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JS3 Prototype - Near Dead Mint as built, finished, and assembled. There are no damage flaws I can find anywhere, although as more custom/proto body it is not as purely finished as one that would be used as the finished product. Donnies as well as Rainbows have alot of texture to the underlying painting so the clearcoat shows low spots that were never sanded out. These low spots actually have more gloss than the wetsanded and polished body. The body never was polished well and is in a lightly hazy surface. Its look would benefit greatly with just a better polish. This guitar has a long known provenance, Kent Kollmeyer purchased this guitar at the Chicago Guitar Show in 1996 from a Texas dealer that had gotten this and an original Chromeboy from his Ibanez rep. The rep told them that both guitars were from the same employee. Kent owned it until Fred coaxed it away sometime in the early aughts.
What is it? Is it a test body painted as a color palette sample? Donnie #3 shows nearly an exact match to the colors and there were several early guitars painted in reds that Joe has and were in promo shots. This very well have been one of the original samples painted by Donnie and it might very well be a mate to the catalog guitar, which you can tell was hurriedly finished with mismatched parts to get catalog shots and make the NAMM show deadline. It is quite possible this is the very first "Donnie" ever painted, there is no contesting it's very early in every detail. At this time period Radius bodies were used as necessary in the US for experimental and development work as we had stocks of them for H&S Bensalem to finish, and there is at least one Radius bodied JS2 that made it out as a finished guitar. Signed and dated where it should be, it's also signed and dated again in the trem cavity, which may or may not be in Donnie hand. It may, and I do believe it is, but "Donnie" is spelled wrong. Donnie did love to drink and would supposedly drink quite a lot while painting, so, I'm almost not surprised. This would be where Donnie would sign his earlier bodies, usually in a much larger size D Hunt, and also sign the number of the guitar. One look at the body grain and while I can't say exactly what it is it looks much more like alder or ash to me. It's a very heavy body at nearly 6 pounds for the body alone
IMO this was an artist stock Radius body in alder or ash with typical single humbucker rout only, painted black, and sent to Donnie to do a sample of either design or palette. Donnie laid out a design and after it was fully completed, he proceeded to paint a completely different design on top of it. Whether immediately or over the years, the drawing underneath has bled thru the final painting leaving a complete ghost image, in essence it's 2 Donnies in one. It was sent back to Bensalem and was cleared, wetsanded, mildly polished, evaluated, and as soon as they were finished it's intended purpose, somebody laid claim to it. But they didn't want it finished off with a JS neck, they wanted a custom spec neck. At this particular time Custom Shop activity was transferring to the newly established LA office so it's possible it couldn't be done at HUSA, but whatever the reason it was sent to LA with orders for this custom spec'd neck and instructions for build, and the guitar was finished in LA. The custom spec Birdseye Maple neck was made by the LACS, finished and stamped by Mike Lipe on 5/15/91. And Mike built a beautiful neck using beautiful woods, spec'd with a JS carve but non skunk stripe, small truss under the board, which is a beautiful rosewood slab thinned very thin at the sides like a JS should be, with large pearl dots. They used an unnumbered LA plate on the assembly. There was no attempt to accurately build this as a JS as the tone knob is in a much further spot, would only make sense if it was requested to put there. It has the high pass filter push pull pot on the vol but a normal tone as a single humbucker the 2 way switch is doing that job. The cavity is copper shielded as all CS guitars would be but not to the extent if it was an artists guitar so there are gaps at the wiring rout and to the jack. It was put together with neck screws as spring claw screws and the ground wire is at it's full extension right now, so it was not an artist quality build. IMO it was something built because an executive wanted it. It was then sent back to whoever ordered the build. To be able to get this done you would have had to have the clout, to be able to claim the body, and order the custom build, which points more to an executive than employee guitar.**$10,000**
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