Are Jackson Guitars Good? Your Questions Answered!

There are many guitar brands that have been popular with players since the 80s and 90s. Jackson might be a name that you have come across when looking for your next instrument. But are Jackson guitars good?

Jackson Guitars are some of the most popular in the world today. With their incredibly high build quality, value for money, and excellent electronics. It’s not hard to see why. They also make some entry-level guitars for beginners that are fantastic!

But before you go out and buy one, it’s worth doing some research on the topic. This way, you can be sure they are what you’re looking for before you spend your hard-earned cash.

If you’re curious about Jackson electric guitars, then read this Killer Rig article to find out what makes them so good.

Are Jackson Guitars Good?

There is no question that Jackson creates excellent guitars as a long-established brand.

Having produced instruments for decades that have served countless guitarists well. Many of the most well-known and highly regarded guitarists use Jackson’s high-end models.

It’s likely because Jackson has become heavily associated with metal. The company doesn’t receive as much attention compared to other leading guitar brands. Still, Jackson guitars are guaranteed to be just as good as many of its competition.

From the early 1980s to the present. Jackson has established itself as one of the best choices for guitar players.

Those who play any type of heavy music. Jackson guitars are distinguished by their subtle thin speed necks and ultra-flat fingerboards. They promote the ease of shredding.

Another feature of Jackson guitars is its combination of single-coil and humbucker pickups. They produce a wide variety of tones.

Ever wonder if Charvel guitars are good?

Jackson Logo.

History of Jackson Guitars 

When a new breed of promising young guitarists required more from their guitars. Somewhere in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Jackson’s small team of highly skilled craftsmen stepped up.

They collaborated to create a new generation of high-performance, specially designed electric guitars.

Around this time, these skilled workers were just beginning to find success. At least under the emblem of Charvel’s Guitar Repair.

An instrument shop based in Glendora, California. This repair shop was purchased in November 1978. From their short-time employer, Wayne Charvel.

Jackson’s Charvel guitars made their debut in the summer of 1979. It rapidly became the musical instrument of choice. All for a new breed of vibrant Sunset Strip guitar legends.

At the time, these same guitarists were members of loud, heavy musical acts. And they were being signed by major record companies left and right.

Jackson has thrived in recent years. With all the company’s most famous models. These are both custom and production series guitars, enjoying great success.

Jackson JS32 Dinky Guitar
Jackson JS32 Dinky

Are Jackson Guitars Owned by Fender?

Jackson is owned by Fender, which bought the company from IMC in 2002. They currently own Jackson and Charvel guitars and have assisted in their revival.

These guitars are considered higher-performance alternative options to their more conventional Charvel counterparts. In the fall of 2002, Fender officially acquired Jackson from IMC.

Jackson guitars have managed to evolve through the years. The company claims to have the longest-running custom guitar shop in the US. With many of its original employees still creating high-quality instruments for the brand.

What’s Good About Them?

After playing Jackson guitars for a while, I can share some of the benefits that come with them. Now this is a reflection of higher quality guitars, cheaper ones will come with average parts.


Because Jackson guitars are aimed at high-gain and metal players, they have been provided with EMG pickups. These are good quality active pickups that sound thick but tight.

The sound is bright enough to cut and has the output to drive an amplifier pretty hard. This makes them everything a player could want.

active pickup
Active Pickup


On the high-end guitars, you can expect quality electronics. This includes potentiometers and switches. I found that the pots are smooth when operated and the switches feel durable. They are sure to be reliable!

Now, on the cheaper models, the opposite is true. In some cases, I have found some of the knobs to be a bit scratchy.

The pickup selector switches are a bit clunky and don’t operate as nicely. But they do the job for the price point and are still reliable.


One thing that I appreciate about the Jackson guitars is the quality of the frets. They are dressed real well and are not sharp. They are leveled and smooth, which makes the playability top-notch!


The lower priced Jackson’s will have a few discrepancies in the finishes. Now, they are not terrible and for most people, may even go unnoticed. Especially if you really didn’t pay a lot for it.

But the higher priced guitars are immaculate! The finishes are absolutely beautiful and well done.

There is a better quality control system for the higher end guitars as one would expect, this is very apparent in the finish.

Are Jackson Guitars Good for Metal?

Jackson guitars are best suited for metal, heavy or hard rock. Most of them include humbuckers built for extreme levels of distortion and gain. This is very typical of a metal sound.

They are designed to be used with high levels of distortion. This makes Jackson best for heavier genres. With their pointy designs, Jackson guitars also have an ’80s metal aesthetic. It does appeal to guitarists in heavier genres of music.

Jackson guitars are popular among metal and rock guitarists, it’s true. But it doesn’t mean you can’t play other types of music.

Their pickup combinations enable guitarists to play a variety of styles. This includes jazz, classic rock, blues, country, and even pop.

Are Jackson Guitars Good for Beginners?

Jackson dk2 guitar.

Jackson guitars are great for beginners because they manufacture some excellent entry-level instruments. Their JS Series is geared towards amateurs.

And these models feature budget-friendly, guitars that will last for years to come. They are also easy to play! Having slim necks and bodies that are ideal for beginners learning metal and rock.

They are also extremely comfortable to play. They are known for their compound radius fretboards. Thee are flatter at higher frets. Many guitarists prefer them because they promote fast and technical playing.

Granted, it will take a while to master the art of flawlessly shredding as a beginner. Yet, having a comfortable instrument will assist you in learning the fundamentals.

Not to mention that all Jackson guitars possess slim and light, poplar bodies. They are extremely comfortable for extended playing sessions.

Which Guitarists Use Jackson Guitars?

Jackson’s guitars were popular among 80s heavy metal guitarists. This includes Def Leppard’s Phil Collen and Megadeth’s David Ellefson.

Jackson’s signature models also bear the names of Trivium’s Corey Beaulieu. Plus Hatebreed’s Chris Beattie, and Iron Maiden’s Adrian Smith.

Here are some other famous guitarists who have used Jackson guitars.

  • Andreas Kisser of Sepultura.
  • Christian Andreu of Gojira.
  • Jake Kiley of Strung Out.
  • Jeff Loomis of Arch Enemy.
  • Jordan Ziff of Ratt.
  • Mark Morton of Lamb of God.
  • Mick Thomson of Slipknot.
  • Misha Mansoor of Periphery.
  • Rob Caggiano of Volbeat.
  • Scott Ian of Anthrax.
Jackson Jeff Loomis Signature Guitar
Jackson Jeff Loomis Signature Guitar

How Much Are Jackson Guitars?

Are you on a tight budget or just starting? Then you should look into the JS Series Dinky, their entry-level electric guitars. The majority of these guitars, like the Jackson JS22 Dinky, cost less than $300.

These lower-priced guitars are quite excellent value for money. It has good electronics, an excellent fit and finish, a maple speed neck, nice fret crowning, and a great setup. These models are light and well-balanced as well.

If you are an advanced or intermediate player, the Pro or X Series will meet your needs. The Pro Series, in particular, has some excellent options.

Like a Floyd rose double-locking tremolo for under $1000. Models in this series are regarded as an upgrade.

This is because they can be purchased with Seymour Duncan pickups. And even some decent electronics.

If you’re considering the USA Select series, you likely don’t need any help. These are among the best guitars in Jackson’s lineup.

If you’re looking at any of these guitars, you’ve probably been playing a lot. And in this case, you know precisely what you’re searching for.


Jackson guitars are good for several reasons. They’re well-made, they sound great, and they’re affordable.

Plus, they have a wide range of models to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that suits your style. So if you’re looking for a new guitar, be sure to check out Jackson!


Are Jackson Guitars good value for money?

Yes, Jackson guitars are excellent value for money. They have always been high-quality guitars. This is why they have been so popular over the last few decades.

Now that Fender owns the brand, they have made some excellent guitars. They now also provide something for beginners.

Why are Jackson guitars called Dinky?

The name, Dinky, was given to a select few Jackson guitars because of their smaller body size. This has become a line of guitars that are now perfect for beginners.

Including players that prefer smaller body sizes. If this interests you, look into the Jackson Dinky guitar models.

Are Jackson guitars good for blues?

While Jackson guitars are not primarily made for blues, it would be best to look into another brand. Yet, if you have a Jackson guitar with humbuckers and single-coil pickups, you would be able to play blues on them.

Photo of author

Don East

My name is Don East, I'm the editor for Killer Rig. I've been playing guitar for over 20 years and have designed and manufactured products like guitar amps, effects pedals, and more. Over the years I have played in many bands and have a deep love for quality gear. I am an electrical engineer and have a passion for music gear, and now want to share what I know with the community!