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[PICS] X Series Jacksons are now made in China? Must have been a recent thing.

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  • [PICS] X Series Jacksons are now made in China? Must have been a recent thing.

    Above is a 2018 Jackson X Series SLX Crackle I saw on Craigslist and I noticed the back of the headstock says it's crafted in China. The serial number format, CYJ18, is similar to the Indonesian-made X Series, so it's easy to decipher that it means China, a factory that begins with the letter Y, Jackson, 2018.

    I suppose it was inevitable that the Jackson product ranges above the already-Chinese-made JS Series would eventually also be made in China. How long before Indonesian and Mexican production becomes too expensive for even the Pro Series?

    I've already seen this trend happen with LTD guitars. The top of the range (1000 / Deluxe Series, which for the longest time were made in South Korea at the World Musical Instrument Co. Ltd.) recently trickled down to be made in Indonesia. Some of the low-mid LTDs which were previously made in Indonesia are now made in Vietnam.

    What are your thoughts on the subject?

  • #2
    I expect the bottom line is forcing these changes.
    It's entirely possible the Jackson brand may be on its last breathe when you look at the guitar business these days.

    The only music store within 100 miles of me closed recently.
    Lack of players and online sales probably did them in.
    96xxxxx, 97xxxxx and 98xxxxx serials oftentimes don't indicate '96, '97 and '98.


    • #3
      The odd thing is that if you check the official site, the model photographed there does NOT have a visible serial on the back of the headstock...

      As sad as it may sound, my guess is that they wanted to keep this information in the shadows as long as they can, thus they didn't even picture the serials on the promo photos...


      • #4
        Good observation!

        I thought along similar lines when I noticed the Charvel Pro-Mods started being made in Mexico.

        While the neckplates have always stated the country of origin, during the American and Japanese years the headstock logos stated "Made in USA" or "Made in Japan" under the headstock logo.

        When Mexican manufacture started, the headstock face just had the Charvel logo devoid of country of origin. Mention of Mexico was relegated to the back of the headstock.

        While I personally don't have enough experience playing and handling Mexican Fender/Charvel guitars to form an opinion, part of me believes Fender/Charvel thought it looked too "downmarket" to prominently announce Mexico on the headstock face, especially in the wake of American and Japanese Charvel tradition which meant something to longtime Charvel fans. Maybe the corporate big-wigs thought American and Japanese Charvels were a tough act to follow, and decided it was simpler to omit Mexico from the headstock.

        Of course, this is all speculation on my part.


        • #5
          It's a shame, really... I'm not saying that a guitar can only be good if it comes with a Made in USA stamp on it, because I have a Japanese DKMG which is awesome and an Indonesian Pro Series King V which is my No.1 and the love of my life. But apart from the fact that a Made in China stamp just looks bad and instantly gives any product a bad reputation, the X series guitars were already pretty flawed, nowhere near the "bang for your buck budget player" as they are advertised. At least based on the one X series Soloist that I have and another one that I set up recently.

          I managed to turn mine into a well above average guitar, but 4 or 5 frets needed levelling, needed a new set of string saddles (mostly due to the previous owner's negligence, but still), I had to align the nut with the neck because it was hanging off a millimeter or so from the neck on one side and while I was at it I put in a huge brass block under the Floyd and changed the pickups. Now it plays sweet, stays in tune, flutters like there's no tomorrow, but it still has a huge wooden shard sticking out from the body under the pickups in the pickup cavity.... Noone cared to cut it away, they painted it like that, installed the pickups and done. "Not visible to the customer, so problem solved!" And that was in Indonesia... I really hope that Fender is not going to kill the brand by lowering the quality to Made in China levels...That would break my heart and also drive up the price of the quality / USA Jacksons to ridiculous levels.