Where Are Jackson Guitars Made? Are They Good?

For many players Jackson is the first guitar they will own. These models can be rather cheap, and they are great for heavier genres such as metal. It is quite common to see a Jackson guitar with an HSS or HSH pickup combination, which is something many players are looking for. 

But where are these guitars made? Jackson has companies all across the world, and guitars are made in Mexico, China, Indonesia, Japan, and the United States. The location mostly comes down to a specific series you will get. 

The JS Series comes from China, the X Series is made in Indonesia, the Pro Series is made in Mexico, the MJ Series is from Japan, and the USA Series comes from the United States. And as you can probably guess, these are also the price categories Jackson offers. 

The professional-level instruments from the U.S. will be more expensive. But other models and series are worth checking out as well. 

Jackson Guitars

Jackson was founded in 1980 when Randy Rhoads wanted to make a custom guitar. It was a spin-off of the popular Flying V by Gibson but with a couple of differences. Prior to this, Jackson worked with Charvel on making Superstrat models, so this was a step in a new direction. 

Thanks to the popularity of Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads, Jackson became a synonym for high-end guitars made in the U.S. It wasn’t until the nineties that the company started offering cheaper models. 

This was also when other factories were included, mainly those in Asia. Thanks to these Chinese-made Jacksons, the brand became something beginners could afford as well. In 2002, Fender bought Jackson, and all U.S. models moved production to Corona, California where Fender guitars are made. 

Today, Jackson offers guitars in a wide price range, and it is possible to find both affordable instruments for beginners and expensive professional-level guitars. And it all comes down to your budget and preferences. 

Where Are Jackson Guitars Made?

As mentioned earlier, Jackson has factories all across the globe. Initially, the company was focused on making custom instruments for professionals, but it wasn’t long before it introduced affordable versions. 

The cheapest models of Jackson guitars come from the JS Series, and they are made in China. The X Series is also budget-friendly, but these guitars are made in Indonesia. The quality is similar to models made in China, but there are a few differences. 

Of course, if you are willing to spend a bit more, the mid-range level of Jackson guitars is the Pro Series, and these models are made in Mexico. The next series when it comes to price and quality is the MJ Series, and these are Japanese-made guitars. 

And if you are interested in the top-of-the-line guitars from Jackson, you should check out the USA Series. As you can guess, these guitars are made in the U.S., and they are incredible. While the price is higher compared to other models, the quality is exceptional. 

Does It Matter Where Jackson Guitars Are Made?

Yes. The location of the guitar will play the main role in the price and quality of the instrument. Guitars made in China, for example, are usually cheap and they won’t include premium materials. 

While the design and look of the guitar will be similar to other models, these guitars are designed for beginners and those looking for affordable instruments. Changing the location means a change in the way these guitars are made. 

In the majority of cases, guitars made in the U.S. are rather expensive, and they are designed for professional players. And this applies not only to Jackson but to other brands as well. So, choosing the location is essentially the same as choosing the price range. 

How Good Are Jackson Guitars?

Jackson guitars can be pretty good. But the most important part is to look at each guitar in its category. Budget guitars are great for beginners that are into metal, and these models can still be quite versatile. 

Naturally, budget versions of Jackson guitars are not as good as the professional ones, but they are still among the best ones you can find for that price. This is also the main reason why Jackson is so popular among beginner and intermediate players. 

When it comes to the more expensive guitars designed by Jackson, the quality is on par with other similar models. After all, American-made Jackson guitars are built in the same factory as Fender models, and you can expect the same quality. 

If you can afford to get one of these high-end models, you won’t regret it. So, each model is quite good for its price range. But do keep in mind that you will need to spend a bit more if you want an exceptional instrument. 

Key Elements Of Jackson Guitars

There are many things that make Jackson guitars special and unique. And these are some of the features you won’t find with other brands. 


The majority of Jackson guitars will have a pointy headstock with all six tuning machines on one side. While it is possible to find ones with a three-three setup, these guitars are not as common. The headstock is also positioned at a different angle compared to other similar models, which gives it its unique look. 

After the acquisition by Fender, it is possible to find Jackson guitars with headstocks similar to those you’d find on Stratocasters.  


Since Jackson guitars are designed for heavier genres, it is not surprising that you will find models with humbuckers. And this includes various pickup configurations including HSS, HSH, and HH. 

As for the type, Jackson designs its own pickups, but the more expensive models might include popular brands such as Seymour Duncan. 

Fretboard Inlays

One of the most recognizable things about Jackson guitars is the inlays on the fretboards. The vast majority of guitars you will find by this brand have triangular “Sharkfin” inlays. Jackson often has inlays on the first fret as well, which is not as common with other brands. 

Naturally, there are still other variations, especially with custom models, but the Sharkfin inlays are the most common. 


As mentioned earlier, Jackson started as a company offering Superstrat guitars, and these are the most popular models today as well. This includes the iconic Dinky model as well. Jackson guitars rarely have a pickguard, and they aren’t as colorful as other brands. 

Needless to say, you can find other guitars as well such as a version of Flying V, but also other interesting shapes and designs. 


Cheaper models of Jackson will use cheaper materials. And the brand is so versatile that you will be able to find nearly any type of wood. The maple neck is quite common, along with various fingerboards such as rosewood or maple.

It is also not rare to find a Jackson guitar with Floyd Rose, but only on more expensive models. The cheaper ones will still have a regular tremolo or a fixed bridge

Jackson Guitars Models

Over the years, Jackson released numerous different models, but some are more popular than others. 

Soloist And Dinky

These are the most common and most popular Jackson guitars. Both the Soloist and Dinky models look similar, and the main difference is in the neck construction. Soloist models will have a neck-through construction, while Dinky has a bolt-on neck. 

As a result, there will be a difference in the price as well, which is why Dinky is one of the best options for beginners. 


As you can probably guess, Rhoads models are based on the original guitar designed for Randy Rhoads. At first glance, these are similar to Flying V models by Gibson, but the ends are sharper. 

Additionally, the guitar is not symmetrical, and it has two humbuckers. You can also choose whether you want a model with a fixed bridge or Floyd Rose. 

King V

King V is a metal version of Flying V. The edges are sharper, but the body is symmetrical. There are still two humbuckers, and it’s quite good. The bridge can be fixed, through the body, or Floyd Rose, and there are different models available. 

The models from the Pro Series come with two EMGs, which is something many players will appreciate. 


The Juggernaut Series is a cross between Stratocaster and Music Man, and it is a bit different than what you’d expect from Jackson. The body is curved, there are models with interesting finishes, and it has a three-three tuning machines orientation. 

Naturally, all models are with two humbuckers, with Jackson or Bare Knuckle pickups. The model is also available with seven strings. 

San Dimas

San Dimas is among the best models designed by Jackson. The model first appeared in the eighties, and it is a Superstrat guitar. It is worth mentioning that the first San Dimas model was made by Charvel, and they were designed during the partnership between these two companies. 

San Dimas was named after the city in California, which is where the first model was made. 


Kelly is a guitar that draws inspiration from Gibson Explorer but with enough differences to make it unique. This guitar has two humbuckers, Floyd Rose, and the traditional Jackson headstock. 

It is an interesting take on the well-known shape, and many players will enjoy it. 


Warrior is one of those guitars with a unique shape that you will either love or hate. It has a lot of pointy ends, and it looks like something you’d expect to see in the B.C. Rich catalog. The majority of Warrior models are available with Floyd Rose, but there are a few versions with fixed bridges. 

Additionally, the Warrior model has a well-known Jackson headstock, Sharkfin inlays, and two humbuckers. It is also a model available with eight strings. 


Demmelition guitar looks a lot more like Gibson Explorer and the model is available with either a fixed bridge or Floyd Rose. Unfortunately, this is a signature model designed for Phil Demmel from Machine Head, and you will only find it in the Pro Series. 

There are no cheaper versions of this guitar available at the moment. 


Shadowcaster is another signature guitar, but this time, it is a model designed for Rob Caggiano from Anthrax. The guitar has an unusual shape, and it’s quite unique. The model is available in two series – Pro and USA. 

And this will dictate the price as well.


Jackson Star is Gus G’s signature model. It has two humbuckers, a fixed bridge, and a shape that perfectly fits the name. Unlike the majority of signature guitars, this one is available in the JS Series as well. 

So, if you are a fan of Gus G, and you don’t want to spend a fortune on an instrument, you can still get a cheaper version of it. Naturally, you can also go for the USA-made model as well, but it is quite expensive. 

The Price Of Jackson Guitars

Jackson is one of those brands that have a wide price range. And it covers everything between $200 and $8,000. So, the best way to look at the prices is based on where the guitar was made or a specific series. 

The JS Series comes from China, and these are the cheapest models you can find. They are around $300, and you can find the majority of mentioned models including Dinky and Rhoads. The X Series is made in Indonesia, and the price is around $700. 

The next one on the list is the Pro Series from Mexico, and these models are around $1,000. Of course, there are models in the Pro Series that are $1,500 or more as well. The MJ Series is made in Japan, and getting a model from this series will cost you around $2,000. 

Finally, guitars made in the U.S. are the most expensive, and they are well over $3,000. Jackson also offers custom shop and signature models, and the price will be based on the location as well. 

Who Uses Jackson Guitars?

Over the years, many players have used Jackson guitars. The most notable ones are Randy Rhoads and Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden, but they are far from being the only ones that enjoy these models. 

There are a lot of players that have their own signature models such as Scott Ian and Adrian Smith, and they are incredible. And worth checking out.

Does Jackson Make Other Products Besides Guitars?

While the primary focus of the company is on guitars, Jackson offers a couple of other products you can buy. Of course, Jackson also makes basses, and guitars with more than six strings, but there are other products as well. 

But unlike some other brands such as Fender or Yamaha, Jackson focuses solely on accessories when it comes to other products. You won’t find an amplifier or a boat made by Jackson. 

When it comes to accessories, Jackson offers strings, cables, straps, guitar picks, gig bags, and cases. And that’s it. It is uncertain whether the company will start offering something else such as metal amplifiers. And anything is possible. 

Especially now that Jackson is owned by Fender. Maybe they decide to branch out and start offering pedals and amps designed for metal musicians. But until then, the only things you will be able to find are accessories, guitars, and bases. 


Jackson is a popular brand among guitarists. The company offers models for beginners, but also for those with a lot more experience. And there are factories all across the globe. This means that Jackson guitars are made in several different places. 

This includes China for the JS Series, Indonesia for the X Series, Mexico for the Pro Series, Japan for the MJ Series, and the U.S. for the USA series and custom shop guitars. This also means that there will be a huge difference in both price and quality between these models. 

Generally speaking, Chinese-made guitars are the cheapest, followed by those made in 

Indonesia. And if you want something a lot better, guitars made in Mexico are the way to go. Finally, Jackson guitars made in Japan and the USA are incredible. But the price can be quite high as well. 

It is worth mentioning that Jackson is one of the best options if you are into heavy genres, regardless of the price range you choose. This is one of many reasons why Jackson is so popular among beginners.

If you found this article useful, you may want to save this pin below to your Guitar board.


I have been playing guitar since 2004. As long as I can remember I always had a huge passion for rock music and I extremely enjoy playing it. Helping people on their rock journey is what drives me to keep on playing. Read More About Me

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