This is a very cool and rare, Dan Armstrong designed Westone solid body electric guitar. It's a Dan Armstrong III and is extremely rare. It's from 1991 and was part of a very small run of Dan Armstrong-designed guitars from 1989-1991. The serial number dates it to 1991. It's in great shape is ready to rock.
Initially, we thought it was a prototype but it's probably not. But it is a later run of the original Dan Armstrong Signature III guitars. The first edition had a 4 + 2 tuner configuration; which, when debuted at NAMM, Ernie Ball claimed he owned the patent for that configuration of tuners. So they changed it but very few of the 3+3 tuner headstock models were made. Although, it's possible this was a prototype model for the second generation headstock style. The guitar was ultimately pulled from production.
The initial run of the Dan Armstrong Signature III line from 1989 used chrome bridge's, this one has a black bridge. The pickguard looks like it was made by hand. The part nearest the bridge is cut unevenly. The headstock on this guitar is also different than the first models. It points the opposite way; which is indicative of the second generation production run.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
The pickup selector switch has five positions. The bridge pickup is a three coil custom "Rock Monster" "Maxi" pickup. The neck position has a "Mini" humbucker rhythm pickup. The bridge pickup has three settings: humbucker (1st/rear position)-sounds full and very rich but biting, single coil one (2nd position), single coil two (3rd position). The fourth selector position is both pickups together and the 5th/final position is the front humbucker by itself which is extremely clean and rich sounding; it'd even be nice for jazz-style work.
The pickups on this guitar are extremely hot. They're rich, dynamic and biting. Overall, it will work best for heavier sounding music. Definitely heavy rock, metal, or even electric blues.
The action is fast and the neck is straight. The frets are somewhat large and in excellent shape. The neck feels great it's a medium think
There's very minor wear to the finish on the front which is a glossy black. The pickguard shows general playing wear. There is one small ding in the back of the neck but it's not noticeable while playing. Overall the guitar is extremely clean.
The Dan Armstrong models debuted in the Westone line in late 1989.
Westone was formed in 1981 as a division of Aria/Matsumoku factory to sell direct to dealer, good quality, low priced electric guitars. They had a good reputation after years or manufacturing for other makers. So the guitars were well received. They rapidly developed more advanced models using their own in-house technology and research & development.
Aria first opened shop (started producing guitars/instruments) in 1963 in Matsumoku. They produced guitars for Teisco, Aria, Univox, Ibanez, and many other makers over the years.
1989 WESTONE CATALOG DESCRIPTION:
WEA300BK Dan Armstrong
Signature III Black
Dan Armstrong is a true legend of the electric guitar. Few people have contributed as much. Now, Westone and Dan have joined to bring guitarists one of the most fundamentally beautiful designs ever.Description from VintageSilvertones.com
For years Dan has been perfecting electric guitar pickup design. With his innovation of the "Rock Monster" lead pickup, his "Mini" humbucker and the totally new "Maxi" humbucker, Dan has given guitarists tonal versatility that is unmatched.
The Signature III has a "Rock Monster" lead pickup and a "Mini" humbucker rhythm pickup. The shape of the neck is a blend of the most traditional feel and today's technology. The Signature I has the all new "Maxi" humbucking lead pickup that is actually three pickups in one package. The tone combinations are incredible. The black "Floyd Rose" locking tremolo insures that everything will stay in tune.
Sculptured Dan Armstrong Signature body is simply elegant.
DAN ARMSTRONG III
Body: solid alder
Neck & Fingerboard: sating maple, rosewood fingerboard, 23 frets
Pickups: 1 Rock Monster, 1 Minibucker
Controls: master volume, master tone
Tremolo/Bridge: fixed, die cast body feed
Hardware: blackDescription from VintageSilvertones.com
Colors: ivory, black, white
Westone Dan Armstrong III
Item #: west-0001