Best Pickups for a Jackson Dinky Upgrade (our top Pick)
Seymour Duncan Invader Humbucker Set
The Invader set by Seymour Duncan is one of our favorite passive pickups for high-gain tones. It'll add a lot of aggression to the Dinky and at a decent price tag, coming it at less than $200 for the neck and bridge set.
The Jackson Dinky comes in several different forms and colors. Though one of the most popular forms is also quite cheap, at just under $200 retail in most cases. That has made the Dinky, namely the JS22, a popular and top-selling guitar. Note that the JS32 is close behind at just under $300 retail. There are also a handful of far more expensive versions of the Dinky series.
However, most who are referring to the Jackson Dinky are focusing on the cheaper models. In this article we're going to cover a few suggestions for modifying and ultimately upgrading the pickups on a Jackson Dinky, either the JS32 or the JS22.
If you have questions at the end, or you want to share your Jackson Dinky upgrade story, drop a line in the comments section below and we'll chat.
Read more: Best guitar pickups overall
Upgrade Parts List
The Jackson JS32 and 22
Low to mid-range electric guitars
Seymour Duncan Invader Set
High output. Most cost-effective set
DiMarzio Evolution Set
Seymour Duncan Distortion Mayhem Set
High output. Most cost-effective set
Floyd Rose Original Bridge and Tremolo System
Should be a straight swap with Jackson floating system
Seymour Duncan 500k Potentiometer
Will need two. One for volume and one for tone (interchangeable)
- Approximate total cost for one pickup set and bridge: $400 - $500
The Jackson Dinky - JS32 and JS22 - are popular modding guitars because primarily because of their price, which we've already mentioned but will highlight here:
- JS22: $199
- JS32: $299
Since the floating tremolo bridge and humbuckers are both Jackson stock, it can easily be upgraded to sound and feel much nicer by just focusing on these areas. Moreover, these are two areas where guitars can often lose or gain a lot of value. Using the Jackson Dinky body as a baseline for your modification, you can spend under $500 to significantly improve its tone and playability.
I'd also recommend switching out the volume and tone pots, which I'll include in the table below.
To get specific about which pickups to use, we'll highlight three humbucker sets.
Seymour Duncan Distortion Mayhem
Both the JS32 and JS22 use what's called a "dual humbucker" pickup configuration, meaning you have a humbucker at the bridge and neck position.
This is sometimes abbreviated HH.
Having an HH pickup configuration dictates that we need to look at humbucker sets, which provide a humbucker for each position.
Thus, we'll start with a good "basic" Seymour Duncan humbucker set (also one of the cheapest), costing around $130 in most markets. It's a fantastic low-budget upgrade for those not wanting to sink too much money in to their Jackson Dinky, just right for the return on investment, and a major tone upgrade all the same.
I'm also partial to ceramic magnets for modern, heavy tones.
Read more: Best Seymour Duncan pickups
DiMarzio Evolution Humbucker Set
DiMarzio's Evolution Humbucker set is a high-output F-spaced design that looks great on the JS32 or JS22 with the all-black covering.
It's a bit more expensive than the Seymour Duncan Mayhem set, but the Evolution pair are better-sounding pickups and a more substantial upgrade over the stock Jackson humbuckers.
Read more: Best DiMarzio humbuckers
Seymour Duncan Invaders
While they aren't expensive by humbucker pair standards, the Seymour Duncan Invaders are the priciest on this list.
We wouldn't want to sink much more into a $300 guitar, but the Invaders sound great and suit the Dinky's modern edginess. For those that want to hold onto their JS32 for awhile, we'd put the Invaders forward as your best upgrade option.
Most Floyd Rose and Edge Zero bridge upgrades will fit the Jackson Dinky.
The existing bridge looks the part of the Floyd, but is just a stock floating tremolo. These knock-offs function in a similar manner, but are notorious for getting knocked out of tune and being generally weaker. I've often seen these loosen or have trouble staying properly set in the guitar's body.
Also, it's important to note that the JS32 and NOT the JS22 come with the floating tremolo system.
The JS22 is just a simple thru-body bridge design.
While a bridge upgrade would bump up your investment commitment considerably, it'll give this guitar a lot more legitimacy. It will also improve tuning stability, which might be worth it for those that use a whammy bar more aggressively.
If you're going with the JS32, I'd recommend it.
For the JS22, probably not.
Sizing and Compatibility Notes
While there can be small discrepancies in sizing between stock and brand humbuckers, the difference should be negligible. Any of the three sets we've recommended will fit in the existing body cavity of the JS32 or JS22, once the original pickups are removed.
If you need some help with wiring, checkout our wiring diagram resources page.
The same should be true of the Floyd Rose tremolo, as it shouldn't cause problems given the structure of the stock Jackson floating setup. Its measurements should be close, if not exact.
I'd recommend taking pictures of the original bridge and the wiring for both original humbuckers before pulling them out. They're your best reference for how to handle their replacement parts.
Your Thoughts and Suggestions
If you have questions about the Jackson Dinky, our pickup suggestions, or anything else related to this upgrade, leave it in the comments section below.
While this upgrade is hypothetical and not one we've tested, it should be a simple swap, especially if you're just doing the pickups.
Leave it in the comments section and I'll do my best to help out.
See you there.