The Watkins Rapier 33 returns with an updated model for 2021

The guitar was originally an affordable alternative to Fenders and Gibsons in the 1960s.

The Watkins Rapier 33 has been updated for a modern version, thanks to a collaboration between guitar designer Alan Entwistle and JHS (the UK guitar company, not the US pedal company).

In its original form, the Watkins Rapier 33 was an affordable alternative to Fender guitars in the 1960s, which were often hard to come by in the UK. The new version retains its core visual design, with a double-cut body, squared-off pickguard and slanted middle pickup.

Construction and electronics have been updated, however, with the body now being okuome, and the neck being Canadian maple. The rosewood fretboard features a 12-inch radius, and 22 frets in addition to a zero fret. Behind the zero fret is a GraphTech Nubone nut and Wilkinson E-Z-Lok tuners. Complementing the vintage-style vibrato is a roller bridge.

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Electronics now consist of a set of three Entwistle dual-blade mini-humbuckers, with two slide switches to engage a bass cut or turn the middle pickup on or off. There’s a regular three-position pickup selector to choose between bridge, neck and bridge and neck pickup positions.

Finish options include Fiesta Red, Three-Tone Sunburst, Arctic White and Daphne Blue.

The guitar retains its relatively affordable price tag, bearing a recommended retail price of £429. Find out more at jhs.co.uk.

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