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Expressing the master shredder's vision.<br />Rhoades didn't live to see production, but he helped design it...
The iconic Jackson Rhoads electric guitar model began as a series of simple line drawings on a scrap of paper, and soon helped establish the legend not only of its designer, Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Randy Rhoads, but also of the company established to bring those drawings to life, Jackson Guitars. In late 1980, Randy Rhoads was still a relatively unknown guitarist who had just left Quiet Riot, his L.A.-based metal band, to join ex-Black Sabbath singer Osbourne’s group, and he had a few ideas for a distinctive new guitar design for his new gig. Charvel guitars had recently begun making waves among metal guitarists with their shred-friendly axes like those that Randy had been seeing in clubs along the Sunset Strip, so he met with Grover Jackson, Charvel’s new owner, with his design sketches, and work quickly began on the first prototype. Randy wanted to call his design “The Concorde,” after the supersonic trans-Atlantic passenger jet on which he had recently flown, but Grover thought that the guitar, with its radical Flying V-meets-sharkfin body shape, might alienate his growing customer base, and suggested using the Jackson name on the headstock, instead of Charvel. After a few more iterations with design feedback from Randy, the guitar was ready for production. Tragically, Rhoads died in a plane accident before the model was released to the public, but the axe, with its extreme styling, quality neck-through-body construction, aggressive pickups and pro-level appointments, soon became a favorite of heavy metal and hard rock players, and remains a best seller to this day. Current models range from the sleek and sexy JS32, an affordable yet deadly rocker, with alder body, 25.5” scale bolt-on maple neck with compound-radius rosewood fingerboard loaded with 24 jumbo frets, dual Jackson CVR2 humbucking pickups, and a Floyd Rose licensed 2-point double-locking whammy system; to the top-of-the-line Jackson USA RR1 Randy Rhoads Select Series model, master crafted in the US, with neck-through-body design for incredible sustain, ebony fretboard with mother-of-pearl sharkfin inlays, a pair of molten Seymour Duncan humbuckers, and a Floyd Rose Original double-locking tremolo. If you’re looking to maximize the bang-for-your-buck ratio, check out Jackson’s X Series, including the RR24XT Rhoads, another neck-through beauty loaded with a pair of high-output Duncan Designed humbuckers and a fully adjustable TonePros bridge with through-body strings, for maximum sustain and tuning stability; or the similarly constructed Rhoads RRXMG, boasting dual active EMG humbuckers for extreme output, and a Floyd Rose Special 2-point double-locking trem system. Kick it up a notch with the RRMG Pro Series Rhoads, sporting a classy quilt maple top, dual direct-mount EMG humbuckers, and Floyd Rose; or the RRTMG Rhoads Pro, with 3-piece through-body maple neck with hand-rubbed oil finish and graphite reinforcement, a pair of screaming EMG pickups, and a TonePros Tune-O-Matic bridge. Whatever method of madness you espouse, whether you’re flying high again, or you’re just a humble shredder on a crazy train, the legendary Jackson Rhoads is the perfect axe to get you going off the rails. Order yours today!