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Author Topic: RO5 Troubadour  (Read 5527 times)

Offline Tony Raven

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RO5 Troubadour
« on: November 15, 2012, 01:34:37 AM »
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!!
M1SDL; XB-400 (natural), XB-400 (burg), XB-500 (teal); X-10, X-33; D46CESP, WCSD30SCE; BT-3, BT-4, BT-6, JB-80; WS-4; WI-66V; Lyon LCT24; OS Autoharps

resident troublemaker: http://forum.frugalguitarist.com/

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: RO5 Troubadour
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2012, 12:35:49 PM »
Someone pointed me to Musician's Friend (from whom I buy on a regular basis)... but, alas, it's marked as discontinued. (Helpfully, MF points out the Washburn Nuno N24 as a similar item...  :o)

And there ARE a few caches supposedly out there. Examples:
http://www.musiclandcentral.com/washburn-ro5-minstrel-dulcimer-natural.html
http://dcmusicstore.com/washburn-ro5-troubadour.html
...though I have NO IDEA where the first sets MSRP at $212.90 -- maybe a shady way of claiming that 44% discount.

Here's an example of why I shop around:
http://www.amazon.com/Washburn-Travel-Series-RO5-Guitar/dp/B0029NYF7A
The actual seller is Music Land Central -- the first seller above, who're apparently undercutting their own price, selling for $105 delivered.  ???

M1SDL; XB-400 (natural), XB-400 (burg), XB-500 (teal); X-10, X-33; D46CESP, WCSD30SCE; BT-3, BT-4, BT-6, JB-80; WS-4; WI-66V; Lyon LCT24; OS Autoharps

resident troublemaker: http://forum.frugalguitarist.com/

Offline mjquinn01

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Re: RO5 Troubadour
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2013, 11:22:07 AM »
I just purchased a brand new one off of ebay, and I absolutely love the thing! They are discontinued, but appear to be several sources who sell them. I feel lucky I picked mine up for $76 shipped to the house!
The Journey is often more rewarding than the destination.......

Offline Jack Sparrow

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Re: RO5 Troubadour
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2013, 09:47:20 PM »
I know it's been awhile since anyone has posted on this thread, but I have a related question.  I'm trying to compare the obsolete Washburn RO5 to the McNally Strumstick.  I gather that the RO5 has a slightly narrower neck but I'm curious about the actual difference.  Can some who ones either measure the neck width, please?  TIA.

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: RO5 Troubadour
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2013, 04:12:36 AM »
My Grand comes in with 24.63 mm at fret 0.
M1SDL; XB-400 (natural), XB-400 (burg), XB-500 (teal); X-10, X-33; D46CESP, WCSD30SCE; BT-3, BT-4, BT-6, JB-80; WS-4; WI-66V; Lyon LCT24; OS Autoharps

resident troublemaker: http://forum.frugalguitarist.com/