Intro: This will be a database of good sources of info along with my personal collections and discoveries.
My personal album. Please note that most of these images weren't meant to document anything initially, just images I took at the time so excuse poor camera work. Guitars seen are Charvette 400 bass, Charvel Model 1B, Charvel Model 2B, Jackson Concert Bass EX, Charvel Model 4B, Jackson RR3, Dinky Std, a hard to find these days Jackson guitar soft case, Charvel Fusion Custom, Jackson Stealth Pro (rare), and Concert Bass V (rare). See the album for individual comments.
- Body size: Is it 7/8 of a Stratocaster? Soloists and Dinky’s have a smaller body, but be aware Jackson had 'strat style' guitars in the 80s with a strat body. Check the 1988 Catalog for example. Guitars with 22 frets as opposed to the typical 24 frets will have an altered body shape.
-(Concerning older 90s era Jacksons) Does the right lower horn cutout mean it’s a short scale Fusion? Good catch, but no. Charvel was kind of doing this for a moment so that the horn scoop signified Charvel and Charvette 24.75 scale guitars. While Jackson would continue that on their Fusion line they would also use it on other guitars, such as the Dinky Reverse line and later some DK2s.
-Are all of the Profession line guitars the prized USA killers? Only the top models that ended with a ‘Pro’, not to be confused with “Professional” were the ones with the highest specs and the ebony fretboards. To make it clearer, a Rhoads Professional could be a EX, and STD, or a Pro. Only the ‘Rhoads Professional Pro’ is the top one. That being said, the entire line of MIJ guitars, especially the ones made before the line was fizzled out, are amazing intruments.
-Professional subcategories: Pro was the highest level unless there were other special editions. You got the ebony fingerboards, MOP inlays, the highest quality pickups, bridge, and hardware, the best finish options, and extra active electronics if available. They are the ‘USA’ killers. The XL versions had the general looks of the Pros but with rosewood and lesser electronics. You still had real MOP inlays but not the Jackson logo. When you remember that the overall craftsmanship on these is very high it’s not very far off. STD or ‘standard’ were under XL and had a plainer appearance such as dot inlays. Typically however hardware and electronics are identical. Use this to acquire them cheaper since some may misidentify the plain appearance as something cheaper. EX were the most basic and is where it gets interesting as there aren’t any standards. A Dinky EX has a completely different setup than a STD with 22 frets vs 24 and HSH pickups vs HSS. a Rhoads EX is different construction (bolt-on vs neck-thru) than a Rhoads Std. Yet a Concert bass EX is… exactly identical in everyway to a Concert XL except sharkfin inlays!!
Here’s some other oddball Professional suffixes you’ll find. The Fusion line has a LT, SS, SP, Plus and SX. See their entries for details. Dinkys have AR, SP, RV-S, RV-H, and HX. Stealths have a HX and a LT but it isn’t really related to the Fusion LT. Think they ran out of suffixes? Me too!
-Later Jackson Subcategories: Custom shop is ‘Custom Select’ or 'Masterbuilt' if more premium. A guitar is customized based on templates offered for various models. Regular production USA made Jackson become ‘USA Selects’ in modern times. Expect top level hardware, pickups, and all finish options. The highest imports become Pro Series. In the past this would be MIJ, like the ‘Professional Series’ but now may be other countries such as Mexican or Indonesian. They have good pickups, top hardware and other upper options like ebony fret boards. ‘X Series’ are mid level imports. Originally Japanese these may also be from Indonesia or China. Expect mid range pickups and hardware such as Floyd Rose Specials. ‘Artist Signature’ may been somewhere in between the Por or X series depending on guitar. ‘JS Series’ are value range starting late 90s. They sport cheaper Jackson branded pickups and hardware. Initially they had extremely basic appearances but later Jackson refreshed the line with more premium and better looking specifications.
Signature King Vs
Signature Concert Basses
Guitarinside.com Extensive information on most but not all Jackson models, US and import. There is some missing information however and I can't get in contact with the owner.
Audiozone.dk Jackson Professional page. The downfall of this site is part of my motivation to get this webpage together. Charvel page here. Here is great information. Tremolo page here.
ImportCharvel.com.Information on early import Charvels. Features plentiful images and information on Japanese domestic models. Be sure to click around. Though watermarked there are some great looking catalog scans here.
Jackson Charvel Wiki. Here I link the pickups page because it's some what interesting. Overall not a fan of this place because there's hardly any articles and they're hard to find at that. Scattered and unfocused overall but feel free to dig around.
Usacharvels.com. Exactly what it sounds like with cool pictures. You can click and get stories about the guitar, since we're talking custom shop stuff here. My only issues is that it is zombie. The forums are dead and lots of the external links are long gone. Enjoy while it lasts.
Jcfonline.com.This is the ONLY somewhat alive location dedicated to these guitars. Images are often broken due to file hosting issues. There's a wealth of info but buried deep. There are a mix of old timer contributors and hit and run 'ask a question in a topic and never return' members. That's not bad, but it does mean that threads will stagnate quickly.
Jackson catalogs modern: here
Archived catalogs: here
Japanese market catalogs: here
Jackson Price lists: here
Charvel catalog mega page, including JPN only: here
Charvel Price lists:here
Charvel 1989 Catalog:(scans and price list)