**Matt Olivo is the founding guitarist of extreme metal trailblazers Repulsion, whose Horrified LP ranks as Decibel's #1 grindcore album of all time. Because we know that every reader ever plays guitar, we brought his print column to the Deciblog. In issue #106, Matt had the first review of Jackson’s DK2M Pro Series Dinky, which had "nothing rinky-dink about" it.
Gearified is super-chuffed to bring you the first review of Jackson’s Pro Series this month. Our initial exposure to this exciting line of instruments was at the NAMM 2013 convention. Jackson product chieftain Jon Romanowski walked us through the entire lineup, explaining how they’re able to offer quality, mass-produced axes that are conducive to today’s economic climate. However, none of that will matter once you get one of these weapons of war into your contorted claws! The first to arrive at our doorstep was the Jackson DK2M Pro Series Dinky™.
The boys at Jackson know a thing or two about metal, so naturally, they sent us a malicious metal machine. The DK2M’s postmodern Strat body with beveled, double cutaway horns is flawlessly finished with the color of our dark lord’s blood-flat black. The bright maple neck and fingerboard add striking contrast, yet still tastefully coordinate with flat black neck binding and offset fret marker dot inlays. The downward-pointing black headstock sports the now ubiquitous Jackson logo nice and big, so grandma can read it from the back of the venue. All the hardware is a Satan-approved deep black, with exception to the directly mounted pickups, which are “zebra” style, with one cream and one black coil. A welcome throwback, as these pickup covers were common in the ’70s/’80s.
Under the Hood
We reckon the alder body/maple neck tone blend was pioneered by the Charvel guys during the “Super Strat” era, circa the early ’80s. These two-tone woods sound great together, and Jackson smartly applied that no-brainer combo for the DK2M. The bolt-on super-slim maple “speed neck” and compound radius ’board are both finished satin. Two octaves of jumbo frets provide an ample notation palette. The installed Floyd Rose FRT-O2000 double-locking tremolo isn’t quite on par with the big daddy Floyd Rose Original bridge, but after some digging we found out that the all-important plated steel base plate and fulcrum edge points are included on this model, thus leaving only the saddles and locking nut made of die-cast material. On the other end of the guitar, we have six in-line, black die-cast tuners. Back to the body, the signal foundation is made up of another tried and true, the rock stalwart pickup pairing of Seymour Duncan’s JB-4 on the bridge, and SH-1N ’59 at the neck. Single, shared volume and tone knobs round out the controls, and for switching, Jackson issues a five-way blade selector that provides easy humbucking and coil tap options for both pups.
The combination of super-slim neck, satin finish and ultra-low action make this instrument a serious tool of musical invention. Ideas come to life instantly and without hindrance because the DK2M is so easy to play! If you already have good speed technique, you’ve stepped into a cozy new home. If you’re still building your chops, this guitar is certain to inspire vivid visions of your very near playing future.
Our signal chain includes a newly acquired Marshall JCM800 100-watt head with companion Celestion Vintage 30-equipped 4x12 cabinet. Rhythms have ample crunch, punch and a noticeably hearty, mid-range articulation. Full chords ring true with tasteful balance between high/low notes, and loads of natural harmonics come to the surface with high gain. Speed-picked shredder leads shine with clear, defined mids and balanced highs. It’s obvious why the DK2M’s Seymour Duncan JB-4 bridge pickup has long enjoyed notoriety for being a well-balanced grail, filled to the brim with tone froth.
Unsurprisingly, Jackson has manufactured an instrument that has superior design and a unique look. Shred fiends will relish its playability and articulate tone. Intermediate players will be inspired by its pocketbook-friendly price.
For more information on this and other Jackson Pro Series instruments, check out: