If you are still out there looking for an affordable 7 string guitar, have my condolences. You have probably been through page after page of reviews (most of them mine hopefully) looking for one. Well, my buddy my friend, I have good news for you. I have found the second decent, incredibly affordable 7 string guitar that you might enjoy. Let us take a closer look at the Jackson JS22-7 Dinky and see whether it fits all of the criteria of a decent enough, 7 string guitar.
Starting off straight with the design of the body and all I can say is, just like expected. The body of the guitar does not do much to surprise in terms of shape or design. Honestly, at this level of price, we don’t need it to. What we want is functionality and for the instrument not to be ugly. What we get is a Dinky design, reminiscent of the stratocaster, with slightly angled wings. It is comfortable to hold and play, while the solid coloring of the body makes it pretty enough not to hate.
The body of the guitar is made out of poplar, which is similar to alder. I am sure I have mentioned this wood before but I will repeat myself just in case. The hardwood is a good one, especially for the affordable 6 string guitar. I do have my doubts about it with 7 string guitars though. The effect on the tone of the guitar isn’t that pronounced, even though it does accentuate the upper-midrange (better than alder, actually). The overall sound is rounded and stable, thanks to the poplar. The light weight of the tonewood is lovely, especially in the heavy 7 stringers. The only problem I have with it is the fact that it isn’t too sturdy. Due to the fact that poplar is softer compared to other hardwoods, it can dent or scratch easily. We could turn a blind eye on that issue, but the 7th string is something I am unsure poplar can handle in the long run. Still, I have yet to be proven right, so fun times.
The neck of the guitar is made out of maple, which is a pretty standard choice across most guitars, especially in the affordable range. The choice is standard because of one great thing that maple does and that is, not break. It is a sturdy material that tends to remain unbending despite the additional pressure. The neck is bolted onto the body, which makes my left eyebrow rise, but nothing I can do about it. The fretboard of the guitar is made out of amaranth, which is always a great choice.
The bridge of the guitar is fixed and string through. This provides great action and some nice string stability, both of which are highly appreciated. A little annoying to restring, but nothing you can’t get past with a little enthusiasm.
The nut of the guitar is made of plastic. It is not the greatest choice of materials, though it is acceptable enough in this case. The string buzz is neutralized by the humbuckers, though the degradations of the nut happens much faster than anyone would like.
The tuning machine of the guitar is not the best on the market. It does its best, but still has trouble staying in tune for more than a few days of travel or playing.
The guitar comes with two humbuckers. The combination of the two high output humbuckers does a great job of producing tone and, as the name of the humbuckers implies, great output. The humbuckers do a great job of providing good sound for this very affordable instrument, making it a much better value for the price you are paying. The lifespan of the humbuckers is long enough that you will get to love them,eventually.
The controls on the guitar are rather simple, but sufficient for most. The master volume knob and the master tone knob combined with the three way switch for active pickup configuration is all you get.
The sound of the guitar is something you would not expect of an instrument this cheap. This instrument has a lot of character to its voice, with the low tones being interesting and the mid and high tones having a great spread and eloquence as well. The output is impressive, so that the volume of the instrument will never be too low. A good sounding instrument overall.
Overall, this instrument is only for those who are looking for a cheap 7 string instrument. Not designed for intermediate or advanced players, and yet a great instrument to have nonetheless.