The Jackson King V is an absolute classic. It personifies so much about metal guitar culture and has been a staple in the industry for decades. It’s bold, pointy, attention grabbing and perfect for any player who needs to riff or belt out a wailing solo. The Demmelition King V is the newest signature model from Machine Head’s Phil Demmel. It has all of the characteristics of the classic King V with a few special features to give a new take on the original.
As far as specs go, the Demmelition has everything you would expect from a modern metal guitar: active EMG pickups, a double locking Floyd Rose tremolo, a one piece through-body maple neck and 24 frets on an ebony fretboard. The Red Tide Fade gloss finish is a welcome change to the solid black finishes so commonly found on guitars of this nature. The additional bevels on the body might seem unnecessary to some, but they certainly let people know that this is no regular King V.
Setup in Drop B (Demmel’s preferred tuning) with 10-58 strings, the guitar sits at tension perfectly without the need for a longer scale and the thin neck profile is comfortable and easy to play without feeling wafer thin and fragile. The EMG 81/60 combo is a great choice for the low tuning and breaks up super well through a high gain amp. It’s refreshing to see the EMG 60 pickup in the neck slot as opposed to the all too common 85 pickup. The 60 just cleans up a little more, is a little warmer and has more mid-range than the 85, making it perfect for single note lead lines and clean passages.
A feature that quite frankly should be on every metal guitar is a volume control for each pickup rather than a volume and tone control. I have never met a rock or metal guitarist in my life that uses a tone pot, so it’s nice to see that omitted in favour of individual volume knobs. The Original Floyd Rose trem is solid and can take an absolute beating without going out of tune. The recessed cavity under the trem allows you to go up and down, perfect for all of those Dimebag and Eddie Van Halen worshippers out there who want to divebomb for days on end.
The only real critique I have about the Demmelition is the lack of a hard case to come with the guitar. It’s such a specific shape of guitar that you wouldn’t want a generic case (nor could you find one) that could lead to the bevels being knocked or damaged whilst lugging it around. Jackson do produce a fitted V style case and I would highly suggest investing in one to go with the guitar to save any hassles looking elsewhere.
The Pro Series Demmelition is an extremely well specced and well produced guitar. Had I not looked at the back of the headstock, it could have been mistaken for a US made model without the hefty pricetag. If you’re looking for a pointy shred machine that is going to catch people’s eyes, then this is what you need.
Hits and Misses
No hard case or coil tapping