Are you wondering about how to sound like Kirk Hammett during Metallica’s classic early era? Or how to sound like Alexi Laiho from Children of Bodom? Well, many factors play a role in that sonic process, but owning a proper Jackson Randy Rhoads guitar will most certainly help!
The option we have in store for you today is the best mixture of quality and affordable pricing we can thing of – the JS32 model. We took the spikey dude out for a run, check out the full review below!
Body & Neck
What makes this guitar stand out is the fact that the company managed to utilize cheap basswood body and get away with it thanks to top-level craftsmanship and proper electronics configuration.
More on that in the following sections, but right now we’ll point out that the guitar has a bolt-on maple neck specially designed for fast playing, as well as a standard rosewood fingerboard with 24 frets and neat shark fin inlays.
The looks are obviously full-on metal, and the spikey arrow-like design is a thing of legend among metal guitarists.
First and foremost, Jackson’s signature double-locking tremolo bridge is a nifty mixture of stability and freedom to abuse that whammy bar senselessly, and that certainly deserves some kudos. Additionally, the tuners are strong and the fret job is decent.
While we did notice some minor buzz and fuzz, we really can’t put any major complaints here when the listed price is taken into consideration. Finally, the black hardware works like magic with that white pick-guard, only further raising the aesthetic charm of the Jackson JS32 fella.
In the electronic department, the guitar utilizes a set of Jackson humbucker pickups with ceramic magnets combined with a three-way toggle switch, and controls for Tone and Volume. Standard stuff, yes, and it works like a charm.
The magic happens when this stuff is combined with the mentioned tonewood. The slightly more dry nature of basswood flows in very well with the meaty vibe of these pickups, crafting the sound we’re about to discuss in the segment below.
The axe is more geared up towards what they call the staple brand of heavy metal music. That means that the sound is balanced, with more orientation towards crunch rather than chug.
The JS32 delivers this smooth and syrupy sonic vibe that really works well for licks and lead lines. In the mix, it will stand very firmly and do nothing but improve your band’s sound. For the listed price, killer stuff!
Value for money is one of the stronger points of this guitar and definitely one of the key factors that landed the JS32 on our list of best guitars for heavy metal. If you like spicy hot lead licks and crunchy licks, this is definitely an option to consider. And seeing that we are in the so-called “under $500” domain, this is nothing short of a bargain. Thumbs up from here!