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User Review

Jackson KS2 - Reviews Jackson KS2 Kelly Star

Value For Money : Excellent Audience: Anyone
I own this guitar since mid-2013. It is a bolt-on, reverse headstock, solid black guitar. Alder body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. Shark fin inlays. The serial number reads 965****, the output jack plate is oval and on the upper rear "horn" (like on Rhoads), furniture is matte chrome. These three attributes indicate it is KS2 made in Japan, not KSXT, as KSXTs have been produced in Korea, have longer serial numbers, and output jack plates are square and placed on the shorter lower "horn".

Which amplifier and/or effect(s) do you use with this guitar? What playing and musical style(s) do you play with this guitar?

I play black metal and death metal with this guitar and it fits in completely. I use Death Metal DM-7, PisdiYauwot, Metal Zone MT-2 distortion pedals alongside with Jackhammer JH-1, Ibanez Tube Screamer, Compressor/sustainer and a noise gate pedals. No racks as my studio is tiny, so I use different combos only.

What are your thoughts on the workmanship, electronics, and finish of this instrument? How is its intonation? Does its neck, touch, feel, shape, etc complement your playing style?

Overall workmanship is decent. The finish on the body compared to Jackson KE2, which I also own, feels somewhat thin and fragile. The guitar came to me with small dings on the horns edges but nothing criminal. I set the guitar with 14-68 strings (B tuning) and it intonates perfectly. After a couple of years, I had to adjust tremolo as it leaned a bit forward. All feels right but the neck which feels a little bit thicker than on KE2.

Do clean, crunchy and distorted sounds adapt well to different microphone positions? Are the guitar's different frequencies and sounds well-balanced? What are the pros and cons of this guitar?

- Original tuning pegs could do better.
- Original stock pick-ups Duncan Designed 103n and 103b sound awful. Terrible. Loathful. Guitar squealed like an injured pig with them on board no matter the distortion pedals. The sound was worse than on guitars made in Indonesia. Instantly changed to SD "Black winter" set. And then it finally sounded gorgeous.
- Bad layout (IMO) of the volume control knob makes it harder to play.

- Tremolo bridge JT580LP fixates incredibly well. I changed all the hardware but the tremolo because of that, now my guitar all black but the bridge.:clin: Not that I use whammy bar so often, but neither I blocked tremolo...
- Owning this babe is one huge pro!:mrg:

Lucky me!

P.S. And no, neither KE2 fits KS2 case nor vice versa!