The King V is an electric guitar made by Jackson Guitars based on the Gibson Flying V. The Jackson King V was originally designed for Robbin Crosby of Ratt and he popularized the guitar throughout the 80s. Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine eventually became the guitarist most identified with using this model. After creating a custom King V for Mustaine (completed October 10th, 1986), the company later began mass-producing a Dave Mustaine Signature Series King V, which would become one of their best selling guitars. This line continued into the early 2000s, when it underwent massive changes and became the Y2KV, a guitar based much more heavily on the Gibson Flying V. Mustaine then sold his entire personal collection of Jacksons, and subsequently signed endorsement deals with ESP Guitars then Dean Guitars.
Variants of the King V
Listed below is the range of King V models.
King V Custom
From start to 1990 this was the name for a King V with sharkfin inlays, neck binding and ebony fretboard. Pickup and bridge options were anything the purchaser wanted.
King V Student
KV1 (no longer in production)
The KV1 is a Dave Mustaine signature model and is the first commercially-sold model of the King V. Previously known as the King V Pro, the KV1 supersedes the King V Pro and eliminated the Cherryburst finish in favor of a natural Korina wood finish. The tuners were replaced with LSR locking tuners as well. The end-points were shortened from the prototype created for Robbin Crosby as it was created as a "Double-Rhoads" which has a longer point than this model (The "Double-Rhoads" has 2 equal length long points). All other variants below stemmed from this design. USA-made versions of this guitar are highly-coveted by metal guitarists and are typically difficult to locate for sale.
Y2KV (no longer in production)
The Y2KV is a Dave Mustaine signature model and differs from all other King Vs in that it has rounded ends which seem similar to that of the Gibson Flying V.
The KV2 is a variant of the King V which comes under the 'USA Select Series' of Jackson Guitars. The body is made of alder and is intersected by a neck-thru quartersawn maple neck with ebony fingerboard. It has Neck and Bridge humbucking pickups, both from Seymour Duncan, which are both the JB model. This model has 24 frets and a 2-point double locking Floyd Rose tremolo and is constructed in the US. The KV2 is one of the 2 USA Select Series guitars (alongside the KE2) built with the "Jackson Speed Neck" profile, a slim neck thickness for a fast playability.
The KV2T is a variant of the King V which comes under the 'USA Select Series' of Jackson Guitars. The body is made of mahogany and is intersected by a three piece neck-thru quartersawn mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard. It has neck and bridge humbucking pickups, both from Seymour Duncan, with a JB in the bridge and a '59 in the neck. This model has 24 frets but what is unique to this particular model is that it has a string through body, 'shark eye' fretboard inlay, an abalone Jackson logo on the headstock, the headstock itself is an SLS type rather than the traditional concorde Jackson headstock and has Sperzel locking tuners. Also to note is that the body is a flat top and lacks the bevels of the other Jackson King Vs. The guitar is also a 24 3/4" scale rather than the 25.5" scale that other Jackson King Vs have, though it was originally produced in a 25.5" scale.
The KV3 was produced in 98-01 in Japan. Features Duncan Designed pickups, Jackson JT580LP Tremolo , 22 frets, 1x volume, 1x tone, 1x 3way toggle, sharktooth inlays, bolt on maple neck, poplar body. Mother of pearl inlaid rosewood fret board. The jack output was situated upon the upper wing, just like in more expensive series.
Since 2001, features Seymour Duncan pickups, Jackson JT580LP Tremolo, 24 frets, 1x volume,1x tone, 1x 3way toggle, sharktooth inlays, neck-thru body.
This is a Japanese made 'mid range' variant for the King V. The body is made of Alder and is intersected by a neck-thru quartersawn maple neck with rosewood fingerboard. It has Neck and Bridge humbucking pickups, both from Seymour Duncan. This model has 24 frets and a 2-point double locking Floyd Rose tremolo.
Made on Basswood. the pickups are Duncan Designed HB-103B in the bridge position and an HB-102N in the neck position. The standard model has 24 frets and a Floyd Rose Licensed Jackson low profile tremolo. This model is built in Japan.
The JS30KV is a variant of the King V which comes under the 'JS series'; the entry-level series of Jackson Guitars. The body is made of Indian Cedro, connected to the maple neck, which is bolt-on. The fingerboard is made from Rosewood. The guitar has 24 frets and Jackson humbucking pickups. The bridge is an adjustable string-through-body, Jackson JT390 specification. This model is built in India.
Jenna Jameson Model (no longer in production)
The Jenna Jameson model is an altered KVX10. The model is limited edition and features a Jenna Jameson graphic on the body, her signature below one of the humbuckers and a copy of her 'Heart-breaker' tattoo inlaid at the 12th fret. This model features an adjustable string-through-body bridge and slightly superior humbuckers like the older KVX10 model (pre-2006).
25th Anniversary Model (no longer in production)
The 25th Anniversary Model was announced to coincide with Jackson Guitars' 25th Anniversary, 2006. Two guitars were released, one a limited edition Kelly, the other a limited edition King V. The King V comes in Mercedes Silver only and is hand-signed by Mike Shannon, Senior Master Builder at the Jackson Custom Shop. The body is made from Poplar and is intersected by a quartersawn maple neck-thru three-piece neck. The fingerboard is made from ebony and has 22 frets. The guitar has neck and bridge humbucking pickups, both made by Seymour Duncan. The bridge is an original Floyd Rose 2 point double locking tremolo. This guitar was built in the Jackson custom shop and only 25 units were made.
Demmelition King V
The newest guitar in the King V line and the first signature model since the KV1, the Demmelition King V is the signature guitar model for guitarist Phil Demmel of Machine Head. Demmelition King Vs however are not built like traditional King Vs, as they have two cutaways in each wing on the guitar (designed by Demmel himself). The guitar has an alder body, a maple neck, a 24 fret ebony fretboard with mother of pearl sharkfin inlays, an original Floyd Rose tremolo, EMG 81 active pickup at the bridge and an EMG 60 active pickup at the neck. The Demmelition King V is also factory tuned to Drop B tuning, the same tuning Demmel uses on most Machine Head songs (some are in C# Standard, such as Aesthetics Of Hate). It is available in three color schemes (black with silver bevels, white with black bevels, and red with black bevels).