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Be aware that this article is still under construction. It is a work in progress as more info is gathered continously. Some bits and pieces are slight speculation on my part, call it qualified guessing, but I am constantly working on getting as much info confirmed as possible. Some details might even be false, but I hope not.

Webmaster Henrik Hjortnaes, 2010


by Henrik Hjortnaes

Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich Signature

A signature series for Japan only, 1991-1994

Published December 2010

Index

Endorsed by Jackson
The DA prototypes
Specification sheets
Doug's forum comments
Serials and stampings
FD finish - Psycho paint
DA Custom forensic
Doug's Jackson collection
Thanks

Doug Aldrich

  • grover jackson doug aldrich signature

Doug Aldrich from the 1993 Grover Jackson catalog, displaying two DA Professionals. Doug is holding an ash body model and on the floor is a mahogany body model. Notice the mahogany model is pictured with a toggle switch. This doesn't match the specs in the 1993 catalog, where is says 2-way push.

Jackson Guitars launched the Japanese made Doug Aldrich series in late 1991 as a signature series for the American guitarist Doug Aldrich. The series was only for sale in the Japanese market and consisted of 4 guitar models in total, split into two series: the Professional and the Custom series - all having slightly different features. Basically, it was a Jackson Dinky bolt-on with quite a few cool features like the unique sharkteeth-decorated reverse headstock, no neck plate, a push button pick-up switch, direct mounted pickups, a partly scalloped fingerboard and a signed backplate with the punchline used in the advertising: "Made to be played with soul" by Doug Aldrich. The specs of the models differed slightly, as did the color finishes. Jump to DA Spec Sheets.

The Doug Aldrich production models were made in Japan and available to the Japanese market only. For this very reason, they were branded "Grover Jackson" on the headstock. They were partly designed by Itaru Kanno and built at the Chushin Gakki shop, run by Yuji Miyazawa.

audiozone.dk

Endorsed by Jackson Guitars 1987 - 1994

Doug Aldrich had been endorsed by Jackson Guitars since around 1987, playing mostly Jackson Custom Shop Soloist's and Dinky's throughout the years with bands like Lion (1983-89) and Hurricane (1989-90).

Some of his Custom Shop Jackson's had a reverse headstock, or lefty neck, reverse inlays and H-S pickup layout. All of these features would eventually be carried over and used on Doug's own signature Jackson.

Many of the recordings done these years also included the use of a "parts guitar", with a Fender body, OFR tremolo and a Charvel Strathead neck. Using this Strat, he helped House of Lords with the recording of the their "Sahara" album, released in 1990.

Around late 1990, when he was forming the band Bad Moon Rising, he started using prototypes of what would become his signature Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich models.

DA Signature

Doug's Signature guitars, prototypes and design

The idea of the signature series was a result of the years of collaboration between Doug, Grover Jackson and the Jackson Guitars company.

Grover quit the company in 1989, the same year Doug's first likely prototype was ready - a yellow and red Psycho paint, bolt-on Jackson with revese head, H-S layout with the toggle and 1-volume, but non-reverse inlays on the fingerboard. Notice the jack insert is the normal type and not the slanted and recessed jack insert which was used on the final Jackson Doug Aldrich production models.

The Japanese Doug Aldrich Signature series was ready for production in the fall of 1991 and presented at the Music & Sound Expo held in Japan around December 1991.

audiozone.dk

Prototypes origin?

I don't know who actually managed the DA Signature project and who designed and built the prototypes for Doug. It was either Jackson Ontario or the Japanese Chushin Gakki shop. I have a feeling that Jackson Guitars used Yuji Miyazawa, head of the Chushin Gakki shop, to manage the project and collaborate with Doug on the details of the guitar. I do not have this confirmed yet, but many small pieces of information support the theory, that Chushin Gakki and one of its luthiers, Itaru Kanno, designed and built the prototypes for Doug Aldrich.

Itaru Kanno claims to be the DA designer

One of the pieces of evidence to support the above theory, can be found by going back in time. We have to go back and restore info that has been removed from the Internet some time ago. Restoring is made possible by using a service called the Internet Wayback Machine.

If we use this machine to retrieve the old Caparison web site, you will discover that Itaru Kanno claimed to have designed quite a few Jackson and Charvel models while working at the Chushin Gakki shop back in circa 1989-1994. Including the Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich models. For unknown reasons, this historic info was removed from the Japanese Caparison web site sometime around 2004. Here is a short translated extract from the old web site...

Caparison Guitars was started in 1995 by the (former) Charvel / Jackson division staff of Japan that set out to create a new brand of guitars.

The designers at Charvel created the CDS Series, CDS II Series, Questar Series.
The designers at Jackson created the Soloist Special Custom, Dinky AXE Custom, Falcon Custom, Doug Aldrich Series.

Itaru Kanno, 2002

If he designed the production DA models, it is very likely that he also built some of the prototypes for Doug. In Japan. In the Chushin Gakki shop. I find that pretty interesting if it's true.

By late 1994 the production of the DA series was terminated together with all the other Jackson Professional Pro models (see Jackson Professional history). Doug's endorsement with Jackson Guitars also ended in 1994 and he switched to Fender and Gibson.

DA Prototype

  • Doug Aldrich

1989. Jackson Psycho finish, bolt-on, non-reverse inlays. This is a custom shop or a prototype. Forerunner of the DA Signature Series. Photo by YG 1990.

Watch the Hurricane - Dance Little Sister video where Doug rips on this guitar.

DA specs

Spec sheets on the 4 production models

retail ¥230,000 (1993)

DA Professional, Flame

DA Professional ash
Body Ash
Neck Quartersawn maple, bolt-on, reverse headstock
Neck scale 25 1/2 inch, 24F
Fingerboard Ebony (12F - 24F shallow scallop)
Inlays Reverse sharkfin, pearl
Machineheads Grover Jackson SG38-06
Fret wire Rockwell C6/Brinell 171
Fret size .118 x .114 x .051 x .037
Pickup mount Both direct mounted into the wood
Pickup bridge Seymour Duncan Custom
Pickup neck Grover Jackson J-100S
Controls 1 vol, 2-Way push switch
Bridge Schaller JT-590 Grover Jackson, non-recessed
Finish Flame
retail ¥230,000 (1993)

DA Professional, Psycho

DA Professional mahogany
Body Mahogany
Neck Quartersawn maple, bolt-on, reverse headstock
Neck scale 25 1/2 inch, 24F
Fingerboard Ebony (12F - 24F shallow scallop)
Inlays Reverse sharkfin, pearl
Machineheads Grover Jackson SG38-06
Fret wire Rockwell C6/Brinell 171
Fret size .118 x .114 x .051 x .037
Pickup mount Both direct mounted into the wood
Pickup bridge Seymour Duncan Custom
Pickup neck Seymour Duncan Hot Rails
Controls 1 vol, 2-Way push switch (cat shows toggle)
Bridge Schaller JT-590 Grover Jackson, non-recessed
Finish Psycho
  
retail ¥150,000 (1993)

DA Custom, Psycho Y-O

Doug Aldrich
Body Mahogany
Neck Maple, bolt-on, reverse headstock
Neck scale 25 1/2 inch, 24F
Fingerboard Rosewood (12F - 24F shallow scallop)
Inlays Reverse sharkfin, pearl
Machineheads Grover Jackson SG38-06
Fret wire Rockwell C6/Brinell 171
Fret size .118 x .114 x .051 x .037
Pickup mount Both direct mounted into the wood
Pickup bridge Grover Jackson J-DA
Pickup neck Grover Jackson S-6F
Controls 1 vol, 3-way toggle switch
Bridge Schaller JT-590 Grover Jackson, non-recessed
Finish Psycho Y-O (Yellow-Orange)
retail ¥150,000 (1993)

DA Custom, Psycho G-B

Doug Aldrich
Body Mahogany
Neck Maple, bolt-on, reverse headstock
Neck scale 25 1/2 inch, 24F
Fingerboard Rosewood (12F - 24F shallow scallop)
Inlays Reverse sharkfin, pearl
Machineheads Grover Jackson SG38-06
Fret wire Rockwell C6/Brinell 171
Fret size .118 x .114 x .051 x .037
Pickup mount Both direct mounted into the wood
Pickup bridge Grover Jackson J-DA
Pickup neck Grover Jackson S-6F
Controls 1 vol, 3-way toggle switch
Bridge Schaller JT-590 Grover Jackson, non-recessed
Finish Psycho G-B (Green-Blue)
  
Doug speaks

Doug on the DA signature

When asked about the Grover Jackson DA signature by forum users Nick and Ted in 2010, Doug's prompt answer was:

— "Hi Nick and Ted, that guitar was a shred machine! They played so smoothly and well, really easy. Jackson has always made great guitars. Their new stuff is excellent too. Yes it did come with Duncans. I think it was a Custom Custom in the bridge and a classic single coil in the neck. It had pretty big frets and the last 10 or so frets were scalloped but that was just for looks as those frets you wouldn't feel any wood anyway. It had a kind of push button pick up switch that was really cool. And the input jack was so that it wouldn't stick out as much. Oh yea... and of course a Floyd Rose Trem. Really fun guitar."

Doug Aldrich, March 2010

In another forum thread when asked about which woods he preferred on the DA guitars, Doug answers:

— "Dan, I had one guitar that was close to what you are talking about, but I can't remember which wood it was. I wanna say swamp/ash. It had an ebony board and was a bolt on neck."

Doug Aldrich, February 2007

In both his answers above, Doug is describing the DA Professional Flame which had an ash body. Most likely this was the DA model he normally used. It is also the most expensive one, having an ebony fingerboard and a quartersawn neck.

DA prototype, USA made

  • grover jackson doug aldrich

This is the guitar that Doug calls the Flame-2 model and has a flame finish. It has a Duncan in the bridge and a LP style selector switch.

Doug Aldrich:
"During the time I was deciding on what to use on my signature guitars, I had this prototype made. When I received it, it had an orange painted body with blue flames. I didn't like that, so I refinished the orange part black. This guitar sounds awesome for rhythm tones. I used this a lot on the new album Highcentered (1994). (YG 1994 interview).

DA serials

Serials and stampings

The serials on the DA models seems to be placed in the same range of serial numbers as we know from the other Japanese made Jackson Pro's from 1990-1995. It seems they are simply part of the normal Jxxxxxx serials.

So, looking at the serials won't tell you how many were produced. Being offered for only around 2-3 years and retailing for a whopping ¥150,000 and ¥230,000 plus the fact that the paint finishes were very special, they most likely didn't sell in large amounts. Especially the DA Professional model seems rare. Disregarding the catalogue images, I think I have seen a DA Professional maybe 2-3 times in my 10+ years using the Internet and surfing guitars on forums and eBay!

For serial comparison, my Jackson Rhoads Pro's serial is J303045. The Grover Jackson DA Custom's serial here is J302340. Both models are probably assigned serials from the same pool of serials, don't you agree?

The DA models also have a stamp inside the neck pocket, just like most of the Japanese made Jackson bolt-on's. The number 9-2 is the production date (September 2). The letters DA-CS is the model name... Doug Aldrich Custom.

The neck heel on this guitar is stamped DA | CS.

  • Doug Aldrich

Serial J302340 = 1993. The serial is stamped into the fingerboard beyond the last 24th fret. Just like most neck-thru Jackson or Charvel guitars. The DA's are not neck-thru, but having no neck plate to hold a serial, this is the workaround used by the company. Photo by Tuyet.

  • Doug Aldrich

September 2, Doug Aldrich Custom.
This is the stamp in the neck pocket on a DA Custom. The 4 small holes are from a paint handle, mounted twice it seems, hmmm... Photo by Tuyet.

  
FD finish

The paint - FD finish

The Grover Jackson DA models (except the Flame graphic Professional) were the first to have the FD finish, said to be developed by Itaru Kanno when he was with Jackson Guitars. The Flame graphics may also have thinner layers than normal, but I haven't been able to get this confirmed yet.

I have no idea what FD stands for. Foam Dub? Finish Deluxe?

When Kanno left Jackson and founded the Caparison shop, he took this paint method with him and initially used it on the Caparison TAT model and later the Horus model.

From the Caparison homepage on the FD finish:

This is Caparison's original finish which helps make our distinctive and renowned mid-low range tonal characteristics possible. Such graphic colors as TAT Model and Horus Model, we consider to be the best finish and color coatings best suited to the sonic virtues and themes of each model.

The finish is as thin as possible for better quality of tone.

Caparison Guitars

  • thumbnail

FD finish on a Grover Jackson DA Custom with the sponge-applied PSYCO G-B color scheme. J4xxxxx serial indicating 1994.

  
FD finish

Paint technique

In my book, there is no mystery to the FD finish. Allow me to take a qualified shot at how the FD finish is applied, supported by actual pictures from the Caparison shop. Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures from the old Chushin Gakki Jackson shop where the technique was developed. Again, this is pure speculation on my side, but I feel confident that this is how the finish is done.

The finish is applied by dubbing a paint soaked sponge or the like onto the surface of the body. Prior to that the body has been sprayed with primer and sanded (and maybe had the pores in the wood filled with filler even prior to that). I have read that people think the dubbing method will prohibit the wood from absorbing the paint, thereby allowing the body of the guitar to better resonate. That makes no sense to me. The paint is not dubbed onto raw wood. It is dubbed onto a spray primed body. The wood cannot absorb more paint due to the primer. The secret to the FD finish (if any) is that the layers are kept thin. Just like Caparison state on their web site.

FD finish

Primer as base color

The finish on painted guitars consists of basically three layers: filler/primer, color paint and clear coat. This goes for Caparison's as well. On multiple color finishes you would normally have more than one layer of color paint. The FD finish is typically a two-color finish, but by cleverly using the sprayed primer as the base color, a second layer of color paint is avoided. So, the sponge dubbing is only the second layer and furthermore it is applied to have some degree of transparency. And finally a clear coat is applied by spray.

All the sprayed layers are built up by multiple passes of the spray gun, but at the same time kept at a minimum thickness to avoid killing the resonate nature of the wood. The thin finish is also more fragile and will chip easier. The idea is praiseworthy and I personally prefer a thin finish and accept the fragileness. Tone comes first.

audiozone.dk

Caparison paint shop

  • thumbnail

Red circle: a randomly cut sponge on the table inside the Caparison paint shop. I bet it is for use in the paint dubbing process. Photo by Steve Stell 2007.

  • thumbnail

Caparison paint shop: The sprayed white primer acts as the base color and is clearly visible in the cavities. The blue color is applied afterwards by using a sponge. The white base shines through to create the 2-color psycho effect. Here the guitar is being buffed, probably after having been sprayed with clear coat. Photo by Steve Stell 2007.

FD finish

Psycho 2-color variations

Obviously, the Psycho pattern on the Grover Jackson DA models vary since they were done by hand using different sponges. Here are a few examples of patterns and colors. When phographed, the colors can change a bit depending on the lighting conditions. Especially under flash they change.

Even though the 1993 catalog (the only one I got available) only shows two Psycho color finishes for the Custom model, Yellow-Orange and Green-Blue, I think slight variations on the theme were available during the production period. On the right are a couple of examples of an almost Green-Green scheme as well as a Blue-Blue one. And on the left is what seems to be a Yellow-Red finish.

  • thumbnail

Psycho Green-Green.

  • thumbnail

Psycho Blue-Blue. Notice that the original Schaller JT-590 tremolo has been swapped for an Original Floyd Rose.

Pictures by Tuyet

DA Custom forensic - serial J302340

Photos of the DA Signature models are rare in this part of the world, so to have large, high resolution photos available is really helpful. Thanks to Ray, the owner of this DA Custom, we can have a close look and see all the special features. The guitar is in a pretty rough state at the moment, but is a nice showcase for this article. We get to see details which we wouldn't on a fully loaded, untouched guitar.

If you want to go crazy forensic, Ray's originally sized photos are here: High quality photos of Jackson DA Custom.

Full front

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Full back

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Tremolo route front

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Full body back

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Serial

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Headstock

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Scallop 12-24, front

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Scallop 12-24, side

Doug Aldrich

Text to come.

Doug's Jackson collection 1987-1994 (a work in progress)

Doug Aldrich did have a cool Jackson guitar collection back when he was an endorser for the Jackson Guitars company.

The story goes that he sold them all around 1995, when he had changed to playing mostly Gibson and Fender guitars.

Japanese JCF forum member dinkyjacksonman confirmed this in a forum post, saying that his Japanese friend Keisuke, who was living in Hollywood at the time, bought many of Doug's Jackson guitars when Doug was parting with them.

Here is a short rundown of Doug's Jackson guitars back then, listed in yearly order, oldest guitar first.

guitar collection
 
USA

#11987 Jackson Soloist Custom, USA made, reverse head

1987 Jackson Soloist Custom, USA made, reverse head

Remarks: The bridge pickup is a Duncan and the tremolo is a JT-590 Schaller Floyd. Apart from that, everything else is stock. It was born with a flat mount Kahler tremolo, which was later pulled due to sustain issues. The holes from the Kahler are still visible just rear of the JT-590. Doug used this guitar in the Hurricane video "Next To You" from 1990. The guitar still has the Kahler tremolo in the video. See still shot from the video. Notice the tape covering the bottom of both pickups.

Doug Aldrich: — "Yea that first had a Kahler trem but the sustain was kinda sacrificed so I asked Grover if we could switch. Yes, I put tape cause the high E string would get caught under both bobbins. Tape fixed that." (Forum thread). Doug taped his pickups this way on many of his Jackson's.

Doug Aldrich: — "This was the second Jackson I ever got back in '87 (was this the first?). It was the guitar I used during my Lion days in '88 before I came to Japan. I also used it in Bad Moon Rising, Hurricane and House of Lords. Actually, this has a broken headstock. During the Philadelphia show, my family came to see the show. I was supposed to throw the guitar towards my guitar tech for him to catch, but it slipped and ended up crashing down by my amp. My guitar tech ran to it immediately to check it out. (laughter) However, Jackson fixed it up, and it's as good as new now." (YG 1994 interview).

 
USA

#2~1990 Jackson Soloist, USA made, red flames on white body

199X Jackson Soloist.

This neck-thru Soloist has a white body with red flames, starting with a light orange and going to a dark purple.

Remarks: Soloist neck-thru. Doug is pictured with this guitar in the booklet of the 1991 BMR album "Bad Moon Rising". See large picture of the guitar before the headstock broke.

Doug Aldrich: — "This also has a broken headstock. I always used this on the last song of the night, and at the last song, when I went to throw it to my guitar tech, he changed sides on the stage and wasn't able to catch it, so it came crashing down to the ground! (laughter) Jackson repaired and repainted it. The previous color headstock was actually black. I didn't use it on the "Highcentered" album." (YG 1994 interview)

 
USA

#3 1990 Jackson DA prototype, USA made, partly refinished

1989 Jackson DA prototype, USA made, partly refinished.

This is the guitar that Doug calls the Flame-2 model and has a flame finish. It has a Duncan in the bridge and a LP style selector switch.

Remarks: USA Ontario made, serial 7448. Bolt-on neck with neck plate featuring the sculpted heel joint. High E-string broken. Missing strap pins. Chrome volume knob, all other hardware is black. Is this a retired beater? Tape on the bridge humbucker bobbins. The shark teeth on the headstock looks very poorly aligned (hack job) and it has a 5U-5L configuration (5 upper teeth, 5 lower teeth). The production models had a 3U-6L config to not interfere with the logo. Notice the bridge pickup is mounted using a pickup ring or bezel. The Japanese DA production models did not use a pickup ring. It seems that all the USA provided DA models/prototypes used pickup rings.

Doug Aldrich: — "During the time I was deciding on what to use on my signature guitars, I had this prototype made. When I received it, it had an orange painted body with blue flames. I didn't like that, so I refinished the orange part black. This guitar sounds awesome for rhythm tones. I used this a lot on the new album Highcentered(YG 1994 interview).

 
USA

#41990 Jackson DA prototype, USA made

1990 Grover Jackson DA prototype, USA made

"The Lizard", part of the Jackson "Psycho" finish models.

Remarks: USA made prototype. Doug calls this "The "Lizard" model and it has an awesome finish. It doesn't use the push switch but instead uses a toggle switch.

Doug Aldrich: — "I got this guitar back in 1990 along with my Flame-2 model. As soon as I opened the case, I fell in love with it. It has a Duncan in the bridge, and it sounds amazing. I used this when I first came to Japan with Bad Moon Rising." (YG 1994 interview)

 
JAPAN

#51991 Grover Jackson DA Professional, Japan made, refinished in "Tobacco Sunburst"

1991 Jackson DA Professional, paintstripped and refinished in Sunburst.

Doug's first solo album "Highcentered" was released on June 1st 1994. On this recording, the main model that was used for leads was this Doug Aldrich DA Professional model, refinished in Tobacco Sunburst. The inlays are made of thin pieces of maple, but this wasn't actually Doug's request. Instead, the guy who was in charge of making the guitar installed them (Itaru Kanno?).

Remarks: Bolt-on neck with no neckplate, countersunk neck screws, featuring the then new sculpted heel joint. Maple inlays, which is a custom job, and a truss rod cover with "Doug Aldrich" engraved. A 4U-6L shark teeth configuration. Again, bridge pickup taped and this time no bridge pickup ring, meaning that the bridge pickup is mounted directly into the wood. This was one of the special features found on the production signature models compared to all the USA prototypes that Doug received.

Doug Aldrich: — "This was the best sounding guitar. It was a stock (DA Professional) model version I got back in '91. At first, it had a regular finish (Flame), but it was burned, bumped into things and overall totally trashed, so I refinished it in Ontario. It uses a push button to switch between pickups and is scalloped from the 12th fret onwards. The bridge pickup is a Duncan Custom. The neck is a single coil, so it's a real versatile guitar." (YG 1994 interview)

 
JAPAN

#61993 Grover Jackson DA, Japan made, a non-production model

1993 Grover Jackson DA Professional, Japan made.

This is the purple Jackson. It has a flamed maple top, maple fretboard, three single coil layout like a Fender, and it has 5 springs installed in the tremolo cavity. The Duncan single coil sized humbucker is not like the normal stacked pickups. Instead, it's similar to the Hot Rails with the mini coils, but it has 12 adjustable pole pieces that really give it a unique look.

Remarks: Japan made. Notice there seems to be 0 upper shark teeth and 6 lower teeth on the headstock on the backdrop picture, but on the inserted picture, the same guitar has the normal 3U-6L sharkteeth config (zoom). Both pictures are from the same issue of Young Guitar magazine! (July 1994). The DA production models had 3U-6L teeth config. G-string is broken. Having dot inlays instead of sharkfins is also special. Why are some of the dots missing? It could be that the inlays are abalone or mother of pearl which sometimes washes out under certain lighting conditions.

Doug Aldrich: — "The bridge pickup is a new Duncan model called the JB Jr. It sounds like the JB, and is very tight sounding. This doesn't use the push button setup. Instead, it has the blade style selector switch. It's equipped with a Floyd Rose, and I also had it scalloped from the 12th fret on. I got this on my last tour, so that would mean I've had it for almost a year now." (YG 1994 interview)

 
USA

#71994? Jackson DA, USA made, a non-production model

1993 Grover Jackson DA Professional, USA made.

JB in the bridge with a 3 way blade switch. Maple fingerboard with black reverse sharkfin inlays.

Remarks: USA made. Doug is seen posing with this guitar in magazines around 1994 in relation to the release of his solo album "Highcentered". Notice the advanced flame graphics, where the flames are somewhat similar to the Eerie Dess graphics seen on other Jackson models. There are no shark teeth at all on this one, but instead two symbols (close up) placed on the very tip of the Jackson pointy head. I do not know what these symbols are or mean, so I asked Doug about them and you can read his answer below. Chrome Schaller Floyd and black tuning pegs, which is a bit special combination of colors.

Doug Aldrich: — "Instead of being bright and flashy like the other flame models, I had some dark ghost flames painted on this model." [Symbols on the headstock]: — "Man I don't remember what that is. It looks like just some doodling. That was a nice guitar though."

 
JAPAN

#x 199? Grover Jackson DA Professional, Japan made

Grover Jackson DA Professional, Japan made

More info to come...

Remarks: Japan made, Grover Jackson on the headstock.Scan provided by Fred Burst of TOXXIC TOYZ.

Sharkteeth decorated headstock

Paragraph under construction. More to come.

2-way push switch or toggle switch

Paragraph under construction. More to come.

Scalloped 12th -> 24th fret fingerboard

Paragraph under construction. More to come.

Slanted jack insert

Paragraph under construction. More to come.

Minimal cavity routes

Paragraph under construction. More to come.

Thanks to

Dan Gower Magazine insight and valuable feedback
Tom Ice Extensive interview translation
Quantum Rider Various interview translation
Ray Facilitating high quality photos of J302340
Tuyet High quality photography of J302340

Helpful sources

Members of the JCF Online Forum.

audiozone.dk • Dec 18, 2010

Doug Aldrich warms up before a House of Lords concert, 1990. Jackson Soloist Custom 1987, reverse head.

9-2 DA-CS = Sep. 1992 ?, DA Custom.
This is the stamp in the neck pocket on a DA Custom. The 4 small holes are from a paint handle, mounted twice it seems, hmmm... Photo by Tuyet.

Jackson DA Professional, paintstripped and refinished in "Sunburst" or "Tobaccoburst".

Doug's 1st solo album "Highcentered" was released on June 1st 1994. On this recording, the main model that was used for leads was this Doug Aldrich Sunburst model.

"This was the best sounding guitar. It was a stock model version I got back in '91. At first, it had a regular finish, but it was burned, bumped into things and overall totally trashed, so I refinished it in Ontario. It uses a push button to switch between pickups and is scalloped from the 12th fret onwards. The bridge pickup is a Duncan Custom. The neck is a single coil, so it's a real versatile guitar."

The inlays are made of thin pieces of maple, but this wasn't actually Doug's request. Instead, the guy who was in charge of making the guitar installed them.

The DA Custom had painted white sharkteeth on the head stock. The one in this photo is a Professional and some of those had sharkteeth carved into the maple and then cleared over. This is one of them.

A quartersawn neck is more expensive than a flatsawn neck, but is far more stable, resonates better, and is very resistant to warping or twisting. By cutting quartersawn necks, more wood goes to waste. All Jackson USA guitars features quartersawn necks, but also some of the old Japanese made Charvels and Jacksons features quartersawn necks. Which Japanese ones, can be found in the guitar lists here on audiozone.dk. (Snippet taken from the Jackson® 2006 Catalog, page 10).

Picture by Tuyet.

1989. Jackson Psycho finish, bolt-on, non-reverse inlays. This is a custom shop or a prototype. Forerunner of the DA Signature Series. Photo by YG 1990.

The 2-way push button for pickup switching on the Professional models. The Customs had a normal 3-way toggle switch, which gave them one more pickup sound.

12th to 24th shallow fingerboard scallop. Doug mentioned that the scallop was "just for looks as those frets you wouldn't feel any wood anyway". Photo by Tuyet.

Schaller JT-590 tremolo, here shown in a recessed layout. The DA guitars tremolo layout is non-recessed, which means that the tremolo sits higher off the body. Click here to read more about this specific tremolo.

FD finish on a Grover Jackson DA Custom with the sponge-applied PSYCO G-B color scheme. J4xxxxx serial indicating 1994.

Red circle: a randomly cut sponge on the table inside the Caparison paint shop. I bet it is for use in the paint dubbing process. Photo by Steve Stell 2007.

Caparison paint shop: The sprayed white primer acts as the base color and is clearly visible in the cavities. The blue color is applied afterwards by using a sponge. The white base shines through to create the psycho effect. Here the guitar is being buffed, probably after having been sprayed with clear coat. Photo by Steve Stell 2007.

Serial J302340 = 1993. The serial is stamped into the fingerboard beyond the last 24th fret. Just like most neck-thru Jackson or Charvel guitars. The DA's are not neck-thru, but having no neck plate to hold a serial, this is the workaround used by the company. Photo by Tuyet.

White Jackson Custom Shop Soloist, neck-thru, two hum, Kahler trem. Bottom picture is from the 1989 Jackson Guitars catalog.

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