Laguna Hills, CA – Grover Jackson, the luthier behind Jackson Guitars and Randy Rhoads’ famous Concordes, has launched a new guitar company called GJ2 Guitars. The company’s first model, the Arete, will be on display at NAMM 2012.
After Jackson Guitars was sold to Fender, Jackson worked with a number of other manufacturers and operated his own contract manufacturing operation while being a full-time, single dad. His daughters, now teenagers, are old enough that he can devote more time to building guitars, and Jackson made the decision to launch his own brand with CEO Jon Gold (formerly of Fender) heading up the business end. “I had a bunch of ideas that I’d collected over the years, and I thought, here, I’ll stick them all into one product line,” Jackson said.
GJ2 is a small, three-man operation in Southern California, where all of the instruments—including the pickups—are designed and built in-house by Jackson himself. He plans on starting slow by debuting a single model with a variety of available features, using high-quality materials and components. The brand is launching with a single model, the Arete, which is an ancient Greek word for excellence. Jackson said that he expects to bring additional models, potentially something “substantially different,” in the next 12 months.
“It’s about taking your time and bringing something to the market that’s viable—that working musicians can use,” he explained.
The Arete is available in two levels: 4-Star and 5-Star. Both share a sculpted, high-access heel; compound radius fingerboard (10”–14”); Habanero BW Neck V and Habanero BW Bridge V humbuckers; original Floyd Rose tremolo, Gotoh tuners; and neck-through-body construction with a three-piece center section. GJ2 offers H/S/S and H/S/H configuration on request. Guitars start at $2,999 for the 4-Star.
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