Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Review & Prices

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Review
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  • From Jackson's 2020 Artist Signature series
  • Adrian Smith Signature
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 25.5"'' scale
  • 12" to 16" Fretboard Radius
  • Poplar body
  • Maple neck
  • Laurel fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Middle pickup: Jackson Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Jackson Single-Coil (Single Coil/Passive)
  • 1 volume and 1 tone Dome knobs
  • 5-way Switch
  • Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo bridge
  • Jackson Thin D Bolt-On neck
  • 22 Jumbo frets
  • Jackson Sealed Die-Cast tuners
  • Weight between 7.85lbs (3.6kgs) and 8.5lbs (3.9kgs)
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 70
Sound 74
Build quality 59
Value for money 73
Overall Score 68
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX
  • Locking Nut
  • Tremolo
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Retainer Bar
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Expensive Woods
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $400, which means that the Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX costs around 37% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Double Locking bridge that are made in China.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's not bad for beginners, but it could be better. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners
  • Easy-to-use bridge

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

How Lightweight is it?

We found that the Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX weighs between 7.85lbs (3.6kgs) and 8.5lbs (3.9kgs). This was recorded from some online retailers that publish the weight of the instruments they sell.

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's 25.5" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Scale Length Comparison
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the same scale length used in Stratocaster guitars, and it's one of the main reasons they have such a bright sound. It's considered a long scale when compared to most non-baritone guitars.

Since the distance between bridge and nut is relatively long, you'll need to give the strings more tension to get them in tune. This higher tension will allow for a couple of things. First, you can get a lower action (get the strings closer to the fretboard) because the strings won't 'wiggle' too much when pluck and won't cause fret buzz. This can allow you to use lower tunings without increasing your string gauge, and it will make it easier to press down the strings fast.

However, the frets will also have a wider separation between each other, which can make it harder to play, especially if you got small hands. The higher tension will also make the strings feel stiffer, so bending will require more strength.

More with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Neck Profile
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's neck thickness is approximately 0.75'' (19.1mm) at the first fret, and 0.83'' (21.1mm) at the twelfth.

These measurements were taken either from the official Jackson website, or, in case this information wasn't provided, by researching multiple online marketplaces and forums where owners of this model have posted their measurements.

It has a D type neck. It's similar to a C shape, and it's one of the most common shapes right now. It's a bit flatter and thinner, even though sometimes it has a bit more shoulders. It's a fast type of neck that is comfortable, and shredders love it.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Fretboard Compound Radius
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's Compound Fretboard Radius

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX has a compound fingerboard radius of 12" to 16".

A compound radius is the best you can get because you'll get the best of both worlds. It starts curved at the nut, but it flattens as you get closer to the body. This means that you'll get great comfortability for chords on the first few frets, but also a flatter fretboard for playing solos without problems on the higher frets.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
26.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
D Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
Compound Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.614'' Nut Width
13.78'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Nut Width
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Nut Width

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX has a nut width of 42.9mm (1.688''). This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX Fret Size Comparison
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's frets are Jumbo size. This is a tall fret size that is becoming increasingly popular because it makes it easier to press down the strings cleanly. With this fret size, you won't feel the fretboard when playing, so if you press down too hard, you will get the notes out of pitch. However, this is something you can overcome by getting used to the taller size.

More with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
Chord Playability 60
Solo Playability 80
Playability 70

Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar or bass. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood

Poplar wood pattern used for guitar building
Poplar Body
Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Neck
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel Fretboard

Poplar Body: It's similar to Alder in terms of tone as it has a fat low-end with strong mids, but it's a lot cheaper and softer. It's a bit heavier so it's mostly used for tops.

Maple Neck: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Laurel Fretboard: There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with pickups from one of the top brands. This doesn't mean you will get bad pickups, but you might want to consider a pickup upgrade after some time.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a rounder sound and a moderade level of output.

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's configuration is HSS. If you play a lot with humbuckers in the bridge position, but would also love to have pristine cleans, this is a great configuration to have. The bridge humbucker will give you tons of output for playing distorted rhythm parts, while the single coils will give you a lot of tone options.

More with the same pickups

22 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Jackson Single-Coil Middle Pickup
Jackson Single-Coil Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Neck Pickup
24 Frets
Floyd Rose Bridge
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Bridge Pickup
Middle Pickup
Jackson High-Output Humbucking Neck Pickup

Versatility

It gives you a good amount of tone options with its 5-way switch. You can use it to choose at least 5 different pickup combinations.

Unfortunately, it doesn't come with more options for coil split or coil tapping. This makes it less versatile than some competitors.

Diagram

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX pickups switch selector and push knobs diagram
Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX's switch options

What music genre is it good for?

As a 6 strings, Solid Body guitar with HSS configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Hard Rock or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this particular one.

Sound Score

Pickups 60
Sustain 80
Versatility 70
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 74

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Bridge

Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo: With this type of tremolo bridge, you'll be able to perform dive bombs and pinch harmonics without getting out of tune. This type of bridge gives you the best versatility, but it also makes it harder to set up your guitar correctly, especially when changing your strings.

More with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX has a Locking nut. Instead of the typical nut, this nut locks the strings in place and will make them stay in tune even after heavy tremolo use. This type of nut provides the best tune stability, but they also make the guitar more expensive.

It also comes with a retainer bar for the locking nut, which is a helpful addition. Without it, the strings would change pitch once you lock down the nut, so you'd have to make more micro-adjustments at the bridge to tune it correctly.

More with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Bolt-On neck joint. Even though this type of neck was looked down upon for a long time, nowadays bolt-on necks are well built and provide just as much sustain as any other join method. First of all, it's cheap to make because it consists of simply 4 bolts that attach the neck to the body. And you can travel with the guitar more easily, swap out the neck if you damage it, or upgrade to a more comfortable neck later on.

More with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 41
Features 75
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 59

All Specs

Jackson X Series Signature Adrian Smith SDX
General
Brand: Jackson
Year: 2020
Configuration: HSS
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Artist Signature
Colors: White
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Solid Body
Body Material: Poplar
Bridge: Floyd Rose Special Double-Locking Tremolo
Neck
Neck Joint: Bolt-On
Tuners: Jackson Sealed Die-Cast
Fretboard: Laurel
Neck Material: Maple
Decoration: White Dot
Scale Size: 25.5"
Shape: Jackson Thin D
Thickness: 1st Fret: 0.75'' (19.1mm) - 12th Fret: 0.83'' (21.1mm)
Frets: 22 Jumbo
Fretboard Radius: 12" to 16"
Nut: Locking
Nut Width: 42.9mm (1.688'')
Electronics
Switch: 5 Way
Knobs: Dome
Volume Controls: 1
Tone Controls: 1
Bridge Pickup: Jackson High-Output Humbucking (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup: Jackson Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Jackson Single-Coil (Single Coil / Passive)

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