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Which Is The Better Guitar: Jackson Dinky Minion vs Squier Stratocaster Mini

The guitar is one of the most beloved musical instruments in the world. Jackson Minion Dinky and Squier Mini Stratocaster are two guitars that are both well-known for their portability and excellent sound quality for their cost. It’s hard to decide which one will be a better guitar because they have different features, and the Jackson Minion Dinky has the advantage of being more expensive. In this article, we will discuss the Jackson Minion Dinky vs Squier Mini Stratocaster, their common strengths as well as their differences to make your decision easier!

Common Strengths Of Jackon Minion Dinky Vs Squier Mini Stratocaster

These guitars have the benefit of big brand quality standards. You’ll have to be very unlucky to run into any defects if you order online and even if you did they are covered by a fair warranty.

Jackson Minion Dinky and Squier Mini Stratocaster guitars are both well designed as they’re based on bigger versions of popular guitars from both manufacturers. They have a sonic range that is comparable to much more expensive guitars. You can’t expect them to sound like a $1000+ guitar but, for their cost, are awesome. 

Left-handed players rejoice! Both of these guitars are available in a left-handed version. Even though I personally love the look of a reverse threaded guitar - Jimi Hendrix style.

Differences - Jackson Minion Dinky Vs Squier Mini Stratocaster

Jackson Minion has 24 frets while the Squier Strat contains 20 frets: this difference means the Jackson has an extra 4 notes in its range. This won’t affect most players - unless of course, you are a shred lord. Experienced guitarists that play solos will definitely appreciate the extra frets on the Minion. It also has a sculpted heel which allows you to reach those top notes easier - a feature missing from the Strat.

Jackson's neck is also thicker than the Squier Strat, so if you’re buying for a child they might feel more comfortable playing the Squier. 

Although both these guitars have Maple necks, they have different woods for their fretboard. The Jackson uses Amaranth and the Squier uses Indian Laurel. These are both dark tonewoods and share similar tonal characteristics but the Amaranth feels a little smoother on the fingers.

Jackson Minion Dinkys are heavier at 12 pounds whereas the Squier Mini Stratocasters weigh less than 11 pounds. A negligible difference, but every pound counts if you’re using these as travel guitars!

On the other hand, this difference might not an issue for people who want to play with it on stage. They will not carry the instrument around as much and both of these guitars are much lighter than a full-size guitar.

Neither of these guitars comes with a hard case, so you may have to buy one separately.

Jackson Minion Dinky

A Black Jackson Minion Dinky Electric Guitar
A Black Jackson Minion Dinky Electric Guitar

Pros:

  • The sound is chunky and full
  • Amazing color choices
  • Fantastic tone for the cost

Cons:

  • Instability of machine heads
  • Incapable of twangy country tone

With the endorsements of musicians like Randy Rhoads and James Hetfield, Jackson has been able to maintain a major presence in the electric guitar spotlight for many years. People of all ages and budgets can shred some sick riffs while playing in the Minion series.

Jackson guitars are famous for their quality and are synonymous with heavy genres. The Jackson Minion Dinky is no exception to this rule. 

These guitars have a distinctive sound that makes them stand out from other brands of guitars, but this may not be what you want if you're looking for something more traditional. The Jackson has a slim body with sharp points on both ends, unlike Squier Mini Stratocaster which is thicker. 

It also features an Amaranth fretboard with 24 jumbo frets to make playing easier than ever before. If you're into metal music or just need some heavy tones then this one will do nothing short of providing them! The top frets are small and hard to navigate for clumsy fingers but that is unavoidable, the scale length is shorter so the frets need to be smaller to fit all 24 of them in.

Construction

A solid small guitar from Jackson. The solid poplar body is bolted to the super-fast maple neck. Due to the small spacing between the frets and a scale length of 22 1/2 inches, this guitar is perfect for those with short fingers. The top frets are small and hard to navigate for clumsy fingers but that is unavoidable, the scale length is shorter so the frets need to be smaller to fit all 24 of them in.

The Jackson Minion is an excellent choice if you're looking for a starter guitar for a kid who's rambunctious and wants to rock. They also feel like a “real” instrument in hand whereas the Squier really feels like a starter guitar.

A very common problem among short-scale guitars is tuning stability, unfortunately, these guitars don’t avoid this problem completely. They stay in tune as good as any of the competition including the Squier but could do with an upgraded set of tuners if you can afford it or get around to it.

Tone

This series of Dinky Minion pickups features Jackson High-Output Humbucking pickups, which produce a big rich, and saturated tone. Perfect for overdrive.

With the right amp, it can generate some screaming high squeals as well as a lot of crunch. Just as you would expect from Jackson, these little guitars are perfect for metal and all its sub-genres.

Playability:

Because Jackon guitars have low action out of the box, someone learning chords for the first time might find the Dinky Minion a little buzzy. The Minion isn't a great starter ax for novices who are looking to learn the elements of rock. At least when you compare it to the Squier. This could easily be rectified by setting up the strings differently but I’d still recommend the Dinky Minion to intermediate players or highly motivated beginners.

In Summary

A ¾ size guitar that plays and sounds like a full-size middle-of-the-range Jackson that costs twice as much. How could you argue with that? These are great little guitars and are the perfect addition to a serious guitarist’s collection. They’re beasts in terms of pumping out metal but still have a surprisingly good tone on the clean channel.

Squier Mini Stratocaster review

A Red Fender Squier Mini Stratocaster
A Red Fender Squier Mini Stratocaster

Pros

  • Clarity, crispness, and balance
  • Versatile across genres
  • Neck with a short, slim shape
  • Easy upgradability

Cons

  • Machines heads are not up to the job
  • The sound will be thin on the dirty channel of your amp

It's not uncommon to think of one of their original models when you picture an electric guitar, since Fender is such an iconic name in electric guitars. It was introduced in 1954, and this low-priced vintage rock instrument embodies the essence of the Stratocaster.

With its smaller size and lightweight body, this guitar is perfect for beginners. It also features a 20 fret neck that makes it easier to play than Jackson Minion Dinky which has 24 jumbo frets, and the price is much cheaper too! The only downside with this guitar is that it simply doesn’t have the quality of sound on the dirty channel when compared to the Jackson Dinky Minion.

Construction

They come with maple necks and basswood bodies that bolt-on. It’s a slightly bigger guitar with a scale length of 22.75 inches (0.25” bigger than the Jackson). With a longer scale length and fewer frets, this is an easy-to-play guitar with 20 medium frets and a slim neck profile. 

This is a great instrument for beginners and children to learn on if they intend to move to a real standard-sized Fender Strat in the future.

Tuning instability in the Mini Strat is a problem just like the Jackson which is detrimental to the Stratocaster's reputation. As stated earlier, this is a blanket problem for ¾ size guitars.

Tone

"You get what you pay for" is exemplified perfectly by the tone of the Mini Strat. By paying less for a Strat than what the full Strat costs, you get less of its sound. Yet, a good balance exists between lows and highs on this guitar, and it sounds good in a wide variety of musical styles. 

In other words, it's a slightly watered-down version of what a Strat can sound like. Obviously, you won't be playing with this guitar on stage, but it's great to learn the trade on and it makes a great travel guitar. 

These are better on the clean channel than the Jackson guitars especially if you want to play clean country, jazz, or pop music.

Being a Strat shape, you have SO many options to upgrade the pickups at a later date to have an excellent sounding guitar. Chuck on some new machine heads too and you will have a truly excellent ax.

Playability

Due to the fret spacing and the Stratocaster body shape, the fretboard is accessible to new players, so there is no part of this guitar that's hard to play. One of the best electric guitars for small hands due to its small scale length and "C" shaped neck profile. Playability will always be hindered by slipping tuners, but resolve that issue and you will have a fantastic entry-level guitar.

In Summary

A great starting point for anyone wanting to explore rock, country, jazz, blues, and more, the Fender Mini Strat features a balanced, bright tone that fits well in rock, country, jazz, blues, and more.

Final Word

When it comes to short-scale guitars, you could never go wrong with either of these instruments. The main difference is that one costs more than the other and has a better sound quality, so your decision really depends on which features are most important to you and your budget!

We hope that this article has helped you understand what each guitar is like and which one might be the best for you! If you're still not sure, we encourage you to take a look at both guitars in person or check out our review of the other best 3/4 electric guitars before making your final decision. Happy shopping!

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Hi, I'm Duncan, the owner, creator, and head writer for InciteMusic.com 
I have been a touring cover musician and a teacher for the last 10 years and take helping people to achieve their musical goals very seriously.
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