Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

This is the week we finally get to see the Jackson 2021 Artist models, and some of them are exactly what you expect. But Jackson has a few tricks up their sleeve this year. Today we take a look at the Artist Roster, and all the new models.


Jackson 2021 Artist

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: A Few Changes…

There are not a lot of huge surprises in the Jackson 2021 Artist showcase this year. There are a few new models, and a few new colors. Some of the established models have some new specs. But I don’t blame them at all.

Its been a tough year for everyone.

We are seeing either small releases, or delayed releases from a lot of guitar companies this year. With no Winter NAAM show, it’s been excusable. This doesn’t mean that Jackson hasn’t released some cool stuff. It’s just limited.

Jackson comes up on our site pretty frequently, and I often recommend the JS22 series to new guitarists who are on a budget. Jackson’s regular lineup is pretty vast this year, with new colors for most models. We should have an article about those this week, as well.

Despite the odds this year, the Jackson 2021 Artist series has some pretty cool offerings. Some of the features are things Jackson has never done before.

Let’s take a look at the one that had people scratching their heads first!


Misha Mansoor So-Cal 2PT

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

Misha has made quite the career playing in his band, Periphery. He has several models made by Jackson with his signature on it, but this one is confusing to a lot of people. I can explain…

Misha is mostly known for playing 6, 7, and 8 string guitars in his Prog Metal projects. But there’s a little known secret about Misha…he has a Baby Blue Fender Custom Shop Strat that he LOVES. In fact, at one point…it was his favorite guitar.

There were several parts of periphery’s last album HAIL STAN that have this Stratocaster in it! You would have never known Misha was so fond of a Strat, right?

The Jackson 2021 Artist lineup features 3 Misha sigs, and this one is a tribute to his favorite Strat. Jackson is owned by Fender, so they took a lot of liberties with the design.

“The lightweight basswood So-Cal body is paired to a bolt-on caramelized maple neck with rock-solid graphite reinforcement to withstand the rigors of the road and an oiled back finish for that smooth playing feel. The speed neck is topped with a 20”-radius caramelized flame maple fingerboard with comfortable rolled edges, 22 jumbo stainless steel frets and white dot inlays outlined in black.

Glow-in-the-dark Luminlay® side dots provide exceptional fretboard guidance on the darkest of stages, while a heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel allows for quick neck tweaks on the go.

The Bare Knuckle Ragnarok humbucking bridge and Bare Knuckle Trilogy single-coil middle and neck pickups radiate with aggressive, muscular tone with a slightly compressed vintage twang. This instrument’s versatile voice can be explored with a five-way pickup blade switch and single volume and tone controls.

A premium Gotoh® Custom 510 tremolo system, Graph Tech® TUSQ® XL nut and Gotoh die-cast locking tuning machines combine for smooth and effortless dynamic tremolo action with outstanding tuning stability.”

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!
The neck is GORGEOUS!

This is a great addition to the Jackson 2021 Artist lineup, and I think it offers something different for fans of Charvel and Fender. This is hot-rodded Strat that comes with all premium features. You can see Misha testing last year’s Custom shop model here. Last year’s model was a “relic” version, and a little more pricey than this model.

Moving on!

PRO SERIES SIGNATURE CHRISTIAN ANDREU RHOADS

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

The Jackson Rhoads is a legendary instrument at this point. We have seen it in so many different incarnations and signatures at this point, and I think we will see it for years to come. Between the Rhoads and The Kelley, we have Jackson’s biggest contributions to metal guitar styles.

Christian is best known for his role in the French metal band Gojira. This isn’t the first time we are seeing him in the sig series lineup. However, this model is brand new for the Jackson 2021 Artist series, and meant to be an affordable option.

It has many of the Pro Series features that you expect:

  • Compound Radius
  • Flame Maple Top
  • Single Jackson Humbucker
  • Black Hardware
  • Locking Tuners

If you have always wanted a stripped-down, single Hum Rhoads guitar… now is the time to get one! These should be coming in at just under $900 for MSRP. This is a great addition to the Jackson 2021 Artist lineup, and totally unexpected.


PRO SERIES SIGNATURE BRANDON ELLIS KELLY

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

Speaking of unexpected! This Jackson 2021 Artist addition was totally out of left field for me. We have yet another single humbucker guitar, which is a feature that I think more companies should offer. We have seen a few from ESP this year, but it’s still a “rare” feature.

Brandon is the guitarist for metalcore giants, The Black Dahlia Murder. he has been a Jackson artist for a few years now, and this year he gets his dream axe:

“This signature Kelly features lightwood and resonant poplar body-wings and a through-body maple neck with graphite reinforcement and scarf joint for enhanced sustain, stability and comfort. Built for pulverizing speed, a 12”-16” compound radius bound ebony fingerboard hosts 24 jumbo frets and reverse pearloid sharkfin inlays.

Ready to roar, this sig model is also equipped with a single Seymour Duncan® Parallel Axis bridge humbucking pickup. This humbucker rips with plenty of over-wound attitude for bright, expressive high-end and endless sustain, while a Floyd Rose® 1000 Series double-locking tremolo system provides exceptional dynamic response and reliable tuning stability throughout extreme pitch changes.

Other features include a single volume control, Dunlop® dual-locking strap buttons and Jackson sealed die-cast tuners.

As distinctive as its namesake, the Pro Series Signature Brandon Ellis Kelly™ comes in a distinct Green Crackle finish with reverse pointed 6-in-line black headstock with green Jackson logo and black hardware.”

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

Being a fan of all things “Explorer shaped”, this is the coolest addition to the Jackson 2021 Artist Lineup to me! It has everything you could want, all killer-no filler. I even like the crackle finishes from the 1980’s that are making a comeback! I think this would be a cool part of any lineup, not just the Jackson 2021 Artist series.


PRO SERIES SIGNATURE MARTY FRIEDMAN MF-1

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

I don’t think Marty Friedman needs any introduction. He is a legend in the metal world, starting with his early work with Jason Becker in the 1980’s. Later he became what we know as the ‘quintessential” Megadeth Guitarist. he is the person we compare all other Megadeth guitarists to, right?

Marty’s Jackson 2021 Artist model is not that different from the previous ones. Based on the Monarch shapes, and set up to Marty’s specs. But the Jackson 2021 Artist model introduces the “Purple Mirror” finish. The Pics do NOT do it justice!

This 24.75”-scale signature model is loaded with great features to match the demanding needs of an elite and intricate player like Friedman — but at an affordable price.

Friedman’s signature MF-1 features a resonant mahogany with a striking cracked mirror top. A mahogany set-neck features a scarf joint and graphite-reinforcement rods to protect against environmental depredations. A 12”-radius bound ebony fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets and pearloid block inlays is an ideal playing surface for swift licks or articulate chord work.

Marty Friedman dual passive EMG® MF signature humbucking pickups deliver a sound that sings and screams. This axe is also equipped with two volume and two tone controls as well as a three-way pickup toggle switch to wrangle all of the subtle nuances out of your guitar tone. The Jackson TOM-style adjustable bridge with anchored tailpiece and die-cast locking tuners creates improved intonation and enhanced sustain.

Never fear being upstaged with the all-new cracked Purple Mirror finish, complete with 3-ply white/abalone/white body binding, all-black hardware and reverse Jackson 3×3 (3 over, 3 under) AT-1 black headstock.”

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

I wish I could find a picture that shows off this finish better! It’s really cool, and a throwback to KISS and other bands of the 70’s and 80’s. This is probably the least “original” of the Jackson 2021 Artist lineup. But Marty is not a ‘tech” guy when it comes to gear. he is just a player.

Finally…we get to the most popular of the Jackson 2021 Artist series…

Misha Mansoor 6 & 7 String Juggernaut Evertune Models

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

The Jackson 2021 Artist Lineup would not be complete without a Misha 6 and 7 string guitar! It’s been several years now, and only subtle changes hve been made to the Juggernaut. Until now!

Now we have the Evertune bridge installed, along with the usual features…7 string first:

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

The Pro Series Signature Misha Mansoor Juggernaut ET7 offers a 26.5” scale length, basswood body and caramelized bolt-on maple neck with rock-solid graphite reinforcement, wrap-around heel and oiled back finish for greater playing comfort. Enjoy blazing fast leads with a 20” flat radius caramelized maple fingerboard featuring rolled edges, 24 jumbo frets and offset dot inlays.

Luminous side dots will guide your way even on the darkest of stages, while the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel allows for convenient neck relief tweaks.”

Jackson 2021 Artist Models: New, Old, Impressive, and Unexpected!

“The Pro Series Signature Misha Mansoor Juggernaut ET6 offers a 25.5” scale length, basswood body and caramelized bolt-on maple neck with graphite reinforcement, wrap-around heel and oiled back finish for greater playing comfort. Enjoy blazing fast leads with a 20” flat radius caramelized maple fingerboard featuring rolled edges, 24 jumbo frets and offset dot inlays.

Luminous side dots will guide your way even on the darkest of stages, while the heel-mount truss rod adjustment wheel allows for convenient neck relief tweaks.”

Both models sit at about the $1200 price range, and are nearly identical to last year’s Juggernaut models. But the Jackson 2021 Artist Series adds in the Evertune bridge, which is a game changer for anyone that has used it!


Jackson 2021 Artist Lineup: Final Thoughts…

As I said earlier, it has been a rough year for everyone. Guitarists, and guitar companies alike have seen shortages. Logistics problems. factory delays. It has been the paramount of bad years for a great many industries.

To be fair, I am impressed that so many companies thus far have released so many models despite Covid, and the lack of a physical NAAM show. I have a few more Companies and models to take a look at this next week. I’m glad the industry has held resilient for the most part.

When Doe the Jackson 2021 Artist Series ship?

The earliest models will ship in February 2021, all the way through until April 2021.

Are Jackson Import Guitars Worth it?

Jackson is made largely to the same standards as Fender Import models, and Charvel. In this respect, they are generally pretty consistent.

Do the Jackson 2021 Artist Guitars come with a case?

None of the new models come with a case, to my knowledge.

Christoper Horton

Christopher started playing guitar in 1994 at 14 years old. He has been a part of the Metal community for the last 25 years and has 11 solo albums under his belt. Christopher started his career in Atlanta, Georgia in the late 90's, later securing a major label record deal in the early 2000s under the name IAMSOUND. He worked briefly as a hired gun in Los Angeles before he opened his own studio in 2010 in Savannah, Georgia. Chris has worked with some big names over the years like Tripping Daisy, Kylesa, Baroness, and the legendary Reflux.

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