Hey guys, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, and today I am happy to announce that I get to talk to you guys about two of the coolest guitars we have here at WMS right now, those being the PS1800 and PSV2200 Paul Stanley signature models. Paul Stanley has been the longtime front man of KISS, and has always needed his guitars to be just as flashy as his persona. In 2006 Paul Stanley began collaborating with Washburn to create guitars with just as much stage presence as the man behind them, from this idea arose the PS1800, and the PSV2200, guitars with all of the outlandish stylings of the man himself.
Both guitars come in a variety of finishes, with the PS1800 in white, and covered head to toe in rhinestones, and the PSV2200 in black, white, in a similar rhinestone covering, and a cracked mirror finish. These two guitars have similar appointments, from their mahogany bodies and necks, to their use of the Buzz Feiten tuning system. However don’t get the wrong idea, these are two very distinct guitars, with two very different voices, so without further ado, lets get to the reviews.
First up is the PS1800 in white, I chose white as it’s a little bit more my style, and also, it doesn’t cost enough to make me overly cautious while I played it. The first thing I notice, even before the outlandish shape of the body, is the fretboard inlays, which are just downright gorgeous. They are half Mother of pearl, and on the other half of the inlay is abalone shell, this adds up for an expensive looking and downright stunning inlay work. Next up to be noticed is of course the strangely shaped body, which is about as far from a conventional shape as you can get. This is certainly a distinct guitar, no ones going to accuse this of being a clone of any other model, and no one is going to accuse this shape of being anything but unique.
Plugged in this guitar has one heck of a speaking voice, as the Randall designed UL and Ultra XL are two amazing pickups, with tons of bark, and growl. Playing through the dozen or so KISS songs I know on this guitar was fun, as the guitar just hangs in a certain way, and definitely looks cool enough to make you really feel like a real rock star. The clean tone is bright and jangly, and at times almost acoustic sounding and the distorted and overdriven tones definitely have that “Detroit rock city” style grind to them. I did get out the Rhinestone version of this guitar for a few minutes, to see if the increased mass of the rhinestones did anything for the already thick tone of this guitar, which they did, but just slightly, what they did best however was act like a mirror ball. They refract light in such a way that this thing creates one awesome light show, and who knows what it would do with some real lights, or maybe even lasers in front of it.
For what it is, the PS1800 is a beast, it’s definitely not your everyday guitar, and it really is designed to be one big eye catching machine. The Standard white version is a god send for anyone in a cover band, as you finally have the look and sound of those classic KISS songs, at a price that won’t leave you high and dry, and the rhinestone model is a definite for anyone who really just wants to be in your face and really own the stage. For its ability to actually get you the tones of those classic KISS songs, and look awesome while doing it, the PS1800 earns a definite 10 out of 10.
Next up is the PSV2200 which a totally different beast altogether. First and foremost, this guitar has a very vintage feel and voice to it, as opposed to the PS1800, which has an almost post-modern look to it, this guitar definitely feels like an old favorite. I chose yet again to play the white one, as it is far more my style than the other three, and also, I wasn’t as worried about scuffing the finish. This guitar has the same distinctive Mother of Pearl and Abalone inlays that just call out to me, and this guitar also sports a giant mirrored pickguard, which does a great job of being…well…a mirror. On stage this guy would reflect all of the house lighting back into the crowd, which would prove for one awesome addition to any light show.
Plugged in this guitar has a really cool sound, as the lone Seymour Duncan JB pickup just oozes classic rock tone. The sound is definitely defined, and bold, but never overly bright, this allows this guitar to perfectly fill out the rhythm guitar role that Paul Stanley has filled for decades, always a perfect halfway point between the soaring lead guitar parts, and the chugging bass lines. Playing the same dozen or so KISS riffs I know on this guitar proved interesting, as this guitar has quite a different tone than the PS1800, clean this guitar is what you would expect, bright, and with the tone rolled down, it has some more “acoustic” sounding clean tones, but over all this guitar is designed to be played distorted. Playing through an overdriven amp, this guitar was a lot less “Detroit rock city” and a bit more “I was made for loving you” as its tone is definitely more focused and defined. This allowed for bigger chords to come out with the same presence and power across the spectrum, no string over powering another, just big classic rock goodness.
The PSV2200 is one heck of a Rock n’ Roll machine, with more than enough power and punch to satisfy even the Starchild himself. Although the design is a tad simplistic, the image of this guitar on stage, with the lights shining off of its mirrored pickgaurd certainly makes up for its straightforward approach. For its ability to do just what you need it to, and nothing you don’t. the PSV2200 gets a solid 10 out of 10.