NGD: Jackson DKAF8

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Adam Partridge, Dec 21, 2018.

  1. Adam Partridge

    Adam Partridge Cheese toucher

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    Yeeeaah! I’ve always wanted a Jackson, ever since before Dave Mustardstain stopped being a smackhead &/or writing good songs. Not that I would condone the use of smack for any other purpose. This guitar is based on the well-known “StratoscasterTM” shape named after the He-Man character & popularised by Wyngie Malmsteed and Wasp, whom I also like.

    This is also the first time I’ve been lucky enough to play a guitar named after a type of coffee.

    I am very impressed with the size of the box which is bigger than myself. Inside that there is a smaller box which is still much bigger than a guitar & has an enormous Jackson Logo on. They must have a really big printer!

    The neck looks enormous, I think mainly due to the bodyshape: Dinky which literally means small is so called as a consequence of the body being 3 quarters of the size of a normal guitar.

    The body has bean painted authentic “woodTM” colour and it does look good, not as nice as a really nice wood like eg walnut burp but still realistic. I was a bit unsure at first as I already own one reddish guitar but I thought what the heck, why not give it a go? The guitar has a weird 3 dimensionally curved front like a violin, which actually increases the comfort factor so it’s all good in my book. However I’m not sure it would look as cool as a normal one on stage reflecting the highly powered lights that stages often have.

    In the past (eg Gibbons) necks were angled backwards in relation to the body to accommodate the high bridge (eg Tuna Matic), then Geoff Gillmore of 70s prog-rockers Pink Floyd invented the Floyd Rosey (little known fact, hence the name: pink = rosey) & modern necks became perfectly parallel with the guitar body. The DKAF8 represents the next step (futuristic music) as the neck is angled forward from the body. I feel honoured to own such a trailblazing instrument, and it actually helps your hand stay at the corresponding angle in relation to the frets when playing near the nut (one of my all-time favourite areas of the left hand’s playing region).

    The biggest string that comes on the instrument is super-floppy, which is great for me as I have quite large hands for a bloke. The other ones are as tight as a witch’s cleft which I appreciate as it makes bends more difficult so I don’t need to do any upper-body exercises at the fitness centre anymore!

    EDIT: I changed the strings to some lighter ones & unfortunately the action got a lot lower. I like a quite high action for playing lightning fast arpeggioes etc so now need to raise it up (further away from the fretwood). Does anyone have any tips on keeping the saddles horizontal when doing this?

    No attempt seems to have bean made to set the intonation, which I like as it gives me a blank canvas to work with; I don’t like pre-conceived notions of how pitch should vary along the neck, I like the notes to get smaller the higher up they are.

    The truss pole has bean adjusted to give a nice banana shape, a serendipitous coincidence as bananas is one of my favourite sources of potassium.

    A couple of fret ends are missing but not in a way which affects playability so it doesn’t really bother me. They’ll wear out eventually anyways.

    Some of the frets look a bit wonky, in particular toward both the top & bottom of the fingerboard; maybe my unit is a B-stock but as I got the instrument for such a great pricepoint I can live with it. Similarly the bridge-end pickup placement looks a bit off, it’s much closer to the bridgepiece on the trebly side than on the bass-side strings, but I actually like this as it allows for some nice earsplittingly harsh high pitcheds coupled with lovely muffled boomy bass on the lower tones. My friend commented that this might not be ideal for clean, crunch or leadwork but for special effects and dronetones it should be excellent. In practise though any tonal variation is hardly noticeable. Also I dunno if the thinnest & fattest strings are genuinely quieter than the inbetween ones due to the magnets stopping right underneath them, or if it just sounds like they are (for psychosomatic reasons).

    I’m not sure if it’s a design flaw or manufacturing error that the fret markers have drifted to one side of the fret board. This does look kinda cool in an asymmetric way, and additionally also stops hair getting in your eyes as well when playing complex passages too. I also like the way they are duplicated in a similar arrangement on the side of the neckboard which points toward the ceiling (or sky if outside (which I haven’t yet attempted)) whilst playing the guitar.

    I’ve played a 7 string once before and I loved the extra top string…great for bends! The head shape is a departure from the normal pointy Jackson one, and instead shaped like the classic “BC RichTM” (also pointy) one. I like this as sometimes when I look down I feel like I am playing a BC Rich! (apart from the Jackson logo obviously) Aside from accommodating an extra machine head I have a suspicion it may also be designed to fit the newly shortened logo since they have changed the name from their heyday of Charval-Jackson (I assume due to a divorce, but I wouldn’t wanna pry into Mr Jackson’s private life!).

    The colour of all the knobs and machine heads match, the mini Jackson logo looks super posh and shows the quality of the instrument due to Jackson factory clearly having the ability to print really small letters (in addition to the really big ones on the cardboard box mentioned earlier on). Also you can tell they are nice heavy metal, none of that poor quality lightweight stuff eg titanium. The neck is attached by 4 large screws to give extra strength which gives me a feeling of security that the neck’s not going to fly off owing to the additional tension introduced by the extra string.

    I’m really enjoying the placement of the 2nd tone knob: it doesn’t need to be that far away from the other tone knob &/or pickup selector switch…it just IS! Any further away & it would slip right off the bottom bout! A real maverick approach to knob placement for those who dare to be different, like me. (and the millions of other people who play Jackson guitars) Some naysayers may quite rightly think that it’s more difficult to reach the knob down there but I always have both tone knobs on full whack anyroad. Another feature I like is the absence of a volume knob: far too many guitar surfaces are cluttered up by unnecessary volume switches & knobs. Obviously the omission of a volume knob makes it more difficult to avoid feedback between songs particularly when playing really loud & dirtily through an amplifier or Tannoy public address system (eg during a pop concert) but I can easily get around that by switching to a silent amp patch very quickly at the end of every song or during rest passages within any given song if need be.

    EDIT: I put a blob of solder on a metal bit near some wires in the back of the guitar & now have a volume knob, but at the expense of losing one of the tone knobs.

    You can usually tell how good a guitar is by the control knob cavity, & I’m happy to say this one is real tidy.

    The guitar to be what is commonly known as “ very slightly head-heavy” which really helps it rest in your hand, especially when playing with a strap on if you are inclined to play standing up as I sometimes do.

    In use the tremolo arm (known to our American members as a wang bar, I’m told) holds tune real well, especially when doing narrow vibrato.

    I experimented with playing really fast up to 100 notes per minute such as in Beneath to Remain by Slayer, and also dropped D tuning like Demon in the Falls by Obituary. Both of these options sound better than I’ve managed to play before.

    You have to plug the guitar cable in on the edge of the body (by your right leg) which I’ve not seen before but if you think about it does make logical sense, as the cable normally goes downwards to get to the amp.

    …which brings me onto the amped up sound. Plugged into my “Ultra Fractal A.X.FuxTM” the guitar sounds so good that it makes me want to grow another mullet!

    Distorted sounds such as Messy Bogey and Angel Ultraballs sound just like gravel and clean sounds sound almost like toothpaste.

    If you turn it up louder it sounds the same except louder.

    All in all: 10 on 10

    I love this guitar it looks so ruddy stylish, which is half the battle. They mostly all play & sound the same, if you shut your eyes it’s difficult to tell what guitar you’re playing.

    EDIT: Now I’ve given the guitar a bit of a once-over setup-wise it’s an absolute dream to play! For the past few months I’ve struggled to play one of my own songs called Belp on my old guitar, but last night I got it perfect on the Jackson.

    I hope you have found this review very helpful, I like to think I know what I am talking about when it comes to guitars!

    Impressively size boxes
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    This view shows how the frets would look if they’d done it properly
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    Futuristic neck angle also showing fret # 23
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    Methinks someone has got a little carried away with angle grinder
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    The pic you’ve all bean waiting for: some wires
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    Shown here next to my friend’s “Ibenez Agile ProTM” for scale
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    [​IMG]
     
    Empryrean, mlp187, TheDandy and 10 others like this.
  2. cardinal

    cardinal F# Dive Bomber

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    Looks great.

    I’ll never understand why the Jackson Custom Shop is wedded to the B8 shape when this looks so much better.
     
    Ribboz likes this.
  3. Zhysick

    Zhysick SS.org Regular

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    Didn't read all that, just checked the pics. Looks very nice. Congrats!
     
  4. shupe13

    shupe13 SS.org Regular

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    Congrats!
     
  5. Smoked Porter

    Smoked Porter SS.org Regular

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    Good lord what's with all the alternate naming TM
    Wow what a wall of text TM
    Is everything ok TM
    Nice guitar though TM
     
  6. Joan Maal

    Joan Maal SS.org Regular

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    Great review. Something to say about the pickups? Luckily one of these will arrive on summer.
     
  7. guitaardvark

    guitaardvark SS.org Regular

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    "Wyngie Malmsteed" alone made that worth the read.
     
  8. CovertSovietBear

    CovertSovietBear Polylinker

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    Not a fan of the coffee table wood finish but I dig the overall design of it.

    Congrats.
     
  9. Adam Partridge

    Adam Partridge Cheese toucher

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    Thank you for your kind words to everyone relevant.
    The pickups are not the best in the world, they are clear enough, but a little harsh and not very full or powerful sounding. They are usable but I've bought a lace death bar 4.5 which have mixed reviews but are the only pickup big enough (to my knowledge)
     
  10. steinmetzify

    steinmetzify CHUG & SLUDGE

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    I think this is sick as fuck but don't understand why it's in the 7 string section....I AM very drunk, however.....
     
  11. InCasinoOut

    InCasinoOut syncopAZN

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    It's one of those reviews where they try really hard to be funny
     

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