Are Jackson Dinky Guitars Good? – Is The Small Body For You?

You are currently viewing Are Jackson Dinky Guitars Good? – Is The Small Body For You?

Compact body, stunning looks, and most of the time, affordable price(expect Pro Serie Dinky’s) can seem really tempting… But are Dinky’s any good?

I have played most of the currently available Dinky’s, exceptions being, most Pro Series, and 7-String models. So basically I have played all the cheap ones…But I made a ton of research about more expensive Dinky’s too!

In this post, I reveal my own experiences and the results of my research. And you will definitely get an answer to your question, “are Jackson Dinky guitars good”.

Let’s get started!

photo reveals owner of guitaristnextdoor.com

Author: Teemu Suomala

I first grabbed guitar in 2009. I started this website in January 2020 because I couldn’t do window installation anymore due to my health problems. I also noticed that most guitar websites don’t do a really good job, so I decided to just go for it! I got lucky and managed to get awesome people to help me with my website. I also got lucky because I have you visiting my website right now. Thank you. I do all this for you guys. If you have any recommendations, tips, or feedback, just leave a comment, I would love to chat with you. I have been fortunate to produce content for several large guitar websites, such as Songsterr, Musicnotes, GuitarGuitar, and Ultimate Guitar. I spend my spare time exercising and hanging out with my wife and crazy dog(I guess that went the right way…).


Are Jackson Dinky Guitars Good?

Jackson JS22 Dinky displayed for readers
Jackson JS22 Dinky I owned for a while. You can read my full review of it here.

Quick answer: Jackson Dinky guitars are great metal machines. Based on my own experience, they offer mean tones, look stunning, and have fast and comfortable playability. With cheaper models, some finish issues can be present, but most of the time the quality is good too.

What’s Good?

  • Models available with Floyd Rose, Tremolo, Fixed, and Evertune bridge.
  • Jackson’s “Speed” neck is really fast playing (most 7-string models have Thin U neck shape)
  • Comfortable playability
  • A tad smaller body (7/8) fits some players well (me)
  • Most of the models have compound fretboard radius
  • Really mean tones
  • Can handle other stuff than metal too
  • Most of the time even the cheap guitars have great setup out of the box (cheap Jackson JS22 Dinky I tested had)
  • Some lefty models are available too

I’ll dive deeper into a couple of the most important factors.

Speed Neck and Compound Radius

The speed neck shape is really comfortable to me, it’s a mix of C and D really. It has similar roundness to C but has a bit larger shoulders, as the D has. The neck feels fast and is smooth(usually a satin finish).

When you pair this with a compound radius, you got some extra comfort in your hands. With compound radius, the fretboard has more curve close the nut and less when you move down the fretboard. This makes playing chords and riffs easy when riffing near the nut, but when you move down the fretboard and are ready to shred, you have a flat fretboard that got’s your back.

Really Mean Tones

From Jackson High Output Humbuckers (stock pickups found on cheap models) to Seymor Duncans to Fishman Fluence(active) pups, mean tones are guaranteed. Dinky’s are made for metal. If you are not after mean tones, then Dinky’s are probably not your cup of tea.

Check a sound demo I recorded with Jackson JS22 Dinky ($199) and Roland Micro Cube GX ($169):

YouTube video

Also check this sound demo where you can see more expensive Dinky (around $1400) played(the model is Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash HT6. It’s my favorite from the Pro Serie Dinky’s, but I don’t like the headstock shape):

YouTube video

What Flaws/Cons Can Be Present?

Dinky guitars are not perfect. Here’s the downside:

  • Especially cheap models can have finish issues (sharp fret edges, blemishes on the fretboard, etc.)
  • Bad setup sometimes
  • Not the most versatile (made for metal)
  • If you want Dinky with active pickups, you most likely have to spend over $1k
  • A tad smaller body can feel alien to some players
photos reveal jackson js22 dinky build/finish flaws
Minor finish issues can happen with cheap Dinky’s. Mine had a little bit hastly installed strap lock(practically nothing) and blemish on the fretboard.

What Features Do Jackson Dinky Guitars Offer?

Let’s look at what kind of features different Jackson Dinky guitars have when we compare differently priced models:

Price symbol meaning:

$= 150-300 Dollars

$$= 301-799 Dollars

$$$= 800-1200 Dollars

$$$$= 1201-1899 Dollars

$$$$$= 1900- Dollars

ModelFeaturesPriceCheck Price and Looks (Affiliate Link)
Jackson JS11 Dinky-Jackson High Output Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-No compound radius
-Flat top
-22 frets
-Poplar body
-Maple neck
-Amaranth fretboard
-Made in China
$Sweetwater
Jackson JS22 Dinky-Jackson High Output Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Arched top(you can see the difference in photos)
-24 frets
-Poplar body
-Maple neck
-Amaranth fretboard
-Made in China
$Sweetwater
Jackson JS32Q Dinky-Jackson High Output Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Arched Quilted Maple top
-24 frets
-Poplar body
-Maple neck
-Amaranth fretboard
-Made in China
$Sweetwater
Jackson JS24 Dinky DKAM-Jackson High Output Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Mahogany body
-Caramelized Maple neck
-Caramelized Maple fretboard
-24 frets
-Made in China
$$Sweetwater
Jackson JS32 Dinky (Floyd Rose)-Jackson High Output Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Floyd Rose Double-locking Tremolo
-Arched Maple top
-24 frets
-Poplar body
-Maple neck
-Amaranth fretboard
-Made in China
$$Sweetwater
Jackson JS32Q Dinky (Floyd Rose)-Jackson High Output Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Floyd Rose Double-locking Tremolo
-Arched Quilted Maple top
-24 frets
-Poplar body
-Maple neck
-Amaranth fretboard
-Made in China
$$Sweetwater
Jackson X Series Dinky DK3XR HSS-Jackson Single-coil
-Jackson High Output Humbucker
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Floyd Rose Double-locking Tremolo
-24 frets
-Poplar body
-Maple neck
-Laurel fretboard
-Made in Indonesia
$$Sweetwater
Jackson Dinky Arch Top DKAF7 MS-Jackson Uncovered 7-string blade Humbuckers
-Thin U neck shape
-Compound radius
-24 frets
-Mahogany body
-Maple neck
-Laurel fretboard
-25.5″-27″ Multi-scale
-Made in Indonesia
$$Sweetwater
Jackson X Series Dinky DK2XR-Jackson High Output Covered Humbucker
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Floyd Rose Double-locking Tremolo
-24 frets
-Poplar body
-Maple neck
-Laurel fretboard
-Made in Indonesia
$$Sweetwater
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK2-Seymour Duncan 59 SH-1 Humbucker and Seymour Duncan JB TB-4 Humbucker
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-Floyd Rose 1000 Series Double-locking Recessed Tremolo
-24 frets
-Alder body
-Maple neck
-Ebony fretboard
-Made in Mexico
$$$Sweetwater
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash HT6-Fishman Fluence Open Core Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-24 frets
-Ash body
-3-Piece Maple/Wenge neck
-Ebony fretboard
-Graph Tech Tusq XL nut
-Gotoh Locking tuners
-Made in Korea
$$$$Sweetwater
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern HT6 MS-Fishman Fluence Modern Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-24 frets
-Ash body
-3-Piece Maple/Wenge neck
-Ebony fretboard
-Graph Tech Tusq XL nut
-Gotoh Locking tuners
-Made in Korea
-25.5″-26.5″, Multi-scale
$$$$Sweetwater
Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern EverTune-Fishman Fluence Open Core Humbuckers
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-24 frets
-Basswood body
-3-Piece Maple/Wenge neck
-Ebony fretboard
-Graph Tech Tusq XL nut
-Gotoh Locking tuners
-Made in Korea
-EverTune F6 Bridge
$$$$Sweetwater
Jackson MJ Series Dinky DKR-DiMarzio PAF Pro DP151 Humbucker and DiMarzio Super Distortion Humbucker
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-24 frets
-Alder body
-5-Piece Maple/Walnut neck
-Ebony fretboard
-Gotoh Double-lockinng Tremolo, Floyd Rose
-Gotoh Locking tuners
-Made in Japan
$$$$$Sweetwater
Jackson MJ Series Dinky DKRP-DiMarzio PAF Pro DP151 Humbucker and DiMarzio Super Distortion DP100 Humbucker
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-24 frets
-Mahogany body
-5-Piece Maple/Walnut neck
-Ebony fretboard
-Poplar Burl top
-Gotoh Double-lockinng Tremolo, Floyd Rose
-Gotoh Locking tuners
-Made in Japan
$$$$$Sweetwater
Jackson USA Select Dinky DK1-EMG 85 Humbucker and EMG 81 Humbucker
-Speed neck shape
-Compound radius
-24 frets
-Alder body
-Quartersawn Maple neck
-Ebony fretboard
-Floyd Rose Original Double Locking Tremolo
-Gotoh Locking tuners
-Made in Japan
$$$$$Sweetwater

So there’s an abundance of different Dinky models to choose from. Most of the cheap ones seem to have Jackson High Output Humbuckers, but Pro Series have models with different pickup options (Seymor Duncan, Fishman Fluence).


FAQ

What Does Jackson JS Dinky Mean?

Dinky – Dinky means “small”. It refers to the body, which is 7/8 the size of a standard Superstrat body.

Is Jackson Dinky Good for Metal?

Yes, they are. Jackson Dinky’s are made for metal. They can handle lighter stuff too, like rock, classic rock, blues, etc. So you can basically play anything with Dinky’s (maybe not the best fit for Country), but metal is their bread and butter.

If you would like to get more metal guitar options to choose from, check our other articles about metal axes:

Who Jackson Dinky Guitars Are Good For?

I have already talked about all the features and benefits, but in a nutshell: Jackson Dinky’s are great for metalheads who want mean tones, plus comfortable and easy/fast playability

Are Jackson Dinky Guitars Small?

The body of the dinky guitar is 7/8 the size of a standard Superstrat body.

Are Cheap Jackson Dinky Guitars Good for Beginners?

I have played all the cheap Dinky guitars except the 7-string models. I even had Jackson JS22 Dinky in my home testing. 

Based on my experience, yes. Cheap and budget Jackson Dinky guitars are good for beginners. Especially if you are a beginner metalhead.

Where Are Jackson Dinky Guitars Made?

  • Cheapest Dinky Guitars (JS-Series) are made in China.
  • X-Series are made in Indonesia
  • Pro Series are made either in Mexico or Korea
  • Jackson MJ Series are made in Japan
  • Jackson USA Select Dinky DK1 is made in USA

How do Cheap Jackson Dinky Models compare to Other Cheap Guitars?

Really well. Jackson JS22 Dinky I tested had top-notch playability, tuning stability, and tones when compared to others at the same price range. It had a couple of little finish issues, but other than that it was great. Find more about my test from this article: 5 Best Electric Guitars Under $200

How Long is Jackson Dinky?

I measured the Jackson JS22 Dinky I tested recently:

  • Length: 38.97”(99cm)
  • It had 24 frets
  • 25.5” scale-length
  • Length of the neck: 25.27” (64.2cm)
  • Width of the body: 12.4” (31.5cm)
  • Weight: 7.05lbs (3.2kg)

Are Jackson Dinky’s Easy to Play?

To me, they are. The “speed” neck shape, a bit smaller body size, and compound radius(in most models) make playing really comfortable and easy. And even on the cheap models I have tested, the edges of the frets, fretboard, and neck were smooth. I value all these qualities and that’s why playability is probably the thing I love the most about Dinky guitars.

Conclusion

Jackson Dinky’s are not for everyone, but they for sure are fast playing and mean-sounding guitars. ⅞  body size, might feel weird to some, but to me, that’s only a plus(I’m an average-sized guy). And even the cheaper Dinky models offer solid quality and are really upgradeable too. I’m looking forward to testing more Dinky guitars in the future!

Hopefully this article helped you out, if you have any questions just leave a comment.

I wish you all the best and keep rocking!

Teemu


Here’s Our Favorite Gear Right Now!

Our Favorite Guitars:

Consider all links in this post to be affiliate links. If you purchase, at no additional cost to you, we may earn a small commission. It helps us to keep the lights on, thanks! 🙂

Electric guitars:

For beginners and tight-budget guitarists, Ibanez GRX70QA was the winner after hours of testing. If you are a metalhead, Jackson JS22 Dinky is our favorite.

If you have more room on your budget, Yamaha Pacifica 112V gives you a great bang for your buck, and Fender Player Telecaster HH will serve intermediate Players well.

Our favorite Electric guitar of 2021 was the PRS SE Custom 24-08. It gives so much versatility, comfort, and good tones that it’s impossible to ignore.

Acoustic guitars:

For beginners, Yamaha FG800 is our go-to guitar. It offers more than any other guitar in the same price range.

For intermediate and beginners with bigger wallets, Gretsch G5024E Rancher offers so clear and detailed tones, plus easy playability that I had to include it here.

Seagull S6 Original is the best acoustic around the $500 mark. It has the construction, sound, and feel that many more expensive guitars don’t achieve.

Our Favorite Amps:

For beginners, Fender Mustang LT25 offers the most. It’s versatile, sounds good, and is simple to use.

For most home players, Boss Katana 50MKii is the amp that serves you in any situation. From country to metal.

If you are searching for a tube amp for home use, Blackstar HT-5R MKii is my go-to option because it sounds so good, and you can adjust the wattage(power).

When it comes to acoustic guitar amps, Fender Acoustasonic 40 will serve most people really well. But our favorite is Fishman Loudbox Mini BT. It offers a professional level tone and volume with a price most people can afford.