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Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME

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Tony Raven:
I'm digging into some history research, but can locate pretty much NOTHING about Washburn's Chicago luthiery work, except that it's dead. :(

Therefore, I would greatly appreciate ANY info on the skunkworks, like

* the street address
* launch date
* tales of notable visitors
* email of someone who wouldn't mind a few stupid questions ;)
* webpage where it's mentionedPray for me... ???

Tony, regarding your request for an email address for someone who could answer a few questions, your best bet for this kind of information would have been Ship of Fools...but if you read his recent farewell post you'll realize he has suffered a TIA and his memory may not be as accurate as it has been in the past.

Next to Ship, I'd say Evenkeel might be your best bet...you can probably find his email address on his forum profile...or PM him. He is still active, but not as much as he was in the past.

Other than that, a couple of long-departed members come to mind...but I am not too sure they would welcome any inquiries. One of them experienced some difficulty making a moderator happy, but the other just seemed to fade away. What a shame...he was VERY knowledgable! We seem to lose a lot of valuable members to "attrition", so to speak.

Sorry I couldn't be of more help  :(

Cheers to you for embarking on this endeavor, and good luck! I'll keep you in my prayers... ;D

Dugly 8)

Tony Raven:
I'm still helping to clear up Wikipedia articles relevant to Washburn.

Someone asked me whether Washburn still has "made in USA" models. Clearly, there ARE -- presentlythe seven USA Custom Series electrics.

But seeing as the Mundelein facility was shuttered 2012, I am at a loss as to WHERE these guitars are being built. Is there a luthiery at Buffalo Grove?

Tony:  I was the former webmaster of vintagewashburn.com which ran in the early 2010s.  I amassed a serious amount of information during that time - most of it of electrics and all things Washburn.  The website brought me great contacts, such as Grover Jackson, Steve Stevens, Steve Davies, Steve Davies' former employees, Rudy, Jennifer Batten, and many others.   I also consider myself a historian of Hamer and Kramer guitars.  The Kramer forums were also shut down a few years ago.  However, another member re-created the forums and they are still somewhat active - but not like it used to be.  Either way, a decade of information was lost when the old forums were shut down.  It seems forums everywhere aren't what they once were in the 2000s.  Facebook could be the reason - many people discuss things via guitar groups, but I don't feel it's the same. That being said, information is still being passed.  I just feel Washburn's deep history isn't well known when compared to other brands.

This is the first time I'm visiting these forums in years.  There was myself and maybe 3-5 others on the forums who were regulars on the forums discussing history and such.   I shut the website down years ago.  Although I got interesting emails and proud of what I accomplished, most of the time I was answering emails on "How much is my guitar worth?"  I did not want to be the Washburn bluebook. 

I visited the Washburn custom shop near Chicago in around 2011 and visited with Terry Atkins (head of the shop at the time, I believe), and Nick-WB.  Seems like such a long time ago already.  I haven't kept up much tabs on Washburn since 2013, but every now and then I see what products they put out.  I was finishing up grad school and was really putting too much time time into everything guitars.  In hindsight, I should have made a youtube channel and let it grow.  It would have been perfect timing.

I was excited to see the Washburn EC29 homage in the Parallaxe guitars.  I'll have to try one out someday.  Washburn has always made and currently makes incredible guitars.  I hope everything is doing well.

Darren, since you're more knowledgeable on Vintage Washburn guitars.  Can you give light to the Billy T, Maverick series BT, Custom shop WM100 similarities.. they have same body shape as far as I can tell but no catalog that expressly or visually confirm each models release.  Tony has piece together that it was Mr Atkins aka Billy Atkins, who headed custom shop as product manager of said offset model.. was it features, electronic and hardware or tonewood that that used to separate each group.  Also how come there is no catalog with Billy T model?

Thanks Darren.



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