The NAMM Show gave us many guitars to look at this year. Amongst all the hullabaloo, Jackson Guitars announced a whole slew of signature model guitars, including some old favourites as well as some new players joining their roster.
Pretty sure that Misha is the new 2017 ‘Joe Bonamassa’, as he has put his name on so many products at this year’s NAMM Show. He has been with Jackson for a while, though, and so this year they are releasing not one, but two Misha-branded guitars. The first is the six-string Pro Series Juggernaut HT6, the new lower priced version of his signature model. It has a basswood body, bolt-on maple neck with a 16″ radius and 24 jumbo frets.
The Juggernaut HT6 is loaded with two Jackson MM1 humbucking pickups, designed with Misha and controlled by a 5-way blade switch, one master volume, and master tone control that has a push/pull select. It comes in two colours: satin gun metal grey and satin white.
Then there is the latest version of his 7-string called the Pro Series Misha Mansoor Juggernaut HT7FM. This new guitar has a 26.5”-scale length and a flame-maple top. The rest of the specifications are essentially the same as the Juggernaut 6 model above.
Yes, Mr Exotic scale user nd guitar legend Marty Friedman has jumped ship from PRS and headed back over to Jackson guitars. To be fair, I found it odd he actually went to PRS in the first place…
Anyway, this year Jackson are releasing two models: the USA Signature Marty Friedman MF-1 and X Series Marty Friedman MF-1 signature models. Essentially these are the same single cut guitar model with pointy headstock, except that one is ‘full cream’ and the other is ‘reduced fat’, as it were.
The US-built model has Marty Friedman EMG MF pickups, TonePros and Schaller hardware. The X Series version has the same pickups, just not the rest of the branded hardware. It’s essentially a Les Paul shape with a funny headstock and high gain active pickups, with the following specs: traditional mahogany body with 3/4” plain maple top and a one-piece mahogany set-neck featuring graphite reinforcement with a scarf joint. The fretboard is edge bound 12” radius rosewood with 22 wide medium jumbo frets.
Never has a signature guitar been more metal than this one. It looks like the cross between an exploding star and a Viking battle axe to me. If you’re a fan of this great player, though, then it will probably look stellar to you. Again, there are multiple versions of this metal beast, the USA Signature Gus G. Star, X Series Signature Gus G. Star and the JS Series Signature Gus G. Star JS32.
The US version costs more and using an alder Star body with a one-piece through-body quartersawn maple neck and Seymour Duncan Gus G. Signature Blackout. Like the Friedman, it uses TonePros hardware, but this time with Sperzel locking tuners. It comes in satin white with black pinstripes or satin black with white pinstripes and includes a hard case in the price.
The X Series version is a mahogany-bodied instrument with a one-piece through-body maple neck that has a pair of graphite reinforcement rods with a scarf joint and a 12” radius rosewood-bound fretboard that has 24 jumbo frets. It doesn’t use the rest of the branded hardware of the US version. Available in satin black with white pinstripes and satin white with black pinstripes
Last up is the JS Series Signature Gus G. Star JS32, which has a poplar body and essentially the same specs as the X Series, just using Jackson’s own branded pickups to cut costs. It comes in the same colours as the other two models.
The eighties pop metal guitar hero and longtime Jackson endorsee has a new version of his ever-popular signature model for 2017. It has a ‘caramelised’ mahogany body with a Floyd Rose bridge. The pickups are DiMarzio DP-152-F at the bridge, an HS-2 DP116 in the centre position and then a PC1 Sustainer Driver neck pickup.
The neck is a two-piece quartersawn caramelised flame maple neck that has been hand-rubbed with urethane gel on the back to give it a well-used, yet slick feel. It’s graphite reinforced with a 12”-16″ compound radius and a caramelised flame maple fretboard with 24 jumbo stainless steel frets.
Out of all the models in this new lineup, this is the one I like the most as it looks like a decent Super Strat and it does have a sustainer – I do love sustainers!
It comes in either Satin Grey or Matte Blue Frost with black hardware and is also available as a Satin Stain in either transparent amber, transparent blue, natural, transparent black, transparent red or transparent green with satin gold hardware. Plenty of choices, then.
Mick Thomson Limited Edition
This new Jackson Custom Shop model is loaded with his Seymour Duncan Mick Thomson EMTY Blackouts. Unlike the rest of the signatures, this one is a limited run from the Jackson Custom Shop, so expect it to be expensive.
It features a mahogany bound body and a graphite reinforced through-body three-piece quartersawn maple/rosewood/maple neck, which has been carved to a custom super-thin profile. The neck has a 12”-16” compound radius ebony fingerboard with 24 frets. It has a fixed Floyd Rose bridge and locking nut, so tuning should be rock solid, I would imagine. It comes in an Anvil hard case with lots of stuff including certificate of authenticity, guitar picks and band promo material…
Check the video below for details on this and the rest of the 2017 signature model lineup from Jackson Guitars.