Jackson Guitars

Jackson Guitars
Industry Musical instruments
Founded 1980 (1980) in Glendora, California
Founder Grover Jackson
Headquarters Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Area served
Products Electric guitars
Bass guitars
Parent Fender [1]
Website jacksonguitars.com

Jackson is a manufacturer of electric guitars and electric bass guitars that bears the name of its founder, Grover Jackson.


Early years

Grover Jackson obtained ownership in Charvel's Guitar Repair of Glendora, California in the 1970s with a promise to bolster Charvel's business. Wayne Charvel eventually sold his interest to Grover Jackson on November 10, 1978, which gave Jackson control of the business and the Charvel name.[2]

Jackson Guitars originated in 1980 when guitarist Randy Rhoads approached the company with an idea for an individualized guitar. The collaborative design effort between Rhoads, Grover Jackson, Tim Wilson, and Mike Shannon resulted in the creation of the Concorde, an innovative revamp of the traditional Flying V.[3] The Rhoads guitar model designs were such a departure from Charvel's Stratocaster-based models that Jackson elected to label them with his own name.

Throughout the heavy metal heyday of the 1980s, the Jackson brand was associated with high-quality, American-made, custom instruments, and was endorsed by many popular guitarists of the period. In addition to the original Randy Rhoads models, the 1980s spawned distinctively designed Jackson models such as the Soloist, King V, Kelly, and the Dinky, all of which remain icons of the brand.


The 1990s brought changes in musical trends. While still making the high-end American-made products, brands like Jackson began producing inexpensive, Asian-made versions of their staple designs in an effort to make their products more accessible to lower-end buyers.

In the Fall of 2002, Fender Musical Instruments Corporation purchased Jackson, and U.S. operations were moved to the Fender factory in Corona, California. Present day Fender-era Jackson and Charvel guitars are being produced at the Corona works. Fender still manufactures various lines of lower-end imports, as well.

After several years of running a successful company doing sub-contracting work for many well known guitar companies and extensive design consultancy, Grover Jackson is now co-owner of a new guitar brand, GJ2 Guitars, in Orange County, California. His partner in this venture is former Fender Senior Vice President Jon Gold. Grover Jackson maintains his commitment to high quality USA made guitars.

Design hallmarks

Soloist model.
A Randy Rhoads model.
The distinctive Jackson headstock.
Ben Varon playing a Jackson, 2009.

From the earliest beginnings until the present day, Jackson Guitars is known for its slender, elegant designs, and feature aggressive motifs that are popular with hard rock and metal musicians.

Traditionally, Jackson (and many Charvel) guitars share the typical pointed headstock that first appeared on the Rhoads prototype in 1980. This likely arose from trade dress infringement issues as a result of Charvel's use of Fender Stratocaster shaped headstocks until the early 1980s. Fender's 2002 acquisition of both the Jackson and Charvel brands has enabled the Strat-style headstock to be reintroduced (under license).

Another Jackson trademark is the 'shark fin' inlays, which inspired other famous guitar companies such as Ibanez to follow suit with similar designs.

In 2004, Jackson released the DK2 guitar series featuring a Sustainiac® Driver/Pickup in the neck position of the guitar.[4]


Jackson guitars currently in production
Signature series
Jackson guitars available only through the custom shop
Discontinued models


This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Pre-production era:

Like the guitars, all were made to order, be it shop-order or custom-order. Typically Soloist-shaped poplar body, 21 frets neck-through design and P-J or P-H pickup layout. "Standard" range was rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay. "Custom" range was sharkfin inlay and bound ebony fingerboard.

Production era:

Signature series:

Jackson Professional and Performer (import) Series

Even though they continue to make various series of guitars, sometime in the late 1990s, Jackson began dropping the series labels from the headstocks of their imported models. Since Fender took control, all imported models say "Jackson" on their headstock with no mention of a series.

Jackson players and endorsers, past and present

This is a dynamic list and may never be able to satisfy particular standards for completeness. You can help by expanding it with reliably sourced entries.

This is an alphabetized list by first name of musicians who have made notable use of Jackson guitars.

A – E

F – L

M – Z


  1. FMIC Brands at Fender website, 8 Dec 2014
  2. "Dealers". Jacksonguitars.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  3. "Randy Rhoads: Flight of the Concordes". Guitar World. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
  4. "Jackson DK2 Sustainer Review". Guitarhoo!. Guitarhoo.com. July 1, 2004. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  5. http://www.guitargeek.com/mark-morton-lamb-of-god-guitar-rig-and-gear-setup-2005/
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