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Jackson Pro confusion?

by Henrik Hjortnaes

Guide to the Japanese Professional series 1990-1995

Published June 2006

INDEX

The Golden Years of Jackson imports
My interpretation
Root cause of the confusion
Cheaper models benefits from Pro label
Blank truss rod cover?
Professional = not USA made
REFERENCE CHART — Jackson 1990-95

 

Jackson import collage

Thanks to the marketing people at Jackson, there has always been a lot of confusion regarding the Japanese Jackson guitars labeled Professional or Pro. Sometimes Pro is short for Professional and sometimes it's not! And what are the differences anyway?

Jackson Pro headstock

Headstock of a 1993 Jackson Rhoads Pro from the Professional series.

The Golden Years of Jackson import guitars

The Japanese Jackson Pro models introduced in 1990 and terminated in 1995, are some of the best imports ever to be released under the Jackson brand. Notice I said Pro models. The Professional series continued until 1999.

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It is quite useful to know exactly which guitars we're talking about here, so you can spot the Pro's in the crowd. Everywhere you look, be it on eBay or Internet forums, the mixup between "Professional" and "Pro" is present and almost the norm.

My interpretation

The label Professional denotes a series of guitars. The most expensive guitars from this series are called Pro's. They have expensive and sound-enhancing features like quartersawn necks, bound ebony fingerboards and German made Schaller tremolos (if not a string-thru).

When Jackson introduced this series of guitars in 1990, there were only Pro models. Every guitar from the Professional series were Pro’s. They all had these expensive features. They were all priced well above the $1000 mark. That is my take on it.

Root cause of the confusion - the 1990 Index

Jackson's presentation on the other hand, was a bit more blurry and later caused a widespread confusion about the labels Pro and Professional - a confusion that still exist today. Take a look at this catalog index from the introduction in 1990:

Jackson Pro Professional

Index of the 1990 catalogue. According to Jackson, the "Pro series" consists of 8 guitars. Apparently, only 4 of the 8 models are Pro's. But they all carry the same expensive features described earlier. So what are the differences between them, Jackson?

A better 1990 Index

I have made my own (photoshopped) 1990 Index to show you how I think it should have been. It makes a lot more sense to me this way, especially when you look at what happened the following years, when the series expanded:

Jackson Pro Professional

Notice how the headliner in red is changed - the series should have been called (and spelled out): Professional and all the model names should have been followed by the label Pro. Photoshopped 1990 Index!

Cheaper models benefits from the Pro label

What happened later in history, was that Jackson included more guitars under the label Professional series - guitars that did not have the expensive features of the Pro's. They were named Std or EX, to name a few. That is not a problem in itself. But when Jackson use the terms inconsistantly, it becomes confusing. On the headstock it says Professional. But in catalogs Jackson abbreviates it to Pro. But Pro are the top-of-the-line expensive guitars, remember? That's confusing! But maybe it's all a deliberate marketing trick by Jackson, making us think that Professional's are all the same.

Say you have a Rhoads EX (retail $695). It says Professional on the headstock under the clearcoat. In catalogs, Jackson refers to it as a Pro series, because they can't be bothered writing the whole name (like they do on the headstock). Does that make it comparable to the Rhoads Pro? ($1595). H*ll no! But we easily get the impression that it does.

Blank truss rod cover?

Jackson deco

Furthermore, from early 1992 thru 1995, the word Pro suddenly appeared on the truss rod covers of the Pro guitars. Helpful and confusing at the same time, because where does that leave the first batch of Pro guitars (90-91), which had blank truss rod covers? D'OH!


The Japanese made Pro guitars, are the guitars that are known to equal the USA Jacksons in terms of build quality, features and workmanship. These are the ones you want to hunt down on eBay, but expect to pay good money for them.

Most of the other Professional series models are killer axes too - I am only pointing out, that the Pro's are the closest match for a USA made Jackson from the same period of time and deserves to be recognized as such.

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Here are the words of Jackson on the series when introduced in 1990:

The Jackson Pro series is designed for the professional working musician who requires a superior caliber instrument to match his or her superior talents.

Read full version

Jackson Pro (by Jackson, 1990)


For years the only way for some of the world's best guitarists to get their hands on a Jackson guitar was to custom order it from the factory, and many of you still do (see page 50) but now there's another way. In response to the monumental demand for Jacksons, and with an eye toward making them affordable to virtually any working professional guitarist, Jackson has introduced a standardized line of guitars. By limiting the custom options to finishes and having the guitars made to Jackson's stringent specifications at the Charvel plant, we're now able to produce top quality guitars for very competitive prices. These guitars are made to the same exacting Jackson standards and with he same hardware, woods and electronics that have made Jackson the most sought-after guitars and basses in the world.

The Jackson Pro Series is designed for the professional working musician who requires a superior caliber instrument to match his or her superior talents.

From the 1990-91 Jackson catalog, page 32

Jackson Guitars, 1990

 

Jackson import collage

Professional = not USA made

None of the 1990-1995 Professional series guitars are made in USA. All of them are made in Japan at the "Charvel plant", as Jackson used to call the Chushin Gakki factory.

Reference chart

Below is a summarized chart I put together, making it easy to spot the Pro's and compare them to the other models. The list covers the period from 1990 thru 1995 and info is added continuously.

Every guitar with Pro in their name on that list, is a Pro from the Professional series of guitars. The Limited '91 model is also a member of the high-end Pro's, being the most expensive of the series overall.

To get the full picture of these legendary guitars, make sure to also check these links:

History of the Japanese Jackson Imports
Serial numbers guide, Jackson Pro's 1990-1995

Chart notes

The models in the chart below, can be found in more than one guitar catalogue, so be sure to check out all Jackson catalogues from 1990 thru 1995, to get the full picture.

Note that the configuration of the models changes slightly during this 5 year period; especially the tremolos gets swapped around.

You should also know that the original catalogues sometimes contains errors, like wrong tremolo or wrong number of frets listed. Cross checking a catalogue page with its corresponding pricelist, will often reveal inconsistencies, especially regarding tremolo model.

Jackson will sometimes display a guitar in the catalogue with features NOT found on the final production model.

Jackson Professional series 1990-1995

Made in Japan at the Chushin Gakki factory

is special info  •  For pop-up picture, hover your mouse over the model name. Click for catalog and full specs.
Price is list price when the model was introduced  •  Pc is Pickup configuration  •  QS = Quartersawn

Refer to this list(copy link)  Price lists  Pickups and electronics  Tremolo info  Give feedback

Jackson Rhoads
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Rhoads EX 1992-95 $695 Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot pearl HH J50M • J50N JT-580
Rhoads Pro 1990-95 $1595 Poplar wings Maple QS Ebony bound Neck-thru 22 Sharkfin pearl HH J50B • J50N JT-590
Rhoads Std 1993-95 $995 Poplar wings Maple QS Rosewood Neck-thru 22 Dot pearl HH J50M • J50N JT-580LP
Jackson Soloist
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Limited '91 1991 Additional info about Limited '91 - Jackson Soloist $2450 Mah wings fig.top Maple QS RW bound Neck-thru 24 Sharkfin aba/pearl HH Reflex Silver Series JT-590 gold
Soloist ATN Pro 1990-92 $1495 Mahogany Maple QS Ebony bound Set-neck 24 Sharkfin rev pearl HH J80C • J80C Tunomatic
Soloist ATT Pro 1990-92 $1695 Mahogany Maple QS Ebony bound Set-neck 24 Sharkfin rev pearl HH J80C • J80C JT-590
Soloist Pro 1990-95 $1595 Poplar wings Maple QS Ebony bound Neck-thru 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J50M • J200 • J200 JT-590
Soloist Std 1993-95 $999 Poplar wings Maple QS Rosewood Neck-thru 24 Dot pearl HSS J92C • J100VS • J100VS JT-580LP
Soloist XL 1992-95 $1295 Poplar wings Maple QS RW bound Neck-thru 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J92C • J100VS • J100VS JT-590
Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich
The Doug Aldrich signature series was only for sale in the Japanese market.
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
DA Custom Psycho G-B 1991-94 Additional info about DA Custom Psycho G-B - Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich 150,000 Mahogany Maple RW scallop Bolt-on 24 rev Sharkfin pearl HS J-DA • S-6F JT-590
DA Custom Psycho Y-O 1991-94 Additional info about DA Custom Psycho Y-O - Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich 150,000 Mahogany Maple RW scallop Bolt-on 24 rev Sharkfin pearl HS J-DA • S-6F JT-590
DA Professional Flame 1991-94 Additional info about DA Professional Flame - Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich 230,000 Ash Maple QS Ebony scallop Bolt-on 24 rev Sharkfin pearl HS SD Custom • J-100S JT-590
DA Professional Psycho 1991-94 Additional info about DA Professional Psycho - Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich 230,000 Mahogany Maple QS Ebony scallop Bolt-on 24 rev Sharkfin pearl HS SD Custom • Hot Rails JT-590
Jackson Dinky
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Dinky AR 1992 Ash Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot offset pearl HSH
Dinky EX 1993 $695 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot pearl HSH J55 • J110 • J55 JT-580
Dinky HX 1994 Additional info about Dinky HX - Jackson Dinky Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot offset white HH J-390
Dinky LT 1992       RW bound   Sharkfin pearl HSS    
Dinky Reverse 1992-93 $795 Basswood Maple Maple or RW Bolt-on 24 rev Dot offset B/W HH J85 • J80C JT-590
Dinky Reverse 1994-95 $895 BW flame top Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 rev Dot offset pearl HH J85 • J80C JT-580LP
Dinky Reverse 1994-95 $795 Basswood Maple Maple or RW Bolt-on 24 rev Dot offset B/W HH J85 • J80C JT-580LP
Dinky RVS 1995 Additional info about Dinky RVS - Jackson Dinky   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 rev Sharkfin pearl rev HH J85 • J80C JT-580LP
Dinky SP 1992   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot white HSH   JT-580
Dinky Std 1992-93 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 None HSS J92C • J100VS •J100VS JT-590
Dinky XL 1992-93 $995 Basswood Maple RW bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J92C • J100VS • J100VS JT-590
Dinky XL 1993 $1095 BW flame top Maple RW bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J92C • J100VS • J100VS JT-590
Dinky XL 1994-95 $995 Basswood Maple RW bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J92C • J100VS • J100VS JT-580LP
Dinky XL 1994-95 $1095 BW flame top Maple RW bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J92C • J100VS • J100VS JT-580LP
Jackson Fusion
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Fusion EX 1992-95 $695 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot offset white HSS J75.J110.J110 JT-580
Fusion HH 1992-95 Additional info about Fusion HH - Jackson Fusion $895 BW or Mah Maple RW bound Bolt-on 24 Dot offset pearl HH J92C • J50N JT-580LP
Fusion LT 1992   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot offset white HSS   JT-580
Fusion Plus 1992   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot offset white HH   JT-580
Fusion Pro 1990-92 $1295 BW opt. flame top Maple QS Ebony bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J50B.J200.J200 JT-590
Fusion SP 1992   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot white HS   JT-580
Fusion SS 1992   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot white HSS   JT-580
Fusion Std 1992-93 $795 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot offset pearl HSS J85 • J200R • J200R JT-590
Fusion Std 1994-95 $795 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot offset pearl HSS J85 • J200R • J200R JT-580LP
Fusion SX 1992   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot white HSH   JT-580
Fusion XL 1992-93 BW opt. flame top Maple RW bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl HSS J85.J200R.J200R JT-590
Jackson Stealth
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Stealth EX 1992-95 $695 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot offset white HSS J75 • J110 • J110 JT-580
Stealth EX Lefty 1992-95 $795 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot offset white HSS J75 • J110 • J100 JT-580
Stealth HX 1993-95 $595 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot offset white HHH J75 • J75 • J75 JT-390
Stealth LT 1992   Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot offset white HSS J75 • J110 • J100 JT-580
Stealth Pro 1992 $1195 BW,ash,fig.top Maple Ebony Bolt-on 22 Dot offset white HSS J92C • J100 • J100S JT-590
Stealth XL 1992-93 Additional info about Stealth XL - Jackson Stealth Ash Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot offset white HSS J92C • J100VS • J100VS JT-580LP
Jackson Kelly
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Kelly Pro 1994-95 $1595 Poplar wings Maple QS Ebony bound Neck-thru 24 Sharkfin pearl HH J92C • J50N JT-590
Kelly Std 1993-95 $795 Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot pearl HH J92C • J50N JT-580LP
Kelly XL 1994-95 $995 Poplar Maple QS RW bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl HH J92C • J50N JT-580LP
Kelly XLR 1990 Additional info about Kelly XLR - Jackson Kelly   Poplar Maple QS RW bound Bolt-on 24 rev Sharkfin rev pearl HH J92C • J50N JT-580LP
Jackson King V
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
King V Pro 1993-95 $1595 Poplar wings Maple QS Ebony bound Neck-thru 24 Sharkfin pearl HH J92C • L500XL APM3300
King V Std 1993-95 $745 Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot pearl HH J92C • J50N JT-580
Jackson Infinity
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Infinity Pro 1992-93 Mah fig.top bound Mahogany RW bound Set-neck 22 Diamond abalone HH J92C • J50M JT-590
Infinity XL 1992-93 Basswood Maple Rosewood Set-neck 22 Dot abalone HH J92C • J50M JT-590
Jackson JTX
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
JTX 1993   BW or ash Maple 1-piece Maple Bolt-on 24 Dot black HS J55 • J100VS JT-580
JTX Std 1994-95 $695 BW or ash Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot pearl HSS J55 • J100VS • J100VS JT-580
Jackson Concept
The Concept series used 7-digit serials, where the first two digits denotes the year of manufacture.
The series were available in 1994 but some were built already in 1993, thus having "93xxxxx" serials.
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
JDR-94 1993-94 $595 Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 rev Dot offset white HSH J55 • J110 • J55 JT-500
JDX-94 1993-94 $550 Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot white HSS J75 • J110 • J110 JB-300
JRR-94 1993-94 $595 Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot white HH J50M • J50N JB-390
JSX-94 1993-94 Additional info about JSX-94 - Jackson Concept $595 Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot offset white HSS J75 • J110 • J110 JT-500
Jackson Futura
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Futura EX bass 1992-95   Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot pearl SS J150VS • J20 JB-340
Futura EX bass lefty 1993-95 Additional info about Futura EX bass lefty - Jackson Futura   Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot pearl SS J150VS • J20 JB-340
Futura Pro bass 1992   Maple or LW Maple QS or LW Ebony Neck-thru 21 Dot pearl SS EMG-35J • EMG-35P Kahler2440
Futura XL bass 1992-93   Maple or LW Maple QS or LW Ebony Neck-thru 21 Dot pearl SS J150VS • J20 JB-440
Jackson Concert
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
Concert EX bass 1992-95   Poplar Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 22 Dot white SS J150VS • J20 JB-340
Concert V bass 1992-95   Poplar Maple RW bound Bolt-on 24 Sharkfin pearl SS J155 • J25 Kahler2450
Concert XL bass 1992-95   Poplar Maple RW bound Bolt-on 22 Sharkfin pearl SS J150VS • J20 JB-440
Jackson uncategorized
Model Name Year + Price Body Neck Fingerb. Construct. Inlays Pc Pickups Bridge
JPB-7 bass 1995 Additional info about JPB-7 bass - Jackson uncategorized $795 Basswood Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 21 Dot offset white SS J150VS • J20 JB-340
JPB-8 bass 1995 Additional info about JPB-8 bass - Jackson uncategorized $895 Maple or BW Maple Rosewood Bolt-on 24 Dot offset white SS J175 • J175 JB-440
JPB-9 bass 1995 Additional info about JPB-9 bass - Jackson uncategorized $1095 Maple + padauk Maple Pao Ferro Neck-thru 24 Dot offset white SS J175 • J175 JB-510
Kip Winger bass 1990-91   Lacewood Maple QS Ebony Neck-thru 21 Dot pearl SS    
Phil Collen Pro 1990-92 Additional info about Phil Collen Pro - Jackson uncategorized $1695 Poplar wings Maple QS Ebony bound Neck-thru 24 Sharkfin pearl HS J90C • J100 JT-590
TBX bass 1994-95 $1695 Poplar wings Maple QS RW bound Neck-thru 21 Sharkfin pearl HH EMG-35J • EMG-35P APM2440
Warrior Pro 1990-92 $1695 Poplar wings Maple QS Ebony bound Neck-thru 24 Sharkfin pearl HHH J200R • J200R • J200R JT-590
Jackson Rhoads
Jackson Rhoads
Jackson Rhoads
Jackson Soloist
Jackson Soloist
Jackson Soloist
Jackson Soloist
Jackson Soloist
Jackson Soloist
Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich
Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich
Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich
Grover Jackson Doug Aldrich
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Dinky
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Fusion
Jackson Stealth
Jackson Stealth
Jackson Stealth
Jackson Stealth
Jackson Stealth
Jackson Kelly
Jackson Kelly
Jackson Kelly
Jackson Kelly
Jackson King V
Jackson King V
Jackson Infinity
Jackson Infinity
Jackson JTX
Jackson JTX
Jackson Concept
Jackson Concept
Jackson Concept
Jackson Concept
Jackson Futura
Jackson Futura
Jackson Futura
Jackson Futura
Jackson Concert
Jackson Concert
Jackson Concert
Jackson uncategorized
Jackson uncategorized
Jackson uncategorized
Jackson uncategorized
Jackson uncategorized
Jackson uncategorized
Jackson uncategorized
 
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).

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