Review: Jackson Concept Series RR24-7

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Review: Jackson Concept Series RR24-7

jackson rr24-7
Words by Luke Shields

Fender Australia | Price: $4,599

There is a commonly accepted, yet undeniably barbed, in-joke among musicians whose career is still at the day job stage. When your mere mortal colleagues find out that you shred away the out-of-office hours, the scene often plays out with a barrage of inane, half-joked queries that belie just how ‘lay’ these laypeople are. “Oh, you play music do you? Covers or originals?” or “You play in a band, you’ll have to let us know when you’re having a ~CoNcErT~ next, we’ll all come along!” or “I have a cousin/brother/great aunt/minister/nightwatchman that plays guitar in a band, maybe you know him/them/it?” or, my favourite “Six strings or four?”

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To the initiated, these short-order lines of inquiry are all too eye-rollingly familiar and, snobbery aside, about as genuine as a politician’s promise. How then do you explain to these poor, uncalloused saps that you play neither six, nor four strings, but numbers beyond such beastly limitation? What would it mean to them? Would their heads spontaneously explode like that bit in Total Recall where Arnie takes the lady mask off? Or would it simply be more like trying to explain that your genre isn’t just “that rah-rah stuff” but somewhere between blackened thrash and Viking metal, where you engage earnestly while their eyes glaze over like yesterday’s gravy? If ever there was an axe purpose-built to illuminate their tiny minds, it would be the Jackson Concept Series RR24-7.

When I was in my teens, an all too brief thousand-or-so years ago, seven-string guitars had only just pierced their way through the balloon of obscurity thanks to the good graces of OGs like Steve Vai, Korn, and their many and varied water-downers. Good God, was I ever neon green with envy when a friend showed up to our after-school guitar lesson, ready to blast ‘Edge Crusher’ and/or ‘Demanufacture’ by Fear Factory at the word go. The rest of us had to make do with drop D, and that sucked. Skip forward a generation or two and the low B is much less the extra toe of the guitar world that it once was. Nu metal gave way to throwback rock sometime after late ’01, only to pupate and emerge from the post-dubstep chrysalis as the black butterfly we now know as Djent. In this sub-thumping, yet decidedly un-sludgy new world, the extra range afforded to you by the 7th string has become the bare minimum to achieve the ultimate in riff mastery. 

Jackson Guitars have famously and indelibly made a household name for themselves since the very dawn of metal and have deftly kept abreast of the down-tuned trajectory trod by its tastemakers, particularly throughout this recent era of heaviness. From the humble JS series right through to their USA Custom Shop, there is an extra machine head at every pricepoint ready to help you get as close to Meshuggah level might as your fingers will allow. The Concept Series is their way of injecting a bit of uniqueness into a particularly stage-ready workhorse build that is not for the feint of heart. There is nothing whatsoever about this guitar that speaks to the oft-neglected page branch of the seven-string family tree that braids itself with the jazz tradition. It is pointy, Floyd Rose-equipped, Desert Storm-camouflaged from the reverse headstock to the longer of the two Rhoads blades, and has two Seymour Duncan Distortion 7 pickups bolted to its face, ready at a moment’s notice to tear shreds out of whatever speaker cones have the misfortune of getting in its way. Luminlay fret-markers grace the low edge of a 12” – 16” compound radius fretboard, making the 26.5” scale length as easy to find on darkened stages as it is comfortable to noodle up and down on for hours at a time. Everything about this guitar is performance-enhanced like a muscle car; it seems to have a handpicked hit list of the most efficient and premium appointments from some of Jackson’s more ubiquitous, production line shredders.

At this juncture, I should probably point out that I am, shamefully, no longer as proficient as I once was at the high-stakes game of metal riffage. As you may have guessed from the self-flagellating about the epoch since my school days in the paragraphs above, I have long since softened and as such, am far from the target audience for such a lean, mean, noodling machine. However, this gave me a unique edge in reviewing such a unit as this, since even a fuddy-duddy like me was well and truly able to raise heavy hell for the neighbours with the RR24-7. It took a few goes at clumsily fumbling through ‘Blind’ and ‘Got The Life’, but once I was out the other side of that nostalgia trip I was ably and effortlessly coming up with riffs I never thought I had in me. Such is the success of this design. Shredders undeniably know how to load up a spec sheet with modifications that make moving around a cinch, and the engineers in Jackson’s Concept Series Design Team have done an incredible job of packing them all in neatly, proving yet again that Korea is fast becoming the new Japan. Guitars out of this part of the Asian peninsula may be more affordable than their American counterparts but do they ever give them a run for their money?!

After a long, hard day of listening to normies lie to you about attending your gigs or pretending to know who Varg is, I cannot think of a better way to blow up the outside world. Crack open a click-track, crank up a full stack, and set ablaze the northern sky with Jackson’s Concept Series RR24-7; one of the most intimidating-looking yet effortlessly agile riff sticks I’ve had the pleasure of punishing in a very long time.

Head to Jackson for more information. For local enquiries, reach out to Fender Australia.