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Messages - Tony Raven

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General Discussion on Washburn Electric Guitars / Re: LT-92 for sale
« on: February 19, 2018, 11:47:27 AM »
I suppose it's possibly the real thing, though at closest it'd be a Mundelein-modded LT-92.

But the credibility of the seller is... oh, hell, he is a total moron. ;D
Sought after Grover neck
In the photos, I can't even verify I'm seeing Grover tuners.

A dual-rail Duncan in the bridge, but I wouldn't take at face value that the others are also SD.

The serial number bothers me. Was Washburn using a Gibson-type presser in the Custom Shop?

Probably a decent guitar (Jackson-era, right?) but IMO overpriced at $650 unless in at least +95% condition (no dings at all!!), with original branded HSC, & provenance paper (at least a sales slip).

General Discussion / Re: Old catalog's
« on: February 18, 2018, 05:10:48 PM »
The official collection (most years 1990 through 2016) still seem to be available --

I've gotten some key info from VintAxe. Some of their PDFs require a paid subscription, though. Their Washburn selection (though spotty) has a 1978, & seven entries from the 1980s --
I sold a couple of Washburn catalogs to them years ago, & have bought a couple of items for other brands -- not cheap, but invaluable.

Discuss Basses and Bass Playing / Re: Washburn force 4, origin?
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:47:40 PM »
a unique serial number.
Well, "unique" as in "the only time that number would be used by the company"? or as in "the only time that number would be used, ever, in the history of the nation of Japan"?

Bad enough if the ff the former: a six-digit number scheme means that the company would never be able to manufacture more than a million instruments -- 000000 through 999999. Seeing as Lyon & Healy claimed in 1892 to produce 100,000+ instruments annually, it seems unlikely a modern mass-manufacture company would tie themselves down to a mere million for all eternity. :o

FWIW, my trusty Univox (bought new in 1974) is numbered 1005945 -- clearly THEY were thinking ahead. ;D

General Discussion / Re: Washburn with no serial number on the label?
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:29:56 PM »
Though I'll enjoy solid info, I'm a little iffy about Washburn's use of the word "limited" (much as for"Pro"). For instance, what I've called the "D9_LTD" acoustics -- from at least D92 through D98 -- that appear to have serial numbers that put the runs like 1,000 or so.

Without a serial number, how does Washburn register a warranty? At the very least, it seems like slipshod accounting.

Bantam Basses / Re: Washburn XB-102
« on: February 14, 2018, 08:22:46 PM »
Nice!! I noticed similar design changes for other companies in the same era (like SLM's Austin lines), particularly as they went from Korea to Indonesia & China.

Guitar Care, Repair, Modification & Lutherie / Re: XB900 repair question
« on: February 11, 2018, 01:20:33 PM »
It's possible that the knucklehead who took yours out also damaged the pickup leads.

Years back, I would've recommended that you pull the circuit from an XB-400. Weirdly, a used 400 is now generally priced at the same price-point as a USA-made 900.

If you get lucky (on eBay or Reverb), someone may have pulled a harness to upgrade.

There are alternatives that're surprisingly cheap. Here's an Amazon listing for a Belcat two-band harness --
Only $15... but notice that many of the reviews say theirs has an unbearable hiss. That might be to the ineptitude of some home modders... or you might have to install three or more until you get a good one.

If you scroll down that page, you'll note that there are other similar harnesses, for about the same price. Here's a three-band -

I've always been pleased with the tone of the XB-400, & I won't promise that a Belcat will be so good. But it'll at least move you foreward. An alternative might be to simply wire it passive.

General Discussion / Re: Washburn with no serial number on the label?
« on: February 11, 2018, 12:59:41 PM »
I think it's MUCH more amusing that a "2004" guitar has a label that says 1883-2008. 8)

Sometimes, guitars aren't tagged until they're ready to ship. Not all shipped guitars get tagged at the factory. Not all tags stick.

My guess: someone (whether the Red China factory or the stateside distribution hub) was getting down to the last few of these. They stamped the model number, but the serial-number stamper wasn't handy. No big thing.

Alternately: the tag was lost in transit. The dealer asked for a tag, Washburn sent it, maybe asking that the dealer hand-write the number, but that didn't get done.

General Discussion / is Blue Book dead??
« on: February 09, 2018, 02:26:15 AM »
Maybe the question ought to be "exactly how dead is Blue Book?"

I've relied on the print editions from Blue Book, then used their website (non-subscribed) to dig into details because it's easy to search with the computer.

A couple of months ago, they lost their collective tiny mind & "upgraded" the site.

Now, NONE of the model listings will show up on a Google search.

Worse, even the basic search capability has gotten STUPID. I used to be able to look up (say) the entire Maverick line & quickly figure out which model I was looking at from the descriptions. Now, if I type in "Maverick" it says "No results found." If I try "BT-3" I get the same result.

Anyone know how to make this work?

X Series / Re: X-40 used for $130
« on: February 09, 2018, 01:58:43 AM »

Yah, what he said, mostly. ;D

I'd put valuation a little bit higher, like up to $200... except for the fact that (1) black usually drags it down & (2) the Rose looks like it needs maintenance & maybe overhaul, which too few players learn.

Anyway, certainly not a bad guitar, & has a little cachet in some regions where everyone's a shredder. 8)

D10 Series / Re: 06 D10sce-N construction.
« on: February 09, 2018, 01:40:38 AM »
Okay, I'm going to play straight here, but in a roundabout way.


I like Washburn guitars. A lot. However: the company has to pay bills, & can't rely on 200-unit handcrafted guitars to fly out the door, so cranks out literal TONS of "beginner" guitars.

The sad reality is that people WANT cheap guitars, & would rather compromise than pay a dollar or two more. So the brands cut corners, the factories cut corners, the retailers cut corners. It's usually in QC -- quality control -- so guitars go to market that are at least badly in need of a simple setup & in some cases are close to falling apart. It's a caveat emptor world.

And when you're talking a "beginner guitar" (like, say, the D10 ???), it's almost always being bought by a non-playing adult to give to a kid who don't yet know nothin' about what a proper action LOOKS like. Therefore, thousands & thousands of cheap guitars enter the market every year. Many of them are parked in closets, where they sit for years, & eventually are trotted out & sold online as VINTAGE even though they're the same unplayable crapboxes they were a decade or more previously.

Fact is that the D10 (D100, WD10, WD100) has -- for 40-some years -- pretty much held the line as the CHEAPEST of the Washburn acoustics. I really enjoy my Washburns, but I cannot fathom why Blue Book says the unwired acoustics are worth ~$200 & the a/e ~$275. In my opinion, this is high even for the spruce-top versions, in perfect condition, with a professional setup.

I have a sideline buying & selling used guitars... almost entirely electrics because even if there are "undisclosed issues" I can turn a profit by parting it out (like selling a twisted neck for $26).

In my not-so-humble opinion, the only person who'd buy a used acoustic without first thoroughly checking it out is either wealthy or foolish (& maybe both).

Most D10 are plywood throughout. Nothing wrong with that: I've got an Aria & an Alvarez that are my go-to dreadnoughts. If plywood "settles in" well, it can last a century, sounding & playing well all the way. And by that I'm implying that not all plywood DOES settle in.

Neither does all "solid wood." :o

Cheap guitars are built in factories, on assembly lines, & shipped out by the literal ton. There is a HUGE amount of potential unit-to-unit variation in tonal quality alone... as there is with USA Fender Strats & small-shop handbuilt acoustics, in my experience. Shopping for a new guitar, a sensible person would sit down with a bunch of them (10 would be good, 20 even better, but AT LEAST FOUR) & slowly winnow it down to the one that sounds & feel the best ("pretty" be damned), because I guarantee there WILL be differences.

Yours has a "solid wood" top rather than plywood. :( There's going to be a LOT more variation in quality (physical & tonal) from one to the next, not to mention effects from any previous owners (high ambient humidity, low ambient humidity, sitting in the sun unplayed every day...). You are now experiencing why I prefer plywood tops for working guitars: CONSISTENCY -- if it sounds good early, it'll KEEP sounding good. A single ply can go all to hell quite suddenly & in a variety of interesting ways.

All in all, LostinKY, if someone had given me the symptoms -- like action was a little high but not too bad, for the already low cut saddle -- I'd have had them check for
  • neck curve (trussrod)
  • heel separation
  • bridgeplate separation
  • top cave
I once had a 12-string (non-Washie) I loved... but had to dispose of because the ENTIRE body was beginning to fold in on itself.  :o

Have you ever heard the colloquialism "trying to polish a turd"? That's where you're at; blaming Washburn ("Now I know why the only washburns that I see around here are electrics.") for getting a guitar-like gewgaw ("she bought it for me because "it was pretty"") is inaccurate at best.

Dude: you WANTED a beater, you GOT a beater. ::) Your choice now is whether to spend a few hundred $$$ putting a new top on a guitar that will never be worth $300. Time to move along.

First, buy from a reputable dealer, someone who will take a guitar back (or at least properly repair it) if you aren't happy with it. A place down the road from me will do a free annual setup, forever, on ANY new axe it sells (which is an incredibly smart marketing move), & will do same for higher-end used guitars.

Second, figure out what you actually WANT, not whether you are willing to work with some semi-playable POS merely because it's handy.

Third, DO SOME SHOPPING. In your range, I'd push for a new Oscar Schmidt OG2CE, which can be had for under $170, available in "Natural, Black, Flame Yellow Sunburst, Flame Black Cherry, White" & even spalt maple. Their plain OG2 drifts past for <$150 new, & (having test-played five) is a bargain.

Cheaper still would be  the Washburn WA90CE, normally $170 but being right this moment blown out (possibly the end of the model) for $130, delivered --

Guitar Care, Repair, Modification & Lutherie / Re: razor sharp fret ends
« on: February 08, 2018, 11:33:48 PM »
I've picked up a couple of maple-board guitars in recent years, not least the SD30 acoustic. Aside from that, the notable is a cheap Starcaster with some nice tigerstripe in the neck. I tend to favor maple that doesn't have a noticeable layer of clearcoat, & preferably unfinished (actually, I figure there's some sort of grain filler involved).

Fretwork can be done on any wood, of course, but the little nicks that sometimes happen are MUCH easier to repair (hide :o) with a dark & somewhat "fuzzy" wood like rosewood. When using a file near maple, it's best to simply slow down, be patient, do the work one or two ends at a time.

N Series (Nuno Bettencourt) / Re: N4 Authentic production
« on: February 04, 2018, 03:02:40 PM »
They're now made in Cleveland.
Thanks!! :) Information like that is a bit sparse. Still a bummer that the "Chicago connection" has been lost, though.

General Discussion on Washburn Electric Guitars / Re: Washburn P4
« on: February 04, 2018, 02:59:22 PM »
Well, I know the body style has been through a few incarnations: P series, CT series, Carved Top, Centurian. Most regularly associated with Nuno (before he got his own model).

There's no cases mentioned in the 1997-1999 pricelists or 1998-1999 catalogue. Old retail pages say a hardshell case was included; the P2 reissue had a gig bag.

If you're looking for a fitted case with the "Washburn" brand, you might be out of luck getting a new one, though you could get in touch with an authorized Washburn dealer, or contact Customer Service directly.

Show Us Your Washburn / Re: My Washburn
« on: February 04, 2018, 02:15:25 PM »
Steve Stevens was guitarist for Billy Idol back in the '80s, & they've done some reunions since.

So far as I can tell, the SS-40 was only issued with a black-painted headstock face. Does yours have a "Washburn" decal over natural wood?

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