Jackson RR3 Randy Rhoads
Jackson RR3 Randy Rhoads

RR3 Randy Rhoads, V/XPL/FB Shaped Guitar from Jackson in the Pro series.

King Loudness 08/13/2011

Jackson RR3 Randy Rhoads : King Loudness's user review

« Heavy sounding guitar »

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The Jackson RR-3 was introduced in the mid 90s as a lower priced yet still high quality alternative to the wildly popular USA Select Series RR-1 Rhoads. It features an alder body, a maple neck with rosewood fretboard and 22 frets, really cool "sharktooth" inlays, sealed chrome tuners, a licensed Jackson Floyd Rose bridge and two Seymour Duncan pickups (Can be found with either a JB/Jazz combo or two Invaders). It's most noted for its unique and instantly recognizable take on the Flying V body design... the Rhoads is smaller and more compact than the Gibson or even other Jackson designs. This instantly recognizable body shape along with bolt on construction and good choice of parts makes it an excellent metal ax for a reasonable price.


The Jackson Randy Rhoads design is quite ergonomic, definitely more-so than any Gibson or other larger Flying V (Hamer, Jackson King V, etc). The smaller body means a lighter weight overall, and the contouring is a lot more pronounced and apparent on this guitar, making them generally weigh in at only about 7-8 pounds, which is definitely a manageable weight whilst playing a two hour show! The upper fret access is superior to many other designs as well, definitely designed for optimized shredding!

Getting a good sound out of this guitar is pretty easy. It's got a very simple electronics layout that doesn't require a lot of dialing in, and quite frankly most users of a pointy Jackson Rhoads are probably not concerned with the purer clean and low gain sounds that this guitar does or doesn't do well.


I've tried this guitar through various different rigs and can conclude that's definitely best for high gain, high octane metal and shred tones, especially with the Seymour Duncan Invaders loaded in there. Unfortunately I don't find that it does much else as far as tones go. Cleans are really flat and uninspiring overall and the low gain tones are next to useless. However I didn't expect them to be as good as the higher gain sounds anyway. The high gain tones are great for everything from '80s Ozzy to present day molten metal pummeling. The Duncan pickups really pack a punch and offer a slightly scooped midrange, very heavy low end driven sound that works quite well for staccato riffing. If you add in some reverb and dial up the midrange on the amp it works quite well for sweep arpeggios or fast alternate picked passages as well.


All in all I think the Jackson RR-3 Rhoads is a great ax for someone looking for killer metal tones on a budget. They are about $900 new and can be found for about $400-$500 used which is a great deal for someone who is looking for a great and distinctive metal ax on a budget that won't slay someone. It's a great value... and Jacksons are very well crafted guitars overall. You can't go wrong with any of the higher end Japan made or USA made ones as far as quality goes.