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Author Topic: the reality of "Limited" & "Special Edition"  (Read 96 times)

Offline Tony Raven

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the reality of "Limited" & "Special Edition"
« on: October 28, 2017, 12:51:32 PM »
I get the feeling that "there's a sucker born every minute" applies to MANY buyers when it comes to "valuable" Washburn models. It's not that the company (or its retailers) is trying to mislead, but they certainly take advantage of assumptions.

Typically, Washburn puts out some sort of "special edition" variant of a standard model, usually at the behest of a huge company like Guitar Center or Musician's Friend, though previously higher-end models for dealers like Funky Munky. Production runs of the latter might be forty or twenty or ten or five; for the former, "limited" could be 1,000, or even more.

For me, the problem with this is that (as Jim Smith has said), most Washburn models over the years have been ordered 200 at a time. If sales don't pan out, the model is simply never re-ordered. This is VERY common among higher-end guitars, particularly acoustic (where a 200 run might take two full years to sell out). Sometimes, because of a business change (i.e., someone in Marketing decided a certain design didn't have a real chance), a model or line is scrapped before it appears in a pricelist much less catalogue: the mass-market TB-100 isn't much easier to find than the deluxe TB-400.

In short, it's not difficult to spot a Washburn that is, by any measure, actually rarer than most "limited edition" guitars from ANY company.

That doesn't happen so often as might be assumed. Finding the ones that're actually uncommon requires a bit of research, & familiarity with Washburn's corporate quirks, though such background isn't difficult. However, it's easier for a seller to simply claim rarity, as if aware that most buyers are even more ignorant.

Washburn LIKES to do limited runs for sellers. That way, they're taking no chances... they probably get some (maybe all) of their cost paid up-front... there's no changes to the pricelist... no worries about whether anyone will want the guitars... no warehousing... no need for clearance. And because they can order more than 200 from the factory, Washburn stands to profit a little more per unit.
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I've mentioned elsewhere how the D-100 is just a D-10 made for a major reseller. Some, though, believe the number gives relative value.
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The major example of casual mistruth is the "LTD" series of acoustics. No entry in Washburn catalogues or pricelists, none in Blue Book. I've called them the "D-9xLTD" & found credible reference of them for 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, & 1998. Each year has been said to've been "limited" to the date-number (1,996 for 1996, called the D-96LTD) or 2,000 (as some labels state).

Okay, right there, ANYONE ought to wonder how "limited" they really are!! :o

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it was the LTD that went out one year with soundhole labels printed with the name of the company that ordered the lot, & these were sometimes gifted to employees or shops (rather than put up for sale).

My guess thus far is the base model is a D-9, with upgrades. Some years, there is rather nice-sounding decoration, like someone claims the 1997 has abalone rosette & top binding... though the guy paid $250 new so I suspect he can't tell abalone from pearloid. Another paid "less than $500" for his '94 from a real-world store.

I have a few more details elsewhere:
http://forums.washburn.com/index.php/topic,26915.msg158911.html#msg158911
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Lately, "Millennium" guitars have been popping up regularly. You can tell the clueless because they believe "Millennium" was a model; it was a SERIES, variants on a few models, listed together to cash in on Year 2K Mania. Their scarcity (let alone rarity) is questionable at best.

(Amusingly, the 12th-fret inlay actually says Millenium (single n), a misspelling I've seen repeated on the soundhole tag & a COA.)

Natural-finish Festival with butterfly bridge, sold for $400 --
https://reverb.com/item/962398-washburn-ea2000-am-millenium-limited-edition

A black Festival, can't get an opening $175 bid --
https://www.ebay.com/itm/washburn-EA-2000-millennium-acustic-electric-guitar-1999/162726788951?hash=item25e345bf57:g:roQAAOSwD5ZZxYTl#shpCntId

A dread, DM2000QCE in Amber, a 300 run, MIK, butterfly bridge, s/n indicates 1999 --
[url]https://www.shopgoodwill.com/Item/45132997
Only been up half a day, yet up to $130 on only four bids -- might top $250.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2017, 10:17:15 AM by Tony Raven »
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