Check Out Brandon Ellis’ Incredible 27-Fret Jackson Custom Shop Kelly

Jackson is well versed in producing cutting-edge custom guitars, having started as a specialty custom shop during the shred boom of the late 70s.

Today, the Jackson Custom Shop continues its tradition of building premium solid bodies electric guitars for the discerning metalhead.

Current choices include a range of iconic body styles, namely Dinky, Soloist, Randy Rhoads, King V, Warrior and Kelly.

And in the latest episode of Jackson’s Thrashed YouTube series, The Black Dahlia Murder (opens in a new tab) and current touring guitarist of Exodus Brandon Ellis (opens in a new tab) shows off his new 27-fret Custom Shop Kelly in a Metallic Surf Green Crackle finish.

Brandon Ellis with Jackson Kelly 27 custom frets

(Image credit: Jackson/YouTube)

During the film, we take a close look at this unusual guitar built by Jackson Master Builder Joe Williams.

Cutting his teeth at a vintage guitar shop, Williams arrived in Jackson in 2005 where he contributed to many high-profile projects such as the Randy Rhoads Tribute Concorde Replica (opens in a new tab) models.

I actually lose a bunch of frets by tuning down, so I gain them by having 27

Brandon Ellis

This guitar is notable for being the first Jackson Kelly made with 27 frets.

“I’ve always been fascinated by guitars with more than 24 frets,” says Ellis.

While he admits that fret travel could easily get out of hand, the guitarist says having 27 frets is of great practical use to him.

“A lot of people, myself included, turn our guitars down,” he points out, referring to The Black Dahlia Murder’s low, dirty C standard. setting.

“For me to play solos and get those nice guitar notes in the high registers that I’m used to, they’re just on even higher frets than normal.

“I actually lose a bunch of frets going down, so I gain them having 27.”



Last year, Jackson launched his Pro Series Signing Brandon Ellis Kelly (opens in a new tab).

Featuring a poplar body and 25.5-inch through-body maple neck with graphite reinforcement for sustain, this metal machine is equipped with a single Seymour Duncan Parallel Axis Bridge humbucker Retrieve.

A Floyd Rose 1000 Series double-locking tremolo bridge system and Jackson sealed die-cast tuners provide super stable playability.

An avowed fan of crackle finishes, Ellis also owns a skateboard with the same paint job.

“It’s just brilliant,” he enthuses. “It was in the 80s and then you couldn’t get it for decades.

“I used to collect these old guitars, but now they’re back in full swing and I’m really excited to be able to gift this.”

Visit jackson (opens in a new tab) for more information on the Pro Series Signature Brandon Ellis Kelly.

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