Purchased from: Friend
Features: A Westbury De-luxe, manufactured in the Matsumoku factory in Japan in 1980.
Solid Maple body, Maple neck with an Ebony Fretboard, the body shape is close to an SG, but more than individual enough to stand in its own right. The headstock has the Westbury logo and name in mother-of-pearl and is fitted with Westbury's own design of tuners. The finish is a wonderful Tobacco Sunburst. Stop bar tail-piece, with Tune-O-Matic style bridge, its fitted with a pair of DiMarzio (Dual-Sound DiMarzio Super Humbucker at the bridge and DiMarzio Super Distortion at the neck)pickups and the controls run to a three way pickup selector, Volume and Tone for each pickup and a Coil-tap Switch from the bridge. The nut is brass. I believe the De-luxe retailed for around $400 back in the late '70's/early '80s, however mine was given to me by a friend when I started playing around six months ago. // 8
Sound: I currently use it with an Orange Crush 12L amp, mainly because being new to playing I don't currently need (read - can't get anything else past the wife yet)anything more. Blues is my main Drive for playing (but I will listen to almost anything - genre is pointless its what sounds good to you that counts)and the De-luxe suits it perfectly. It is however quite adaptable around the area of blues/rock, etc. The neck pick-up is capable of some wonderfully clean tones, with the higher strings in particular having a quite stunning sparkle to them. However Switch to the bridge and slap on a load of distortion and its just as happy.
Overall great tone, and its not just my opinion, a good number of others (many who have been playing for decades) have been more than complementary of it. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I've no idea at all how it came from the factory, as that was thirty years ago (and I was only ten at the time), however every component on it is still functioning perfectly well. The action is very good, low enough to work well with, but still capable of good slide work (and problem in that area would be down to my ability not the guitar). It is rather sensitive to strings, run with anything to light and the bottom two will buzz when fretted, however with heavier gauges (its currently got a set of Ernie Ball 'Skinny top, heavy Bottom's fitted) totally eliminates that. It will need re-fretting in the future, but given its age that's to be expected. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Well given that its lasted 30 years already, its off to a good start in this section, and it certainly doesn't feel like that's about to change anytime soon. All the original hardware is still in place and still functioning exactly as it should be, the finish is still looking great and has the normal wear you would expect from its vintage. I don't play live (hell many would argue to play part as well), but do know of De-luxe's being used live and they have a solid reputation of being more than capable. // 8
Overall Impression: It suits me and my developing ability very well (six months and rising) and I know for a fact will be with me for the long haul. I love the build, the looks, the feel. Hell I just love this guitar full stop. If it were stolen/lost I would be gutted beyond all belief, as it means a lot to me (simply the sentimental value of it being given to me by my best friend), replacing it would be incredibly difficult as they simply do not seem to come on the market that often. It may not be perfect (nothing is), it certainly will not suit all types of music, but for me its far more than the sum of its parts. If you every get the chance to give one a go, please do, I very much doubt you will be disappointed (just don't expect the owner to want to part with it). // 10