Jackson JS32T Dinky
One of the marques that grew to fame in the 80s, Jackson made pimped-out double-cuts for hair metallers who wanted the playability of an S-style guitar with hot-rodded extras, such as Floyd Rose vibratos, 24-fret necks and powerful pickups.
"Jackson offers all the fun of the 80s in a package that's acceptable to 2013's cash-strapped shoppers"
Back then, these were only available to the handful of players who could afford to make the pilgrimage to Californian custom shops, but now Jackson offers all the fun of the 80s in a package that's acceptable to 2013's cash-strapped shoppers.
First, we have to tip our hats to Jackson for having the balls to finish this guitar in such an awful/ awesome colour. It's deep into Marmite territory, but we love it. Our only criticism is that it should come with a matching headband.
But the star of the show here is the fretboard. It uses Jackson's compound radius design, going from a fairly flat 305mm (12 inches) near the headstock to a mirror-like 406mm (16-inch) radius at the 24th fret.
The logic is that the fretboard is rounder near the headstock to make it easier to wrap your mitts around when playing chords. However, when you're performing really wide bends, the curve of the fretboard can get in the way, so a flatter radius is better. A compound radius is the perfect compromise.
Well, we say perfect. In reality, 305mm (12 inches) is too flat to be comfortable for us, but if you're using the Dinky for strummed balladry, there's something seriously wrong with you.
The widdly end, on the other hand, is immensely playable, and pretty soon we're unleashing pinched harmonics all over the place while saluting an imaginary stadium crowd. Thank you, San Dimas!
"Not surprisingly, the pickups sound best with the gain turned up and the mids slightly scooped"
Since it's so closely based on a Strat, we're not surprised to find a 648mm (25.5-inch) scale length, bolt-on neck and six-in-line tuners. But instead of three single coils, we've got a pair of Jackson's own-brand passive humbuckers.
Not surprisingly, these sound best with the gain turned up and the mids slightly scooped. Clean tones aren't quite as convincing, but that's not the point: this baby was born to rawk.
A cedro body, rosewood fingerboard and maple neck give you a well-built machine that feels like it'll take any abuse you hand out. It's also pretty light, and combined with the small body shape, you can chuck it about and throw shapes like a good 'un.
Shop around and you'll find these on sale for around £280, which is great value for money. It looks cool, feels like it could take a hell of a beating and is capable of making ears bleed and faces melt. Now, pass the spandex trousers...
Value for money. Great neck for shred heads. Good high gain tones.
Not very versatile. Clean tones could be better.
The JS32T is not the most versatile guitar in the world, but the right kind of player will find a lot to get their teeth into here, and without breaking the bank, either.
Scale Length (mm)
Scale Length (Inches)
No. of Frets
String-though-body tune-o-matic bridge, black tuners
Left Handed Model Available
2x Jackson Hi-Output humbuckers
1x volume, 1x tone, 3-way pickup selector switch
Fluorescent Yellow (shown), Sky Blue
Cedro body; hard rock maple neck