Jackson vs Schecter: Which Electric Guitars are the Best?

Jackson and Schecter are both well-known for electric guitars which cater mainly for the metal scene, but who makes the best guitars? In this article, I’ll compare the tone, components, origin and ranges of both brands, so you can figure out which is the best option for your next electric guitar.

The Quick Answer

Jackson offer a range of guitars to suit beginners and professionals, whereas Schecter mainly make guitars for the intermediate player. Jackson’s top of the line models are generally better quality than Schecter’s most expensive models. Jackson guitars also have thinner flatter necks compared to Schecter.

Brand Overview

First, let’s take a quick look at how Jackson and Schecter organise their guitar ranges, so you can get to grips with what the different model names mean, and what’s avaiable at different price points.


Jackson have 5 main “series” which divide the full range up into different price brackets.

  • JS Series: affordable and entry-level guitars priced under $500.
  • X Series: mid-range guitars priced between $500-$1000.
  • Pro Series: mid-high end guitars priced between $750-$1700.
  • MJ Series: high-end Japanese-made guitars costing $2000 upwards.
  • USA Signature: top of the line models costing $3000 and above.

Jackson also have several main guitar shapes:

  • Dinky: the most popular model with a double cutaway design.
  • Rhoads: aggressive V-shape, usually offset.
  • King V: pointed V-shape.
  • Soloist: double cutaway design.
  • Monarkh: similar to a Les Paul shape.
  • Kelly: Z-shape.
  • Warrior: dramatic Z-shape.
  • PC-1: double cutaway design.

Other models include: Dominion, MF-1, San Dimas, Shadowcaster and Star. Here are a few images of the classic Jackson shapes. All the images link to Amazon, and the models come in different colours and finishes, and most can be found in more than one “series”.



King V







Schecter organise their range into different series which are separated by price point. Here are the main series in their range:

  • C 6 Plus/ Deluxe: range from $300-$400 and are made in Indonesia.
  • OMEN: range from $400-$550 and are made in Indonesia.
  • Demon: range from $420-$550 and are made in Indonesia.
  • Damien: range from $500-$950 and are made in Indonesia.
  • Sun Valley: range from $650-$880 and are made in Indonesia.
  • Platinum: $600-$950 and are mostly made in South Korea.
  • Reaper: range from $700-$950 and are made in Indonesia.
  • Hellraiser: range from $800-$1250 and are made in South Korea.
  • Banshee: range from $1000-$1600 and are made in Indonesia and South Korea.
  • Silver Mountain: range from $1300-$1380 and are made in South Korea
  • SLS Elite: range from $1300-$1500 and are made in South Korea.
  • Custom: made in the USA and start at $2700.

Here are some images to show a few of the different guitar shapes by Schecter. All the images link to a specific model on Amazon.





Comparing the Tone

It can be difficult to pin down the tone of an entire brand, because there are so many different models in the range that all sound a little bit different, but I’ll attempt to make some sweeping statements here.

Jackson guitars often sound a bit darker and fuller than Schecter guitars. Schecter guitars have more pronounced treble-frequencies on many models, and less focus on the low-end compared to Jackson, which is what gives them a fuller sound.

Both brands primarily cater towards the metal scene but there are many differences throughout the range including the bridge style, scale length, tone wood and pickups, which all contribute to the different tones of every model. It’s really best to compare the guitars in your budget to figure out which sounds best to you.

Check out my article on the 7 most important factors that affect an electric guitar’s tone to learn more.

Check out this video to hear two Jackson and Schecter guitars being played back-to-back. You’ll notice that these models sound very similar!

Where are they Made?

Jackson make their guitars in Indonesia, China, Mexico, South Korea, and Japan whilst Schecter make most of their guitars in Indonesia and South Korea.

  • Jackson make their entry-level models and lower-end guitars in China and Indonesia, which range from $150 to $1500.
  • Schecter make their entry-level and affordable electric models under $1000 in Indonesia. The acoustic range is often made in China.
  • Most of the Jackson Pro Series Dinky range which costs around $900-$1200 is made in Mexico.
  • Jackson and Schecter make a lot of their mid-high end guitars in South Korea. For Jackson, these models range from $1200 to $1800, and for Schecter they range from $1000 to $1800.
  • Jackson makes a limited selection of guitars in Japan which range from around $1000-$2800.
  • Both brands make a very limited selection guitars in the USA which start at around $3000 for Jackson and $2700 for Schecter.

Does it actually matter?

A lot of players in the market for anything mid-high end, are very interested in the country a guitar was made in, as they find it to be a useful indication of quality. Chinese and Indonesian guitars are mass produced and often considered lower quality. South Korea and Japan have good reputations for producing mid-high end guitars, whilst American guitars are often considered the best.

However, the country of origin is not the be-all and end-all. It’s fine to consider it, but don’t let it sway your judgement totally. If the guitar sounds and feels good to you, then it doesn’t really matter where it was made.

I’ve written an article on the differences between guitars made in different countries, if you want to know more about where these reputations came from, and how much to consider them.



Jackson and Schecter both have “thin” necks, making them great for shredding. Jackson guitars have a thin-U shape neck on a lot of their models which is typically a bit thinner and flatter than Schecter necks which are more of a thin-C shape, so slightly more rounded.

U-shape necks tend to suit players with larger hands a bit better than C-shape necks, but the “thinness” is definitely a factor to consider. Some players may find Jackson necks faster for shredding, whilst others may find Schecter necks more comfortable for barre chords, it really is all personal preference, so do your best to try them in the store.

It’s worth noting that not ever Jackson neck is thinner than every Schecter neck. The neck dimensions will vary between models, so it’s important to consider that as well.

Tone Wood

Jackson mainly use poplar and basswood on most models under $750. Over this price, most Jacksons are made from mahogany. Schecter use basswood on most models under $500, over this, they generally use mahogany or ash, depending on the model.

Mahogany is a heavy wood that produces a dark and mellow tone with a lot of sustain, due to it’s focus on bass and mid-range frequencies. Ash, in particular, the swamp ash that Schecter use quite often, is lighter and porous, so offers excellent sustain, but a slightly scooped mid-range, giving it a brighter tone.

This is why a lot of Schecter guitars sound a bit brighter and thinner than Jackson guitars, even when using the same pickups, because the ash body wood scoops the mid-range more than mahogany that sounds a bit darker and fuller. It’s important to note that both brands use different body wood on different models, so there may well be some Schecter guitars that sound darker than Jackson models.


Schecter and Jackson offer models with passive and active pickups, however it is more common to see active pickups on a Schecter guitar. For both brands, you will start to see active pickups being introduced on models over $500. Schecter mainly use active Fishman and EMGs, or passive Schecter-brand pickups. Jackson mostly use Seymour Duncan and DiMarzio pickups on a lot of their models over $750.


Jackson and Schecter both offer floating and fixed bridges across their ranges. However, Jackson typically offer floating bridges on lower-priced models compared to Schecter. Both brands often use Floyd Rose bridges, however it is slightly more common to see a floating bridge on a Jackson compared to a Schecter.


Schecter and Jackson use bolt-on neck constructions on most models under $500, and offer neck-through constructions on most models over this price. Bolt-on constructions are cheaper, and make the neck easier to replace, but do not offer as much sustain as neck-through constructions which also look a lot neater and more low-profile.

I’ve written a complete buyer’s guide for electric guitars which takes you through all the things you need to consider and a step-by-step method to narrowing down your selection and choosing the best option. Here is a link to the article.

The Ranges

Now let’s take a look at both brand’s ranges in a bit more depth. I have selected several of the top sellers from the Schecter and Jackson ranges for comparison in the tables below. All the prices are from Guitar Center and are correct at the time of writing, and the tables are ordered from the lowest to the highest price.

Guitar Center are always the first place I look at when I’m interested in a new electric guitar because have a huge range of models for sale and always have some excellent deals on. Here’s a link to take you directly to Guitar Center’s electric guitar range so you can see all the offers available at the moment. 

Under $500

GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Jackson Dinky JS12Bolt-OnPassive JacksonTremoloPoplar$180
Jackson Dinky JS22Bolt-OnPassive JacksonTremoloPoplar$200
Schecter C-6 EliteBolt-onPassive SchecterFixedBasswood$300
Jackson Dinky JS32QBolt-OnPassive JacksonFloyd RosePoplar$400
Schecter OMEN-6Bolt-onPassive SchecterFixedBasswood$400
Jackson X Series Dinky DK2XRBolt-OnPassive JacksonFloyd RosePoplar$500
Schecter Demon-6 FRBolt-onActive SchecterFloyd RoseMahogany$500
Jackson vs Schecter guitars under $500


GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Schecter C1 PlatinumNeck-throughActive EMGFixedMahogany$600
Jacskon X Series Dinky DK2XBolt-OnActive JacksonFixedPoplar$600
Jackson SLX SoloistNeck-thruPassive Duncan DesignedFloyd RoseBasswood$650
Schecter Reaper-6Set-NeckPassive SchecterFixedAsh$700
Schecter Solo-II CustomSet-NeckPassive SchecterFixedMahogany$950
Jackson Pro SoloistNeck-thruPassive Seymour DuncanFloyd RoseMahogany$1000
Jackson vs Schecter guitars between $500 and $1000


GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Jackson Pro Soloist SL2Q MAHNeck-thruPassive Seymour DuncanFloyd RoseMahogany$1050
Schecter C-1 SLS Elite Evil TwinNeck-thruActive FishmanFixedAsh$1190
Jackson Pro Series Soloist SL3Q MAHNeck-thruPassive Seymour DuncanFloyd RoseMahogany$1250
Schecter C-1 FR-S ApocalypseSet-NeckActive SchecterFloyd RoseAsh$1330
Jackson Pro Series Rhoads RR24Neck-thruPassive Seymour DuncanFloyd RoseBasswood$1500
Schecter Banshee Mach EvertuneNeck-thruPassive LundgrenFixedAsh$1700
Jackson MJ Series DinkyBolt-OnPassive DiMarzioLocking TremoloAlder$2000
Jackson vs Schecter guitars between $1000 and $2000

Over $2000

GuitarConstructionPickupsBridgeBody WoodPrice
Jackson MJ Series Dinky DKR MAHBolt-OnPassive Seymour DuncanGotoh TremoloMahogany$2100
Jackson MJ Series Soloist SL2Neck-thruPassive Seymour DuncanLocking TremoloAlder$2600
Schecter PT CustomBolt-OnPassive SchecterFixedAsh$2700
Jackson MJ Series Rhoads RRTNeck-thruPassive Seymour DuncanFixedAlder$2800
Jackson USA Signature Gus G. StarNeck-thruPassive Seymour DuncanFixedAlder$3700
Schecter PT USABolt-OnPassive SchecterFixedAsh$3900
Jackson vs Schecter guitars over $2000

Which Guitars are the Best?

When you consider the most premium models from both Jackson and Schecter, it is Jackson that generally produces better quality guitars. They often have Seymour Duncan or DiMarzio pickups, and are made in Japan. However, top-of-the-line Jackson guitars are most expensive than premium Schecter guitars.

If you consider the other end of the spectrum, Jackson still usually come out on top.

Jackson offer a better selection of electric guitars for beginners than Schecter. Typically, Jackson guitars start at around $150 and come with extra features like tremolo bridges, whilst Schecter guitars usually start at around $300, making them a bit too expensive for a beginner guitar.

When considering mid-range guitars ($500-$1500), it’s very hard to separate Jackson and Schecter in terms of quality, since both brands use solid materials and hardware, and make their guitars in similar regions. However, I will say that Schecter tend to offer some more premium features like locking tuners, and EMG pickups, on lower priced models compared to Jackson.

The best thing to do, is to identify the models in your budget that you like the look of, and try them in the store. This way, you’ll know for sure which brand offers the best guitar for you.

I’ve written a complete buyer’s guide for electric guitars which takes you through all the things you need to consider and a step-by-step method to narrowing down your selection and choosing the best option. Here is a link to the article.

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Hey, I'm Heather. I started playing an electric guitar when I was given a Squier Strat for my birthday around 15 years ago. I now own an acoustic guitar and several electric guitars including my personal favourite, a PRS SE Custom 24.

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