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In early 2019, Jackson Guitars unveiled their JS Series Spectra collection of bass guitars – and the first impressions are pretty great! While this series includes the JS2, JS3, and JS3V models, it’s the four-string JS2 we have been looking at the closest. Time to check out whether it's a good bass guitar for beginners or one to avoid…
Brandishing the new curvy Spectra design, the JS2 sports a solid poplar body with a sleek feel and nicely-balanced weight. Poplar may not be as popular as ash or mahogany, but it offers different tonal qualities – being a slightly softer wood, it tends to deliver warmer tones, with slightly less resonance.
The JS2 features a bolt-on maple neck with a scarf joint, a 34” scale length, a laurel fretboard and 24 jumbo frets. The jumbo frets are great for beginners just starting to find their way around the instrument as they allow more grip on the strings.
The headstock features the unique Jackson 2×2 design with the classic Jackson ‘J’ logo on the top. What we love about the design of this bass is that it looks like it means business, yet it remains very beginner friendly. Ultimately, as a novice, it doesn't hurt to play an instrument that makes you feel like an instant rock star.
This model comes fitted with the tried and tested P/J pickup configuration – arguably the most versatile pickup configuration you can have, offering new players plenty of room to develop. There’s no selector switch, but you will find volume control and blend control, essentially letting you choose which pickup is voicing the instrument.
The volume control also features a push/pull action that acts as a selector for passive or active function. When active, there’s a very nice bass boost control to add a little extra dirt when you need it. Elsewhere, the Jackson HiMass bridge is pretty solid with no major tuning complaints, while the tuning machines are Jackson-designed die-cast sealed and equally as strong.
Now to the important part – how it sounds. Overall, Jackson have done a good job here, but it's not quite as full and rounded as some more expensive P Bass style models – as you may expect for the affordable price. However, it still sounds very nice and the bass boost option adds to it. The J Bass style pickup offers a very nice brightness, while you can find some lovely tones blending the two.
Like most beginner bass guitars, the JS2 is designed to sound as versatile and accommodating as possible. When you look at this bass you can't help but think of heavy rock, metal, and lighting fast 16th notes. However, looks can be deceiving, because the JS2 really sounds at home across multiple genres.
The new JS2 is a bass that will make beginners want to pick it up and practice – it definitely has that wannabe rockstar factor. The P/J pickup configuration is rock solid and the bass boost is a welcome addition as you start to grow into the instrument. For the affordable price, Jackson Guitars have gone beyond what's expected in a beginner bass.
For more info about the Jackson Series Spectra JS2, click here.
For more of the best bass guitars for beginners, click here.
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