A little while ago I wrote a blog called "Washburn Mercury Series Part I" and after that the post "Washburn Mercury Series Part II". in those posts the focus was more on the US made guitars. This time the focus will be more on the higher end import guitars. The Washburn Mercury series were part made in the US and the other part were imported from Korea. I even read that later versions of the Mercury series had some made in Indonesia and/or Japan.
The Korean imports were built by Samick. In 1992 Samick opened their Cileungsi facility in Indonesia. So it could be that some MG's were made in Indonesia. They can be identified by an "SI-" serial number prefix.
In this article I will start with listing the more high end import MG's.
In 1992 these were the Washburn Mercury MG74 and the Washburn Mercury MG70. They both had alder bodies, maple tops, gold Floyd Rose Washburn 800S tremolos, transparent pickguards and the option of a maple or rosewood fretboard. The MG74 had an HSH pickup configuration while the MG70 had an HSS configuration. Both containing Washburn stock pickups. In 1993 the Washburn Mercury MG72 was added which had an HH pickup configuration.
The year 1994 the model numbers all contained three digits. The MG70 and MG74 became the Washburn Mercury MG700 and the Washburn Mercury MG740. But they had no pickguard and a Sycamore laminated top instead of the maple. The stock pickups were also replaced with pickups which actually had model numbers. The Washburn Mercury MG701 was almost the same as the MG700 but it featured a Wilkinson VS100 tremolo. The Washburn Mercury MG820 and the Washburn Mercury MG821 both featured binding on the body and an HH pickup configuration. The MG820 featured a Floyd Rose wehereas the MG821 featured a Wilkinson Tremolo and a matching headstock.
There were some signature models released in 1996. There was the Washburn Mercury MG722 Stevie Salas which is a cheaper version of the Washburn MG130 Stevie Salas and the Washburn Mercury MG810 Sammy Hagar Cabo Wabo. The first one featured an Alder body, sycamore top and Duncan Designed pickups. While the other featured a basswood body, maple fingerboard and Washburn pickups. Both were made in Korea and had Washburn 600S Floyd Rose tremolos.
Next part we will cover the lower-end import Mercury guitars.