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-Is it (presumably a Dinky) 7/8 size of a Stratocaster?: Soloists and Dinky’s have a smaller body (thinner waist, more horn cutaway) than a typical Fender Stratocaster is all you really need to know. The confusion comes from several places. Remember that game where a chain of people whisper some fact in each other's ears and by the time its over it's changed into a completely different statement? Some think a Dinky is smaller than a Soloist because if it's in the model name it must be true? No, they are the same. The Soloist had the smaller shape first actually. Be aware Jackson had 'strat or vintage style' guitars in the 80s with a larger 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. In short, there isn't a single body size for all Soloists and Dinkies.
-(Concerning older 90s era Jacksons) Does the right lower horn cutout mean it’s a short scale Fusion?: Good catch, but no. A lot of Charvel and Jackson Fusions do have that feature, but it's not exclusive to those guitars.
-Are all of the Profession line guitars the prized USA killers?: Online and local sellers will use this as a selling point so it is important to know the difference. The 'Pro' Jacksons Professionals were the top of the line and only made for a shorter time. They may have a 'Pro' or blank truss rod cover. That can be changed or altered so its important to be more familiar with the specifications of the guitar to know what you are getting. (Such as using this database). For example a Rhoads may be a Pro or a STD or an EX. Later Professionals are still from the same factory but intentionally made with less premium parts. They are still amazing, enough to be fizzled out eventually anyway, but don't let sellers apply the legendary status to them unfairly.
How to wrap your head about the naming schemes used over the years:
Jacksons for the USA market at least work on a name+suffix system. Eample: A Jackson Dinky DK1 means 'Jackson' 'Dinky=DK' '1=USA highest model'. The numbers usually assend to represent a lower model. so DK2 is the lower import. Right away you will find trouble as you realize that the naming scheme can change, secondly you will find that there are tons of not so obvious suffixes attached to a lot of the more modern Jacksons. Let's break it down:
|1||USA made almost always. This came around about 1996 to replace what were until then called the Soloist/Dinky/Rhoads/etc Custom, the top USA but not Custom shop guitar. In modern times, these are Custom Select, a where you can customize some aspects without it being a full custom model. But wait, there's more twists. For the King V and Kelly, this is also a signature model, so that their modern equivalents actually use the '2'. See below. Anti-examples: The Professional DX1. Kelly Bass KB1, a few others|
|2||Either USA or higher end import. In the late 90s, this could a more budget USA made Jackson with some lesser hardware like a licensed Floyd. Later this more often became the higher end import, such as the earlier DK2 MIJ or later DK2 made in Mexico. For the Kelly and King V, the KV2 and KE2 are actually in the place of the 1 series, they just don't call it that because the KV1 and KE1 are old signature models. There is however a MIJ Professional KV2. (tricky tricky!) Lastly, this can indicate pickups. The modern DK2 and DK3 are contemporaries, just indicating two humbuckers or two singles and a single hum.|
|3||Usually it means a mid ranged import, either MIJ or elsewhere. For DK3 (modern) this means three pickups.|
|4||Usually a mid to lower or just simply plainer looking import early on. Early on MIJ but no newer examples will be. Can also be a different that usual aesthetic. Ex. Soloist SLX4|
|5||Midrange import. Rarely used in 90s to be the plainer option. Later to now it means either a different aesthetic or neck-through.|
|6||Means six strings. Used as early as the early 00s Dinky DR6|
|7||Means seven strings! Used as early as the early 00s DR7, RR7, etc|
|24||Means twenty-four frets. A Rhoads variant. Note that other Jackson models can vary with number of frets but it's never reflected in the name.|
|S||Comes with Sustainiac Ex. DK2S.|
|L or LH||Indicates left handed model, often with less color options unfortunately for southpaws|
|FF||Indicates the rather limited Fire inlays. You can see it on a few Dinky models, though Jackson Stars offered it much more liberally.|
|AT or A||Arched top body. Later you'll see the later added to the end of the model name. Example: DKA In some 2021 models this means Ash top|
|MG||MG series from 00s onward. Early MIJ, with EMGs that were passive (early) or active later. This was above X Series and the same as Pro Series. Later however these are Indonesian imports with active EMGS. They are also now categorized under X or Pro Series instead of it's own category though the acronym of course remained.|
|T||TOM bridge option, but on rare occasion tremolo. Confusing I know.|
|X||X series, more budget to mid range imports. These can be made in India or Japan early only, depending on guitar, and later Indonesia and China. If the 'X' is a suffix however it may just mean a different aesthetic.|
|DX||Not used a lot. Means a different aesthetic.|
|Q or QH||Quilt maple top|
|F or FR||Floyd Rose in newer guitars. Rarely may mean flame top.|
|NT||Neck-through. Used for new Concert Basses|
|FS||Seymour Duncan or Duncan Design Firestorm control, that third knob. 00s only on a few guitars|
|HT or H||Hardtail bridge. Rarely just a 'H'|
|10 10D||A lower to mid import on just a few early X Series guitars.|
|JS #||This is the budget line, at the outset sparse and plain models but now offering plenty of options in all the major Jackson body shapes. Country of origin vary between India, Indonesia, and China and rarely Japan. The numbers go up to increase in 'features'. Number scheme varies between 1, 11, 12, 20, 22, 30, 32, 30, and 45. What this means depends on the guitar.|
|IV||Four string bass|
|V||Five string bass|
|EX||Not the Professional EX (see below), rather means 'extreme' in newer guitars. Often features active pickups (but not EMG like MG Series) or may mean something else (SL27 EX Wildcard)|
|SD||Rarely means Seymour Duncan.|
|FSR||Fender Special Run. Used on JS32 Rhoads FSR. Seems to have different aesthetic.|
|JX||Rarely in early 00s were in between JS and X Series. Ex: JX10, JX40, JX45. Later assuming the model was still made, Jackson would reassign it as plain JS Series. Ex again: JX10|
|MJ||New for 2021, Made in Japan models|
|P||Poplar burl top in newer models|
|E||Ebony fretboard option on some modern Charvels|
|HH HSH||Indicates pickup configuration on modern Charvels|
Meant to be affordable for any professional guitarist!
|Pro||The initial line of Professional guitars created of highest quality. Featuring MOP inlays and logos, ebony fretboards and high end electronics. Other specs vary. There was Soloist (reg and archtop plus special 91), Fusion, Kip Winger, Phil Collen, Warrior and Rhoads. Later Stealth, Ininity (has rosewood), Futura, Kelly and King V (Mustaine sig). There was never a Dinky or Concert Bass Pro oddly.|
|XL||Usually the next step down but still with with aestetics like sharkfin inlays, binding, higher end electronics, and metallic finishes.|
|STD or Standard||A plainer version of the XL with dots inlays and no binding but featured metallic finishes. The actual features like neck construction, bridge, and pickups would normally be the same as the XL. Also sometimes had finish matching headstocks.|
|EX||The less expensive and plainer model with dot inalys and plainer finishes (expection being Stone finish). In the case of the Concert Bass XL and EX the only difference is just the fretboard inlays in the Futura the presence of a preamp.|
|LT||A higher end early version of the XL it seems. Example: Dinky LT|
|AR||Early archtop body, HSH. Example: Dinky AR|
|SS||Early Fusion HSS with dots and single volume knob.|
|SX||Early HSH Fusion with single volume knob.|
|Reverse RVS, RVH:||Line of reverse headstock Dinky models, shortly becoming the DR later in the 90s.|
|SP||Early plain model Dinky with dots and HSH pickups or Fusion with HS pickups and dots.|
|V||Five string concert bass|
|HX||Means TOM string-thru body and humbuckers, three for the Stealth or two for the rare Dinky HX.|
|Plus||A early version of the HH but also with fancy wood. Example: Fusion Plus|
1994-95 MIJ budget models that became Performers later.
They have their own schemes it seems. Here's what I have so far: (Model).(Series)-(RRP)
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)
Jackson 2000 Catalog: here (scans belong to me)