I just took delivery of my first Jackson today… a DK2T. Here are a few pics:
The above is my “Blue-Man Group”. Yes, they are blue (even though they look black). LOL
After much consideration, I decided not to go with a DKMGT for the time being as per my original thread:
In any case, I ordered the DK2T a few days after I posted that, and it finally came in yesterday afternoon. Here are my thoughts on it;
Headstock: The adolescent in me has always LOVED the shape of this headstock. I like the reverse (e.g. like the DKMGT’s) even better. The tuners are Jackson and I haven’t heard too much about them at this point (any feedback would be appreciated). I restrung the guitar with Daddario’s (9-42) and threw away the factory NPS strings. The tuners seem to be fine, and the guitar has held its tuning stability in spades. If the tuners become a problem, I can always put in Gotoh brand.
Neck: It fits my small hands (no jokes please….heh-heh) pretty nicely, and is comfortable. It is not as fast as the neck on my RGA121H CDO, but then again, what is? I rate this neck a higher than a Wizard II, and I’m sure that I will enjoy it more once it gets worn in a bit. The string-spacing is good for my playing style, and I can easily jump from this guitar to my RGA, to my Lado Earth, and back to this guitar without to much fuss. What I don’t like about this neck is how the last fret looks like it has been added on as an after-thought….there is a last bit of fret-board that is hanging in mid-air. There is also a regular block-type of neck joint, which is noticeable after spending time with my RGA.
Body: not much to say, but it’s bright due to the alderwood….perfect for playing this guitar on more commercial sounding songs. It is a nice contrast to the deep, throatiness of my all mahogany RGA 121H (the H means all-mahogany). It’s as comfortable to “wear” as my old RG320FM, and the string-thru set-up is a nice touch…. I don’t miss changing strings on my old Edge III-equipped RG320FM. However, the black plastic pickup rings seem pretty cheap and out of place on this mid-range guitar.
Pickups: Oh boy….here we go. I know that this is subjective, but this is the guitar’s failing. I don’t like the Seymour JB’s in my Lado Earth, and I don’t like the factory JB/Jazz combo in this guitar. Even though alderwood is not as shrill as the all-maple construction of my Lado Earth, is it STILL too bright of a tone-wood for these pickups…at least to these ears. Also, they don’t have enough oomph, they don’t have enough sustain, and the sheer tonal quality (which can’t be merely measured by numbers) is not my taste; the Dimarzio Super Distortion/Paf-Joe combo in my RGA smokes this Duncan combo in all areas. And I know it isn’t just the guitar…I faced all of these problems with the Duncans in my Lado. I played the guitar with the stock pickups for a few hours to give it a fair chance, but I just couldn’t get into it. So, I installed a Dimarzio Super 3 in the bridge, and a Super 2 in the neck. The Super 3 removes some of the bottom end off of the Super Distortion, and makes up for it with a HUGE midrange. This guitar now has a bridge-tone for days, and the highs are perfect instead of an ice-pick. The Super 2 is just a monster, even though it is bright and articulate. I had to lower it so that it is almost flush with the guitar’s body, and that is while the Super 3 in the bridge position is raised to about 2mm from the strings (while depressed at the 24th fret); it is that hot. I played a Xiphos the other day since I was curious about the D Activator pickups… and that neck pickup (lower rated output than the Super 2), has nothing on the Super 2. I would hate to see what an X2N in the neck position would do. I have also played an RG2620, and Ibanez claims that the Dimarzio/IBZ neck pickup in that is derived from the Super 2….it also has nothing on the full-on Super 2 (it is probably a mid-output version).
Lastly, in spite of what I had originally thought/assumed about Jackson quality levels in comparison to Ibanez quality levels (as per my original thread), I can undoubtedly say that a made in Japan Jackson, like my new DK2T does not equal a made in Japan Ibanez. Spending time with this guitar and my RGA back-to-back confirms this. But, it still feels better to me than several RGT42’s I’ve tested in the past.
My original assumption:
Japan (J-Custom)........USA (Select Series)
Japan (Prestige).........Japan (Pro and MG Series)
Korea (RGT42 etc.).....Japan (X Series)
Indon.(RG 3-series).....India (JS
Here is what I think now:
Japan (J-Custom).........USA (Select Series…maybe???)
Korea (RGT42 etc.).......Japan (Pro and MG Series)
Indon.(RG 3-series).......India (X Series)
?????? (Gio series)......…India (JS
Sorry about the long review. As always, your mileage may vary. Any contrasting-comments/corrections are welcome.