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Author Topic: Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME  (Read 3221 times)

Offline Tony Raven

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Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME
« on: February 05, 2017, 11:23:48 AM »
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 mentioned
Pray for me... ???
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

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Offline YerDugliness

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Re: Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 12:02:10 PM »
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)
YerDugliness,Esq./Post No Bills
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Offline Tony Raven

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Re: Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2017, 12:25:31 PM »
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?
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://cheapguitars.boards.net/

Offline darreno27

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Re: Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2018, 08:56:37 PM »
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.

Offline psp742

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Re: Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 12:00:32 PM »
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.

Ric,
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 12:15:34 PM by psp742 »
Force 84 ABT B-30 MR
Festival 90 EA20B
Billy T 94 Bk
Bantam 96 XB400 Bttrsctch, 98 XB500 Bk, 94 XB600 BkFlam
Maverick  98 BTM MR/MB, 97 BT3 Rd, BT-4 Tobacobrst, 97 BT-6 MtlFlkBk
01 RB2000 Bk
04 WG587 MR
X-series 05 X-33 Bk
Idol 05 WI36 Bk, 05 WI64 Bk
Comfort 14 WCG18CE Na
Wing 84 T-bird Tobacobrst

Offline darreno27

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Re: Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 05:36:32 PM »
It's been so long.  The WMs were built in the USA custom shop.  Jennifer Batten had her signature WM (though technically called a JB).  The BTs were probably built in Korea or off-shore somewhere.  To be honest, I never put much research in these guitars, nor did many people care about them out of all the random emails I got through the years.  They are very underrated guitars, much like the USA MG series (and many things Washburn).  There was never an exact spec build when it came to Washburn.  There are so many one-offs and random things, especially during the Japanese Mastumoku and Kasuga factory years between 1983-1990.  Here is some info I had from back then.  I don't even remember where I got this info from.  It's not 100% accurate but gives you an idea.

BT2   
- slightly offset double cutaway mahogany body, maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with offset pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, two exposed humbucker pickups, two knobs (v, tone), three-way switch on upper bass bout, chrome hardware, available in Black, Cherry Sunburst, Caribbean Blue, Metal Flake Blue, Metal Flake Silver, Tiffany Blue, or White finish, mfg. 1997-2002. In 2000, Metal Flake Blue, Metal Flake Silver, and Caribbean Blue finishes were disc. In 2001, White finish was introduced.
BT2 Q   
- similar to BT2, except has a quilted maple top, available in Vintage Sunburst finish, mfg. 1998-2002.
BT3   
- similar to BT2, except has a Fulcrum-style tremolo bridge, white pickguard, 3 single coil pickups, three knobs (v, two tone), and a 5-way switch on pickguard, available in Black, Cherry Sunburst, Ivory, Tiffany Blue, or Red finish, mfg. 1997-99. In 1998, Tiffany Blue finish was disc.
BT4   
- similar to BT2, except features a Fulcrum tremolo bridge, two single coil and one humbucker pickup (HSS), and a five-way selector switch mounted on the lower treble bout, available in Black, Dark Blue, or Tobacco Sunburst finishes, mfg. 1997-2002. In 2001, Tobacco Sunburst finish was disc., and Metallic Chery was introduced.
BT4 Q Quilt   
- similar to BT4, except has a maple top, available in Cherry Sunburst finish, mfg. 1998-2002.
BT4 Q LH Quilt Left-Handed   
- similar to BT4 Q Quilt, except in left-handed configuration, available in Cherry Sunburst finish, mfg. 1998-2002.
2   1
BT5   
- slightly offset double cutaway hardwood body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with dot inlay, black headstock with three-per-side Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece, two exposed Washburn Eliminator humbucker pickups, single knob, three-way switch, chrome hardware, available in Metallic Dark Blue or Metallic Red finish, mfg. 1996-97.
BT6   
- slightly offset double cutaway mahogany body, maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with offset pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, Floyd Rose licensed tremolo, two exposed humbucker and one single coil pickups (HSH), two knobs (v, tone), five-way switch on lower treble bout, black hardware, available in Metal Flake Black, Galactic Blue, or Trans. Wine Red finish, mfg. 1996-99.
BT8   
- slightly offset double cutaway mahogany bound body, maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with offset pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece, two exposed coil humbucker pickups, two knobs (v, tone), three-way toggle switch on the upper bass bout, chrome hardware, available in Honey Sunburst, Trans. Red, or Trans. Purple finish, mfg. 1996-99. In 1999, Honey Sunburst and Trans. Purple finishes were disc.
BT9   
- slightly offset double cutaway alder body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret maple fingerboard with offset pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, Fulcrum-style tremolo, white pickguard, one exposed coil humbucker and two exposed single coil pickups (HSS), three knobs (v, two tone), five-way switch, black hardware, available in Trans. Blue or Trans. Red finish, mfg. 1996-99.
BT10   
- slightly offset double cutaway mahogany body, bound flamed sycamore top, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, Washburn 600S Floyd Rose licensed tremolo, two exposed humbucker pickups, two knobs (v, tone), three-way switch on upper bass bout, chrome hardware, available in Trans. Dark Blue or Trans. Red finish, mfg. 1995-99. In 1997/98, this model was redesigned with offset pearl dot fingerboard inlays, a knob was dropped and changed style, and the switch was moved to the lower treble bout.
1   2
BT20   
- slightly offset double cutaway mahogany body, figured maple top, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with offset pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, Schaller Floyd Rose licensed tremolo, two exposed Duncan humbucker pickups, two knobs (v, tone), three-way switch on upper bass bout, chrome hardware, available in Trans. Dark Blue, Trans. Red, or Vintage Sunburst finish, mfg. 1996 only.
BTM MINI   
- similar to BT2, except features smaller "mini" body, available in Metallic Dark Blue or Metallic Red (2000 only) finish, mfg. 1998-2002.
WM100/WM STANDARD/WM4 (U.S. MFG.)   
- slightly offset double cutaway mahogany body, quilted maple top with wood binding, mahogany neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, Schaller stop tailpiece, 2 Seymour Duncan humbucker pickups, two knobs (v, tone), three-way switch, Buzz Feiten Tuning System, chrome hardware, available in Cobalt Blue, Honey, or Trans. Bordeaux Red finish, mfg. 1997-2002. This model was the WM100 from 1997-98, WM Standard in 1999, and the WM4 from 2000-02.
WM200/WM PLUS/WM3 (U.S. MFG.)   
- slightly offset double cutaway swamp ash body, mahogany neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece, one Seymour Duncan humbucker and two single coil pickups (HSS), white pickguard, three knobs (v, two tone), five-way switch, Buzz Feiten Tuning System, chrome hardware, available in Black, Trans. Bordeaux Red, or Vintage Sunburst finish, mfg. 1997-2002. This model was the WM200 from 1997-98, WM Plus in 1999, and the WM3 from 2000-02.
WM STUDIO (U.S. MFG.)   
- similar to WM200/WM PLUS/WM3, except has less features, available in Butterscotch Matte, Natural Matte, or Red Matte (1999 only) finish, mfg. 1999-2000.
WM612 DOUBLE NECK (U.S. MFG.)   
- similar to WM100, except in double neck configuration (six-string and 12-string), available in Vintage Sunburst finish, mfg. 1998-2000.

I'm sure you've seen these catalogs on Washburn's website already.  Not sure if there are more.  Welcome to the mystery of Washburn Guitars.

http://www.washburn.com/media/catalogs/pdf/Washburn1997-98Catalog.pdf

http://www.washburn.com/media/catalogs/pdf/WB_2001catalog.PDF

And the price list:

http://www.washburn.com/community/pdf/archives/1996.pdf

http://www.washburn.com/community/pdf/archives/1997.pdf

http://www.washburn.com/community/pdf/archives/1998.pdf

http://www.washburn.com/community/pdf/archives/1999.pdf

http://www.washburn.com/community/pdf/archives/2000.pdf
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 05:48:35 PM by darreno27 »

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: Chicago Custom Shop -- HELP ME
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2018, 02:45:22 AM »
Thanks! That does fill in some gaps in my ongoing study of the Mavericks. Now if I could only determine whether the BT-2Q and BT-4Q used film (as the pricelists say) or was veneer or cap... ;)
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://cheapguitars.boards.net/