|Body And Neck:|
Finding a great 7-string electric guitar isn’t difficult. Finding one on a strict budget? Well, things become a little trickier. This is when our attention turns to brands such as Jackson, who are always on hand with an affordable model that doesn’t suck – whatever the string count. The JS22-7 Dinky is one of these, so let’s take a closer look…
Anybody familiar with Jackson’s Dinky guitars will be right at home with the JS22-7. It features the same sleek double-cutaway body shape, allowing great access to the highest of the 24 jumbo frets. With a 26.5” scale length, this body is made from solid poplar and features an arched top, which is a little difficult to see on photos – but it’s there and adds depth to this affordable axe.
The body is finished in a deep Gothic black with a stealthy matte coat, so it’s simple but sophisticated. The one-piece neck is crafted from hard maple, with a sturdy bolt-on construction and graphite reinforcement. It’s slim and satin-finished, and features a 12” to 16” compound radius, which makes speed and comfort easy to come by.
This neck is capped with an amaranth fretboard, peppered with edgy piranha tooth inlays, while the headstock features the classic Jackson point. Ultimately, for what is a ‘cheap’ guitar, Jackson has created something very commendable that plays well, looks good and is finished nicely – no big blemishes or sharp frets here.
For under $200, you can’t expect much more than stock pickups and that’s exactly what the JS22-7 provides, with two passive high-output humbuckers designed by Jackson for 7-string guitars. Set at the neck and bridge positions, this pair can be selected individually or together via the three-way selector switch, while a master volume and tone control do the rest. They aren’t potted, so can be a little squealy, but do the job.
The headstock is home to a set of sealed Jackson-designed diecast tuners in black (3+4 configuration), which are smooth to operate, if a little susceptible of slipping out of tune. At the tail end of the guitar you’ll find an adjustable string-through-body compensated bridge, which helps keep the tuning as tight as possible with long sustain, which is a fair tradeoff for no whammy bar.
This all boils down to a guitar that sounds pretty decent. It’s a far cry from some of the higher-end models on our 7-string chart, and lacks the complexity you may crave, yet for practice and jamming it’s very good.
You can squeeze some nice cleans on the neck pickup, while the bridge is aggressive while distorted. The tone can become a little muddy with higher gain, especially when using heavily dropped tunings, but that can be expected at this price. The sustain provided by the bridge is a bonus for blistering solos.
The JS22-7 has some issues, including the muddiness and occasional tuning slips, but for such an affordable 7-string guitar, it’s hard to criticize it too much. The build and playability are excellent, making it very suitable for aftermarket modifications, although in its current state it works well for a beginner to the world of extended ranges, or somebody just wanting a 7-string to keep around the house/studio for when inspiration strikes!