Modern natural done right: Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK
Yes, there is such as thing as going with a natural-ish finish that's modernized, and Jackson has done it.
Why do I call a finish like this natural-ish? It's not 100% natural. Color is added, but the point is you can very prominently see the grain lines on both the body and headstock.
Above is the Jackson Pro Series Dinky DK Modern Ash FR6 in "Baked White". Other colors are available with this Modern Ash treatment such as this hardtail in Baked Red, or 7-string versions in Baked Blue or Baked Green, but the Baked White is the best of the lot because it has that "ghostly" appearance to it that just looks cool.
This is an interesting take on the baking/burning process of a guitar body to bring out a different look. Baked wood is a relatively recent thing guitar makers have been doing, but ordinarily it's for 100% natural finishes only. The difference here with what Jackson did is the application of color with it.
The baked look fortunately carries over the entire body, meaning front and back, meaning it's not just some cheesy baked veneer.
I also like the fact this gives the guitar a different appearance without being stupid about it. Jackson didn't go "loud" with this and didn't have to, because the very prominent grain lines are more than enough to keep it interesting.
Said another way, I firmly believe this guitar look will stand the test of time. When you see this guitar 5 years from now or 10 or more, it will still look good. Jackson should make this a regular finish option on all their guitars.
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