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Washburn Electric Guitars Forums => General Discussion on Washburn Electric Guitars => Topic started by: Tony Raven on March 19, 2016, 10:58:43 PM

Title: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Tony Raven on March 19, 2016, 10:58:43 PM
While I was talking about how underappreciated the JB-80 is, a friend admitted to knowing nothing about Washburn electrics, & asked me to recommend some lines that might show up used at bargain prices. So, here I sit with my 2008 Blue Book (all 1,267 pages), making lists. The tough part is establishing the criteria.

Well, let's look at the models that BBook valued at $1,000 or more in 90% (9 of 10, or Excellent) condition. No big surprise that most are USA builds --
J14 Regal
J15 Paramount
Dime 3 / Dime 3 ST / D3 Confederate
Dime ST Pro
Nextar NX6TM
PTK (the PT3 but korina & ebony)
WI68 / WI80 / WI90 / NC70
MR400 (with or without Bigsby)
WM612 doubleneck
DD75 Maya Pro / DD81 Maya / DD91 Maya
N4E SA / N4 Relic / N5 / N6 / N8
PS800 / PS2000 / PS9200
SI75 / SI81
X81 Face Eraser

(Not many basses get the respect they deserve: to the list add the XB920 / XB925 / XB926 / XB928 & the Bootsy Collins.)

Since not everyone buys a new guitar thinking "it could be worth something some day!" & treats it like a precious relic, Washburns tend to get played, & sometimes treated like the reliable tools they are. There's gonna be chips, dings, dents, & loose wiring on some still-sweet guitars. So, setting aside the obvious higher-end axes, let's look at the ones given a $500+ value if in 80% condition, much more likely to be overlooked.
J6 Montgomery / J6S
J9 Washnigton / J9G / J9VG
J10 (1989-1992)
CT3 / CTP Plus / P3
CT4 / CTSTD / P4
E100 / E300 / E400
Dime ST Pro / Dime V Pro
NX6 Nextar
Sonic 6 / S6
Sonic 7 / S7
WI70 / PI70
JB80 / JB100
WM100 / WM Standard / WM4
WM200 / WM Plus / WM3
MG142 / MG154
DD70 Maya Standard
N4 / N4QM
A20/30 Artist
EC36 Spitfire
SS80 / SS100
SB20 Eagle / SB100
X40 / X50 Pro FE

I remain dissatisfied, though. Really, this leaves out dozens of great "workhorse" guitars that can be had for $200 or $150 or even $100, often with quality components (Grovers, Rose, Wilkinson, Duncan...), almost completely ignoring the Idols, the Chicagos, the BTs, the MGs (even the USAs), Stage, Tour, & WIng.

Then again, my friend is going to keep his eyes open now -- maybe he'll spot me an RS10V or something. ;D
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Wee-Lamm Tunes on March 31, 2016, 10:44:24 PM
Interesting list and I like the picture, decent detail in the wood. :-)

Is there any mention of an LP 50 in Bluebook?  I think they only made a few, before they massaged them into being the WP 50, back in the mid 80's.
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Tony Raven on April 06, 2016, 10:03:25 PM
I should add that "reasonable valuation" doesn't necessarily reflect market realities.

There are models that lack demand, or baffle the seller, so prices are under-market. I got my JB-80 for $240, all-in.

Then again, there's more than a few Washies that have gained a reputation approaching mystical. At, there's an LS-93 expecting $1,000, & an LT (with Gator case) asking $850... recently reduced from $1,450.  :o

(Speaking of mysticism. For no good reason, sellers with old Washburn Etc parlor-size acoustical guitars are asking $1,000-$3,000... & occasionally getting it. For $2,000 or less, you could easily find a Breedlove or Taylor or Stonebridge or Larrivee, all of which have cool stuff like an adjustable trussrod ??? not to mention glue that's not about to fail. Archtops are even cheaper: there's a sweet well-played 1938 Gibson L-30 at Elderly Instruments for $1,185. ADVICE: if you've got an old acoustic Washie that's not more precious than your children, it may be a GREAT time to sell!!)
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Tony Raven on April 10, 2016, 06:01:31 PM
an LP 50 in Bluebook?
Apologies for zipping right past your question.

No, sorry, no mention of the LP-50 in the big book, or online. If anyone's got the CD or DVD version, could you have a look?
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Tony Raven on May 18, 2016, 02:26:13 AM
Yeah, the HB-35/HB-35S shoulda been first on my list.  :-[ It's rated $500 in 80% shape.

Except for "collectibles" from Fender & Gibson & such, BlueBook tends to lump together all eras of a particular model. So, there's no differentiation for MIJ vs. MIK vs. MIC, much less changes in knob layout, heel shape, body construction, & so on. Similarly, there's no "bump" for details like short-lived finishes or quality woods. (If anyone is tracking the build changes the HB-35 has gone through, I'd enjoy reading it!)

The HB-35 has been around for many years -- isn't it like THE longest-lasting Washburn model? New, they're going out for $649, which does suggest quality has gone down since 2008 as the book rates 'em $700 (98%) & $775 (100%).

They can be had used for $350 or so, which is significantly under the $575 book value (2008) for a 90%, & closer to what's commanded for an Aslin Dane "Jazz" or Austin AU796 "Session Master" (both 335 clones with a solid fan base).

I cannot say enough: lack of demand results in lowered "real world" prices, & this shouldn't be taken to infer lower quality.
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Chuck Corbis on March 07, 2017, 11:54:04 PM
Funny, I have had my 1998 J14 for sale for awhile. No one has bid anywhere near a $1000. It's pretty nice too. I have even had it's  country of origin contested. I am almost sure it's a USA build but it doesn't say it anywhere. I'd post a picture but I can't figure out how to do that.
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Tony Raven on March 11, 2017, 11:07:18 PM
Hm, "funny" -- love that word. ::)

As I've explained elsewhere, "book value" has NOTHING to do with what YOU might sell it for. Rather, it's approximately what the shop you sell it to might put on as an "asking price." Call it "a reasonable maximum."

An individual who sells a guitar to a shop will likely get 40%-60% of book.

Zack Fjestad once said something to the effect that veryVERY few guitars will ever achieve book value of 50% of their MSRP. As he's been editing the Blue Book series for decades, I defer to Fjestad's Law. And in that respect your guitar is doing rather well: even with a few blemishes I'd guess book at ~$1,500 w/OHSC, not at all bad for $2,299 MSRP.

The better Washburn archtops do rather well on the market... if you are in a community of jazz players or know a really good guitar shop. The J14 "Regal" was so short-lived that few players are even aware it existed. (And unless there's some glitch in build history -- this is, after all, Washburn -- it's a USA build.)

You can't seriously expect the average guitar hacker to be interested in a jazzbox -- go do some marketing. Though IME the Washburn name is respected by mandolin & banjo fans, it's not as generally "hot" amongst guitar fans except for obvious models like an N4 or Dime 3 or JB-100. To get a better return on most any other model, a seller either needs to do something to seek out appreciative players, or cut price repeatedly until it sells itself.
Title: I was
Post by: Chuck Corbis on March 13, 2017, 06:02:23 PM
Sorry for the
'funny' remark. I have owned 15 Washburn archtops. J6s J7s OE40s.....This one was head and shoulders on all of them. I was surprised that my listing for the J 14 was met with such ho hum. Yeah,

"no jigs?" Considering there were only 40 made briefly. Were you in the USA shop late 1997 -1998?
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Chuck Corbis on March 14, 2017, 03:58:43 PM
My wine red J 14 has a Black Stamp Emblem on the back of the headstock which reads 'hand crafted by Washburn'. No mention of Korea or USA even on the inside plaque. Thanks for the info Big City.
Title: Re: top-end Washburns of yesteryear
Post by: Ascension on June 15, 2017, 10:35:18 PM
Forgot about the early to mid 1990's  Grover Jackson era Chigcago Custom USA Washburns looks like.
Few that i have owned or still own over the years
1992 MG 104
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1993 MG 94
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1995 MG 102
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1994 ??
( (
1995 MG 120
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1995 USA A30 Artist
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1993 MG 104
( (
1995 MG 122
( (
1994 MG 122
( (
1995 MG 100
( (
 1995 MG 122
( (
 1996 WM 4
( (
1994 Silverado
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 2000 3ST Stealth
( (