Jackson Archtop Archive Header
The Jackson Archtop Archive and Image Gallery, a gallery of US made Custom and Production model Archtop Soloists as well as gallery search, features database, history and evolution.
Finishes

All this information is gathered only from available imagery. Aside from much observation and comparisons, many are identified through hangtag images, dealer ad descriptions, some are assumed and others as obvious.
It is quite possible to have misinterpreted actual colors as quite a few are estimated/guessed, especially on the main gallery pages. Mixed lighting/camera settings can make one color appear another.
Pretty sure there will be some future corrections.

This page is maintained to elaborate on colors and subtle variations among like colors over time.
For a listing of current colors, finishes and graphics, visit Jackson Guitars.

Quick Nav > Bursts - Transparents - Solid - Graphics


Burst Finishes
Bursts can look vastly different depending on lighting as well as have some wide variances from one batch to another year to year.
Amber Sunburst
Interpreted as late afternoon sun orange with mild darkening at edges. Last pic included for comparison is strikingly different in studio/controlled lighting.
Amber Sunburst
JA0193
Hangtag
Amber Sunburst
JA0215
Assumed
Amber Sunburst
JA0216
Hangtag
Amber Sunburst
Unidentified ASB
Dealer Ad
Tobacco Sunburst
Interpreted as a tanned core with sharp transition to blackened edges. JA0025 is very different to current styles, but comparable to the burst styles of that era (compare to JA0004 below).
Tobacco Sunburst
JA0025
Hangtag
Tobacco Sunburst
Unidentified TSB
Hangtag
Tobacco Sunburst
JA0264
Assumed
Tobacco Sunburst
JA0407
Assumed
Cherry Sunburst
Interpreted as a yellow-amber core transitioning to cherry red edges. Definite variety in implementation
Cherry Sunburst
JA0004
Assumed
Cherry Sunburst
JA0153
Hangtag
Cherry Sunburst
Unidentified CSB
Assumed
Cherry Sunburst
Unidentified CSB
Dealer Ad
Burnt Cherry Sunburst
Very similar to Cherry Sunburst except edging is darker, and somewhat purplish cherry.
Burnt Cherry Sunburst
Unidentified BCSB
Forum Post
Burnt Cherry Sunburst
Unidentified BCSB
Dealer Ad
Burnt Cherry Sunburst
Unidentified BCSB
Assumed
Burnt Cherry Sunburst
Same as left
Controlled Light

Transparent Finishes
Transparents can look vastly different depending on lighting as well, but they are more consistent as opposed to the bursts.
Amber
Amber appears as a yellowed, almost natural finish. Depending on lighting as seen in the samples, the same guitar takes on a completely different appearance.
Trans Amber Trans Amber
JA0033 in different lighting
Assumed
Trans Amber Trans Amber
JA0048 in different lighting
Hangtag
Solar
Solar seems to be identical to Amber Sunburst, without the burst. There is one small quantity batch which all appear much less orange in shade (samples 1-3). 4th sample is closer to Solar PC1s and a 2005 limited run Solar Charvel.
Solar
Unidentified 1
Dealer Ad
Solar
Unidentified 2
Dealer Ad
Solar
JA0500
Dealer Ad
Solar
JA0529
Hangtag
Transparent Blue
Blue did not really get any attention until the SLAT production models came out. Only two or three pre-SLAT are known, one of them unserialed (assumed employee).
Trans Blue
No Serial
Obvious
Trans Blue
JA0034
Obvious
Trans Blue
JA0232
Hangtag
Trans Blue
JA0439
Obvious
Transparent Red
Do not believe a hang tag is necessary to define trans red, altho one has been seen advertised as Wine Red which may just be their interpretation.
Trans Red
JA0069
Obvious
Trans Red
Amir Derakh
Obvious
Trans Red
Unidentified TR
Obvious
Trans Red
JA0476
Obvious
Transparent Green
Green is also practically non-existent until the release of the SLAT production models in 2001/2002. Is it obvious when these primary colors took off?
Trans Green
JA0186
Obvious
Trans Green
JA0289
Obvious
Trans Green
JA0438
Obvious
Trans Green
Unidentified TG
Obvious
Transparent Black
Black is commonly seen appearing more brown than black. As seen in the 3rd sample, they are most definitely black and flash especially brings out the brownish flames/quilting.
Trans Black
Unidentified TBK
Obvious
Trans Black
JA0377
Obvious
Trans Black
JA0425
Hangtag
Trans Black
Unidentified TBK
Obvious
Natural
Natural is another finish that took off with the SLAT production line. Often accompanied with insane quilting, these guitars have nothing to hide.
Natural
JA0274
Obvious
Natural
JA0280
Obvious
Natural
JA0464
Hangtag
Natural
Unidentified NAT
Obvious
Exotic Top Naturals
Maple may be the most common top on transparent guitars, but nothing says custom like an exotic wood. Just a few examples here.
Korina
JA0469
Korina/Maple
Redwood
JA0488
Burled Redwood
Spalted Maple
JA0502
Spalted Maple
Maple/Ebony
JA0597
Maple/Ebony
Unique / Custom
Transparent Finishes
Custom shop options are not limited to previous or current finish colors. Sometimes a new variant of an existing color is desired.

The shade may be altered slightly such as the difference between Rootbeer and Tigereye. Some have subtle differences such as transprent blue and Chlorine, which adds a faint edge darkening like a burst. Others may be completely unique one-offs that have not been done before.

Either way, if you want something truely unique, color is often the easiest.
Trans Purple
JA0221
Purple
Rootbeer
JA0474
Rootbeer
Natural
JA00510
Tigereye
Turquoise
Unidentified
Turquoise
Chlorine
Unidentified
Chlorine
Violin Brown
Unidentified
Violin Brown
Trans Orange
Unidentified
Vintage Orange

Solid Colors
Although most frequently seen with a maple top and trans finishes, solid color guitars can be due to preference or for body/top woods that have little visual appeal in a transparent finish. They are also less expensive since visual imperfections in the wood itself are of little concern, requiring less effort.
  Red
JA00032
Red
Candy Magenta
JA0053
Candy Magenta?
Pearl White
Unidentified
Pearl White
Snow White
JA0490
Snow White
Black
JA00508
Black

Graphics
If you are not interested in transparents or solid colors, your last option is a graphic. There are plenty of existing graphics to choose from or you can make it more personal with your own design. Included in the samples is a hybrid graphic/trans flames over quilt, which technically is a transparent with a graphic appearance.
  Black/White Marbled
Unidentified
Black/White Marbled
White/Black Marbled
JA0152
White/Black Marbled
Red Snakeskin
JA0517
Red Snakeskin
Eerie Dess Variant
Unidentified
Pre Eerie Dess
Mike Learn
Unidentified
Mike Learn
Flames on Quilt
Unidentified
Flames on Quilt