Anyone got a source for this short-lived instrument?
Back around 1998, I was at Encore Music (Minneapolis), & the owner (Chad) had just picked up a dozen or so Strumsticks from McNally at NAMM. McNally is the company that came up with a travel guitar good enough to be exclusively licensed by Martin, sold as the Backpacker line. Their main line, though, is basically fretted as a mountain dulcimer, but with three strings.
I stared at these little skinny things hanging on the wall. I laughed. I tried a couple. I pried myself away from buying two or three.
It's an odd little instrument, somewhere between a banjo & mandolin. With a banjo capo, it just invited all sorts of Chinese & Arabic tunes. A great addition to any guitarist's range.
A year later, in coincidence, I bought a Grand Strumstick from McNally & treasure it.
Then Washburn ripped it off -- sorry, but true -- & improved on it with a more travel-durable design, & that's the Troubadour. By the time I found out about it, the RO5 had been discontinued, & it had kinda failed commercially so nobody had one in stock. At MSRP $139.90, it met the fate of so many uber-cool Washburn instruments... but I'd still kinda like one.
I'd appreciate knowing about any dusty hoards out there!!