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Jackson Dinky Minion Review JS1X

Minion is an appropriate name for a guitar that’s both cute and powerful. With a 2/3 scale length and a retail price of under $200, the Jackson Dinky Minion is an affordable electric guitar for kids. However, some adults may also find its features appealing for travel, and it has the metal capabilities and playability of the legendary Jackson Dinky.

A made-in-China guitar first produced in 2016, the JS1X Dinky Minion offers a high-output roar and a robust sustain thanks to its construction. 

Read on to learn more about Jackson’s Minion and all it can provide.

Jackson Minion Features

Here’s a list of the features of the Jackson Dinky Minion electric guitar: 

  1. 2/3 scale (22.5”) length
  2. Bolt-on maple neck
  3. Poplar Dinky body
  4. Amaranth fretboard
  5. Speed neck profile
  6. Fretboard radius: 12"
  7. Nut width: 41.3 mm
  8. Pearloid sharkfin insoles
  9. Jackson HT6 hardtail bridge with string-through-body
  10. 24 Jumbo frets
  11. 1 Volume and 1 tone control
  12.  2 Jackson humbuckers pickups
  13. Three-way toggle knob
  14. Color: Black
  15. Black hardware

The minion doesn’t come with a case, which is a letdown because the guitar cannot fit properly in most guitar cases. It’s the perfect size for a traveler's guitar, but it may be challenging to find protection for the Minion. Check out our list of the best ¾ cases for some options.

Who Can Use the Jackson Minion?

Even though the Minion is typically used by children, some people with small hands may benefit from its 2/3 scale. Adults may also prefer its portability, and both children and adults may find it helpful when learning how to play.

In short, anyone can use this guitar. 

The Jackson Dinky Minion Review

A Black Jackson Minion Dinky Electric Guitar
A black jackson minion dinky electric guitar

Body & Neck

The JS1X Dinky Minion comes in a 22.5-inch scale length that is rough 2/3rds the size of a typical guitar. Its poplar body with a modified Super Strat body shape makes it a convenient guitar for any child or smaller person, whether they’re standing or sitting.

The maple neck, which is reinforced with a bolt and features a slim profile, makes it easy for small hands to manipulate. Because of the short-scale length, it’s quick and very smooth.

The neck also has a rosewood fretboard with 24 frets and the distinctive Jackson pearloid sharkfin inlays.

Adults get to enjoy crazy short fret-hand stretches and playing super-fast with the Minion. For instance, an experienced player can easily fret both the 12th and 5th frets simultaneously.

The main disadvantage is that the frets become smaller and more difficult to play after the 20th fret. In the end, the 23rd and 24th frets are generally useless.

The classic Jackson reverse headstock adds to the appeal of the Minion. If you can change the strings, it will make the guitar more worthwhile. If you can’t change them yourself, visit a guitar store so they can do it for you.

Hardware

The Minion is fitted with stock components that perform well and maintain a low price. It features two Jackson humbucking pickups (which can be controlled by a three-way selector), a master volume, and master tone switches. The Minion’s simple features make it easy for kids to use.

Additionally, it has a fixed bridge and a set of chrome tuners that are efficient for stability.

The neck is straight, and you don’t have to fiddle with the truss rod. All of the inlays are in their proper locations and correctly fitted.

Fit

The guitars setup is carried out either in a factory or by an employee. You might need to change the strings by replacing the 9-42s with the 10-52s.

The Minion’s neck is straight, and you don’t need to tweak the truss rod. The inlays are also in their proper position and fitted accurately.

Further, the tuners are in the correct alignment, and the input jack is sturdy. Therefore, you won’t experience an excessive buzz when you plug in a cable. Also, you shouldn’t experience any dead frets or fret buzz.

All in all, you need to fiddle a little with the setup, and then the guitar will be ready for use. But, the tradeoff of a little setup compared to the low price of these guitars make it well worth the effort.

Sound

The Minion sounds grand for its price range and size. Depending on the amp you use, the clean tones are warm and clear. When you play it in distortion, the tone is full and chunky.

Although the Jackson sealed die-cast tuners aren’t perfect, they’re able to stay in tune but can be flat perfect when you try to do wild bends and/or vibratos. In addition, the Minion’s tuners are well aligned with a stable input jack.

In terms of actually tuning, the Minion performs well considering its price range, but it might produce a muddy sound if tuned to C or C#. It doesn’t cause excessive buzzing when you plug in a cable.

The Minion’s pickups are rather noisy but you can easily improve the pickups by using thicker strings.

When the neck pickup is full of bottom end, the guitar has mild highs and can be pleasant to solo with. Generally, the pickups produce respectable sound quality.

You can use the 3-way toggle switch, tone, and volume knobs to adjust your playing to either crunchy riffs or wailing leads.

At the end of the day, kids can use it during performances, and it is among the best-sounding kid’s guitars.

Durability and Reliability

As mentioned before, the guitar has decent hardware that rarely has any problems. However, you need to be careful with the guitar’s points. Poplar, the wood it’s made of, is rather soft, and the Minion’s finish isn’t perfect.

Although online photos make the guitar appear to be solid and glossy, many users have complained of poor paintworks, such as darker portions, on the guitar. To some extent, the Minion looks like it needs a fresh coat of paint.

The guitar is suitable for children, but that doesn’t mean that you can play it on a stage for a live audience. It might not even be considered as a backup. 

Why? First, the minion comes without a case for protection and portability.

Also, like other Chinese guitars, the Jackson Minion has cheap screws that one can accidentally strip. The nuts have sharp corners that can poke you. However, you can round them using a metal file.

Another concern is the deep fret cuts that tend to be a few millimeters deeper than the fret wires.

Overall Impression

The Minion's small scale and body make it a fun and easy guitar to play. If you enjoy rock and metal and are a smaller person, you can give this guitar a try. It can also be a cool gift for kids who are rock fans.

Its affordability and reliability are other reasons why you should consider the Minion. It outshines many other small-scale guitars on the market, and you could easily replace the guitar if it were stolen or lost.

You’ll have a decent guitar if you customize it and work around its few flaws. Especially if you need to practice or move around frequently, its portability is a significant advantage.

Where to Buy a Jackson Minion

If you need to physically try out the guitar, you should look for it in stores where you can play before purchasing. You may also find it at a much lower price in pawn shops. If you want to buy a new one, you can either check your local stores or buy online through Amazon.

The Jackson Minion is an excellent starter electric guitar for kids. Even if an adult considers using the Minion as a travel guitar, it’s worth its price tag. It offers great sound, comfort, and playability. 

However, it’s unfair to expect the Minion to sound like a mid-level full-scale guitar. Remember, it’s a short-scale without brand name pickups.

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Chris Daniel Playing Guitar in a nightclub
About The AuthorChris Daniel
My "day job" used to be teaching but I decided to give that up to play music full time. I have gigged all over the world playing in bands or as a solo act since then. I still have a passion for teaching others anything related to music. Writing content for InciteMusic.com gives me an opportunity to combine my love of music and education.
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