Jackson Guitars celebrate 40 years with new MJ and Signature models

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Jackson Guitars celebrate 40 years with new MJ and Signature models

Words by Will Brewster

Time to get your shred on in 2021.

Jackson Guitars have debuted a swathe of new Artist Signature models and Japanese-made MJ guitars to offer a taste of what’s in store for the brand in their 40th year.

Jackson Artist Signature Series 2021

For 2021, the brand has shared details of five new Artist Signature Series models, including a debut model for the Black Dahlia Murder’s Brandon Ellis Kelly and new designs for longstanding endorsees Marty Friedman, Misha Mansoor and and Christian Andreu of Gojira.

To kick things off, the Pro Series Signature Marty Friedman MF-1 sets out to make a statement with its eccentric Les Paul-style mahogany design, with a graphite-enforced neck and bound 12″ ebony fingerboard complementing the offbeat build. It’s fitted with dual passive EMG MF signature pickups and a Jackson TOM anchored tailpiece, and is finished with a cracked Purple Mirror top and three-ply binding.

Next, there’s two new models for Periphery’s Misha Mansoor, including a Pro Series Juggernaut and a new MJ So-Cal design. While the Juggernaut ET6 and ET7 retains many of the same features as preceding models – bar the new addition of an Evertune bridge – the MJ Series Signature So-Cal 2PT puts a unique twist on the Super Strat formula. It pairs a Daphne Blue body and headstock with a basswood body, caramelised maple neck and fingerboard with rolled edges, while electronics include a Bare Knuckle Ragnarok bridge humbucker and Bare Knuckle Trilogy neck and middle single coil pickups.

The debut Pro Series Signature model for Brandon Ellis Kelly sees Jackson opt for a pointy Explorer-style design, with a reverse headstock and sharkfin fretboard inlays helping to affirm its status as a shred machine. It boasts a poplar body and maple neck with a 24 fret ebony fretboard, while an over-wound Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis bridge humbucker and Floyd Rose 1000 Series tremolo cap it off.

Lastly, there’s the Pro Series Signature Christian Andreu RRT, an offset V guitar with a Natural finished poplar body and flame maple top. A 12″-16″ compound radius ebony fretboard presents itself as a viable platform for slippery riffs and leads alike. In the pickup department, players can expect a Jackson high-output humbucker, while other appointments include a compensated string-thru bridge, matching reversed headstock and sealed locking tuners.

Jackson MJ Series 2021

New to the Jackson range for 2021, these Made in Japan guitars consist of a new Rhoads RRT and two new Soloists, as well as the Dinky DKRA, Dinky DKRP, Dinky DKR and DKR MAH models, with the latter two being available in two unique finishes.

The Dinky DKR packs an alder body with a sculpted shredder’s heel and reversed matching headstock, as well as a five-piece maple/walnut neck, DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 and DiMarzio PAF Pro DP151 pickups and a Gotoh GE1996T locking tremolo bridge. A lone sharkfin inlay sits at the 12th fret, while players can choose from Ice Blue Metallic and Satin Black finishes.

Meanwhile, the Dinky DKR MAH packs a similar build style to the DKR but adds a mahogany body and Seymour Duncan Jazz JB TB-4 and SH-2N humbuckers for a beefier tone, and can be acquired in Snow White and Gloss Black finishes.

Elsewhere in Dinky land, the Dinky DKRP and DKRA share identical electronics and specifications to the aforementioned DKR MAH models, and can be distinguished by their two eye-catching tops: the DKRP packs a poplar top with a Transparent Blue finish (seen below), while the DKRA is topped with a streaky ash Matte Black finish.

Moving on, the Jackson MJ Series 2021 Soloist SL2 models offer alder bodies and a three-piece graphite-reinforced maple neck, with Seymour Duncan Jazz JB TB-4 and SH-2N humbuckers occupying the electronics department. These models feature 24 jumbo frets, individual pickup volume knobs and a Gotoh GE1996T locking tremolo bridge, and are finished in Gloss Black and Snow White with pearloid sharkfin inlays and black hardware.

Finally, the Rhoads RRT. This spiky monster is built from alder and features a graphite-reinforced thru-body maple neck, with a three-way pickup toggle switch, individual pickup volume controls and a tone knob offering control over the Seymour Duncan Jazz JB TB-4 and SH-2N humbuckers. This one’s finished in Gloss Black, and features a Jackson TOM-style bridge and chrome appointments.

Head to Jackson’s website for more information.