Thunder II-A


Matsumoku to Jan 1987, 1981-1988

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There are at least 3 versions of this model, possibly 4.
As with the Thunder IA, the earliest version has variable gain for the active circuit, later versions replace that with separate active and passive tone controls.

Set neck resembles the joint used on the Rainbow, not the heelless set neck of later model.

Version 1 (1981-82)

Specs (as shown in the 1981 catalogue)

  • body:  Canadian Ash, Maple and Walnut
  • neck: 5 piece laminate of Ash, Maple and Walnut
  • fingerboard: Rosewood
  • brass nut
  • 22 frets
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • steel tailpiece and bridge with brass saddles
  • two Magnet-F530 pickups
  • 3-way switch
  • phase, coil tap and active on/off switches
  • master volume, tone and equalizer volume (Active gain) controls
  • available in Navy Blue or Sunset Red with a Light Oak centre stripe
  • script logo on the headstock

The serial number of the guitar below dates it to 1981.
Thanks to Ronnie for the pictures. The single coil pickup and extra switch are not original.


Thunder IIA neck joinThunder IIA bodyThunder IIA headstock
Version 2 (1982-3)

There are technical specs of the Thunder IIA in the 1982/3 catalogue, but no pictures of it


  • body: Ash and Maple
  • neck: 3-ply Maple heelless set
  • fingerboard: Rosewood
  • brass nut
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 22 frets
  • two HF530C humbuckers
  • 3 way switch
  • controls:-master volume and tone
  • equaliser (Active) tone
  • switches for active on/off, coil tap and phase
  • Swiftlok tailpiece
  • ‘long travel’ steel bridge
  • available in Midnight Blue and Pearl White (Must also have been available in Red, the one below has not been refinished)
  • script logo on headstock

It is possible that the specs in the 1982/3 catalogue are wrong.
The guitar below dates from early 1983, but has the earlier version of the active circuit. (Volume, tone, active gain controls)
1983 Thunder IIA

Version 3 (1983-?)

Specs (as shown in the 1983 catalogue)

  • body: solid Maple
  • neck: 3-ply Maple heelless set
  • fingerboard: Rosewood
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 22 frets
  • bone nut
  • two Super Twin I pickups
  • 3-way switch
  • coil tap
  • phase and active on/off switches
  • master volume
  • tone
  • equalizer tone controls
  • Swiftlok tailpiece
  • long travel steel bridge
  • available in Pearl White or Midnight Blue
  • W ‘Bird’ logo on headstock


Version 4? (1984)

This is an usual model (besides being lefty) and does not match any known published references, but it is apparently a factory design. Construction is the same as earlier versions except for the circuit wiring and black proprietary “upside down” plastic knobs in place of the typical brass ones.

  • 3 way pick up selector switch
  • volume pot is push-pull for coil tap
  • master tone is push-pull for phase reverse EQ/active tone
  • Mini toggle switch controls active circuitry on/off
new! October 2012-Thanks to Forum member Westbone for this find:


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