Table of Contents
Jackson guitars are known for their sleek designs and powerful sound. One of the unique features of these guitars is the serial number. They can provide valuable information about the guitar’s history and production.
A Jackson serial number lookup can help determine many things! Including the date of manufacture, the factory of production, and even the specific model of the guitar. This article will provide an overview of the Jackson guitar factory code system. We’ll explain how to use it to look up information about your own instrument.
Other serial number lookups:
What Are Jackson Guitar Serial Numbers?
Jackson uses a unique serial number system. It’s used to track and identify each guitar that is produced. These codes can be found on the back of the headstock, or on the neck plate of the guitar.
The format of the code varies depending on the year of production. But also the factory where the guitar was made. From the beginning of production until around 2001, the factory numbers were quite organized.
A custom shop bolt-on neck guitar will consist of a number with no zeros in front of the factory code. But a production Jackson bolt-on would have one that starts with two zeros.
Another example is the Ontario Custom Shop Jackson guitars. They have serial numbers that begin with a J. But the factory neck-through production instruments have codes that start with UO.
In general, the code will consist of a combination of letters and numbers. The letters usually indicate the factory of production. While the numbers provide information about the date of manufacture and the build lots.
1986-2001 Bolt-on Neck
For the bolt-on guitars during this era, the factory codes are found on the neck plates. The table below provides information for the USA-made Jackson guitars only. The factory is primarily Ontario, with one San Dimas run.
|Year||Custom Shop||USA||Jackson Junior|
|1986 (San Dimas)||1001-1505||X||X|
Jackson Custom Shop bolt-on-neck guitars were not put together in sequential serial number order from 1987 to 1989. Codes 5234 to 5999, for instance, do not exist. This is a result of a stamping machine error. These neck plates read Jackson, 4452 Airport Drive, Ontario, CA 91761.
1982-2001 Neck Through Guitars
The neck-through guitars for the same date range can be found in the chart below. On the instruments themselves, the factory codes are found stamped into the fingerboard. This is near the last fret. These too are USA-made instruments and primarily from the Ontario factory. There are a few from San Dimas, as noted.
|1982 (San Dimas)||RR 0000||X||X||X|
|1983 (San Dimas)||RR0001-RR0294||J0001-J0034||X||X|
|1984 (San Dimas)||RR0295-RR0996||J0035-J0406||X||X|
|1985 (San Dimas)||RR0997-RR1754||J0407-J1539||X||X|
|1986 (San Dimas)||RR1755-RR1929||J1540-J2799||JA0001-JA0011||X|
|1995||RR2745-RR2756||J6172-J6238||End of Series||UO2942-UO3211|
From 1983 to the beginning of spring 1990, RR serial numbers were assigned to all Randy Rhoads neck-through guitars. Following that, only custom Rhoads guitars had this prefix. While the production guitars were referred to as USA versions and had U0 factory codes.
Made In Japan (6 & 7 Digits)
Any serial numbers that are 6 digits and made in Japan seem to denote the year of production. This seems to be evident in the professional series guitars. Even a few are not a part of this series. If the first number in your code is between 0 and 7, this can tell you the year. For example, 0 = 1990. And 7 = 1997. Some of these codes also start with J, to which the same dating applies.
The 7-digit codes on the other hand did not provide the year. An example would be a serial number that starts with 98. But after further digging, these guitars are actually dated 2004. This seems to be the case with any 7-digit factory codes that start with 96, 97, or 98. The only way to really date these guitars is to remove the neck. Then see if the date was written on the heel or pocket.
Either that or compare the hardware on your guitar with older catalogs. See if you can cross-reference them to something with a verified date. Just remember, this only applies to any Japanese-made guitars with 7 digits. There are no letters in the factory code.
Other Early Imports (8, 9, & 10 Digits)
Jackson had guitars made in other countries like Taiwan, India, and Korea. These guitars were provided with serial numbers that consisted of 8, 9, or 10 digits. You are more likely to see the first two, but an extra digit was added for a short period.
The 8-digit codes can be a bit confusing, as the ones made in India and Taiwan seem to differ. They both include the year of manufacture, but in different formats. Guitars made in India use the first two digits to denote the year. So if it’s marked 98, then it was made in 1998. A marking of 01 would mean 2001.
However, any made in Taiwan during this period only use the first number in the code to signify the year. So if your code reads 64071264, the guitar was made in 1996.
9 and 10-digit serial numbers seem to have been given to JS series guitars made in India. These codes made it a lot easier to tell when the instruments were produced. The entire year is put into the first 4 numbers of the code. So if the code is 200407387, this means it was made in 2004.
2013 to Present
A 10-digit alphanumeric serial number is found on all Jackson JS, X, and Pro Series guitars. All that was created between 2013 and the present day. The year the guitar was made is indicated by the first two digits of the serial number. A guitar with the code ICJ1600003, for instance, was created in 2016. Let’s look at a few examples from different countries.
If you have a serial number that starts with JAS, then you own an American-made Jackson. The J represents the brand Jackson. While the AS denotes the American Series model. These guitars are made at the Corona, California factory.
Jackson guitars made in Indonesia use some of the same factories as other brands. This is evident by the letter in the serial numbers. Some of the letter configurations we find are:
The first letter is I. Which stands for Indonesia to denote the country of origin. The second letter however tells us the factory the guitar was made in. The W stands for P.T. Wildwood. This is a larger guitar manufacturer in Indonesia.
We then find S which quite possibly represents the Samick factory there. We also find the letter C which is for the Cort guitar factory. The letter J in each of the codes stands for Jackson to keep track of the brand, as many are built there.
The guitars coming from China have a similar factory code which reads CYJ. They consist of a C for China and a J for Jackson, like the rest. This seems to be similar now in all the serial numbers for their guitars. I have also seen a Y in the Chinese-made Jackson guitars. This might mean it’s made in the Yako factory.
There are many guitars being produced there like Squier brand instruments. However, as far as I’m aware, this factory is located in Taiwan. There isn’t more information available at the time of this writing however.
There is one more serial number arrangement, which is CWJ. But I was not able to find out which factory this might represent.
For the guitars produced in Korea, I have only really seen one letter scheme, which is KWJ. The K denotes Korea as the country of production. The J represents the Jackson brand. The W tells us that World Musical Instruments in Incheon make them. I have not seen any other factory codes yet.
If your serial number consists of the prefix NHJ, then you have an Indian-made Jackson. The letter “N” represents India in this case. They used it because the letter “I” was already taken for Indonesia. The letter “H” is for the factory it was made in, called Harmony. And the letter “J” stands for Jackson to keep the guitars organized. This is because many brands use these factories all around the world.
The Japanese Jackson guitars follow the same factory code layout. I have seen 2 different letter schemes:
These codes are not much different from what we have seen so far. However, I’m not sure that the second letter represents the factory. From what I have seen so far, it looks like it confirms the model of the guitar. The D would present the Dinky guitars, while the F is for Fusion.
It seems clear from information online that the Fusion and Dinky guitars are made at a factory in Japan called Chushin Gakki. So in this case, it makes sense that they use the first letter in the model name.
Locating The Serial Number
On a Jackson guitar, the serial number was placed in a few different locations. Normally, you will find it on the back of the headstock. It may be either printed on it or have a sticker. If it cannot be located on the headstock, then you will want to check the neck plate.
This is the plate used to help secure the neck to the guitar body. Flip your guitar over and see if the serial number is there. If yours is a neck-through model, then you will not have this plate.
Depending on the age, the factory code may also be stamped into the fingerboard. This is near the last fret, but will only be on the neck through models. If the code cannot be found in any of these areas, you can also remove the neck (bolt-on models only). See if there are any dates recorded in the pocket.
There should be plenty of information to help you find more about your Jackson guitar. But if this doesn’t quite get you what you need. Then you may want to contact Jackson directly.