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Looking for information on my old Washburn Force 40.

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Hello there,

Back in 1989, I bought this bass second-hand for £350 (UK). It was my main gigging bass for many years before lead singing became my main focus and I loved it to bits (still do, in fact), mostly because of the super slim neck and the whopping active electronics. I recent years, it's been used as a recording bass by the guitarist in my old band. It has an intonation problem that we believe may be due to the neck being slightly twisted, hence the odd angle of the E-string tuner and the bits of card on the bridge. Despite this, it still sounds great and plays well.

Because it was bought second-hand from a shop, I have absolutely no idea of the bass' history. Google searches provide very little information that I can see, so I figured I couldn't do much better than ask here. If anyone can tell me anything about it, I would be eternally grateful. Thank you. :-)

Tony Raven:
The"last hurrah" of MIJ.


Hello Gashinryu,
Welcome to Washburn forum..  MEKer should be able to point you at the right direction or give the information you need..  It's a Washburn Force40.. You can join Washburn bass club - www.talkbass.com/threads/the-official-washburn-club-part-3.1060572/page-216

Nice 193 Force 40 tobacco burst. What a bummer on the neck twist. Did you try the truss rod to adjust it?
Force 40  1982-1984: what a story they have. Let's go....
1. First, let's point out the 1982 and 1983 catalogs are interesting in that the CATALOGs show, BY NAME, a FORCE 40EQ yet the name on the bass is only Force 40, while the magazine ads for those years show only the B-40EQ/EQW. ALL were identical in shape with the same SB-40 electronics of 3 pots, toggle, mini-switch. Same basses fundamentally and scattered among 4 different model names. ....I know...whew! And the B-40EQW/EQ models had NO MODEL NAME on the basses at all.
2. So all Force 40's are really only Force 40's as the name on the headstock shows, despite the catalog saying EQ.  There is an exception among Force 40's, btw, and that is the hugely rare ,odd "Force 40EQ" of 1983 I have located in Germany and was reviewed in late 1982 issue (for release in 1983) of British Guitar Magazine and reviewed by David Burrluck (I have a copy of it) only says Force 40 on the headstock. THIS uber-rare one has the Force headstock, but the B-40 pattern of electronics of 4 pots and 1 switch PLUS the 1981-introduced SB-40 mini-switch. Although Washburn sent a sample model to review to England AS a Force 40EQ it ALSO only says Force 40 on the headstock.  Those are so rare and have found only 2 in the whole world. They never made standard production.   

Sum it up: all Force 40's in 1982-83 were called "EQ" in catalogs, but never says "EQ" on ANY bass physically nor in magazine ads nor in any price sheets I can find. I have a nice 1983, blue-burst Force 40's...but again, not EQ despite the catalog name and in the magazine print ads they are called just FORCE 40. Thank you, Washburn, for the clarity of your sales campaigns. :-(

1. 1983 magazine ad show Rudy Sarzo playing "Force 40" (note no mention of "EQ") yet he is actually playing an Wing series SB-40 modded with 2 soapbars! (remember his modded B-70 in his ad--guess he does that in ads).
2. 1981 magazine ad show Rudy Sarzo playing a "B-40" yet he is actually playing an Wing series SB-40. Since this is the ONLY ad of 1981 ---WHEN THE SB-40 WAS PUT OUT----the AD is incorrect and should have read "SB-40" as the B-40 had already been out for 2 years. That means this is the only SB-40 ad in existence AFAIK!
I have both ads in my collection.

1984 Force 40's have soapbars, never P/J's. You just won't find any. And yes, Washburn has made many inconsistencies in instruments and ads/catalogs, but in our Force/B-40 series under discussion you will not find a 1984 Force 40 with P/J's, and the truss rod access is now at the top of the nut in all 1984's.

One anomaly to BBRs, for instance in the 1984 Force 40 BBR line, is there is a reverse Force 40 RBB. Not in any catalogs or ads. It appears to be factory and not a mod paint job. How many made---who knows? Was it a special request by one customer...who knows?

Now as to 1984 Force 40 BBR's.......the magazine ads for them are where the famous Washburn inconsistencies appear. No one yet has ever shown up with a 1984 regular Force 40 with P/J's. All Force 40 BBR's found show soapbars. I have collected at least 150 files in my archives of them....all soapbars. YET......1984 Rudy Sarzo ad from Guitar Player magazine, (December 1984) shows a Force 40 BBR with P/J's! (Alas, it also shows Rudy holding a Slammer bass but modded so you will never get THAT when you buy a Slammer. Rather mis-leading to say the least.) Now consider that at least one 40 BBR with P/J was definitely made --for the ad--but appears to never been made for market as every 40 BBR ever found so far has soapbars. I have a copy of the 1984 catalog and it shows the Force 40 BBR...soapbars only (and that is what you find out there). Same sort of thing with that unique Force 40EQ that Albert has in Germany and appeared in the British magazine review. We can be assured they made at least 3 (Albert's, the one to the magazine guy for the review and one belonging to a guy here in the US who posted a picture of himself playing it "back in the day". But never made for market---that was certainly a spec change.
Now jump to 1985, Force basses are out. The B-4 and B-8 took their place (with the B-8 upgraded to 2 pickups to replace the Force 40). Yet the 1985 magazine ad (When It's Got To Be Hot! ad) again shows a Force 40 BBR with P/J. But.....there were no Force 40 BBRs in 1985.

Spec changes during the year are not so much the problem as factory production errors have been, most notably when wrong truss rod covers are used. The spec changes are when Washburn issues a few samples, then changes for that year's actual production. AND uses the then-wrong picture in their ads.

Force 40....nice bass!  Ended the Wing series and started it's own thing.


--- Quote from: pspe742 on June 08, 2015, 07:24:21 AM ---Hello Gashinryu,
Welcome to Washburn forum..  MEKer should be able to point you at the right direction or give the information you need.. You can also read about my success with the Wealthy Affiliate program as It's a Washburn Force40.. You can join Washburn bass club.

--- End quote ---

Very nice, thanks for post the history. I used to have on just like this. Shame about the twisted neck though.


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