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Messages - Tony Raven

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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.

Idol Series / Re: What have I bought?
« on: March 21, 2017, 10:56:18 PM »
Definitely an Idol. What does the trussrod cover say?

I'm certain I've seen one before, but can't ID it offhand.

No such thing as "wrong" pickups on a Washburn. Seems like the most common Washburn mod is to ditch the pickups (though, personally, I've got no complaints).

More controversial is the VCC ("voice contour control") knobs in place of the usual Gibson-style Tone knobs. The idea was that instead of switching off one coil to get a "single-coil sound," the player would be able to not merely "dial in" either sound, but get anything in-between. As a bonus, the circuit offers "single-coil sound" with no hum. IME, it works pretty well... but guitar players tend to be wee small creatures with little tolerance for anything new that isn't an effects box or amp.

At a guess, I'd say the fifth knob is a Tone knob, & it looks like there's a switch to skip right past the whole VCC thing & cut from double- to -single-coil (or maybe it's a phase switch).

If I'm correct about the Tone knob, that does strike me as a little odd. Most times when someone puts in a different pickup, they gut the guitar & put in a standard Gibson-style harness. (I figure that eventually this will be seen as akin to pulling the Varitone out of an ES-355. :o) adding a knob suggests that the VCC is still there.

In any case, it suggests previous ownership by a serious player.

X Series / Re: X50 white with floyd?
« on: March 18, 2017, 12:37:23 AM »
It's Washburn -- random-seeming stuff happens all the time. ::)

Three weeks ago, I almost bought an X-40 with appointments similar to your guitars -- white finish, gold hardware.

Last year, I started putting together a comprehensive list of X Series guitars. This was quite simple... except for the X-50 subseries.

I'm hardly the only one -- user Chaos Rex compiled a substantial X-50 list (a decade ago :o):
There's no good reason to believe that list is complete.

In recent years, the previous owners of Washburn frequently created brief "special edition" variants of various models for big retailers, as well as limited editions for certain shops (likeFunky Munky or Boogies Street). None of these are considered standrd models, none will have appeared in Washburn's catalogue or on their website.

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.

Festival Series / Re: Additional Specs on EA series (EA20SNB)
« on: March 11, 2017, 10:44:01 PM »
"GO" is likely Grand Orchestra, swiping the Jumbo modifications that Taylor came up with.

Probably GREE-- Grand Reward Education & Entertainment, which really does sound like something from Brave New World but makes guitars, some of them quite good. They seem to also build some models for Blueridge, Guild (GAD series), Johnson, Walden, Recording King, & others, rumored to be 10-15 brands total at any moment. They also manufacture their own brand: Farida.

Washburn Dealers Section / Re: Custom order a new N4
« on: March 11, 2017, 10:19:50 PM »
I'm a bit sleepy, but let me see if I've got this right.

Your shop takes a new USA-built Washburn N4, & reconfigures it, correct?

Or are you serving as a "front end" for the Washburn Custom Shop?

General Discussion / Re: the REAL history of modern Washburn
« on: March 07, 2017, 01:50:20 AM »
Okay, so "with a little help from my friends" ;) we have managed to sorta relaunch the Wikipedia entry for Washburn Guitars.

Emphasis is presently on 1978-2009, because that's what I know best, so there's PLENTY of room for input everywhere & especially overviews of the stringed instruments produced 1888-1928. I've got summary lists of modern instruments half-completed: electric guitars, basses, & acoustic guitars, with some rough sketches of mandolin & banjo models.

I would most deeply hope that someone around here is actually an "insider" with Washburn, & might steer me towardcredible information about the heyday of the Mundelein operation... but at this point I'll accept hearsay & rumour.  :o

N Series (Nuno Bettencourt) / Re: Searching for my first N series
« on: March 07, 2017, 12:06:05 AM »
IMO, an N2 isn't really a Nuno -- all it has is the shape, no Extended Cutaway neck joint, so the ~$600 doesn't seem like a great investment.

Speaking for myself, if all I wanted was the shape, I'd get a Sonamaster ($120-$200) & upgrade the hardware to suit myself.

But to me a Nuno without an SEC is like a Les Paul with three single-coil pickups.

Though I hope to eventually get an N5, there's a decent-looking padauk N24 on Reverb, asking $599 shipped.

One note: Floyd Rose Guitars has never made "licensed" parts. Their products are generally known as Original Floyd Rose or Floyd Rose Original or whatever.

In exchange for cash, Floyd Rose Marketing allows some other company to use some key design elements, & the name for marketing purposes. The licensee might change some elements (material quality, milling precision) from the original design, or take only a few FR elements into their own design.

As a result, many "licensed" versions are disdained. Those made by Schaller are generally well-regarded (though the name might have much to do with that); those by Gotoh seem to be considered the best, possibly even better than Originals.

One exception (supposedly) to the above is the current Floyd Rose Special Series, marketed as imported by Floyd Rose Marketing & made to their exacting specifications. They are NOT stamped "licensed" but bear a "Floyd Rose / Special" imprint.

Replacing small parts is often a hit-or-miss proposition unless you know who actually built what you have. That is to say, you may have to buy a few parts only to find they don't fit. Some owners just replace the whole shebang with a used assembly they buy off -- it's faster & often cheaper. GFS used to sell a complete kit for $20.95.

Any body know where I can get the appropriate arm?
You mean, something like a 6mm Screw In Floyd Rose/Made In Mexico replacement arm? Yeah, I might have an idea --
You might actually be able to use ANY "import" arm, like you'd find on any number of Squiers or cheaper -- if it binds, don't force it, but worth a try.

Sure looks like an MG340 to me. Washburn has been known to change that sort of thing mid-run, with or without changing the model number.

If it really needs that thorough a cleaning, then take it apart first.

For a rosewood fretboard, I use lemon oil I got from a violin shop; not so good for maple as it tends to seep in even the tiniest gaps & discolor the wood. However, it's great for loosening crud on hardware, without risking rust; available online from pretty much any gear vendor.

Cleaning the painted areas takes a little warm water with just a touch of mild dish detergent like Dawn. Of course, you thoroughly dust it off first, & then resist unnecessary scrubbing, or you'll increase the "swirly" scratches on the paint. And use the water sparingly or you risk wetting any damage-exposed wood & possibly swelling or degrading the fibers.

Unless the wiring's been torn out, there's no need for a wiring diagram. That "crackling" could be just about anything, so poking randomly around is unlikely to be helpful.

In all likelihood, it's because of cumulative crud on the jack contacts. First thing, you take a regular 1/4" plug, then put it the jack, then take it out, then put it back in, & dio this about 20-30 more times. Ifthat's not good enough, then you clean the jack's contact surfaces with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. If that doesn't do the trick, & you don't have any Caig DeoxIT handy, you need to get in & polish the contact points with a little piece of super-fine steel wool (or green scrubby pad). (I've heard from reliable sources that Brasso works too, especially when the metal's visibly discolored with crud, but I've never tried it.)

I was told the D-100 is just a D-10 series made for Musician's Friend & maybe other big retailers. The "-B" suffix means it's black, of course. All laminate (including the "slect spruce" top).

A reliable low-end acoustic guitar for many years. Worth less than $100 in Very Good shape -- not due to quality but because that market segment is "overserved" -- but sellers keep asking $150-$200 because they're aware buyers don't know the difference between a D10 & a D-10S. ::)

Let me clarify, though. I am in the minority, a fan of all-laminate acoustic guitars. These don't need as much TLC as a "real wood" guitar, & therefore tend to be much more sensible for gigs, jams, all-around play. Some sound like cheap guitars, some sing like angels. If it sounds good & plays well, it will likely stay that way for many years.

General Discussion / Re: Information on this please
« on: March 04, 2017, 03:28:29 PM »
I'm having trouble with Photobucket lately, because they add more & more ads, cookies, trackers, & pop-ups, seemingly by the day, & keep tripping my security filters. It's getting to the point where accepting a couple megabytes of garbage is too high a price to pay.

However, I managed to keep it open long enough to look at the photos, & to save others the chore I'll describe the guitar. If I got anything wrong, correct me.

Clubbed-off "Firebird" shape, unbound, pink h-h (four-knob), matching headstock (hockeystick), two open "creme" (pinkish) pickups. Can't recall if it's got a vibrato bridge.

Clearly part of the Stage series, the second series of the reborn Washburn brand. If I had to guess, I'd say it's a basic A-10. No significant value beyond being a generally good solid guitar.

I love my guitars, but I have to ask...

If you know nothing about the N4, why on earth are you even considering buying such a high-end guitar? -- & I assume online as well, so not merely unplayed but sight unseen.

There are plenty of used USA-made N4 listed incorrectly as "Custom Shop."

There are plenty of N4 that were built in short runs for shops such as Funky Munky or Boogie Street. I've seen more than a dozen different finishes.

Now that the USA shop is closed, I don't know whether Customer Service would have access to those records.

The model is becoming very popular for counterfeiting. I can get a fake N4 for <$350. That sounds like a bargain to some people, but fakes are generally inferior materials, cheap hardware, poor construction.

Speaking for myself, I'd never buy an N4 without at least having it in my hands, preferably allowed to take it apart to check details, but likely with the assistance & approval of an experienced luthier at a credible guitar shop. I'm not wealthy enough to risk thousands of dollars on what might be an unplayable illegal copy.

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