Reviewed: Jackson Guitars JS Series Spectra Bass JS3

Jackson Guitars Australia | fender.com.au | RRP: $619

Jackson are a brand that we review consistently, and not only do they impress every time, but it reflects how consistently reliable Jacksons of all levels are. They’re accessible for musicians on a budget and professionals alike, but entirely playable and can be relied on when gigging, or when inspiration strikes around the home or studio.

The JS Series Spectra Bass JS3, this one specifically in a Silverburst but also available in Gloss Black or Metallic Red, is a great instrument at a great price and reflects Jackson’s quality design, build specifications and years of experience building instruments. Featuring dual medium-output Jackson humbuckers and a multitude of pickup and tone options, as well as quality Jackson hardware fixing the strings to the poplar body and bolt-on maple neck and laurel fingerboard. The Spectra shape is a comfortable play for anyone, and has been redesigned for a more finely tuned playing experience for both musician and audience.

 

The JS3 plays really well and feels like a solid, reliable and well-constructed instrument. The Spectra shape is well weighted and very comfortable either sitting or standing, and when reaching for lower or higher frets alike. The headstock is not heavy, which assists in maintaining stable posture so you can focus on your playing. The bass arrived in tune and remained in tune for my time with it, despite some pretty constant playing. The bass is solid but not too heavy, which makes for a great live bass when playing sets of any length. The sound is reliable and consistent, with plenty of options easily within reach. The Spectra features independent volume, as well as a push/pull to switch between active and passive options, a pickup blend knob, and a 3-Band EQ that is activated when the pickup/s are in active mode.

 

 

The DI is dry, albeit a little mid-forward, but really makes for a blank canvas to colour with pedals and/or an amp. The 24 jumbo frets make for a breezy playing experience, as does the sleek satin finish on the back of the neck, and the 34”, full scale allows for a well-intonated instrument even at lower tunings. Featuring a lot of tonal options, that are only further expanded when in active mode, the electronics are also easily within reach from your strumming hand, so are easily toggled, turned or pushed and pulled on the fly. A great little design addition that makes for a more cohesive playing experience. As if that wasn’t enough, the 12”-16” compound radius neck profile makes fretting higher notes a breeze, as well as am improved body design.

 

The Jackson Spectra is a reliable, workhorse bass and a redesigned version of an already stellar instrument. The specs, electronics and layout make for a great instrument at a great price for players of most levels. The sound of the bass itself is ready for you to colour, and features on board controls to dial in your sound even before a pedal, pre-amp or amplifier head. Active and passive switching push the dual Jackson humbuckers, and the EQ, toggle and blend dial it all in. The shape of the Spectra is comfortable against your body, allows easy access to higher frets, a common issue in basses that is only alleviated further by the Spectra JS3’s compound neck and jumbo frets. The bass tunes well, holds it down, and allows you to get on with playing whatever style you play, because the Spectra can handle it all.

Hits and Misses

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DI is a blank canvas

Comfortable and well-weighted

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Price is too good to be true

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