Jacksons new X series is a new line of guitars that brings the quality and construction of a USA made Jackson with the price point of an import Jackson. All the guitars are built with the same methods of the USA Custom Shop Jackson guitars but the woods are different and some of the hardware is different and it cuts the price in half if not more. This guitar is the King V model with the red bevels. This guitar kind of reminds me of the new RR models with the painted bevels. This model has a few upgrades. The body is made out of basswood with a maple neck through neck. Neck through construction just like a USA model. The maple neck has a rosewood fretboard with a compound radius and 24 jumbo frets. The bridge is an upgraded tonepros unit that locks in place making string changes easy and giving you a bit more sustain. The pickups in this example where upgraded with the new EMG James Hetfield JH set up. Normally it would come with a set of passive EMG's.
Playability is the name of the game with Jackson guitars. These guitars carry the torch well. They keep on the tradition of great playability all at a price more people can afford. The compound radius fretboard means it plays comfortably on both ends of the neck. On the low end of the neck the radius is more round so you can play chords more comfortably and on the high end of the neck the raidus is flatter so you can slam the action down and rip some leads effortlessly. The neck through design means there is no heel to get in the way when you are playing on the upper frets. The shape also helps with upper fret access. The body shape is more comfortable than it looks. The light basswood body means the guitar doesnt weigh you down when you are playing. The tonepros bridge is great and locks in place. All it needs is locking tuners.
The stock passive EMG's this guitar comes with are okay pickups for the price. If you upgrade anything on this guitar let it be the pickups. It will really wake this guitar up and give you all the tone of a flagship model Jackson. The customer had this guitar fitted with the new EMG James Hetfield setup. People are finally coming around to these pickups and in a big way. This pickup set is essentially an 81 and 60 setup but with event more fullness and a bit of a passive edge to it. The bridge position is slightly less dark than the stock 81. People seem to not like the neck pickup as much. I think they are forgetting its basically an EMG 60 which hardly anyone liked before. It too has a bit more of a passive edge to it. With these pickups you can hardly tell this guitar is made out of basswood instead of alder like a USA model would have been made out of.
These X series guitars are super solid well built guitars. Before with Jackson you had the USA stuff on the super high end and their super low end stuff that was just junk. There was hardly anything in the midrange. But not there are good guitars that combine the affordability of the import guitars with the quality and construction of the USA models. If you have some money to spend and are looking for a King V this is a good option. If you plan on upgrading it you might as well save some money first and get this model. With some upgrades it is every bit as good as the USA model and even with the upgrades it is still cheaper.
I like Jacksons new X series of guitars. They are a great mid-level line of guitars. They give the player the construction, fit and finish of USA models using slightly cheaper materials and building them overseas. Instead of alder they will use basswood and instead of ebony they will use rosewood. Throw in some cheaper pickups and you have a guitar thats 1/3 the price but feels just like a USA model. This is the KVXT model and everyone knows when there is a T in the name of a Jackson that means its a hardtail. I am not a tremolo guy so I gravitate towards the hardtails. With this guitar you get the huge King V shape. The body is made out of basswood with a maple neck through neck. Neck through construction just like a USA model. The maple neck has a rosewood fretboard with a compound radius and 24 jumbo frets. The bridge is an upgraded tonepros unit for extra sustain. The pickups are a set of passive EMG front and rear. The controls are simple with a volume and tone with a 3 way toggle.
The playability you get on this guitar for the price is crazy. This guitar is only like 500 bucks but it feels like it cost 1500. The compound radius fretboard means it plays comfortably on both ends of the neck. On the low end of the neck the radius is more round so you can play chords more comfortably and on the high end of the neck the raidus is flatter so you can slam the action down and rip some leads effortlessly. The neck through design means there is no heel to get in the way when you are playing on the upper frets. The shape also helps with upper fret access. The basswood body means this guitar is super light so it feels like it is just floating.
The Passive EMG pickups are alright. I know some people who like them but most dont. For a guitar of this price they are fine. If they were to put in active EMG's it probably would have added about 150 dollars to the price. It is kind of strange because some guitars in the X series by Jackson come with active EMG's and some come with passives. You have to really look out when you are looking at the models. I dont know why some models have active EMG's and some have passive. This model has passive EMG's and they are alright. They do not clean up well but they give you a good basic metal sound. If you are running a low end amp or a pedal infront of your amp these pickups are fine for a heavy sound.
I like the X series overall. Before all the mid to low end Jacksons were bolt ons and they didnt really retain the real Jackson feel. These guitars are built with the same methods as the USA models and they all have a similar feel to them. If you are looking for a Jackson guitar that is affordable but still has the Jackson feel you should try and get one of these guitars. I recommend you try and find one with active pickups, Blackouts or EMG's. You have to look to see which models come with them since it seems to be random but it will be worth it in the end.