A few decades ago when I was looking to buy my first guitar I went to many guitar stores and read through many guitar magazines. My young and susceptible brain was bombarded with many advertisements and catalogs of many brands. And the rule is, the brands that spend more on advertising are positioned better in the psyche of the target audience. So the brands that stuck with me from that time are among others: Ibanez, Fernandes, Patrick Eggle, PRS, Yamaha and also Washburn. I came across Washburn when I read about Nuno Bettencourt (think: More than Words) with his signature Washburn N4 guitar. But also in comparison articles of the guitar that I finally bought, my beloved Yamaha RGX612A.
So, back to the here and now, where I'm looking for a strat type guitar (read: alder/no floyd/22 frets/bolt-on), I came across this Washburn guitar series. The Washburn Mercury series.
The Mercury series were available during the time that Grover Jackson was in charge of the Washburn Custom shop between 1993-1996. The series consisted of the Mercury I series produced between 1992 and 1993 and the Mercury II series produced from 1994 until 1996. The Mercury I series were made in the USA and were considered high end instruments. They had features like the Wilkinson tremolos (VS100), direct-mounted (Seymour Duncan) pickups and chunkier necks than the Mercury II series that were made in Korea. The series were discontinued when Grover Jackson left Washburn in 1996.
In this first part of the Mercury series, I've displayed the Washburn Mercury guitars made in the USA and featuring the Wilkinson Tremolos and Seymour Duncan pickups. Read more in the second and third part of this article.