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Messages - Tony Raven

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General Discussion / used Washburns on the market
« on: September 19, 2017, 05:13:47 PM »
I really enjoy browsing online for used gear. Fortunately, I have a budget, or there would be no room left in my house for furniture. However, I come across some VERY interesting items, & hope that other Washburn fans might benefit from this.

Lately, there's been some unusual Washburns appearing, & generally at a price you'd probably find pleasant. Here's this evening's run through the nation's Guitar Centers. And to stay true to my penny-pinching roots, I will not venture higher than $299.95.

...for instance, this J-5.

As well, a WI-66 PRO.

I see very few Folk models come up used. This one has not just a high model number, but Magic Letters: an F52SWCE, withcase yet, $280.99.

Lovely CB4QB bass, $299.99.

Always wanted a set-neck Wing? How about $199.99 for this SB-10.

Here's one someone recently asked about: one humbucker, big vibrato system, $249.99.

A buterfly-bridge D-30S, $249.99.

The J-47 doesn't often show up used. Recently lowered to $279.99, with case.

Even more unusual, an RR150 "Sammy Hagar" model, two HBs + piezo saddle with separate output, $279.99.

Blue WI-64DL, just $159.99.

While in plain black, I've never seen a P2 so low as $169.99.

One of the oddities: the Idol from the brief HM Series, $199.99.

Need a nicely decorated Grand Auditorium? Want it cheap? Just $199.99 gets you this WG-26.

Speaking of Idols: WI-26, $169.99.

A recurring question is "what's my D-9xLTD worth?" Here's the answer: D-92LTD, $189.99.

Good basic snakehead AG-30 dread, $149.99.

If you're in the market for a very decent LP clone, there's been much discussion online that has driven up the asking prices of the WE-22. That's insane, but here's TWO for $149.99 each, which is a deal.

Get your metal on: hardtail Vindicator, $199.99.

Don't see many of these: VBA30 bass amp, $129.99.

This looks a bit like a second-version X-40. For $80, how bad could it be?

But the one that really has me gnawing at the leash: WD-20S, asking a mere $109.99.

Washburn Parallaxe Series / Re: Using the buzz feiten system
« on: September 17, 2017, 05:22:19 PM »
I only have two guitars with the BFTS. I'm not impressed.

I have two external tuners, the Sabine STX-1100 & the Snark SN-1; no, I don't use them together, the Sabine is better in noisy environments but bulkier.

I fine-tune at fret 5. If the intonation is correct, the tuning will be close enough for ~98% of notes.

The accuracy of the BFTS guitars is not noticeably better (or worse) than my other guitars.

Vintage and Rare Washburns / Re: older instruments: caution
« on: September 17, 2017, 05:16:37 PM »
I know what you mean about the fingers; I work on transit buses all day, & evenings I often feel like I'm poking at the keys with bent chopsticks.  :(  Always great to get your input, even if we don't move so fast as we used to.

Actually, thanks for what you said; cheers me up a little. I'm no fan of Big Government (totally nonpartisan, btw) & not very good at being optimistic that "common sense" comes into play.  ;)

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Re: Comort series
« on: September 17, 2017, 05:09:34 PM »
Why is that guitar not listed?
Any number of reasons. The most likely: Washburn often produces a particular model (or variant) just for sale through major retailers. These never appear in a Washburn catalog or pricelist. At a guess, I'd say the 22 is a slightly downscale 25.

From the pictures on the GC site,  i can see the tuner/preamp on the 25, but not the 22.  How do the electronics differ?
Why did you not check the MF site? There it clearly says the 22 has a Fishman 301T system... which actually is also what it says at GC Online.  ??? The 25 has a Fishman Presys+.

Other differences?
The 25 has NuBone nut/saddle.

Yes, definitely get yourself a decent humidifier insert ASAP. It will help stop further damage, & likely close the seams a little.

I don't like to diagnose a patient from a photo, but it looks like those splits have been around awhile, & in part might stem from hidden weaknesses in the wood (the mirror symmetry). The lighter-colored areas near the openings suggest that moisture has gotten in (whether condensation or sweat or cleaning liquids) and further dried out the wood. The darker stripes are probably some sort of contaminant liquid (hand oils or polish).

Though it does seem odd that the cracks run all the way to the butt, yet don't run out at all toward the soundhole.

Hopefully, it's never had a silicon "polish" used on it. If that damned stuff got onto bare wood, the contact area will be pretty much impossible to properly finish.

Though I've seen the Martin shop pull off some amazing restorations, I don't know this can ever again be 100% in looks. However, if the wood can be properly humidified, then maybe three cleats put in and the gaps properly filled and protected, that should restore most of the tone. Properly cared for, it could have another century of play in it. Still quite a pretty instrument.

Cost? Dunno; get quotes. Me, I'd rather cleat a top than try to repair edge separation. Stabilizing the cracks is MUCH easier than hiding them; up here, cleating & sealing would maybe be $200-$250 so long as you're more concerned with the sound than with making it look pretty.

Show Us Your Washburn / Re: Oscar Schmidt OG2N
« on: September 13, 2017, 04:46:32 PM »
I commented on them five years back:
Though I have far too many guitars, I do somewhat regret not getting the transparent blue with the brown binding.


Guitar Care, Repair, Modification & Lutherie / Re: Sanding a WM100
« on: September 13, 2017, 04:33:14 PM »
Quilt maple top; opinions differ on whether it's a cap or just a veneer. The figuring is a distraction, but is probably laid the same direction as you'd expect from plain wood: parallel to the strings.

But I'd advise against refinishing it --
- 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
Retail price was $1,699. Even with significant finish deterioration & showing some wood, book value is about $500; if in better condition, $700+.

If you strip it, you lose at least 60% of that -- forever. More if you take off the headstock decals.

Should you be capable of creating a professional-grade perfect gloss finish, this adds nothing to value.

IMO, you'd do better to experiment on a BT-4Q, which can be had for <$100.

Tightening the trussrod does indeed pull the nut further from the saddle. However, few guitarists would notice the difference. For the few that can, it almost always simply means reshaping the saddle or properly shaping a new one. (Really, finger pressure, which is never consistent, makes a more significant difference. Changing humidity is as bad.)

By the time you go at all "too far" with the trussrod, there will be such a hump around fret 9 that you'll hear buzzing (maybe even total fretting out) there when fretting lower, certainly 5 or 6, maybe even 3.

Vintage and Rare Washburns / older instruments: caution
« on: September 10, 2017, 12:04:48 PM »
Someone reminded me of this on another forum, & none of us could determine whether the matter has been settled somewhat better.

You may remember when Federal marshals raided a Gibson plant back in August 2011, and previously three plants in 2009.
They were enforcing the Lacey Act, a century-old endangered species law that was amended in 2008 to include plants as well as animals.
I'm all for protecting endangered species.

HOWEVER, the law has been interpreted as 100% retroactive.

That is to say, if you own (say) an African carving that your great-grandfather bought as a tourist in the 1950s, & it's made from some wood that has since become scarce, you might be violating Federal law to possess it.

The problem for us? Let me point out that pianos used to have coverings made from elephant ivory. Technically, the Feds can storm into any place that has old pianos or keytops, & lock everything down until they go through, piece by piece, & determine that none of the ivory is actually from an embargoed source.

This has -- thank heavens  :o -- settled down a bit. However, attempts to export or import old ivory keytops run afoul of U.S. Fish & Wildlife, & those Federal marshals.

Not that everything is so easy. Remember that carving? Let's say it was instead in elephant tusk. You may rest assured it's totally legal to own. long as you don't sell it, or buy it.  ::)

You CAN buy or sell if the ivory used is at least a century old (past the death of the elephant, one assumes). And it was properly brought in through a designated port. And it has been in no way modified (inclding any repairs). Naturally, you must have paperwork that proves its age AND importation path.

Certain woods are also protected. I find mention of ebony (Madagascar) & rosewood (Brazil & Madagascar).

You might get a great deal on an old Lyon & Healy. Is it crossing an international border to get to you? Are you certain of all the materials used in its construction? Do you have any sort of credible verification that you're correct? If you are a performing musician, do you travel outside your country with such an instrument?

If you have a higher-end instrument from the 1970s or even later, you might run afoul of the Lacey Act. As far as I can determine, even one little ebony chip in a headstock inlay might cost you the instrument. And until the Feds are entirely satisfied that your axe is legit, they'll happily hold on to it for you.

Any updates welcome!!

Aimed primarily at wannabee shredders who're more concerned with looks than playability: "occult and gothic styled graphics in blacks, whites & grays, perfectly capturing the essence of dark metal music."


Basswood body -- reliable, boring. Rosewood fretboard, painted black. Maple neck, also boring. Fake EMG-look pickups.
Built 2012, FWIW. Nice heel relief, very nice body cut.

If it plays good AND sounds good, cool. Otherwise, it's more a fashion statement than a working instrument.

Any good-condition D-10 (or higher) after being seen by a guitar tech.

Show Us Your Washburn / Re: D44SW Golden Harvest
« on: September 09, 2017, 12:59:59 AM »
Dude, YOU own the guitar.  :o Can you tell the difference between plastic & bone?

(Hint: if a hot needle can take a piece from it, it is NOT bone...)

Before you go hacking on the saddle, have you set the trussrod properly?

General Discussion / Re: Washburn dime
« on: September 09, 2017, 12:49:27 AM »
No, "refinish the guitar I already own" is not anything like "buy a new guitar."  ::)

FWIW, the Washburn Dimes are far superior to the ever-increasing plethora of "Dean" "Dimes" foisted off by Darrell's estate. (It's not the same company, & almost all the post-death "Dimes" were never actually approved by Darrell, QED.)

Refinishing a guitar is NOT easy nor cheap. It is WORK to tear a finish down to wood, then to redo the multiple rounds of filler & sealer, then color coats, then anything like a burst, then topcoat, then clearcoat.

I know classic guitars. An old Strat with most of the finish gone down to wood is worth at least as much as the same Strat with a $1,000 professional repaint.

N Series (Nuno Bettencourt) / Re: Need finishing advice for N4 project
« on: September 04, 2017, 06:52:26 PM »
Are you talking a filler like you'd use to smooth over cracks & gaps, or a sealer that you'd use to close up the grain so as to get a smooth finish?

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