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How to tell what model Jackson you have

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  • How to tell what model Jackson you have

    Ok, I'm going to attempt to lay down the basics of IDing your guitar - determining the model, determining the country of manufacture, and how to tell what year it was made (within limits).

    There are a few very important things to consider when reading this:
    #1 - anything that is held onto a guitar with screws can be removed. Obviously this means that just because you see a model name written on a trussrod cover, that doesn't mean it belongs to that model. Just because you see a particular pickup on a guitar doesn't mean they are original. And just because you see a given serial number on a neckplate on a bolt-on guitar or a given neck on a given body doesn't mean it came from the factory that way.

    #2 - Jackson did some wierd experiments in the mid 90s that resulted in quite a few unique models. Many of these were exclusive to one country/region, and some were even specially made for a given dealer in very limited quantities and were never shown or mentioned in a catalog.

    So with that stuff out of the way, let's begin.

    ================================================== ===============

    <font color="yellow"> "What model is this?" </font>

    First, any Jackson that says "Professional" on the head was made in Japan. There are no USA-made "Professional" Jacksons. Same thing with "Performer", "Concept", or anything else. If it doesn't say "Made In USA" or "Custom Shop", it's most likely made in Japan. There were some USA models that were not marked "Made In USA" (why, I have no idea). As well, there are quite a few Professional models that are not marked "Professional".
    Anyway, the "Professional" logo was dropped sometime around 1998, so if it says "Professional" on the head, it was made between 1990 and 1997/98. To pinpoint the year, scroll down to the Serial Number section.

    Second, if a Charvel bears a neckplate that has the "Ft Worth, TX" address, it was made in Japan (though a neckplate being held on with bolts can be put on a real USA Jackson or Charvel, which has been known to happen, however we'll cover proper identification of those later). If a Charvel is neckthrough, it's Japanese-made. If there was even one USA-made neckthrough Charvel (barring Vic Vergat's V that had no logo on it), it's highly unlikely that it would be in the possession of someone who did not know what it was.

    Identification by serial number:

    For USA Jacksons and Charvels, click here:
    http://www.jcfonline.com/resources/serials.htm

    <font color="yellow"> NOTE: This page does NOT cover models made outside the USA, and the serial numbers are exact and do not contain "silent" numbers. If you see "001123" on a neckplate, that is a USA-made Jackson Dinky USA model, not a Custom Shop Jackson with the serial number "1123". Despite some Ebayers' best efforts, all the numbers of a serial matter in determining whether it's a USA or import. </font>

    For import models:

    -Most Japanese-made bolt-ons bear a neckplate with a 6-digit serial number similar to the USA models. These are easily separated from their USA counterparts by the fact that the Imports do not have the Jackson address on the neck plate. There were a few Japanese-made models that did not have a neckplate (a Kelly model and I think the import JJ model).
    The serial numbers of import models indicate which year they were made by the first number: A 6-digit number starting with 0 means 1990, starting with 1 means 1991, 2 means 1992, etc all the way up to 1995, which will start with a 5.
    Sometime in 1996, Jackson went to what are known as the "96" serials, where every bolt-on serial made in Japan started with "96". The serial number also had 7 numbers at this point. There are some serials that start with "97" and "98" as well, but they all have 7 digits.

    <font color="orange"> *If you have a bolt-on Jackson that only says "Jackson" on the head, and the serial number starts with 96, 97, or 98, it was made in Japan in 1998.

    *If you have a bolt-on Jackson that says "Professional" on the head, and the serial number starts with 96, then it was made in 96 or 97.

    *If you have a bolt-on Jackson that says "Professional" on the head and the serial number starts with 98, you have a parts mutt - possibly a swapped neck or neckplate.
    </font>
    In the mid-90s, Jackson went to a sticker on the back of the head for serial numbers, and all the ones I've seen started with J and had 6 or more numbers.
    Again, these also said Professional on the head, so they were made prior to 1998.

    Models made in India are easily identified by their serial numbers: they will almost always start with 0 or 1 AND have 8, 9, or 10 numbers total. Read that again to make sure you understand it.

    Another easy method of spotting an Indian-made model is if it has dot inlays - the 12th fret dots will be spaced widely like a Mighty Mite Strat neck or Gibson Explorer or V, whereas Japanese-made models will be closer together like a Fender Strat neck.

    -Neckthrough models always get their serials stamped into the end of the fretboard after the last fret and begin with "J" followed by 6 numbers. Not sure about the more recent models like the RR5 or SL3/4 etc - if someone has one of these, please post here whether it begins with a J or not, and if it has 6 or 7 numbers following.

    The first number of a neckthrough serial indicates the year it was made - 0 means 1990, 1 means 1991, 2 means 1992, etc all the way up to the present as far as I know. I've not owned a neckthrough Pro model made after 1994, so I can't say. If anyone here has one made after 1994, please chime in.

    ================================================== ===============

    Identification by appearance (specs)

    <u>Jackson models:</u>

    Soloist - ALWAYS a neckthrough Strattish shape with the very rare and hard-to-find-on-the-open-market exceptions made in the early-mid 80s (83-85). Initially the Soloist was Jackson's one-hum wonder model (bolt on and neckthrough). Since it didn't have a "rhythm" (neck) pickup, only a "Treble" (bridge), it was better suited to playing Solos (remember, this was a time long before the great forward-thinking musical visionaries were exploding onto the major music scene, so there were still a lot of "old fashioned" ideas like that about guitar design).
    But it's safe to say you'll know if you have one of those, so whether it's an SLS or SLSMG or SL1, SL2, SL3, or SL4, if it's got a Strattish shape similar to the current SL1/SL2 model (and not a rounded-body neckthrough Strat), then it's a Soloist.

    Speaking of neckthrough rounded-body Strats, they are exactly what they sound like - the bodies are Fender Stratocaster sized and shaped/contoured, the horns and edges are rounded, not flattened, and they are neckthrough. These are also fairly rare, and were never a Production Model, so you won't find a "neckthrough Strat Pro" or "USA Select neckthrough Strat".

    SL1 - USA-made Soloist with H-S-S pickup layout, ebony board, and sharkfin inlays. Regardless of what type of bridge (trem or tunamatic), it's an SL1. Tunamatic'd models are known as SL1T (T for Tuneomatic Bridge in this case). The SL1 designation was given sometime in the late 90s when the "<modelname> USA" designation changed to "USA Select Series". The USA-made Soloist was known as "Soloist USA" from 1990 until the changeover to the USA Select Series. Prior to 1990, all USA-made Jacksons were Custom Shop models, and the Soloist (as well as all other models) was available as the Custom model with an ebony board and MOP inlays and head and neck binding, and the Student model with a rosewood board and dot inlays and no binding. You could get graphics and such on a Student model, as well as binding on the head and neck, and any other option that was available (however, if you wanted an ebony board with fins, it became a "Custom"). Not sure if ebony board with dots was considered a Custom or a Student.

    SL2 - USA-made Soloist with 2 humbuckers and a tremolo, unbound ebony board with no inlays. The lack of inlays is the biggest factor in separating the SL2 from the SL2H.

    SL2H - USA-made Soloist with 2 humbuckers, trem or tunamatic bridge (SL2HT), ebony board, binding, and sharkfin inlays.

    SL3 - Japanese-made Soloist with 24 frets, H-S-S, rosewood fretboard, and pearloid sharkfins.

    SL4 - Japanese-made Soloist with 22 frets, H-H, rosewood fretboard, and pearloid fins.

    <u>Dinky:</u>

    The Dinky is often referred to as a "bolt-on Soloist". This is true to an extent - same body shape (Strattish with flattened edges) - but the screw counting freaks will point out that the Soloist and Dinky bodies are slightly different in size. Either way, they are both 7/8 Strat size, which means they are 7/8 the size of a Fender Strat.
    The Dinky is always a bolt-on and always 25 1/2" scale length. Whether it has H-S-S or H-H or H-S or H or S-S-S, if it's a bolt-on 7/8 Strat-sized body with flattened edges, it's a Dinky.

    There are a few Dinky Strats floating around. These are Strat-contoured (rounded horns and edges) but are 7/8 the size of a Fender Strat. Other than that, they are always 25.5" scale length and always bolt-ons.

    DK1 - USA-made Dinky with either H-S-S or H-H, though Dinky USA models (again, 1992-97 or 98 - whenever the USA Select Series started) were only available in H-S-S. Early DK1s had H-S-S, but that was changed to H-H (probably to streamline the manufacturing process).

    DK2 - Japanese-made or Indian-made (in 2002) Dinky with H-S-S layout, rosewood board, pearloid fins, binding on head and neck, Floyd-type tremelo.

    DK3 - Japanese-made, H-S-H, everything else just about the same as a DK2.

    Dinky Reverse - Japanese-made, H-H mounted directly to the body (no pickup rings), very often found in a Granite Fleckstone finish (Fleckstone was a Krylon spraypaint you could buy that gave everything a textured granite finish). Fretboard almost always has offset dots, and was available with maple or rosewood boards. The headstock is reversed, which is where the "Reverse" comes from.

    Dinky Std, EX, Pro, Pro Ex, Pro Std, Pro Rev, or XL - Standard, EX, Professional, Professional EX, Professional Standard, Professional Reverse, and XL models were all made in Japan, they all had rosewood boards (or did the original Pro have ebony? anyone?) and all had H-S-S layouts. The model names are generally found on the trussrod cover, but since those are held on with screws, it's easy for someone to put a Dinky XL on a Dinky Reverse neck, so you can't really go by that unless you know it's the original trussrod cover (read: you bought it new that way and it never left your possession). The XL and some of the Revs were the only ones of those models that had fins, the others had dots.

    DX anything - There were several DX model Dinkys, which I'll have to research further to get the info for them, but they were primarily Japanese and Indian-made, depending on exact model and year, rosewood boards with either dots or plastic fins or piranhas, standard or reverse headstock or 3x3 head, some had binding, some didn't, some were H-H, some were H-S-S, and one model was S-S-S. Trems and tuneomatics.

    Other Dinky models -
    DR7 - Reverse-headed 7-string made in Japan.
    DK7 - Christian Olde-Wolbers Dinky 7-string
    DinkyHX - Can't say for sure. Anyone?
    Tons of other ones. Literally. Probably the one Jackson model that has had the most alternate versions.

    Fusions - The Fusion model started as a Charvel model, and was a "fusion" of Fender body/neck styling and Gibson scale length - 24.75".
    The Jackson Fusion USA model was only made in 1990, and was replaced by the Dinky USA in 1990 or 91 (no one knows for sure - or at least they haven't said).
    The Charvel Fusion Model itself ran from about 87 to 89 AFAIK, and *I think* it was also known as the Model 475 series (I could be mistooken - I'm not too sure of the finer points of the Model models).
    I'd greatly appreciate input from those who know the most about the Charvel models.

    Rhoads - The beginning of Jackson guitars was Randy's white with black pinstripes, v-tremmed, block inlaid V. Things have changed dramatically over the years, and as a result, there are dozens of different RR models throughout Jackson's 25 years.
    Rhoads USA - same as RR-1 as far as features go, but the year it was made determines the model.

    RR-1 - Ebony, fins, binding, Floyd (RR1T gets a tunamatic), H-H, etc.

    LTD - Copy of Randy's white one. Some got v-trems, some got recessed Schaller Floyds, some got tunamatics with v-plates.

    PCS - Player's Choice Series RR - just like his black/gold one.

    RR-2 - Bolt on USA made. Just like the SL2 - ebony board, no inlays, 22 frets, locking trem, and rear-routed instead of the pointy pickguard on top.

    RR-3 - Japanese-made, bolt-on, rosewood board with finlays, H-H, locking trem.

    RR3R - Fairly uncommon reverse-headed Rhoads. Same as RR3, but reverse head.

    RR-4 - Rare model to see, but I believe these were neckthrough with rosewood and fins and a tunamatic. Anyone?

    RR-5 - Japanese-made neckthrough with rosewood, fins, and no binding. Stringthrough/tunamatic and H-H.

    RR7R - Seven-string, Japanese-made, everything else same as an RR-3 (except for the extra string and reversed headstock).

    King V

    KV-1 - Dave Mustaine sig model with a Kahler 3310 non-trem bridge. Musicians Friend commissioned a limited run of these with Floyds. The serials begin with "MF DM" for Musicians Friend Dave Mustaine model. There was a run of Marty Friedman KE-1s with Floyds as well, but I think the serials just start with "MF", not "MF MF" [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

    KV-2 - Originally these were Japanese-made bolt-ons with rosewood and dots and a locking trem, but when Jackson started making a KV-1 with a Floyd, they adopted the KV-2 name, changed the original KV-2 to the KV-3, and added finlays.

    KV Pro - Also seen with a Dave Mustaine sig on the head, these were identical in every way to the USA model - neckthrough, ebony, MOP fins, Kahler 3310, etc.

    KV-4 - Neckthrough, Japanese-made, rosewood, fins, H-H, locking trem.

    Kelly

    KE-1 - Marty Friedman sig model. Did these have 3310s also or TOMs?

    KE-1T - Same as a KE-1, but with a Floyd (T for tremolo). I think. I know there was one model that got a T for tremolo.

    KE-2 - USA made, H-H. T for either TOM or Trem.

    Kelly Pro - Neckthrough, ebony, MOP fins, locking trem. Later changed to bolt-on, then again with rosewood and plastic fins and became the KE-3 eventually.
    Variations include the XL, XLR (reversed head), KX10D (D for Sharkfins - somehow), JS30KE, and Lord knows what else.

    Warrior

    Warrior USA and Warrior Pro - 1990-91, neckthrough, ebony, binding, MOP fins, MOP logo on USA, painted on Pro, 24.75" scale, 24 frets. 3 slanted single-sized dual-bladed rails-type pickups, with two arranged side-by-side at the bridge. Slanted fretboard end.
    Disappeared in 91/92 for poor sales (imagine that [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]) - brought back later as the WR-1 due to numerous Custom Shop orders for it. Changed to H-H, 25.5" scale, and squared fretboard end.
    ================================================== =============================

    That's about all I can think of right now. It should answer a few newbie questions about identifying their guitar easily.
    I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

    The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

    My Blog: http://newcenstein.com

  • #2
    Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

    [img]/images/graemlins/notworthy.gif[/img] Definate Sticky Material [img]/images/graemlins/notworthy.gif[/img]

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

      Wow
      A very comprehensive guide.
      Probably a few words about XTRR could be added, but anyway, great job
      Because I don't say it
      Doesn't mean I ain't thinking it

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

        Nice work, Newc. [img]/images/graemlins/toast.gif[/img]

        2 additions: SL2s had black binding (at least both of mine did)

        The DR-2 was also a dinky reverse, but USA made. The DR-3 and DR-5 were the Jap counterparts.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

          I shoulda known about the DR-2 being reversed, seeing as how I had one [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

          Anyhoo, hopefully an Admin can sort through and highlight the corrections in following posts [img]/images/graemlins/toast.gif[/img]

          And there's nothing really to tell about the XTRR - there was only one USA Select model and AFAIK there were no changes from when it started to when it stopped. This was done mostly to help people tell what model they've got. An XTRR is kinda easy to spot [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]
          I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

          The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

          My Blog: http://newcenstein.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

            Great Job. Looks like the serial number identifier comes from the Jackson web page and it only goes to 2001 or 2002. Any chances on getting the years to date? Also the KV2 I thought was still being sold as a neck through with finlays no??

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

              wow awsome post with very usefull info.. infact i was trying ti get info on my dk2, and you answered all my question just with that post.. thanks for the info and i agree this should be a sticky....

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                [ QUOTE ]
                Also the KV2 I thought was still being sold as a neck through with finlays no??

                [/ QUOTE ]

                That is correct. The KV-2 is a KV-1 with a Floyd. The only difference between a KV-1 and a KV-2 is the Floyd. The only difference.
                I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

                The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

                My Blog: http://newcenstein.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                  [ QUOTE ]
                  And there's nothing really to tell about the XTRR - there was only one USA Select model and AFAIK there were no changes from when it started to when it stopped. This was done mostly to help people tell what model they've got. An XTRR is kinda easy to spot [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

                  [/ QUOTE ] There was also Dan Spitz Jap model, and there is a number of custom order full-size RR without a pickguard on the market.
                  Because I don't say it
                  Doesn't mean I ain't thinking it

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                    Cool thanks again

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                      [ QUOTE ]
                      [ QUOTE ]
                      And there's nothing really to tell about the XTRR - there was only one USA Select model and AFAIK there were no changes from when it started to when it stopped. This was done mostly to help people tell what model they've got. An XTRR is kinda easy to spot [img]/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img]

                      [/ QUOTE ] There was also Dan Spitz Jap model.

                      [/ QUOTE ]

                      Yeah I just saw that post. I seem to recall in the old Archives before the Fender buyout (when there was info on each one instead of just a picture) that they made a "Dinky Rhoads" - the XTRR was the opposite of the Double Rhoads - two short wings back to back instead of two long wings. But before the XTRR, there was a Dinky Rhoads.

                      Didn't know if it was a USA production model, though.
                      I want to depart this world the same way I arrived; screaming and covered in someone else's blood

                      The most human thing we can do is comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable.

                      My Blog: http://newcenstein.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                        Well, XTRR was not two short wings, it was still asymmetrical...

                        In 2000 catalog it's dinky sized Rhoads, H-H, FR, one knob, reverse headstock and reverse sharkfins...


                        Edit: XTRR had SH-8 + SH-10 pups combo, just like WR-1, but there was no WR-1 in catalog in 2000
                        Because I don't say it
                        Doesn't mean I ain't thinking it

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                          [ QUOTE ]
                          RR-4 - Rare model to see, but I believe these were neckthrough with rosewood and fins and a tunamatic. Anyone?

                          [/ QUOTE ]

                          no pickguard, bolt-on, floyd licensed, mij, iirc.. They are pictured in the 1997 catalogue..

                          same goes for the KE4
                          "I hate these filthy neutrals! With enemies, you know where they stand. But with neutrals... who knows? It sickens me!"

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                            AWESOME post Newc!
                            Charvel: Model1, 2 & 5, Surfcaster 12
                            Jackson: DK2, JRS-2, Kelly

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: How to tell what model Jackson you have

                              Ok,i have jackson fusion h-s-s,dot inlays with "professional" logo on the head and serial number of 6 diging started with 9 (922568)-92 year?..but it not started with "2" number...
                              Other guitar kelly-3 without "professional" logo 7-digit (9695348) with "mage in japan" sticker come to me NEW!!! in 2003 from local store...it's possible that guitar was build in 19996-97?

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