Review: Jackson JS Series JS22-7 RR HT

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Review: Jackson JS Series JS22-7 RR HT

Jackson JS-22 RR HT
Words by Jamie Colic

Jackson JS Series JS22-7 RR HT | Fender Musical Instruments Australia | RRP $499

The Jackson JS series has served as a jumping-off point for entry-level players for years, with new ideas being poured into the line with every iteration. This vendetta Jackson has embarked on to bridge the gap between the JS line and Jackson’s higher-end offerings continues in 2024 with the introduction of the JS Series Rhoads JS22-7 RR.

Jackson JS22-7 RR HT

Straight out of the box the JS22-7 RR HT does a lot to leave a good impression in the eye of the beholder. The combination of the classic Randy Rhoads body style and the SLS headstock makes classic and contemporary collide in a way that is both brutal and aesthetically pleasing. This instrument also manages to exude some style with its sleek black-on-black look and sharp edges.

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Pairing these features with the pearloid Jackson Piranha tooth inlays, black hardware and satin black finish ties everything together in a way that will appeal to any metalheads looking for their first foray with a 7-string instrument. Perhaps giving the JS22-7 RR HT a visual motif that implies that it costs considerably more money than its actual price tag. 

But the praise doesn’t end with the visuals when it comes to the JS22-7 RR HT, Jackson has made sure to provide everything you need to get from the bedroom to the stage without breaking the bank. You can tell that considerable thought has been put into the current JS line to ensure that little compromise has been made in bringing you a quality instrument at this price point. 

Perhaps most noticeable is the incorporation of a 26.5” scale length. This longer scale provides better low-end articulation and also gives players the opportunity to use lighter string gauges without sacrificing comfortable string tension. 

This ensures that the player can maintain control while engaging in many of the stop/start staccato riffing styles that have come to prominence in modern metal without sacrificing the slinky feel most players will desire while playing lead lines.

Baritone scale length

Baritone scale lengths are becoming increasingly common in the lines of all notable metal guitar manufacturers and it is great to see Jackson contribute another baritone entry at this price point. 

This allows anyone to try out a baritone guitar whereas in years prior players would likely have to shell out for pro level or even custom options to see if an extended scale length was right for them.

Neck construction on the Rhoads is also rock solid, implementing the use of both graphite reinforcement and a scarf joint within a bolt-on maple design. Not only is this design stable, it also feels great in the hands, having a profile that isn’t all that different from Jackson’s classic Speed Neck is yet another bridge between the affordable JS22 series and Jackson’s higher-end guitars.

Playability is further enhanced by the JS22-7 RR’s amaranth fingerboard which boasts a nice 12”-16” radius, much like the pro-level Jacksons. This ensures that chording is comfortable down by the nut while still providing the perfect canvas for lightning-fast leads higher up the fretboard. This compound radius is a common feature shared by many of Jackson and Charvel’s higher-end guitars and it’s fantastic to see that the beginner line isn’t missing out on this attention to detail. 


The fretboard radius of the JS22-7 RRT combined with its 24 jumbo nickel frets provide the perfect playing surface for big bends and wide vibrato. Ensuring that you can really grip each note without fear of fretting out in the middle of your big solo section. Fretwork on budget-level guitars is often a topic of despair but Jackson seems to have spent enough time on this often-overlooked feature to ensure that any creases are ironed out in the production line.

In terms of electronics, this Rhoads harnesses two of Jackson’s own in-house high-powered ceramic humbuckers. These pickups provide adequate girth and clarity to the signal chain, ensuring that even the most stringent headbanger won’t be in a rush to swap out the stock pickups for more expensive aftermarket options.

In conjunction with these two humbuckers, Jackson has implemented a classic control scheme with this Rhoads, utilising a simple volume and tone control in combination with a 3-way toggle switch. These controls provide more than enough means of tone shaping the dual humbuckers providing this mean axe with some versatility that players will welcome with open arms. 

The JS22-7 RRT also manages to pack some punches when it comes to the hardware department. The fixed HT7 bridge provides a great surface for palm muting and is anchored to the Rhoad’s light poplar body. This guitar utilises a string-through design which only helps to enhance the instrument’s natural resonance, especially noticeable when strumming the guitar unplugged. 

Jackson RR

In addition, Jackson has opted to include a set of their own sealed die-cast tuners which are appropriately geared for smooth and stable tuning. The headstock is designed around a 3+4 style tuner layout, which provides an adequate break angle between the JS22-7 RR’s black plastic nut and the tuners themselves. 

All in all, the Jackson Rhoads JS22-7 RR HT is a fine contender for anyone interested in trying out an extended range 7 string without having to take out a home loan in the process. Its feature set and playability both mark a high point in entry-level guitars that other manufacturers should strive to abide by.

For local enquiries, visit Jackson Guitars.