Washburn PS80

A six-stringed entry into the KISS merch circus

Considering KISS merch ranges from condoms to coffins, it shouldn't surprise anyone that frontman Paul Stanley has licensed his name to a series of Washburn electrics.

What you get

Ever the narcissist, Stanley has thrown in a personalised gigbag, a glossy photo of himself, a handful of plectrums and a studded leather strap.

Once we'd tipped that lot out of the window, we were faced with the PS80, which the KISS man reckons is the kind of guitar that "can only come from a great partnership of talents and experience". Well, nobody does cheap electrics like Washburn.

Hands on

Anyone who followed KISS across America in the 70s will lap up the PS80's trimmings like the star child 'stock logo and bespoke pickguard.

Rockers who weren't born until 1991, meanwhile, might argue that Paul's baby beauty looks like an SG after a shark attack, is too heavy and almost the wrong side of £300.

Luckily, the PS80's graceless visuals are outweighed by a strong physical performance and a truly great tone for straight-ahead stadium rock at this level, courtesy of two rich and responsive humbuckers.

Chords are raunchy, solos are rough round the edges and while it doesn't play as fast as some, you can trust this to excel in a hard rock context. With a bit more make-up this could've been a real star child itself.

MusicRadar Rating

4 / 5 stars
Pros

That 'Classic rock' voice. The clever KISS details.

Cons

Not the best-looking axe.

Verdict

Rock 'n' roll all night for under £300.

Available Finish

Black

Bolt-on Neck

Yes

Bridge

Tune-o-matic

Features

CONTROLS: 1x volume, 1x tone, 3-way pickup selector

Guitar Body Material

Solid Wood

Hardware

Chrome

Neck Material

Mahogany

Pickup Type

2x Washburn humbuckers

Review Policy
All MusicRadar's reviews are by independent product specialists, who are not aligned to any gear manufacturer or retailer. Our experts also write for renowned magazines such as Guitarist, Total Guitar, Computer Music, Future Music and Rhythm. All are part of Future PLC, the biggest publisher of music making magazines in the world.

Comment on Facebook