Jackson JS23 Dinky

An entry-level slugger with aspirations above its station

  • £238
  • $266.65
The JS23 throws a widdly two octaves worth of frets onto a maple bolt-neck

Our Verdict

A very respectable entry-level rocker that - unsurprisingly, given its heritage - is best suited to fans of all things heavy and widdly.

Pros

  • Well-built. Nice body. Great neck for lead-playing.

Cons

  • Neck is less suitable for chord work.

You might call the HSS pickup configuration the best of all possible worlds, like the old six-beer bar conversation where you construct a dream woman from the best features of Hollywood starlets.

Jackson's Dinky is a familiar shape, and the original JS2 range was entry-level gold, so the release of the "beefed-up" JS23 Dinky is a welcome addition to the wealth of affordable super-Strat options out there.

"The JS23 displays its shred credentials with iconic Jackson flourishes like the shark-fin inlays and angular headstock"

It's certainly got spec on its side. This model throws a widdly two octaves worth of frets onto a maple bolt-neck, and nails down those shred credentials with iconic Jackson flourishes like the shark-fin inlays and angular headstock.

It's easy to forget this is a £238 slugger and start treating it with the reverence you'd give a Soloist from Phil Collen's rack. An Indian cedro body isn't the first thing you'd ask for at the custom shop, but it's light, well constructed, and gives belting access to the greased-lightning neck, whose compound radius is magic for soloing, but not quite so convincing for chord work.

Sounds

Tonally, Jacksons are sometimes criticised for sounding a little 'flat' when clean, but this one is more than competent, with the singles sounding brilliantly nasal and twangy when you dig in, and the humbucker nice and warm for the theoretical chord sequences that you'll never want to play.

With that said, the best voice for us is the fusion of middle and bridge, which nails that tonal halfway-house between thump and twang that you could sit on for half the gig. If you're playing both Hetfield and Hammett in a Metallica tribute band, you can't go wrong with the JS23.