Washburn SS100 Frankenstein

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Washburn SS100 Frankenstein

Postby yngwie308 on Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:29 am

These are mega rare guitars and maybe only 12 or 14 ever made..
This one you can buy......
http://cgi.ebay.com/Washburn-1993-Steve ... 7C294%3A50
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Re: Washburn SS100 Frankenstein

Postby mirrorman on Mon Apr 27, 2009 11:39 pm

A glow in the dark monster guitar?
Now THAT is just too cool!
On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month, we will remember you
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Re: Washburn SS100 Frankenstein

Postby yngwie308 on Fri May 01, 2009 7:16 am

Just recieved my NOS Washburn SS80 Maple Quilt top / museum grade birdseye maple cap neck, built for Steve Stevens himself and in the private collection of Washburns owner since 1993...
http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... ed%20SS80/

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Re: Washburn SS100 Frankenstein

Postby kenji on Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:38 pm

KILLER! :thumbsup:
Live To Win.....
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Re: Washburn SS100 Frankenstein

Postby yngwie308 on Sat Jun 06, 2009 10:47 pm

It's been awhile since I have posted here, but I have had some exciting recent developments in my ongoing quest since 1993 basically involving the Washburn Steve Stevens Signature models.
These are among the most brilliant rock/metal guitars ever in my humble opinion.
Recently I was afforded a unique opportunity to purchase a very rare SS80 model that is basically a NOS 1993 guitar, built by the Washburn Chicago Custom Shop for Steve Stevens himself, but as we all know Steve chose to part ways with Washburn, as with Hamer guitars.
The research I have been involved in since I first learned of these guitars in 1993 through a magazine article at the time. I have read everything in print in regards to Steve since 1984 and the Rebel Yell - Billy Idol LP. which had a profound influence on me.
I briefly owned a Hamer SS-2 guitar, which I bought at a guitar show and found it to have a defective humbucker in the bridge position. I replaced it with a new SD JB Trembucker and was happy to receive from Hamer a wiring diagram and was able to return the quite complex pickup switching wiring to stock. I 'sold' it to a friend for little to no money, it was a nice guitar, but this type if configuration guitar, though very sonically cool, wasn't as much my cup of tea, as the later Hamer bolt on necked SS-3's. These SS-3's never were offered for sale as Steve left Hamer and the Centura model was the eventual production version offered, though for my taste it wasn't anywhere close to the SS-3. Basically at the time 1985-6, Steve was involved in recording Billy's album Whiplash Smile a tour de force of SS guitar playing and song writing.
The San Dimas Charvel Strat head model guitar that Steve had and is still to this day his go to guitar for recording tracks, is the basis of the development of the Hamer SS-3 and later the Washburn SS80 and SS100 guitars.
There is no shame in this as the bolt on neck, dinky Strat body and Original Floyd Rose Tremolo, with top mounting, is a dynamite tone monster guitar.
Steve's use of reverse angled pickups, both single coil and humbucking, is in part a nod to Hendrix, with his upside down Stratocasters.
In my opinion and I have told Steve this, I feel he developed some of the most influential and brilliantly engineered guitars from the mid-eighties, until the early nineties.
That Steve would end up being frustrated with the various manufacturers, seemed to be in retrospect, almost inevitable, given the commercial marketplace restrictions and production costs and countries of manufacture.
Steve has insisted always that the guitars bearing his name and signature be manufactured in the USA and if he wasn't allowed control of the product he co-designed, he would choose not to be involved.
Moving to the incredibly brief Washburn era, just under one year in fact, the majority of 1993, Steve was involved closely in the design of some of the most interesting, fantastic sounding and playing guitars, built in this genre.
For many years since I special ordered my black SS80 back in 1993, and I got my order in very early, the guitar I received was different than any other SS80 I have ever seen , and I have seen many, other than the specific guitars produced for Steve himself and used briefly live and in recording the Vince Neil Band album Exposed , which if you have never heard it, buy it and hear Steve really be allowed to stretch out his soloing and production values.
Steve worked diligently at Cornerstone studios with an engineer to work out demos and really nail his guitar tones, prior to the recording of the album.
He even slept on a couch in the studio as he diligently worked towards one of the best examples of loud distortion guitar recording that you will ever hear.
Steve used a George Massenberg EQ unit as part of his signal chain and recorded his guitars dry, as he mostly always does, adding effects later.
The only way I can describe the guitars, which Steve played all of himself, including bass, asMASSIVE and I still to this day use this recording as an example of analog recorded guitars, which were SMPTE coded to the final digital mix of the album, retaining all the killer analog tones.
Steve using at least six vintage Marshall heads on this recording.
He also prefers the SM57 mics to be just of center of the cone directly facing the cone in a vintage Marshall 4X12", with the grill cloth removed.
Steve has been recording this way since the earlier Billy Idol days.
Back to the Washburn guitars, please do not associate Grover Jackson, who indeed did join Washburn's Custom Shop towards the end of the SS era, with any design criteria of the Steve Stevens signature guitars, as they were developed before Grover set foot in there.
The guitar designs Grover was involved in were primarily the Mercury series, which forum member Ascension is proud of owning some rare examples.
My main interest is with the SS80 and SS100 series guitars.
Back to my first SS80, I have written on various internet forums ad nauseum about how my example from very early production, has the pinwheel truss rod, the unfinished headstock and the Famous Monsters silhouette Washburn logo and the positioning of it, with the SS signature being only on the artists spec guitars built for Steve himself.
I have researched as much as I can, including with Washburn themselves, including Terry Atkins, the incredible builder who was involved in the production of these fine machines of tone.
I always thought mine was some early pre-pro type guitar, but I have come to understand that it was a guitar built for Steve, but never delivered and luckily shipped to me, a mega SS fan.
The SS100 Frankenstein series began as an extremely limited production and ran into licensing issues with Universal Pictures. The first examples in glow in the dark paint, were completely airbrushed by hand, later stencils were used.
Steve Driscoll was contracted to paint a number of bodies by Washburn and recently one of these guitars #14, was amazingly for sale by Steve Gill of Washburn and he purchased it from Germany, as I saw it on a web guitar display from there.
The guitar was listed on Ebay with no sale as far as I am aware, it went to a ridiculous figure, I would have purchased it, but having sold a lot of my own equipment to purchase my guitar that was confirmed by Washburn, as having been built for SS, and ended up in the private stock collection of Rudy the owner of Washburn/US Music/Randall, ect. It was displayed in the Washburn Museum for many years until Jon at Funky Munky Music in Shawnee, Kansas was able to pry it from Rudy's hands and I found it on Ebay by chance after it was mentioned on the Washburn forum.
The Washburn forum is primarily interested in other more popular models and my requests for info on SS guitars from them since 2006, has been largely fruitless and they have told me I know more than they do about these guitars.
I can say it has been fascinating researching these guitars and finding out the stories associated with the various models produced.
Steve Stevens was responsible for the incredible Barbarella guitar that incorporates his ray gun effects built into the guitar, along with flashing LED's in synch with the effects!
Steve first developed this at Hamer in his famous black metalflake SS2 guitar that had his signature written in pink largely across the upper position of the body, where your arm would rest. It also had multiple pink buttons for the effects. This guitar is featured on video at LIve Aid when Steve got up to play on Revolution with the Thompson Twins whom he originally added guitar to their album track of the song.
Also in the Dirty Diana video with Micheal Jackson Steve has a Hamer SS-3 with light effects built into the guitar as well as the ray gun sounds!
The Barbarella guitar is a tour de force and the absolutely incredible graphics from the movie poster painted by the extremely gifted artist Jim O'Connor who also painted another SS80 for Steve and this one was licensed by the late great Forrest Ackerman, depicting Famous Monsters magazine covers on the body.
This guitar was generously donated by Steve to the monster movie SFX wizard Rick Baker for his museum, so many fans of the genre would be able to view this beautiful work of art.
That the association was short lived between Steve and Washburn, is sad but that is what happened.
Consequently the era back then, the music that was popular, ect. didn't lead to this style of guitar being more popular.
Plus there weren't very many made, there are probably many more Korean produced SS40's, in fact I know there were.
Even to this day the reputation of the far superior USA made SS models is devalued by the Ebay ads for what are purported to be SS80's, when in fact they are clearly the SS40's.
Plus the price points for these mass produced versions is extremely low.
They aren't terrible guitars and the necks are in fact superior for this price point.
This leads into one of the most superb features for me and many others who appreciate the USA built guitars, the neck.
Think Charvel San Dimas, Pre-Pro, ect., but with a little more girth and a very satisfying feel to it and the superb raw unfinished feel of the oil finish.
The dimensions are at the nut 1 5/8" and at the 22nd fret, 2 1/4", with an R2 nut, Dunlop 6110 fretwire, pearl dot inlays, and the neck being of one piece quarter sawn rock maple, with a walnut skunk strip.
The shame is the records do not exist of production serial numbers, quantities made, where shipped ect. Various dealers of course would have their records, but many are not in business anymore.
The poplar bodies, the direct mounted slanted Seymour Duncan JB Trembucker pickups, the dual action reverse thread truss rod, with the early pinwheel adjustment, also used to this day by EVH on his EBMM and now Wolfgang guitars, there were the conventional adjusters in later models.
As these guitar were produced a specification was eventually decided on.
Schaller Floyd Rose licensed top mount tremolos were fitted , later specialty SS80's and some SS100's used the far superior Gotoh Floyds.
In fact the only issue I had with my black SS80 was the tremolo, the bridge pieces having soft metal, thus keeping it from remaining in tune, which I did not care for. At the time Fender had acquired Floyd Rose and was distributing them.
So I ordered a Original gold unit and have had trouble free playing ever since.
High quality components were used in the electronics if these guitars, with the control cavity being shielded with insulating paint, a CTS 500K solid shaft audio taper pot for volume control, a three way pickup selector, which may either have a gold or chrome bezel and a Switchcraft 1/4" football shaped output jack. Schaller or mini Gotoh tuners.
Various logos were used and the guitars with painted headstocks have a clear coat sealer over the back of the headstock up until the countersunk holes for the nut mounting screws
There are script Washburn logos, more commonly on the SS80 are the solid Washburn Famous Monsters logo, borrowed from Forest Ackerman's monster/sci-fi movie magazine.
The Frankenstein graphic SS100's have a two-tone body color with the front of the body a luminescent off white color, that would glow in the dark.
The Frankenstein monster as portrayed by Boris Karloff was used, similar to a movie poster for that original film.
Steve being a big sci-fi movie buff, in fact naming his post Billy Idol group "The Atomic Playboys" after a quote from an early sci-fi film.
The original #1 SS100 still resides in the Washurn museum.
I would like to mention the prize of my collection, the exquisite SS80 with a quilted maple cap over the poplar body, it features a museum grade birdseye maple cap neck, this being unique to only this guitar and the color purple of the top has many shades depending on the light it is viewed in. The back of the body is black, as in the Frankenstein SS100's. There is no rear tremolo cover as with my black SS80, though I have seen two SS100's with fitted tremolo covers, yet another variation.
Not widely known, post Steve Stevens departure, SS80's and even shock , horror SS100's were painted over, the headstocks stripped of paint and the Steve Stevens graphics and I believe had only a script Washburn logo.
This was to move the remaining stock of guitars and they were unoficially labeled X80's. I have seen examples of these, and yes they are SS80's in spirit, but...in fact if the paint is stripped off the bodies on some, a Frankenstein graphic might appear!
The tale is a sad one, there was no happy ending for these extremely rare guitars and frankly most people, even in the guitar world, still under appreciate these unique guitars for the dynamic instruments they are.
Any one with pictures and stories of their SS80's or SS100's please feel free to send them to me, as the story continues.
http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... n%20SS100/
http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... d%20Hamer/
http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... ns%20SS80/
http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... ed%20SS80/
http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 0%20album/
http://s57.photobucket.com/albums/g219/ ... 20Guitars/
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