Words by Jimmy Glinster
This week at HEAVY I get to switch my attention from the latest heavy releases to the tools of the heavy trade which help our beloved shredders lay down the riffs. And to kick things off, the lovely folks at Fender Music Australia have sent me over a couple of the latest releases from Jackson, and the first axe off the rank is the Jackson Pro Series Dinky™ DK Modern EverTune® 6.
My first impression when opening the box was that this is one very sleek, very metal looking guitar. It’s Satin Graphite finish gives off the look of a guitar made from metal, but don’t be misled, the body is constructed of Basswood and shaped with the classic, iconic, contoured and very streamline Dinky shape. It’s a very nice-looking guitar, and a very Metal looking one at that.
I take the sleek beast out of it’s box and can instantly feel the playability and comfortability of the guitar with it’s ebony fingerboard, jumbo frets, and satin finished neck. I can tell you right now that there is no need to follow the latest trending of sanding down the neck to increase playability because this thing is very smooth and feels very fast just as it is. It very much feels like a guitar built for shredders.
Now comes the time to plug it in and see how it sounds. I run it through the clean channel of my JCM2000 on the first position of the 5-way switch, and it produced a very clean, very crisp tone. It’s not unusual for active pickups to add unwanted gain to clean tones but these Fishman® Fluence® Open Core PRF-COC pick-ups are very clean and very crisp. I switch through the 5-way switch to positions 3 and 5 which react as you would expect from a 5- Way, with the tone losing its treble and mid-range, and gaining body as you switch to both pick-ups in single coil mode on position 3 and then the neck pick-up on position 5.
Switching to positions 2 & 4 isolate the pickups to single coil to create a brighter, thinner tone. The guitar is also fitted with a push-pull tone dial which allows you to switch between 2 different voices. With the tone knob pulled, you hear a slightly fuller and warmer tone. For anyone doing the math, that’s 10 tones out of one guitar before you even play with the tone dial, but who the hell uses the tone dial anyway.
Alright, now we’ve got the tone options covered, it’s time to get down to serious business and add some gain stages.
First up is a classic crunch tone and the guitar, now switched back to position one, delivers a bright crisp tone. You can really hear the responsiveness and clarity of the active pick-ups, which leave no room for error. You hear every nuance with every note you play. When switching back through the pick-up selection and voice option it responds in a similar fashion to that of the clean tone.
Give me some more gain baby, “ok, if I must” I say to myself as I graciously switch to a modern high gain setting. Wow, this beast has some serious crunch. The active pickups really drive through the mid-range and the guitar is very responsive to pinch harmonics, making it super easy to achieve those high-pitched squeals that we all love so much. Overall, it’s a very bright sounding guitar and would match very well with High Gain US amps to achieve that grinding and driving tone that we hear so much now in the world of Heavy Music.
So, it’s a great sounding guitar and a great feeling guitar, but what about those additional features we get straight out of the box. Firstly, the guitar comes with its own Dunlop Dual- Locking Strap Buttons. You do need to install these as they come factory fitted with standard strap buttons, but if you’re like me and throw your guitar around a bit on stage,
these bad boys will keep it firmly in place.
And finally, the EverTune F6 Bridge. Now, this thing had me baffled as I tried to tune the guitar. I’m turning the tuning pegs and for some reason the tuning was not adjusting. I must have turned about 5 full rotations before the tuning started to change. I thought I must have been doing something wrong and then decided to release the Gotoh locking tuners. To my dismay, the High E string popped straight out of the tuning post. So, I re-attach the string, tuned it back up and then start playing, but when I bent the string, the note didn’t change.
And I’m not talking a 1/2 bend, I’m literally bending this thing halfway across the neck trying to get it to work. Time for Google me thinks.
As it turns out, these bridges self-regulate the tension of the string to keep the guitar in perfect tuning, all the time. After watching a quick YouTube video, I discover that I need to release the tension of the string to allow the bend to work as it should. Anyway, I eventually get it right and learn something new for the day. Amazing piece of equipment, which I don’t fully understand, but how goddam good is it not having to worry about your guitar slipping out of tune mid-song.
All in all, this is a fine piece of equipment and a great professional quality instrument. Modern, sleek, versatile and very playable. Get yourself into your local dealer and try one out. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed.
25.5” scale length
Basswood Dinky™ body
Bolt-on three-piece maple/wenge/maple neck with graphite reinforcement and satin
finish on the back
12˝-16˝ compound radius bound ebony fingerboard with 24 jumbo frets and offset
pearloid dot inlays
Luminlay® side dots
Heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel
Graph Tech® TUSQ® XL nut
Active Fishman® Fluence® Open Core PRF-COC bridge and neck humbucking
Five-position pickup blade switch, single volume control and single tone control with
push/pull voice activation for pickup positions one and five
EverTune® F6 bridge
Gotoh® locking tuners and Dunlop® dual-locking strap buttons
Available in Satin Graphite with reverse 3×3 AT-1 (3 over/3 under) color matched
headstock and black hardware