, sporting more aggressive cutaways with chamfered edges, opening up the full ﬁngerboard.
The JS24 comes with a solid mahogany body and a caramelized maple neck and ﬁngerboard – materials we don’t always see at this price. The neck proﬁle is described as a “speed neck” and it’s a slip of a thing, satin-smooth and bolted to the body.
The go-faster feel is extended via a 12”-to-16” compound-radius ﬁngerboard, as found on all contemporary Jackson six-strings. The black Shark Fin inlay is another signature move, reprising the sharp angles of Jackson’s classic six-in-line headstock.
There are two high-output ceramic humbuckers at the neck and bridge positions, with a three-way blade selector switch and control knobs for volume and tone.
Jackson has equipped the JS24 with a two-point Fulcrum vibrato, and while we might imagine a little disappointment that it’s not a double-locking Floyd Rose, this stable and tidily engineered vibrato is nonetheless perfect for learning whammy bar techniques without the faﬀ of balancing the unit. That’s just what you need when learning: more time playing.
High-output ceramic pickups can be a little shrill, but when mounted in the JS24’s mahogany body, these Jackson-branded humbuckers reveal some character, enough muscle and teeth when played through a high-gain ampliﬁer to cover most metal styles. The neck pickup rolls oﬀ the high-end sting, oﬀering a smoother voicing for legato arpeggios, while teasing pinched harmonics out of the bridge pickup is child’s play.
Tight and articulate, the clean tones are not bad either. Like the best Jackson guitars, the JS24 has an automatic quality, as though the guitar were guiding your hand. This instrument is aimed at beginners but it’s great fun for all, and it makes a great candidate for modding. Fit a Seymour Duncan JB at the bridge, a Jazz at the neck, and perhaps some low-friction pots and you’ve got a serious instrument. Some might ﬁnd the neck joint clunky, but that’s splitting hairs.
It’s easy to overplay on this. Wait – overplay? Hey, didn’t we agree that some songs call for spectacular styles? Well, this little Dinky is just the thing to get your chops up, to express yourself at any tempo, to be spectacular.
- PRICE: $299 / £275
- ORIGIN: China
- TYPE: 24-fret electric guitar
- BODY: Mahogany
- NECK: Caramelised maple (bolt-on)
- SCALE LENGTH: 648mm (25.5”)
- FRETBOARD: Caramelised maple, 10”-12” radius
- FRETS: 24, jumbo
- NUT: 42.86mm, black plastic
- PICKUPS: 2x Jackson High-Output Ceramic humbuckers
- CONTROLS: 1 x volume and 1 x tone, 3-way blade selector switch
- HARDWARE: 2-Point Fulcrum Tremolo, Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners,
- FINISH: Red Stain [as reviewed], Black Stain
- CONTACT: Jackson