Y2KV Evolution

On this page you can see the evolution of the Y2KV model from the first prototypes to the final version. I have been lucky to get a LOT of documentation of the design process including work orders, factory pics, notes etc. Hopefully you'll find this info interesting

Below are pics and information on all the Y2KV prototypes that Jackson Custom Shop made for Dave Mustaine. Starting with the first Roundhorn Vs that were probably not made with a new signature guitar in mind, and ending with the final versions that are similar to the production model we know as the Jackson Y2KV.

The Jackson Custom Shop had made Flying V shaped guitars from the early days of the company, but they had always been custom order only instruments. These guitars, also known as Roundhorn Vs, are one of the most desirable Jackson models. While the pointy shaped King V has been highly successful, many players prefer the more vintage look of the Flying V and the massive sound it produces. The biggest problem with these Vs is that they are often quite heavy when compared to the smaller KV and RR models. In many cases this is caused by the use of mahogany which obviously is a feature derived from the classic Gibson Flying V model. The Gibson connection is also the reason why Jackson never made Flying V a production model. After the Fender buyout Jackson stopped building Flying Vs and that also signified the end of the Y2KV model.

Firstly, I want to feature a special guitar that has a somewhat strange background. It was shown at the 1998 NAMM show and was owned by Life Of Agony guitarist Joey Z. According to many sources this guitar was originally built for Dave Mustaine but he returned it to Jackson. There are many things that support this story: The work order number is sequential with Dave's mirror top KV1. Three different parties not in contact with each other have told the guitar was made for Dave. This guitar was built almost identical to Gibson V models and thus it would make sense that it was the starting point for evolution of the Y2KV, with the timing also matching perfectly. Whatever the truth is it's a cool guitar and You can find it here: J6367.

But now on to those prototypes that are clearly connected to Dave...

J6349 - Y2KV Prototype

This is one of my favorite Jacksons. It's really unique looking and Dave always seemed to like it - using it for many promo shoots and concert encores. This guitar is not linked directly to the Y2KV development but it is mentioned in the J6406 specs draft, and most likely was the inspiration to start working on the new Mustaine V. Other than the V shaped body and headstock, this guitar seemed to have all the usual Mustaine features - 24 frets, Kahler APM3310, LSR tuners, etc. This guitar was sold through Andy Brauer auctions - damn I wish I had money back then. :)

J6406 - Y2KV Prototype (WO#0968 - April 15 to July 21, 1998)

This is the first "official" Y2KV prototype. It's currently owned by Justin Coffman of www.jcguitars.com and can be seen here. As far as I know this guitar was never used in public, but it was the starting point for the Y2KV development as evidenced by the hand written paper listing the specs for a new Mustaine V. Check out the documentation below to see that Dave clearly had a Gibson V style guitar in mind.

View the Handwritten specs.
View the Filled Custom Shop Quote form.
View the Work Order.

J6419 - Y2KV Prototype (WO#1019 - Aug 17 to Sept 25, 1998)

This prototype is really strange. These are the only pics I have of it and I have no idea of it's current whereabouts. This was a step backwards in the development process. Dave returned to the Kahler fixed bridge, alder body wood and the regular style Jackson headstock but rounded slightly at the tip. Also note that the serial number on the pics is different from the work order. According to Tim Wilson the serial was J6419.

View the Work Order

J6442 - Y2KV Prototype (WO#1045 - Nov 9 to Dec 23, 1998)

This was the first guitar with the final 3+3 Y2KV head, but it had dot inlays, rosewood fingerboard, fender style knobs and a blade switch. The body shape was not finalized yet either, although during the Ebay auctions it was announced that this was the first approved prototype. According to Tim Wilson, Dave wanted a pickguard on this one but there was some concern that it would make the model too much like a Gibson so the idea was eventually dropped. J6442 is still with Dave and offered for sale on the Megadeth website with the following description: "Early bare wood prototype that Dave played and used as a reference for the final prototype". This guitar was used for some magazine photos in 1999.

View the Work Order

J6460 - Y2KV Prototype (WO#1077 - Jan 25 to March 17, 1999)

This was the first prototype that Dave started using live regularly. This guitar had an experimental truss rod and was supposed to be the final version of the Y2KV. However, after construction had been completed, Dave decided to make a minor change the body style -Unfortunately, his drawing got to Jackson too late so they had to make another prototype. Other than the slightly different body shape this one looks exactly like the Y2KV production models. It features chrome hardware and a 3-way toggle switch instead of the blade switch that was used for Dave's earlier signature models. Together with J6466 this was the only string-thru Y2KV Dave had before the production started in 2000 and you can see it on almost all mid 1999 - early 2000 Megadeth live shows, including the famous Woodstock 99 performance. It was also featured in the promo videos for 'Crush 'Em' & 'Breadline' from the 'Risk' album, as well as being seen in various magazine photos. Although it was used at the same gigs, you can tell it apart from J6466 from three things - the V-cutout is not as deep, it's black instead of black pearl and the headstock doesn't have Dave's signature on it. I believe this guitar was sold during the Andy Brauer auctions. Check out the work order and the letter to Dave from Tim Wilson at Jackson explaining that they still had to make another prototype.

View the Work Order
View the Letter to Dave

J6466 - Y2KV Final Prototype (WO#1093 - March 10 to April 23, 1999)

This guitar was the final Y2KV prototype and the first one with the exact Y2KV body shape. No others like this were built until the production started in early 2000. Since I own this guitar and have a lot of information about it, I've made a separate section for it on this site. You can find all information of J6466 HERE.

J6479 - Y2KV Prototype (WO#1137 - June 15 to July 30, 1999)

This was the first Y2KV with a Floyd Rose bridge. As you can see from the pics the body shape had to be altered so there would be room for the tremolo. J6479 was used for the Rude Awakening live DVD and was seen on the Risk and The World Needs A Hero tours. It was made in a batch with J6480 with identical features, so please refer to the J6480 work order for specs. The guitar was sold through Andy Brauer and it still had the "shut up" sticker from the DVD performance on it in the auction pics.

J6480 - Y2KV Prototype (WO#1138 - June 15 to July 30, 1999)

This Y2KV is still with Dave and offered for sale on Megadeth website. It's identical to J6479 and was the last Y2KV built before the production started in early 2000 and the new model was announced. So basically every black Y2KV that You see in 1999 and early 2000 live gigs is J6460, J6466, J6479 or J6480. You can identify the first two easily but the Floyd Rose models are identical and impossible to tell apart until later on when the "shut up" sticker appeared on J6479.

View the Work Order