Jackson Custom Shop celebrates its 40th anniversary with 12 stunning guitars

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

We love a special edition guitar and the Jackson Custom Shop has just gone all-out for its 40th anniversary. Twelve guitars that include models to celebrate signature endorsees including Iron Maiden's Adrian Smith, Def Leppard's Phil Collen and Slipknot's Mick Thomson. 

Let's take a look at a devastatingly good dozen… and yes they're all available to buy in limited runs. 

Jackson Custom Shop Limited Edition Signature Mick Thomson Carbon Fiber Soloist

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

We're kicking things of with a carbon beauty built by Master Builder Mike Shannon. Mick's signature Soloist has a mahogany body, through-body maple neck, 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard with 24 frets and block side markers.

Pickups are Thomson’s signature Seymour Duncan EMTY Blackouts with a custom Jackson MTB HT6 bridge.

Jackson Custom Shop Limited Edition Signature Adrian Smith San Dimas

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

We used to have a poster of this Iron Maiden single artwork on our wall growing up and it looks magnificent here as a result of Craig Fraser's painting work and Master Builder Dave “Red” Nichols' craftsmanship. 

“When I was standing here at NAMM last year, me and my missus were talking and thought it would be fun to something with an Iron Maiden theme,” shared Maiden legend Smith. “I’ve never done it before. We do a song 2 Minutes to Midnight and that seemed like a logical thing. I love the guitar. 

More Maiden

(Image credit: Iron Maiden)

Adrian Smith and Dave Murray interview

"I call it my hooligan guitar because it is stripped down – no nonsense, one pickup. Sounds great, actually plays great. I just wish I could use it for one more song. Of course it’s got the 2 Minutes logo, beautifully painted on there, and I just love the guitar – apart from the fact that it looks really cool.”

It certainly does. The model features include a bolt-on quartersawn maple neck topped with a 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard and 22 jumbo frets, single DiMarzio DP100F Super Distortion® bridge pickup and Floyd Rose Original bridge.

Jackson Custom Shop Limited Edition Signature Misha Mansoor So-Cal HSS 2PT

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

Here's something a bit different for Periphery's  Misha Mansoor. Rather than a take on his Jackson Juggernaut signature, Mansoor decided to opt for more of a classic approach and Master Builder Dave 'Red' Nichols brought it to life.

It's a So-Cal heavy relic; ash body with Daphne Blue finish. The bolt-on neck is caramelised flame maple bolt-on neck is topped with a 20” radius caramelized flame maple fingerboard with maple inlays and outlined in ebony with 22 jumbo stainless steel frets.

It also features a Gotoh 510 2PT tremolo system and Luminlay side dots.

The HSS pickup layout is packing serious tonal firepower; a Bare Knuckle Ragnarock humbucker in the bridge and Misha Mansoor single-coils in the middle and neck. This should be able to handle anything you throw at it. 

Jackson Custom Shop Limited Edition Signature Phil Collen PC1 Black Walnut

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

Jackson Master Builder Pat McGarry built this special take on Collen's PC1 blueprint – one of the company's longest artist endorsement. 

Another tasty caramelised Dinky mahogany body is capped with a 1/8” claro walnut top. The caramelised bolt-on maple neck is topped with a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets. This has got us feeling hungry with all the caramel going on… pour some sugar indeed! 

The model features a DiMarzio Super 3 humbucker in the bridge, DiMarzio HS-2 single-coil in the middle and the unique PC1 Sustainer Driver pickup in the neck.

A Floyd Rose Original double-locking tremolo system and Gotoh sealed die-cast tuners complete an impressive features set. 

Jackson Custom Shop Limited Edition Signature Chris Broderick CB2 Diabolic

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

Former Megadeth man Broderick gets a mahogany body for his special edition 7-string signature with 1/8” flame maple cap dressed in Trans Black finish with flame maple binding and pinstripes.

The quartersawn maple neck with a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard is outfitted with 24 jumbo stainless steel frets and ziricote reverse sharkfin inlays.

It's loaded with Broderick's signature DiMarzio humbuckers.

Jackson Custom Shop RR27 HS FR Galaxy

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

Look at the finish on that! Jackson Custom Shop RR27 HS FR Galaxy is a 27-fret Rhoads shred machine.

It's the work of builder Joe Williams; a buckeye resin top (with matching sharkfin inlays) on an alder body outfitte. The through-body quartersawn maple neck is capped with a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard. The 27 frets are stainless steel. 

Williams even designed a magnetic truss rod cover for the model to avoid the use of screws.

Bare Knuckle's beastly Aftermath humbucker sits in the bridge position with the Cornish company's Trilogy Suite single coil neck pickup offering some vintage snap for the tone feast. 

The Galaxy also features a Floyd Rose Original bridge and Sperzel tuners. 

Jackson Custom Shop Warrior HT 7-String Multi-Scale

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

One for the understated traditionalists… and another seven-stringer from Jackson Custom Shop builder Joe Williams. 

This Warrior Multi Scale HT is in Neon Pink on an alder body. Its through-body quartersawn maple neck is topped with an ebony fingerboard with pearl reverse sharkfin inlays and 24 frets.

The HH pickup configuration is a DiMarzio® The Tone Zone® 7 pickup in the bridge and a DiMarzio Air Norton 7™ pickup in the bridge. 

Other hardware includes a Hipshot multi-scale fixed bridge, phenolic nut, Jackson sealed die-cast tuners, masteere volume and five-way toggle switching.

Jackson/Charvel 40th Anniversary Double Neck Hot Rod Flame

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

Double trouble from two icons of rock guitar here; and it's Master Builder Joe Williams again lending his talents to create this meeting of worlds. 

The Hot Rod Flames finish ties together the combo of  Jackson Soloist with Charvel San Dimas.

The Jackson half boasts a quartersawn maple neck-through-body design, 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and Jackson sharkfin inlays.

The Soloist side features a Seymour Duncan TB-4 bridge pickup and Seymour Duncan SH-1 neck pickup and a Floyd Rose Original tremolo system.

The Charvel part of the deal has a bolt-on maple neck topped with a 12”-16” compound radius fingerboard and 22 jumbo frets. Pickups are a DiMarzio Super Distortion (bridge) and a DiMarzio DP117 HS-3 (neck). The hardware includes a Charvel brass tremolo and Gotoh tuners.

Jackson Custom Shop J0001 40th Anniversary

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

Famed Master Builder Mike Shannon has had the idea for this one for a few years. “And it’s finally came to the point where this is a good opportunity and a good time to build it since it’s Jackson’s 40th anniversary and mine as a Jackson guitar builder,” he adds. 

The original J0001 model was entered into the shop’s log book as belonging to former Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing. However, Downing never actually received or played the guitar.

"I had (Megadeth bassist) David Ellefson verify with Downing that he actually never had or played this guitar," confirms Shannon. "How it got in the log books that way, I’m not sure. But the player, as far as I know who has it, is a guy named Jay Reynolds.”

The recreation has a Snow White Pearl finish and alder body, another quartersawn maple through-body neck topped with a 12” radius rosewood fretboard.

Pickups are a classic pairing of Seymour Duncan Custom Trembucker TB-5 humbucker in the bridge and Seymour Duncan ’59 humbucker in the neck.

Jackson Custom Shop Randy Rhoads

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

This just wouldn't be Jackson without a classic Rhoads model. An iconic player and an iconic Jackson shape. 

Master Builder Joe Williams crafted this beauty in a White Sparkle finish with chrome hardware and pickguard. 

The neck is a 12”-16” compound radius flame maple fingerboard with 22 frets. Humbuckers are a Seymour Duncan TB-6 in the bridge pickup and a Seymour Duncan SH1N in the neck position, each with chrome covers. 

A Floyd Rose Original tremolo system and Jackson-sealed die cast tuners also feature. 

Jackson Custom Shop Soloist SL2 Exotic

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

This Joe Williams creation doesn't just look stunning with its cooked ash body and ziricote top, it's super light too. There's some great additional touches too; titanium hardware. inlaid maple Jackson logo on the headstock and ziricote reverse sharkin inlays on the ebony fingerboard.

Williams used set-neck construction for the flame maple neck and chose natural Guitarmory Orion pickups with curly maple bobbins and a Floyd Rose titanium bridge.

Jackson Custom Shop Hellion Bass

(Image credit: Jackson Guitars)

And last, but certainly not least, a bass! A brand new shape from Joe Williams too.

The five-string, multi-scale Hellion Bass certainly isn't going for subtle in Neon Yellow with reverse pointy headstock but it offers great sonic potential.

“I thought having multi-scale on a five string bass would be a good idea because when you get to that low B string," says Williams. "It’s such a thick gauge of string and low tuning that it flops around a lot. The idea of the multi-scale aspect of it is to balance that tension so that you have an instrument that plays, feels and performs better.”

To create the new Hellion design, Williams reversed and elongated the Demon shape, custom-carving the ash body for improved upper fret access. 

The maple neck has a 16”-20” compound radius maple fingerboard featuring 24 jumbo stainless steel frets, black piranha teeth inlays and blue Luminlay side dots.

A single Seymour Duncan Quarter Pound Jazz Bass bridge pickup provides the tonal engine room. Hardware includes a Hipshot triple lock single saddle bridge and J Hipshot bass tuners.

Rob Laing
Guitars Editor, MusicRadar

I'm the Guitars Editor for MusicRadar, handling news, reviews, features, tuition, advice for the strings side of the site and everything in between. Before MusicRadar I worked on guitar magazines for 15 years, including Editor of Total Guitar in the UK. When I'm not rejigging pedalboards I'm usually thinking about rejigging pedalboards.