- Washburn (non-exhaustive list).
Among these innovations, we can find :
- The Magnaflux UBC (Unbalanced Coils humbucker) : a humbucker using various structures of magnet on each coil as well as asymmetrical winding , allowing to obtain an authentic single coil sound when splited, while preserving its humbucker characteristics in normal serial connexion.
- The heelless "bayonet" neck junction : a heelless built-in neck junction providing the same level of sustain as a long tenon set-neck without killing access to the last frets.
- The “rail” bass :
2 production periods can be identified in the Westone Matsumoku history :
- The first period from 1981 to 1982/1983 : the "early years", with simple script logo, is globally characterized by a traditional construction design (for exemple : neck-through, traditional pickups, mostly classical natural and sunburst finishes, ...),
- The second Matsumoku period, from 1983/1984 to 1987 introduces the eagle logo (1983) and major technical innovations like UBC humbuckers, Bayonet neck join, as well as the Spectrum guitars serie (1984) which had large commercial success.
Thunder models (guitar and bass) are inspired by Alembic neck-through construction style. Lower-end models feature bolt-on necks (Thunder I), or set-neck (Thunder II).
Let's first introduce 2 Thunder III “guitar” models . Below you can see 2 Thunder III : first is a black
model of 1982, then my second one : a green model from 1983, very different guitars.
- The 1982 Thunder III - black provides very precise medium sonority, infinite sustain (neck-through, HH pickup layout, active electronics, 24 frets, ebony fingerboard, fixed bridge) - > good for progressive rock, jazz, fusion,… why not metal
- The 1983 Thunder III - Onyx (metallic green ) provides stratoid sonority, crystal clear arpegios, with Les-Paul sustain (neck-through, atypical SHS pickup layout, passive electronic, 21 frets, floating massive brass whammy which doesn't affect sustain) -> good for jazz, fusion, funk, blues, but not for metal in my opinion.
- Now a rare Thunder III fretless bass :
The Rainbow hollow-body model is equivalent to an early "good time" Ibanez AS200 : ES335 style, long tenon junction, birds eyes maple body, ebony fingerboard, "pure" mother-of-pearl inlays. Please note the quality of the “slightly” birds-eyes maple, less slap-in-the-eye, and more elegant than all those very figurative maples we usually see nowadays :
The high-end Pantera Deluxe model provides heelless "bayonet" neck junction, ebony fingerboard, UBC pickups, and flamed maple body. Lower-end models feature a bolt-on neck and a simpler finish.
The sexy Concord model, alder body, maple neck, 3 single coils, Strat style whammy :
The top-of-the-range Prestige 250 model features mahogany body, flamed maple top, 3 pieces book-matched maple neck, heelless "bayonet" neck junction, ebony fingerboard and mother-of-pearl inlays :
Below a superb Spectrum GT, probably built around 1985 :
End of story
However, some signature models were produced during the Korean period.
The guitarists having endorsed Westone include :
- Trevor Rabin from Yes,
- Leslie West from Mountain,
- Kirk Pengilly of INXS,
- Reb Beach from Winger,
- Steve Lynch.
Below the Reb Beach model :
In 1997, the name was used by FCN Music for a small series of guitars manufactured by the Status factory in the United Kingdom. These guitars are rather rare, and of a very good level of craftsmanship.
Serial numbers and dating
Most of the Westone guitars can be dated by the serial number, generally located at the back of the head :
- The serial number generally comprises 7 digits, the first one giving the year (for example a serial number starting with 1 indicates aguitar designed in 1981). It is possible that the second and third digits indicate the month.
- 5 digits appear on certain models, and it seems that the first two digits indicate the year.
- Serial numbers with eight 8 digits appeared in approximately 1987. It seems that the first two digits indicate the year.
Sources of information :
- Westone Nut
- Number of posts: 77
Registration date: 2008-10-05