- bass guitars
- electric guitars
The Westone brand began with the Japanese Matsumoku instrument manufacturers. Matsumoku started out in 1951 as a sewing machine maker but moved into electric guitar building in the 1960s. By the 1980s Matsumoku had gained a reputation as an important exporter of electric guitars, producing instruments for other brands such as Aria, Epiphone, Vantage and Vox.
In 1981 Matsumoku launched their own Westone brandname. The Thunder Series was their first, using multi-laminate contrasting woods and brass hardware as was the fashion in the early 1980s. The instruments were designed to provide value for money, and were well constructed but as a rule their styling did not excite guitarists of the time.
Later Westone series included: the 1981 Rainbow I (semi-hollow body), the Concord series (with Fender inspired features), the 1982 carved top Prestige line, the Spectrum series (a mixture of the earlier models), Steinberger inspired Quantum and Rail models, Dimension and Dynasty (odd body shaped) and Pantera (ultra curvy).
In 1986 Matsumoku stopped production and the Westone name switched the a Korean manufacturer, with more conservative strat/tele style models. With sales at an all time low in 1990 the brand was discontinued.
FCN Music reintroduced the Westone brandname in the UK in 1997, on Korean made instruments.
Source: The Guitar Magazine January 1997