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Author Topic: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom  (Read 2113 times)

Offline myirishclan

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1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« on: January 13, 2017, 01:16:43 PM »
I inherited my grandfather's Washburn over 20 years ago and I have just recently started researching it out.  I played it for a couple years and since then have kept it in storage as its pretty big for my small hands.  Anyways, did a little research last night and realized that I have a gem on my hands.  Can anyone help me find out the value?  I thought of taking it to a guitar shop over an hour away to get it appraised, but decided to ask around here first.  I can  take pics if anyone is interested.  Oh and the serial on it is 810199.  It has the Martin headstock on it, and a signed checklist by a Japanese fellow... So I think it comes from Yamaki (sp?) place.

Again, any and all help appreciated. 

Kim

Offline YerDugliness

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2017, 02:25:28 PM »
Is it a left handed guitar?

You're right...the D66SW is a very well respected model, all solid wood construction.  Looks like it might be a 1981 build....does that seem to match the timeline for which you acquired it?

There are many more much more knowledgeable members than me here, hopefully they'll chime in soon.

Photos would be appreciated...if you don't know how to post photos take a look in the General Discussion area and there's a tutorial in the "stickies" at the top, authored by our member t.y.

Cheers!

Dugly 8)
YerDugliness,Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL, attempting to age disgracefully!
Washburns:WD32SW,D61SW,D62SW,C124SWK,
WMJ21S(2),WGO26SCE,WSJ60SKELITE,WG26S (2).
Other fine acoustics:Breedlove custom shop 000,Hippner #506 Hauser,Takamini 2005 LTD,Epi Masterbilt AJ500RC

Offline myirishclan

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2017, 02:51:52 PM »
It is a lefty.  My grandfather got it in a trade with another musician.  He passed in '92 and I got it when I graduated in '96.  Its strung for a righty so I could play it.  When I get a chance later, I will try to get some pics up.  Its in great, if not excellent shape.

Offline YerDugliness

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2017, 03:54:33 PM »
It is a lefty.  Its strung for a righty so I could play it. 

If you will look at the piece of wood on the soundboard between the hole on the soundboard and the "butt" end of the guitar, you'll see a white piece (most likely bone on your guitar) that is set into that piece of wood. It is angled...a process called "compensation", which is necessary for steel string guitars (but not for classical guitars) to maintain an accurate sound balance when playing a from the "nut" at the top of the fretboard to the end of the fretboard. If you switch and string a "lefty" for a "righty", in order to maintain the correct "intonation" you would have to have the slot filled in and recut with the angle to the opposite side.

For you it's perhaps not an issue, since you're a beginner, but if it were me I'd string it up for a right handed player and learn to play it that way. There is so very little out there for left-handed players, but an experienced guitarist with a good sense for the way a guitar should sound would recognize how it's "out of tune" if it's strung for "the other hand".

Really, I'd wait and see what the historians have to say...If I recall correctly, the D66SW was one of the "custom shop" models and is highly prized...not hundreds of thousands of dollars, but within the range of guitars made by Washburn that D66SW is pretty high up there. Is there a paper label inside with some writing on it? Most of the higher end (custom shop) guitars carry the signature of the luthier who built the guitar....John Stover is one of the more recent names, and if you find one with Dana Bourgouis (probably spelled that wrong) you have found a much more valuable guitar...as you would say, that's a REAL gem!

In the end...if you are SO left handed that you don't think you can learn to play right handed (I had a friend like that once), then my advice would be for you to sell the D66SW and you'd certainly get enough for it to buy a new purpose-built left handed guitar. The worst thing you could do to that guitar is to chop it up trying to make it suitable for left-handed play.

One of our most knowlegable members, Ship of Fools, may weigh in on this...he had a D66SW (might have been a D68SW and there were certainly more custom models, I know of at least a D70SW, a D72SW and a D76SW and perhaps there were others). These were all finely crafted hand built guitars and as you suspected, worth quite a bit of $$$$.

Congratulations...I hope you can come to a good decision regarding what to do with it. If you have such a sentimental attachment to it that you'll never get rid of it because it was your grandfather's, go to a music shop that gives lessons and get a teacher to start you out playing it right handed. I've had many lefties tell me that they wish with all their hearts that they had not learned to play left-handed because there's so little out there specifically made for lefties.

Yeah...as we say around here...."pics or it didn't happen!!!"

Cheers!

Dugly 8)

YerDugliness,Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL, attempting to age disgracefully!
Washburns:WD32SW,D61SW,D62SW,C124SWK,
WMJ21S(2),WGO26SCE,WSJ60SKELITE,WG26S (2).
Other fine acoustics:Breedlove custom shop 000,Hippner #506 Hauser,Takamini 2005 LTD,Epi Masterbilt AJ500RC

Offline DaveTrees

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2017, 05:59:26 PM »
Nice guitar !  I have a D62SW Prairie Song of about the same vintage .... serial 80xxxx

Here's a couple of pics from the catalogue of the time  - the "Custom" series seem to have slightly fancier decoration etc, but not sure how much different they are timber & construction-wise ?





Offline myirishclan

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2017, 07:34:18 PM »


Here is a text to see if the first pic uploaded.  Will add more.  There is not a white slip on the inside, just a stamp? that says George Washburn, and "Prairie Song Custom. 

Like I said I got it back in 1996 and played it for a couple years, then moved onto a Martin and then a Fender Tele.  My son plays now and is getting quite good.  Thought I would sell the Washburn to help him buy a Les Paul, but after playing the Washburn again, there is no way I am parting with it.  At 35 years old it plays beautifully.  Going to part with the Martin instead. 

Offline myirishclan

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2017, 07:37:10 PM »

Offline myirishclan

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2017, 07:40:14 PM »
URL=http://s1380.photobucket.com/user/myirishclan6/media/IMG_0455_zps6w9rmdop.jpg.html][/URL]


Offline myirishclan

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2017, 07:50:16 PM »
I play right-handed and so did my Grandpa.  When he got it, he had it strung so he could play it, so when I got it back, it was all set for me. 

There is no white paper in the inside of the guitar with a name on it.  I only have a checklist signed by a gentlemen.  I can post a pic for you.


Offline DaveTrees

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2017, 08:54:07 PM »
Looks fabulous !

No label in my "plain jane" version either either ....

I guess I'm biased, but I love these Yamaki-built Washburns.  They really are quality instruments - definitely "keepers".

As Dugly suggested above though, if you are planning to keep it strung for RH playing, it would be worth considering getting a good luthier to re-set the saddle so the intonation is correct.

Dave
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 08:59:01 PM by DaveTrees »

Offline myirishclan

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2017, 09:18:51 PM »
I will take it to a friend of mine who teaches and repairs guitars and have him set it up correctly. 

So do you have any idea how much it is worth?? I am definitely keeping it, but am pretty curious to its value also.

Offline DaveTrees

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2017, 06:21:05 AM »
They probably don't attract the price their quality deserves, unfortunately.

Last one like mine I saw for sale here in Australia a few years ago sold for around AU$600.  No idea what the going price would be in the US.

Offline evenkeel

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2017, 01:13:57 PM »
Welcome to the forum.

I do not have any sales data on a D66 Prairie Song, but here is some info on a D61.  Very similar guitar, also part of the Prairie Song series.

D61 S(W) PRAIRIE SONG
- dreadnought style, solid spruce top, round soundhole, rosewood pickguard, three-stripe bound body, five-stripe rosette, rosewood back/sides, mahogany neck, 14/20-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, rosewood bridge with pearl dot black pins, rosewood veneer on peghead, three-per-side chrome diecast tuners, available in Natural finish, mfg. mid-1980s-1994.
Grading 100% Excellent Average
N/A $550 - 650 $325 - 400
Last MSR was $1,200.

As others have noted the Yamaki built Washburns are very nice guitars, but unfortunately do not command high dollars.  $450-500 woul dbe my ball park guess.

FWIW I would suggest stringing the guitar properly as a lefty and selling it.  There are far more right handed guitars in the world than left handed ones.  Left handed players often have a hard time finding good guitars, at reasonable prices.  Some manufacturers charge a premium to make a left handed model.  Converting right to left is fine.  Lots of guitars to choose from, no one gets shorted.  The other way around seems a shame.  Let a left handed player have a opportunity to have a good quality guitar at a reasonable price.  If the guitar has a lot of sentimental value, then fine keep it, but keep it intact as a lefty.  Maybe some day down the road it might get into the hands of a left handed player who will really appreciate it.
 

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2017, 02:01:12 PM »
As the others have noted, there's good reasons to move the guitar along, offset by aiming at such a small market.

About 10% of the population is naturally left-handed. At that, many lefties learned to play right-handed.

Almost half of the "southpaw" players I know learned to play on a flipped-over right-strung guitar.

Though that all makes for a smaller market, it's NOT by any means small. Here's the Reverb.com selection (442 today) --
https://reverb.com/marketplace/acoustic-guitars/left-handed?sort=price%7Cdesc&page=1

If you're interested in selling, you should bring it to a big-city guitar shop that specializes in acoustic instruments. They can give you a reasonable guess at what it mightsell for & how long it could take, & maybe consign it for you.

You can get a fair valuation from some experienced shops on the basis of online contact. Elderly Instruments charges $50.
http://www.elderly.com/appraisal.html

Should you intend to hang on & convert it -- sentiment, family heirloom, etc. -- there's some considerations.

First, I wouldn't bother filling-&-recutting the bridgepiece. Instead, have an experienced luthier remove it -- something that often needs to be done anyway as a guitar ages, & this can dramatically improve tone -- & replace it with a right-hand setup. Keep the old one safe in case you someday get a wild hair to rstore it.

But the fact is that most large-body steel-string acoustics have some degree of asymmetry to their bracing.



The tone of your converted guitar might not be terrible, but it wouldn't sound the same as a right-hand guitar.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 03:31:42 PM by Tony Raven »
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Offline myirishclan

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Re: 1981 D66SWLH Prairie Song Custom
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2017, 07:02:20 PM »
It had been so great learning so much about my guitar!  Thanks everyone for all your advice, input and knowledge.  I have decided to keep it.  The sound, quality, and the fact that it was the last guitar my grandfather purchased and played means too much to me.