WASHBURN KC (Chicago) SERIES

The Washburn Chicago (KC) Series was a line of super-strats introduced around 1989 as a replacement for the Force (G) Series and made until 1992. Most of these KC models were made in Korea but the KC90 and KC100 were made in Japan and had Seymour Duncan pickups. In 1990 a few of the models were dropped including the KC100, KC10, KC45 and KC60 and other models were added including the KC42, KC44 and KC90. Models with vibrato bridges (which is all of them except the KC45 which had a wraparound bridge) have a "V" after the model name on the truss rod cover. Many of these guitars were available in Washburn's woodstone and rain finishes which were a kind of marbled or speckled paint effect respectively.

WASHBURN KC10

The Washburn KC10 was the only single pickup model in the Chicago Series. Made in 1989 only it featured a single angled humbucker in the bridge position. It was also the only KC series guitar with a maple fingerboard.

Source: Washburn catalog 1989.

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WASHBURN KC100

The Washburn KC100 was the top of the range Chicago Series model in 1989. This Japanese made super-strat had carved top and back, solid flamed maple body, set maple neck, ebony fingerboard Seymour Duncan HSS pickups and Floyd Rose Licensed Tremolo.  It had relatively complex active circuitry, with three knobs and three micro switches. The KC100 did not have the deeply scalloped cutaways seen on the other KC Series models,

Source Washburn catalog 1989

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WASHBURN KC20

The Washburn KC20 was the entry level Chicago series superstrat. It came with HSS Washburn pickups and a vintage style vibrato bridge. The KC20 was availalble with rain-effect finishes including pacific blue rain, red rain and purple rain.

Source: Washburn catalog 1990.

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WASHBURN KC40

The Washburn KC40 was made from 1989 to 1992, The KC40 was a Chicago Series superstrat and had an ultra thin bolt-on maple neck. The neck joint was angled back and the body had deeply scalloped cutaways - both these features were designed to improve access to the upper frets. The KC40 had a 22 jumbo fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays, six-on-one-side tuners, Floyd Rose 600S Pro tremolo with locking nut, one exposed humbucker and two single coil Washburn pickups (HSS) controlled by two knobs (1 volume, 1 tone), five-way switch, chrome hardware.

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WASHBURN KC42

The Washburn KC42 was the reverse headstock version of the KC40. It came in black finish, woodstone flourescent yellow or woodstone flourescent red

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WASHBURN KC44

The Washburn KC44 was a Chicago Series superstrat electric guitar, similar to the KC40 but with HSH pickup configuration and 22 frets. The KC44 had an alder body with an arched top and back (a little like the Ibanez S-Series) with deeply scalloped cutaways. It came with a Washburn 600S Pro Floyd Rose tremolo. It came with a speckled rain finish in black or white.

Source: Washburn catalog 1990

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WASHBURN KC45

The Washburn KC45 was made in 1989 only and was just like the KC40 except with a wrap-around bridge and without a locking nut.

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WASHBURN KC60

The Washburn KC60 was made in 1989 only. The KC60 was a Chicago Series superstrat and had an ultra thin bolt-on maple neck. The neck joint was angled back and the solid alder body had deeply scalloped cutaways - both these features were designed to improve access to the upper frets. The KC60 had a 22 jumbo fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays, six-on-one-side tuners, Deluxe Floyd Rose Licensed tremolo with locking nut, one humbucker at the bridge and one angled single coil pickups (Washburn Eliminators) controlled by two knobs (1 volume, 1 tone).

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WASHBURN KC70

The Washburn KC70 was made from 1989 to 1991. It was a Chicago Series superstrat with an alder body, deep scalloped cutaways and angled bolt-on neck heel. The body had an arch to the top and back. The thin bolt-on maple neck had a 22 fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot position markers. Hardware was black including, six-on-one-side tuners, Floyd Rose 600S tremolo and locking nut. The pickups were Washburn Eliminators - one humbucker and two single coils (HSS).

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WASHBURN KC90

The Washburn KC90 was one of the flagship models of the KC Series - replacing the set-neck KC100 in 1990 at the top of the Chicago Series. This Japanese made super-strat had carved top and back, deeply scalloped cutaways, solid ash body, natural finish maple neck, Seymour Duncan HSS pickups and Washburn 600S Pro Floyd Rose Tremolo. Finish options included black and natural gold.

Source Washburn catalog 1990.

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Specifications:

ModelImageFinish colorsMade inNumber of stringsFinish effectsGraphics
WASHBURN KC10
1989
black finish, blue finish, purple finish, red finish, white finishKorea6 strings--
WASHBURN KC100
1989
black finish, blonde finish, gold finish, red finish, white finishJapan6 stringsmetallic finish, transparent finish-
WASHBURN KC20
1989 to 1992
black finish, blue finish, purple finish, red finish, white finishKorea6 strings--
WASHBURN KC40
1989 to 1992
black finish, blue finish, gray finish, red finish, white finishKorea6 stringscrackle finish-
WASHBURN KC42
1990 to 1992
black finish, red finish, yellow finishKorea6 strings--
WASHBURN KC44
1990 to 1992
black finish, white finishKorea6 strings-black rain finish
WASHBURN KC45
1989
black finish, blue finish, gray finish, red finish, white finishKorea6 stringscrackle finish-
WASHBURN KC60
1989
black finish, blue finish, gray finish, red finish, white finishKorea6 strings--
WASHBURN KC70
1989 to 1991
black finish, brown finish, red finish, silver finish, white finishKorea6 stringsmetallic finish-
WASHBURN KC90
1990 to 1992
black finish, blonde finish, gold finish, red finish, white finishJapan6 stringsmetallic finish, transparent finish-
ModelVolume controlsPickup selector controlsTone controlsControls materialNumber of control knobs
WASHBURN KC10
1989
1 volume control----
WASHBURN KC100
1989
-5-way selector switch---
WASHBURN KC20
1989 to 1992
1 volume control5-way selector switch1 tone control--
WASHBURN KC40
1989 to 1992
1 volume control5-way selector switch1 tone control--
WASHBURN KC42
1990 to 1992
1 volume control5-way selector switch1 tone control--
WASHBURN KC44
1990 to 1992
1 volume control5-way selector switch1 tone control--
WASHBURN KC45
1989
1 volume control5-way selector switch1 tone control--
WASHBURN KC60
1989
1 volume control1 coil tap switch1 tone controlblack controls2 control knobs
WASHBURN KC70
1989 to 1991
1 volume control1 coil tap switch1 tone control--
WASHBURN KC90
1990 to 1992
-5-way selector switch---
ModelPickups brand and modelPickups configuration
WASHBURN KC10
1989
Washburn pickup(s)1 humbucker pickup
WASHBURN KC100
1989
Seymour Duncan pickup(s)2 single coil pickups and 1 humbucker pickup
WASHBURN KC20
1989 to 1992
Washburn pickup(s)2 single coil pickups and 1 humbucker pickup
WASHBURN KC40
1989 to 1992
Washburn pickup(s)2 single coil pickups and 1 humbucker pickup
WASHBURN KC42
1990 to 1992
Washburn pickup(s)2 single coil pickups and 1 humbucker pickup
WASHBURN KC44
1990 to 1992
Washburn pickup(s)1 single coil and 2 humbucker pickups
WASHBURN KC45
1989
Washburn pickup(s)2 single coil pickups and 1 humbucker pickup
WASHBURN KC60
1989
Washburn Eliminator pickup(s)1 single coil and 1 humbucker pickup
WASHBURN KC70
1989 to 1991
Washburn pickup(s)3 pickups
WASHBURN KC90
1990 to 1992
Seymour Duncan pickup(s)2 single coil pickups and 1 humbucker pickup
ModelBody materialBody shape featuresBody styleBody top material
WASHBURN KC10
1989
wood bodydouble cutaway--
WASHBURN KC100
1989
-carved top, double cutawaysuper strat style bodyflamed maple body top
WASHBURN KC20
1989 to 1992
wood bodydouble cutaway--
WASHBURN KC40
1989 to 1992
alder bodyarchtop, double cutawaysuper strat style body-
WASHBURN KC42
1990 to 1992
alder bodyarchtop, double cutawayarchtop-
WASHBURN KC44
1990 to 1992
alder bodyarchtop, double cutawaysuper strat style body-
WASHBURN KC45
1989
alder bodydouble cutawaysuper strat style body-
WASHBURN KC60
1989
alder bodydouble cutawaysuper strat style body-
WASHBURN KC70
1989 to 1991
alder bodyarchtop, double cutawayarchtop-
WASHBURN KC90
1990 to 1992
ash bodycarved top, double cutawaysuper strat style body-
ModelBridgeHardware color
WASHBURN KC10
1989
tremolo bridgechrome hardware
WASHBURN KC100
1989
double locking tremoloblack hardware
WASHBURN KC20
1989 to 1992
tremolo bridgechrome hardware
WASHBURN KC40
1989 to 1992
Floyd Rose licensed tremolochrome hardware
WASHBURN KC42
1990 to 1992
double locking tremolochrome hardware
WASHBURN KC44
1990 to 1992
double locking tremolochrome hardware
WASHBURN KC45
1989
wraparound bridgechrome hardware
WASHBURN KC60
1989
Floyd Rose licensed tremoloblack chrome hardware
WASHBURN KC70
1989 to 1991
Floyd Rose licensed tremoloblack hardware
WASHBURN KC90
1990 to 1992
double locking tremoloblack hardware
ModelFingerboard inlay materialFingerboard materialFingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC10
1989
pearl fingerboard inlay materialmaple fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC100
1989
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC20
1989 to 1992
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC40
1989 to 1992
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC42
1990 to 1992
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC44
1990 to 1992
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC45
1989
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC60
1989
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC70
1989 to 1991
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
WASHBURN KC90
1990 to 1992
pearl fingerboard inlay materialrosewood fingerboarddot fingerboard position markers
ModelNeck jointNeck materialNumber of fretsTuner layoutNutPeghead (headstock)
WASHBURN KC10
1989
bolt on neckmaple neck22 fretsix-in-a-row tuners--
WASHBURN KC100
1989
set neckmaple neck24 fretsix-in-a-row tuners--
WASHBURN KC20
1989 to 1992
bolt on neckmaple neck22 fretsix-in-a-row tuners--
WASHBURN KC40
1989 to 1992
bolt on neck-22 fretsix-in-a-row tunerslocking nut-
WASHBURN KC42
1990 to 1992
bolt on neck-22 fretsix-in-a-row tuners-reverse headstock
WASHBURN KC44
1990 to 1992
bolt on neck-22 fretsix-in-a-row tuners--
WASHBURN KC45
1989
bolt on neckmaple neck22 fretsix-in-a-row tuners--
WASHBURN KC60
1989
bolt on neck-22 fretsix-in-a-row tunerslocking nut-
WASHBURN KC70
1989 to 1991
bolt on neck-22 fretsix-in-a-row tuners--
WASHBURN KC90
1990 to 1992
bolt on neckmaple neck24 fretsix-in-a-row tuners--

2 Comments

Washburn KC-Ltd

I had one of these in 1989, SSH pickups and a non locking trem system. They came in solid red, white or black with a maple fretboard. Possibly a UK only model, it retailed at £145, about US $225 , due to exchange rates and stupid import duty.

Washburn KC LTD

Australia had been flooded with low quality guitars from time to time, in the early nineties I could not find a decent Fender Strat to buy in the normal guitar shops although the specialty shops did have highly expensive used imports. I have one of the Washburn KC LTD models sold in Australia, (my first electric) and I went on to buy 15 guitars and still rate this as a very nice guitar (see it on Facebook with the others under my name). It's obviously a low priced guitar but it is great for the money and prized by my sons as well as a friend who wanted to buy it, he had a PRS and later on collected quite a few classy Ibanez models. A lot of music is played live on cheaper guitars and for those of us with very average hearing they are great value, I enjoy my cheap guitars just as much as my expensive much loved "special present" G&L Strat. Part of its charm is that these Washburns have really good necks combined with a smaller body, they are an excellent physical combination and would make a great hot rodded guitar if you want to change all the electrics to high quality stuff.