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Messages - Tony Raven

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Yah, I do see what you mean -- that horn immediately reminded me of a P2 (which is more extreme still). But everything else is definitely WI66V (2002-2003) in Transparent Blue.

It's possible that what you have is an early demo, either showing what the factory could do with the design or for a sales rep to show to big retailers in hope of stirring up advance orders.

One of the best examples of Korea-made Washburn, though my opinion is a little biased. ;D In any case, a very good guitar, & nice-looking too.

Idol Series / Re: Any love for the Pilsens?
« on: April 09, 2017, 06:34:51 PM »
As with many things Washburn, confusion comes in when names get repurposed.

I first heard "Pilsen" applied to the P Series carved-top guitars, in the late '90s. These (as I said) were later rebranded as the E Series, then Centurian (a.k.a. CT), then back to P.

In the 1997-1998 catalogue, Bettencourt is clearly playing a P4SIG, with the caption Nuno Bettencourt with his signature P4 in Tiffany Blue.

The "Pilsen" name reappeared in 2005 attached to the PI70, clearly an Idol, which sure looks the same as the 2007 WI70.

N Series (Nuno Bettencourt) / Re: N4 flame custom
« on: April 06, 2017, 12:08:10 AM »
The Wikipedia article states that "all N4s have ebony fingerboards" except for a rare all-padauk version, & composite (plastic) on some prototypes. Is this not correct?

Everything about it suggests it's a counterfeit Nuno.

For instance the "1972 12 27" date on the neck heel (rather than a patent claim). As Stephen Davies didn't begin developing the design until the early 1980s, it makes no sense. (And Nuno Bettencourt would have been only six years old in 1972.)

You don't know that it was made in the United States -- that's merely what's claimed.

Even if you could locate a serial number on it, I'd have to doubt it's a Washburn at all until the company's Customer Service can provide verification that any part of it actually came from the Illinois shop.

You will have to provide more data. If not photos, then at least detail about hardware -- tuners, pickups, bridge.

Very few Washburn models have a number larger than two digits; the few that do are generally just variants of lesser models. For instance, the D-100 is only a variant D-10 produced for some very large retailers.

Though restored, I have to say it looks quite pretty for its age.

As you may have guessed, "Washburn" was the brand name under which the Lyon & Healy company produced musical instruments.

The first "parlour" guitar I ever played was a restored 1890s Washburn, "V"-profile neck, flat classical-style ebony fretboard, thin frets. Really only equalled by the more recent Washburn "R" series.

I hope it provides you many happy hours of play.

THEY have the problem, not a guy who has owned scores of guitars over 30 years. There is no excuse for it; they are not paying attention to the customer's basic need.
Bring it back to the store. Simple.

Show Us Your Washburn / Re: Just Beautiful... in my opinion anyway...
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:57:53 PM »
What you have there is a COA -- certificate of authenticity. It's just an interesting gewgaw, really, affirming that it's not a cheap Chinese counterfeit (which is not only absurd, but how do you prove the COA isn't a fake...?). The only COAs I know that are interesting have been signed by someone famous.

While it's cool to see that it's "one of 500," the fact is that (as I mention elsewhere) ~60% of Washburn models (1974-2010) saw no more than 200 produced. For all we know, the D49 may have stopped at #200 as well. In any case, it's not particularly more rare than most other Washburns. (Compare this to a new "Custom Shop" Fender I recently saw that crowed how it was "limited to only 1,000." ::))

The only "125th" guitars I'm familiar with that're holding good value are the R-series parlors.

You can also check the catalogue:

Some years back, I tried a D46SP at a local store. Loved the looks, enjoyed playing it, only $400 new... but I walked away because I was hoping for a bit more. I lucked onto a tail-end D46CESP that cost me like $460 on an MSRP of $1,020. I've gotten some joy from it, impressed a few other players, & if I'm REALLY lucky might be able to sell it for ~$400 (with case) -- as with so many Washburns, it doesn't matter that it's an EXCELLENT guitar, because there's simply no market demand for it.

So... what's my guitar worth?

There's an absolute fetish for "solid wood" or at least "solid top" guitars, which means that
  • there's a lot of "real wood" guitars out there that really don't sound very good yet are priced at double or even triple what they'd be worth to a player who's both sane & knowledgeable
  • there's a lot of "plywood" guitars that not only sound pretty good (& will likely outlive most "wood" guitars) but are going for a fraction of their realistic value as an instrument
One result is that the return on your D49 is significantly less than (say) the D46SK.

Your D49 is basically a D46 with more inlay & the "125th" gimmick. The models were available 2008-2010 at most. Per a note in Bluegrass Today, Sept 05, 2008 --
The D49SP carries a MSRP of $999.90 and the D49CESPK $1169.90.

Yeah, I noticed that little bit of paper or whatever under the E string -- this is problematic. Bridge saddles DO NOT wear quickly, ESPECIALLY for the unwound strings. Therefore, it's been broken OR it's been cut down too far in attempting to make a super-low action OR either the top is caving or the neck is warped.

What it's "worth" depends entirely on why you want to know. FFI, read my previous rant --,26499.0.html
But IF the neck & body are perfect & IF you fix the bridge & IF there's absolutely no nicks, chips, or other blemishes, then it's "worth" about the same as my D46.

Given that it's been around for almost 20 years, it would likely benefit from a proper setup & adjustment, something that really ought to be performed annually. Unless you know how to do that yourself, it's a well-spent $50.

General Discussion / Re: The Eternal Question
« on: April 02, 2017, 12:30:21 PM »
I need to bump this because the question keeps recurring. Sorry.

Washburn acoustics began generally sporting the "W" prefix in 2011. Sometime 2016, this started shifting over to "H"; I'm guessing the "W" looked redundant, & the "H" was to split some models off into the "Heritage" lines. Anyway, that narrows your model down to 2011-2016 at the outside.

That "F" indicates a "folk"-type guitar, of course. I've never been totally comfortable with a folk-style neck, yet my former girlfriend was unhappy playing anything else. It suits a particular need.

Washburn has always had a habit of putting out short runs, sometimes for a particular retailer, so a given model may never be found in the annual company catalogue. Jim Smith Sr said it's not unusual for a model to not sell well, so the company decides not to order more built after the inventory is gone:
They will order 200 of a particular model ... and they’ll hold them at the warehouse until they are sold. And if they don’t sell, they don’t order them again, and that holds true for probably 60 percent of their product line since 1974.
So, there might be very little info to be had.

FWIW, $50 was probably a pretty good deal.

General Discussion / Re: Washburn wf16
« on: April 02, 2017, 09:59:11 AM »
There's really not much out there. I can only offer some scattered pieces.

The "F" prefix says it's a "folk"-style guitar, so with a wider/flatter fretboard to appeal to classical guitarists, & a body somewhat smaller than a dreadnought.

The "W" indicates it was probably built after Rudy Schlacher sold the company, so 2011 or later. You can check the catalogues --

(The only current folk model I can find is the HF11S (or HF11SCE variant); as this has a solid cedar top, it's likely more comparable to a D10S than to yours.)

When produced, the WF models were part of the Heritage line -- or rather lines. Presently, they're
  • Heritage 100 Series
  • Heritage 40 Series
  • Heritage 30 Series
  • Heritage 20 Series
  • Heritage 10 Series
with the bigger-numbered models having more decorative detail & higher-quality components. Yours would be of the Heritage 10 group, very good guitars aimed primarily at beginners & hobby players. When new, it likely had a "street price" no higher than $350; used, it might presently fetch $200-$250.

Here's a side trip to show a two-piece 'harp pickup system. This is a 1967 Cutlass by Summit. But you may also notice the little "®" thingie, so I can only wonder whether they licensed something from OS, or if this is an OS spinoff so as not to upset their Appalachian base with all that hippie electrical stuff.

Each pickup has its own output -- which is kinda cool for someone with a heavy thumb to send the bass for its own mix -- or you can put the switch in the center to run both together. May also be a solid-body, or at least no soundholes. Incidentally, it sold last year for $449.

While it's there, I thought I'd note how the previous owner had the bars laid out --

Idol Series / Re: Just bought a Pilsen
« on: April 02, 2017, 01:39:43 AM »
I'm guessing it's a PI-70. My notes say that model was only in the catalogues 2005-2006. It shows up online ~$700, so I'd say you did well in that regard.

As to whether it's "a keeper"... well, that's up to you. I mean, heck, if you can't tell us how it plays, how can we tell you if it's any good? :o

If you like Gibsons, you're in luck. Mahogany body & neck, as with an LP -- plus Duncan "Custom Custom" pickups & Grover 18:1 tuners.

Yep, it never fails -- when I set myself a hard budget, all sorts of cool stuff wanders past. ::) Well, maybe someone else hereabouts can snag a treasure or two.

You might think me mad for pointing out a WI-14 listed for $140 + $75. However, it comes packed in a "Washburn"-branded foamshell case. Not enough? This one comes in a rather nice shade of blue (which I haven't yet found proof was a stock color) & a somewhat dashing pickplate.

Only a little steep at $400 + $50, the seller of this SS-40 is willing to negotiate. And it at least includes the poly case.

A nice-looking KC-40V, made yet more handsome by an asking price of $115 + $20 (which of course means you could offer even less... ;)).

Rather striking HB-15C, $295 + $20.

This one... remains a total mystery to me. It's like an X-10 or -22 (offset dots, "pinwheel" trussrod, two knobs) that's been given an X-40's hardware (hsh, Rose, Grovers), not to mention the nice finish. Tempting at $180 + $45.

(The background saddens me somewhat, with the wide selection of lonely string packages. Comes a point when it'd be best to file them in a shoebox sitting on the counter.)

A last few from Guitar Center Online...

XB-500 in burgundy, $170 + s/h.

Bound black P2 (a.k.a.  CT-2), $200.

...though a Music-Go-Round has a P2Q $160 + $55.

Customer Service --

So far as I can tell, the USA manufacturing operation was closed in 2012; there might be a small shop doing Nuno stuff, but it's nowhere near 180 jobs. Any records of the guitar's production might take Customer Service a while to locate.

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