What’s cooler than pointy headstocks? If your answer was “traditional Fender ones” or “I actually think the Suhr headstock looks pretty nice and it doesn’t deserve the bad rap it so frequently gets”, please don’t hesitate to never speak to me again. The correct answer is “pointy reverse headstocks” and if you’ve read this far you almost certainly agree with me- otherwise why are you here?
This is another recent acquisition which came to me in a pretty neglected state. The tuners had been replaced with a set of right handed Gotoh knockoffs, the finish was grimy and cakey in a way that only humid climates like Hong Kong’s can really get just right, and the soldering job gave me flashbacks to the first time I tried to do it with an overpowered soldering iron, years before civilians had internet. There were also a couple of ad hoc repairs to the knocks and bumps that badass guitars inevitably attract.
Having said that, there was nothing wrong with the things that matter. There are the ubiquitous hairline cracks in the poly finish by the neck joint and som e the neck finish by the fretboard edges has flaked a bit, but there has clearly never been a neck break or the dreaded vibrato post collapse that’s so common with guitars that, by way of their appearance, invite you to abuse the vibrato.
The vibrato unit in question is of course the Schaller-made JT-590, which I disassembled and cleaned, and am happy to report it is fully functional- most critically the knife edges are sharp and there are no noticeable burrs in the mounting studs.
The pickups are the stock j50/j90 combo which presumably had been swapped out and reinstated prior to some previous sale (it’s 30 years old and the guy who sold it to me clearly hadn’t been using it anytime recently)- hence aforementioned godawful soldering job. I was going to (and still may) put in a 59/JB set I have lying around and replace the pots, but the stock pickups actually sound pretty good so as a compromise I kept the stock 500K pots and wired the pickups to individual volume controls a) bc I don’t use tone controls and b) the j90 is so hot (like 19K or something ridiculous) that the middle position sounded barely distinguishable from the bridge. Winding the bridge.volume back not only gives you a more balanced middle position sound but it it also gives you a potential lead boost by winding it back up again (if you’re old like me and think riding the guitar volume is a cool way to get different sounds).
These Dinkys also quite famously (to Jackson nerds) had neck pockets that were slightly too wide so either there is a gap on the bass side or the pocket is tight but the strings skew a bit to the bass side. This is boring trivia but relevant if you want to know about the guitar properly bc most people won’t want to mention this. I actually think it’s not a bad thing as it gives you more room on the treble side at the top of the neck if you actually go up there- which is something most people who play 24 fret guitars do.
Other than that, this is a great playing and sounding guitar. It’s also a very cool colour which is pretty much impossible to photograph accurately. As with all of my listings so far, I’m selling this not because I don’t want it but because I want to rehabilitate other cool guitars so they can enjoyed by someone who’d otherwise be playing a shinier, newer but objectively worse guitar.
This has been my TED talk. Don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions, especially stupid ones.