Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Matsumoku-made Westone Thunder III guitar from 1983

It's funny how your perception changes over time. I remember thinking, back in the day when they were being produced, that Westone guitars were all rather ugly - although I would have been first to admit that they were "ugly ducklings" by which I mean that the quality of the build and the playability meant they were really quite elegant swans beneath the ugly duckling appearance. (Errmmm... perhaps, I've carried that metaphor a little too far).

Anyway, back in 1983, this Westone Thunder III was the top of the Thunder range and features all maple construction, a very modern and comfortable heel-less set neck, and coil taps/phase reversal switches for the humbucker pickup, which is - unusually by present day standards - the middle pickup in a three-pickup S-H-S layout. It's the kind of pickup layout that makes you question why so many modern guitar manufacturers stick rigidly to the same few tried and trusted ways of doing things and don't try anything different from the norm anymore.

This guitar is currently listed on eBay UK with bidding currently just over £30 at the time of writing. Japanese-made Westone guitars have more than kept their value over the last thirty years and examples often change hands these days for sums in excess of their original retail price in the 1980s.

G L Wilson

© 2012, Guitarz - The Original Guitar Blog - now in its 10th year!


  1. Matsumoku guitars rule!

    Here are my 3 precious ones, two Westone and an Aria Pro II. All have marvelous necks and a great quality of build. And they don't look like just copies of well known american brands.


  2. Anonymous12:02 pm

    Oh man, that is a tough one. I want that guitar, even though I don't need it at all. I want it at a bargain price too! But! I want the seller to get a good price too. This is the holy grail of Westones as far as I am concerned and would match my Superheadless bass admirably. But...I think I have to walk away from this...(goes and checks eBay for the rest of the auction).

  3. Anonymous8:31 pm

    I didn't bid in the end but this went for £219, which is a good price I think for both seller and buyer.



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