Thunder II


Matsumoku  to Jan 1987, 1981-1988


There have been at least three versions of this model:

Version 1 (1981-2)

Specs (as shown in the 1981 catalogue)

  • body: Canadian Ash, Rock Maple and Walnut
  • set neck (similar to that on the Rainbow I and II) 5-piece laminate of Ash, Maple and Walnut
  • fingerboard: Rosewood
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 22 frets
  • two Magnet-530 pickups
  • 3-way selector switch
  • master volume and two tone controls
  • phase and coil tap switches
  • steel tailpiece and bridge with brass saddles
  • brass nut
  • available in Sunset Red and Navy Blue with a Light Oak centre stripe


Update Dec 25’2013 The following unusual Thunder II is courtesy of Forum member rufio:

This is an otherwise standard 1981 Thunder II. What makes it unusual is the additional branding “Oakland by” Westone. The current owner bought the guitar in 1985 without knowing the origin. It is definitely a Thunder II in Navy blue as listed in the 1981 Westone catalog and nothing else is known about it. (The previous owner had moved the button strap to the top of the body for reasons unknown)

Click to enlarge:

headst11 serial10total10

Version 2 (1982-3)

Specs (as shown in the 1982/3 catalogue)

  • body: Canadian Ash and hard Maple
  • neck: Heelless set, 3 ply Hard Maple
  • fingerboard: Rosewood
  • brass nut
  • two HF530C pickups
  • master volume and two PEQ tone controls
  • 3-way pickup switch
  • phase switch
  • Swiftlok tailpiece
  • ‘long travel’ steel bridge with steel saddles
  • available in Midnight Blue and Pearl White
  • script logo on headstock
New! December 2017:  courtesy Forum member gittarasaurus (click to enlarge):


New! December 2017: Courtesy Forum member westbone (click to enlarge):

New! December 2017: Courtesy Forum member enaich (click to enlarge):


 Version 3 (1983-7)

Specs (as shown in the 1983 catalogue)

  • body: solid Maple, 3-ply Maple heelless set
  • fingerboard: Rosewood
  • bone nut
  • 24.75 inch scale
  • 22 frets
  • two Super Twin I humbuckers
  • controls: master volume and 2 PEQ tone
  • phase switch
  • 3-way pickup selector
  • available in Pearl White or Midnight Blue
  • W ‘Bird’ logo on headstock

Thunder II

Version 4 (1988 – ?)

The Thunder II is shown as still available in the 1988 UK pricelist.
This version was made in Korea


  • Unlike the Matsumoku made Japanese versions, this one has a bolt on neck
  • H/S/S pickups controlled by 3 mini toggle switches
  • single volume and tone controls
  • Bendmaster Deluxe trem system

This version was also available in red, but red ones seem to suffer very badly from the finish peeling away from the body.

Thanks to Mark Bowers  for the pictures below

Leave a Reply