Username: Password:

Author Topic: MATSUMOKU and the HB-35  (Read 171172 times)

Offline wmjonson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #30 on: September 16, 2009, 06:50:09 PM »
Just a friendly reminder; I notice this thread is getting a little off subject, I think it was created specifically to address MIJ factories and serial numbers. Help us keep this thread on topic, There are other threads more appropriate to post other guitar information.

A few things we know confirmed; 6 digit serials were used in 82 and 83 after that from 84 to 88 there seems the be a serial number mystery of 4 digit beginning with 8xxx, we feel sure that the first 2 digits on the serial cannot represent the year because Tio Kimo has an HB-35 non string through with the serial 81xx, using the 2 digit year logic it would make his guitar a 1981 year model, the problem there is that 1981 models were string through. It  could be his guitar is a 1981 prototype however that is speculation on my part. That also raises the question if there were any 82 or 83 prototypes.

On MIJ factories we have yet to find a confirmed MIJ factory for the HB-35.

If anyone has a 4 digit semi hollow-body especially the HB-35 serial 85xx, 86xx, 87xx or even a 6 digit serial 84xxxx, 85xxxx, 86xxxx, 87xxxx 88xxxx, please chime in and tell us what you know about the origin of the guitar.

The 89xxxx serial has been confirmed I have one and another has one. Was there also a 4 digit serial in 89 and later.

We have a lot of question and no firm answers.

Help us unravel the serial number and MIJ factory mystery.

Thanks Members

« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 06:51:46 PM by wmjonson »
 

Offline Squint

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1442
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #31 on: September 16, 2009, 08:20:44 PM »
I would almost bet those HB/HMs with the same headstock as the J6 were also made at Ibanez. Perhaps Terada or Fujigen. But a luthier who apprenticed at Ibanez once told me that my old J6 I recently sold was probably made at Ibanez as far as he could tell;


And yes, Matsumoku made PLENTY of hollow and semis... ie ELECTRA;







'93 Washburn J-9 Washington
'97 Washburn J-9 Washington  
'02 Washburn J28SCEDL Cumberland
'90 Washburn EA20YBR Festival
'83 Washburn D66SW Prairie Song Custom
'04 Washburn D104SCE  
'04 & '05 D'Aquisto CENTURAS (violin burst)
'77 Electra X-410 Jazz Strad
'77 Electra Maple Pro (autographed by Bill Nelson)
'04 Aria PE SPL DLX SD
'82 Aria ProII Thor Sound 600
'05 Agile 2500-12
'06 Agile TC-630
Fender P-bass


ANOTHER PROUD MEMBER OF THE CUMBERLAND BRIGADE!

www.soundclick.com/thecoastalcowboys
www.myspace.com/thecoastalcowboys
'93 Washburn J-9 Washington
'97 Washburn J-9 Washington  
'02 Washburn J28SCEDL Cumberland
'90 Washburn EA20YBR Festival
'83 Washburn D66SW Prairie Song Custom
'04 Washburn D104SCE  
'04 D'Aquisto CENTURA
'05 D'Aquisto CENTURA
(both violin burst)
'77 Electra X-410 Jazz Strad
'77 Electra Maple Pro (autographed by Bill Nelson)
'04 Aria PE SPL DLX SD
'82 Aria ProII Thor Sound 600
'05 Agile 2500-12
'06 Agile TC-630
Fender P-bass


ANOTHER PROUD MEMBER OF THE CUMBERLAND BRIGADE!

www.soundclick.com/thecoastalcowboys
www.myspace.com/thecoastalcowboys

Offline Tio Kimo

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1759
  • you're never too old to be what you might've been
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2009, 10:14:28 PM »
now we're getting somewhere...
That is definitely the same headstock as mine, with the multi-piece neck that skidbrick shows in this thread,

http://forums.washburn.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=14181

Squint(I was hoping you'd show up here), I don't suppose you have a record of what your serial number was on that J6? And what about the headstock on that autographed Electra?

As for nogin's post, I actually feel it's relevant to know that there are other guitars with a 4 digit serial...particularly American made acoustics...while it muddies the water further...It makes me aware that the system was used elsewhere.

Nogin...is it an '03? What is the interpretation of that number?

« Last Edit: September 16, 2009, 11:04:56 PM by Tio Kimo »
http://www.oldtownschool.org/
'95 Washburn D-55SW Cherokee (Bourgeois)
'04 Larrivée LV-03 w/ Fishman blend
'02 Heritage 535
'12 Heritage 150
'10 Larrivée RS-2
'11 Benford Tele
'12 Kirn Barn Buster
Marshall AS50D
Little Lanilei 3350LT
Champlifier
Boogie DC-2

Offline Racing

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #33 on: September 17, 2009, 02:59:22 AM »
To keep this within realms tho i think we should add to the fire that Washburn most likely didn´t get into bed with to many manufacturers as that would contradict sound economics.
Simple truth is that the longer the runs,the lower the production cost.
Ie;I could take to heart that they used a minor number of subcontractors for their guitar manufacturing,but large amounts of them-like the payload from a scattergun-nope...
That would be shooting themselves in the foot with said scattergun from a pure economics POW.

Yamaki and Matsumoku..sure..and most likely there´s at least one more.
Matsumoku after all closed shop in 1987 as far as we know,and that void needed to be filled.

I´d say based on the add online at Mat.org it would be safe to conclude that at least the HBs with headstocks similar to the wings came out of either Mat or Yam.
Those that some of you guys depict though(with the different headstock)...reasonable enough to assume they´re from somewhere else.
Major first Q being vintage,and in that case-are they japanese even?

Based on the article it is logical that Washburn moved their production to Korea not until very late in the 80,and perhaps even very early 90s.

That in turn leaves a couple of yrs unaccounted for(-88/-89),and another such question is if the production was moved even earlier as the boat started to swerge at Matsumoku.?
 

Offline Racing

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #34 on: September 17, 2009, 03:06:58 AM »
Squint.
An interesting fact,FWIW,is that the Washburn symbol and logo on the tuners of the HB in the pics of yours is the later logo.
The tuners of the wings i´ve seen that are either Mat or Yam all carry the old encircled george washburn one.
Might also be a hint that these were made elsewhere.
This for the SBS one in contrast to 6 inline.

Speaking of semis,as been noted Mat indeed made them for Vantage and Aria both at least-apart from the Electras.
On a sidenote even so the neckthrough semi in form of the Aria FS1000,and DAYUM for a guitar!!
Have tried the 750 and 1000 both,and they leave you absolutely speachless.
 

Offline nogin007

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2100
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2009, 07:48:19 AM »
Nogin...is it an '03? What is the interpretation of that number?

  Serial number 3268, October of 1996. Tacoma went into buisiness, making guitars, in 1996. The first year they used a 4 digit serial, with the first 3 numbers referring to the days of the year, using the Julian calendar. The fourth number was an internal code. The second year, Tacoma went to a 6 digit serial, with the first 2 digits referring to the year. The third year, they changed their serials numbers again, using that system until Fender bought them.
   Also, remember, on the Washburns, the years that a 5 digit serial was used, only the first number referred to the year. It might be the same on the 4 digit serials, but that's only a guess.
 

Offline Racing

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #36 on: September 17, 2009, 01:20:25 PM »
Took deliver of the Force4 bass.

The newsflash is that the bridge has Chuchin cast into the base of it.
However,that says very little of the manufacturer of the instrument per se.
The Force4 is japanese by manufacture tho no doubt.
Tuners are with the same type logo as the wings.Ie;the encircled George Washburn symbol.

As our server is down at the moment i´ll have to ask you to be a little patient for pics..

General impression of it though is that it is a simple,but very well built jap bass.
I believe the body of it to be one piece.Either basswood or alder.
Reason is that the paint of it seems rather thin,and you can see how the paint has sunk in to the wood.No split marks what so ever though.
Neck is out of very nice looking maple,and the fretboard is the really really beutiful rosewood.
Black to the colour and with a white pickguard.
 

Offline wmjonson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #37 on: September 17, 2009, 06:01:51 PM »
Washburn tuners on my 89xxxx HB-35

Also the Epiphone Sheraton was made in the Mat plant

I looked on the Electra Website and did not find the headstock design, however an Epi headstock is much different as well.



« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 04:10:04 PM by wmjonson »
 

Offline gtracer

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 302
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #38 on: September 18, 2009, 12:26:28 AM »
Hey TK, Sorry I'm late to the thread.  You've all been busy!  Very interesting discussion, and I'm not sure I can add much more.  However, here is some specific ~earlier HB-35 & J-6 info that I've been able to piece together over the last few years.

I have the earliest 6-digit HB-35 serial # that I've seen, 811061.  I've seen one other 81, but it was later, 811503.  I believe that both of these were built in 1981, and either sold in 1981 or 1982.  I've never seen an 1981/2 price list, so I can't say for sure.  I have seen a 1979 list, and there weren't any HB-35's listed.  The first year HB-35 I've seen listed is 1983, with two versions, an HB-35 and an HB-35DL.  For 1984 an HB-35 and an HB-35V were listed, both with coil taps.  I believe they used push/pull pots, and not a toggle.  Same as the $1200 ebay HB-35 listed in this thread, with serial # 832846 => 1983 built, 1984 model?

Besides the wing headstock, string-thru-body bridge, lower toggle, etc...the first 3 years of six digit S/N's HB-35's, 81XXXX, 82XXXX, & 83XXXX also had tuners with the George Washington oval label.  Most of these also only had dot inlays.  I have seen one HB-35DL, and it had wing inlays.

I think TK's style comes next.  There might have been some transition ones, or production could have stopped, and then started up again, maybe in another factory?  Key changes were a new headstock design, non-string-thru-body bridge, gold no-name tuners, block inlays, etc.  These have the four digit S/N's.  As I mentioned before in another thread, TK's is the earliest four digit, and the highest I've seen is 87 19.  It appears that these started out with 1-piece necks, and based on the S/N's I have, somewhere between 84 62 and 85 11 changed to 5-piece necks.  Besides TK's 81 XX, I've seen one other 81 XX, but no 82 XX S/N's.  I've also seen several 83 XX, 84 XX, 85 XX, 86 XX, and one 87 XX.  

For early J-6's with four digit S/N's, the lowest I've seen is 80 02, and highest was 8876.  Headstock design, gold no-name tuners, and block inlays were all the same as the HB-35's.  Also, all of these J'6's had 5-piece necks and an L-5 style tailpiece.  Pretty sure Japanese made.

So, are all these 8XXX HB-35's and J-6's built in 1988 somewhere in Japan?  I think they are, and both were probably built in the same factory. The other 3 digits are likely just a running total (including early J-6's).  Any other four digit S/N Washburns, are probably not related factory or year wise.

The next HB-35 version's serial #'s are six digits, and the lowest I've seen is 898724.  Basically they are very similar to the four digit ones, but now have Washburn labeled tuners.  My guess is that these were produced in 1989, maybe in Japan, or maybe in Korea with left over Japanese parts.  90XXXX & 91XXXX HB-35 all have similar details, and were probably built at the same location in 1990 & 1991.

The next HB's serial #'s are seven digits and start with an S => Samick.  Clearly Korean made, and the lowest number I've seen is S9207112.  These still have Washburn labeled tuners, but now have what I call the half moon headstock, split block inlays, and the toggle moved to the upper bout.

As for which factories were used for the Japan HB-35's, the earlier discussion on the Mat's components is interesting.  I've never looked at the pots/caps on mine.  I guess that I have some homework, maybe this weekend.

Sorry, for the long post.  If anyone has any earlier/later HB-35 or J-6 S/N's matching a different version, please let me know.
ANOTHER PROUD MEMBER OF THE FESTIVAL GUILD

Offline wmjonson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #39 on: September 18, 2009, 01:02:48 AM »
gtracer that is interesting info. Thanks a bunch.

Do you know what headstock style was on the early 90's HB-35?

I have 2 HB-35 guitars an 899xxx and an 01 N-0105xxxx definately Korean it is marked as is it's OHSC

« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 01:13:27 AM by wmjonson »
 

Offline wmjonson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #40 on: September 18, 2009, 01:35:26 AM »
If anyone is looking for a used hb-35 older model check this out $349.00 TBS, It is almost like yours TK it appears to have the headstock inlay.

http://www.musicgoround.com/detail.aspx?id=836227
 

Offline wmjonson

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 118
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #41 on: September 18, 2009, 01:48:16 AM »
TK have you ever seen this before, the guy has 8149, sounds just like yours exact.

http://forums.washburn.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=13719
 

Offline Racing

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #42 on: September 18, 2009, 02:13:25 AM »
Right.
When it comes to pups,pots,caps,wiring n such..

The Mat and Yamaki built solids at least share the green colour of the caps for some models.(Mat also used maroon as stated-at least from my experience)
The Mat ones being more dull/matte than the equivalent Yamaki ones-which i´ve even seen in rather bright green nuances even(BBR tele for instance).
Further,the green colour is darker for the Mat caps.
Often these are labeled with capacitor value.
Ie;223 for instance,and this numbering in silver..as in about gun metal grey.
If the green is more medium and you can trace the guitar by the serial NOT being a Mat,well...that´s where we often find the Yamaki ones.
However,i´m absolutely certain that there are more players in action here.

If i´m not mistaken the wings for instance were considered Mat for a time until some wings showed evidence of the word yamaki being printed to the PCB that´s onboard the Eagles/Falcons et al.

Thing is that rather little is known of Yamaki all things compared-at least to my knowledge.Very little is to be found online at least.
Apart from the highend wings, for a couple of years they also produced various guitars under the Daion label,and that aside i´ve at least seen
one acoustics labeled Yamaki.
Ie;it´s safe to assume that Yamaki were contracted for other guitars as well as the ones listed above sure can´t carry an entire guitar making facility.

Terada has been mentioned.
Cool enough,and Chuchin as well.
These two are interrelated,and Chuchin being involved with the Maya and ElMaya brand.
I´ve also owned another of their guitars-a Bambu CB625,a design resembling the Vantage form of rather high quality.
This one also had the words Chuchin cast into the bridge piece.
Chuchin to my knowledge however was a general subcontractor for cast parts-like bridges and such.

What makes this hard is that due to cultural differences and distance coupled with Jap business ethics,lot´s is hidden from public knowledge.
Further,as far as we know,lots of these manufacturers subcontracted each other.

Just take the Greco brand.A name normaly associated with FujiGen Gakki.Greco being their name for the domestic market most of the time,as they normaly were labeled Ibanez for export.
However it is evident that Grecos were also produced at Matsumoku.
I´ve personaly handled several stratocaster copies clearly marked Matsumoku on the neckplate.This is a FACT.

If we´re to sort this out to the best of our knowledge i for one at least think it is imperative to keep some basic business ethics and economics in mind.
Sure.
The various Gakkis were in bed with each others.However,shipping is a cost..and that should be held in mind before stating that a given guitar has been produced at X with components from Y.The longer the distance in turn,the higher that cost.
Hence,before stating anyhting it is a good idea to disect a given guitar.
Point being that Washburn as well as all the others,albeit producing very very nice instruments at the time,were in this for the MONEY.
Period.

Take the Mat setnecks for instance.
A typical feature of these when setneck is the stabilizer screw-or screws-beneath the neck pup.
Basicaly there to secure the neck over time.This screw is to my knowledge always a philips headed one.
I have yet to see a setneck Mat missing it.
What makes this whole deal a LOT harder is the specifications to change without notice deal.
Matsumoku were infamous for this,and hence rather profound differences can show up within a given series or brand for no real apparent reason.
Changes were implimented hard and to the point from time to time.No questions asked.
Almost to the tune where you get the notion that some of these guitars were built on an individual basis.
The flora of guitars out of Matsumoku for instance is downright mindboggling and there seems to be no end to the various guitars popping up.
This OF COURSE also brings the worms out of the woodwork that want to sell their whatever and as such bring it off being a Mat or similar to bring the asking price up as these guitars are becoming in fashion from a collectors POW-as well as player.
Again..economics,and i for one at least believe it is in our own interest to set the record straight as best as we can to help prospective buyers out and to keep this whole deal clean as best as we can.

Serial decoding holds true to an extent for the Mats at least-from what it seems.
However,enter Washburn(and Epi as well to an extent)which sometimes do NOT follow given order(again a case of....you guessed it ;) )

Ergo,it gets even more important to disect given guitars as best as we can to get to the bottom of this if we in fact ever will.
Let´s get one thing straight.
It is often claimed that certain guitars were produced at X asf.All good,but again..please bare in mind the various costs involved.
IF and WHEN production was moved to Korea and IF some of the hardware was shipped from Japan as surplus or whatever...costs.
...and shipping cost for various hardparts are way less than for entire guitars..
It is just sound logic that Washburn for instance tried to cut cost as best as they could.
Business is business..no two ways about it-EVEN if you aim to produce a quality product there STILL has to be some sort of net result to show at the end of the year....or no business will remain.
Also have in mind that these guitars were basicaly ordered from the proprioters of the Washburn label.
In the US.Hence the cultural differences.

The recent Force4 bass of mine for instance.
Follows the serial decoding of Yamakis,however the BBR super tele of mine which i also believe to be Yamaki does NOT.
The BBR being an -85 vintage from what we´ve gathered,and the Force4 an -83.
Both of high quality build,with the BBR CLEARLY coming out ontop.
For a boltneck i´d say that from a build POW it runs right up there with the really highend wings.
Something that can NOT be said for friend Oscars BBR A20K-although that being a setneck.
The BBR tele more to the point follows the Mat way of serials.
The Force4 bass..carries pots that LACK the type and serials of the Mats,and carries a cap that as stated is brighter green as well.
Pots within are NOT the much more shiny ones often found in Korean axes though.
They´re still of that dull character.
Further,fit of neck is typicaly japanese,tight as a....to the point where you to the letter have to break the neck away from the body by force even with the screws taken out.
Neck out of more or less onepiece maple of high grade...fretboard that you simply don´t find on lesser instruments asf,and then bare in mind that the Force4 bass as the time wasn´t highend but a more mundane piece of work.

Back ontopic.
HB35.
I´d say that it´s fair to wager that some of these were indeed built at Matsumoku OR Yamaki.
Which is which...is up to you guys that own em to show.
What some of us others can bring to the fire is general knowledge of the builds produced by the various factories.
WM for instance.
No offense,but if the tuners of your HB depicted hasn´t seen brute force i´d say it´s highly unlikely that tuners that skewed would ever have left Matsumoku.
Just as an example.
The minimum level of the Mat guitars were rather high-as were Yamakis for that matter-and that´s what we´ve come to associate with them.
 

Offline Racing

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #43 on: September 18, 2009, 02:31:41 AM »
For the sake of argument.
When picking up pots and caps for a guitar factory you most likely don´t do this by the hundreds.
More likely..by the tenthousands.
All in effort to bring cost down,and if the contractor of caps for instance deliver X number of thousand caps at one given time it is most likely that these will look the same.

Ie; if pots and caps for a given guitar hasn´t been changed it is a feasable way of tracing the heritage of a given guitar.
As most of these jap axes wasn´t considered of any real value until quite recently(last 5 yrs+) to the masses it is also safe to assume that most of them haven´t seen service in this department.
In short,although not by any means a surefire way of telling the history of a given guitar it´s at least a reasonable one that in total can be added to other such telltales.

Likewise with the above mentioned setscrew for the setneck Mats.
From what i´ve seen,and i´ve serviced a few by now,they to the letter ALL carry them.
« Last Edit: September 18, 2009, 02:32:46 AM by Racing »
 

Offline Racing

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 93
    • View Profile
MATSUMOKU and the HB-35
« Reply #44 on: September 18, 2009, 04:52:50 AM »
For those of you so inclined.
The Force4.

http://forums.washburn.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16215