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Messages - Tony Raven

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Announcements & News / Re: Shut It Down
« on: January 22, 2019, 03:18:43 AM »
Now that I think about it, not really a "no harm" situation. More closely resembles "neglect the place & let it get overrun with roaches & rats, to justify bulldozing it."

I started commenting on another thread, which I'll put here instead --

My experience with Marketing types over the years hasn't been very good at all. They'll forget about (or practically bury) some product or service simply because they don't feel like doing the work, then blame "no demand" -- yet when something dubious is mercilessly flogged until it picks up the least traction (like a reprinted press release), suddenly everyone's a genius.

So in the long run, this site is likely futile -- per my previous "forget about it or bury it" comment. The site's decline is highly indicative of the management's refusal to do any proper marketing, instead "milking the cash cow." I normally avoid any "great man" theorizing, but the brand really has gone downhill since Rudy Schlacher sold. At its peak, there were more endorsers in ONE CATALOGUE than there's been in the past decade (okay, 8.5 years) combined. (Heck, there may have been more SIGNATURE MODELS all at once than endorsements since the sale.)

Though even "the Washburn mystique" (that it's been one long unbroken history all the way back to 1883) is getting tattered, the name remains. Look at all the people who sign up here just to find out whether the Washie they spotted at a pawnshop or garage sale is going to make them rich ::) & never interact further. There's dozens of brands that would cost as little & be worth much more, yet the name grabs their attention.

And the mystique is a real thing, especially in acoustic/folk circles: when I set out my M1SDLB mandolin, I get instant respect from the name alone, though it cost me substantially less than my Michael Kelly.

If there's anything here that anyone finds valuable/informative, they ought to make copies for themselves, since it might all disappear suddenly.
I started a "cheap guitars" forum site last year -- the provider maintains everything, even forums that haven't had a new post since 2005 -- but it needs some overhaul. When I get that sorted out, maybe I'll start a Washburn section; everyone's invited, I may even host photos on my own dime, & spammers will be mercilessly eradicated. 8)

General Discussion / Re: ATTENTION, SITE ADMINS -- job application!!
« on: January 22, 2019, 02:57:31 AM »
Heya, Ship -- good to have you check in occasionally.

I like this place. I check in a couple times a week, & am willing to "pay my way" by cleaning up a little.

I wrote a bunch of other stuff, but it's better for elsewhere.

Congratulations... but, really, if I'd had a decent axe back in college, I'd probably have put it under the care of my parents & got myself a decent beat-up $100 guitar. 8) That's even more true if you are living in a dormitory or if there is EVER going to be drinking involved.

No matter how hard you try, you eventually WILL give it a significant chip, gouge, or ding. This might occur years from now, or a few hours, but it WILL happen. The only way to avoid that would be to lock the guitar safely away & never play it, & what would the point of THAT be, right?

So, first thing to consider: insurance. It'll cost you a few bucks a month, but that protects at least SOME of your cost if it winds up stolen, vandalized by a rival or ex-lover, destroyed by fire or flood, lost by the airline, etc.

Get it an initial setup at an actual guitar shop.

Humidifier, yes. Locking hardshell case, definitely (but I have always played big dreadnoughts, so I can simply hold onto a quality case while the guitars come & go over the years).

From a violin ship (or credible music store), a small bottle of lemon oil to keep the fretboard properly maintained. (It lasts practically forever since you need like two drops a month.)

DO NOT get all carried away with commercial polishes, especially AVOID those containing silicone. Lightly dust it, wipe down the frets regularly, otherwise remove grime with LIGHT application of MILDLY soapy water then wipe it off. (I used to recommend Octagon "Crystal White" dish soap, but that's often difficult to find, so Dawn Ultra is fine, so long as the water is only somewhat blue.) If that doesn't take the soil off, you might need to occasionally use a drop of alcohol & a SOFT cloth.

Aside from that, play it long & often, because that works wonders helping a new guitar "break in" properly as the glue continues curing.

There's probably no stock look-alike replacement available. You kinda have to take what you get, or contact some luthier about hand-building a custom neck.

Warmoth has a few 3-3 versions. Their snakehead is really dorky (apparently based on the prototype Esquire/Tele), but the "Vortex" & "Warmoth" are decent, & maybe you'd rather have a Fender-style panhead.

If you want a "one-to-one" swap on any bolt-neck guitar made since the '70s, measure the old neck from the nut (where the string passes) to the center of the 12th fret, then double that, which gives the scale length. The only source I can find says his measures out at 630 mm, which works out to 24.8" a.k.a. the "Gibson scale" (LP, SG, 335).

Most replacement necks meant for Gibson or PRS, however, are NOT shaped to fit a bolt-on pocket. Warmoth isn't cheap, but they exclusively make bolt-on necks. If you go dig around on eBay, you'll quickly find some interesting options for under $100, often so-called "conversion" necks so Tele/Strat players could have the shorter Gibson scale.

If it was me, I'd first go through my workshop & round up the three standard sizes of threaded arm.

Failing that, I'd next take it to a guitar shop, & ask them to figure it out for me.

Third, go to the hardware store & spend a couple of dollars on assorted machine screws, in the approximate diameter, SAE & metric, fine & coarse threadings.

Fourth, I'd go to a machine shop & have them build me an arm that fits & is perfecty bent to my specifications.

It's very unlikely that the size is unusual, let alone weird (like tapered or something :o).

There's not many non-spammers left here ( >:( >:( >:( >:( >:(), but maybe a rare LIVE HUMAN can help me out.

I was curious whether any company makes an actual guitar-type piezoelectric pickup -- that is to say, a piezo element under a saddlepiece in contact with the strings -- for violin.

Plugging piezo violin pickup into the nearest search-engine, I was surprised to be presented with a dozen CONTACT MICROPHONES designed to be stuck to either the top or the bridge. Some of them even look like the same stick-on magnetic microphones that have been around since at least the DeArmond "bug" that Reinhardt used in the early '50s.

After plowing past those, I found a few (Baggs and Barcus-Berry) that actually had a bridge... but the piezo element is sorta stuck into the middle rather than resting under the strings.

I mean,  ??? ::) :o, right?? If that is A Good Idea, then why have guitar makers been wasting so much time for so long, when they could have simply glued the piezo element to the bridge or even stuck it on the inside of the top, just like the classic mag bug??

General Discussion / Re: Washburn WD7sce
« on: January 19, 2019, 07:08:57 PM »
Unless it's an SW model, back & sides will be laminate. The WD7 specs say mahogany.

Discuss Basses and Bass Playing / Re: Force 8 Bass
« on: January 09, 2019, 02:41:50 AM »
And let me guess. The one you talk about when it comes to the reciept was a Hohner or Lotus build by Moridaira?
Umm... hi? ???

This is a site concerned with Washburn guitars.

You might note from my signature that I own multiple Washburn guitars. The rest of my collection isn't listed, for what I hope is a glaringly obvious reason.

It wouldn't be too much of a leap to assume that I am specifically here speaking about Washburn guitars (though my 2005 Lyon has an eight-digit s/n, fwiw).

Point of comparison: Fender (including Squier) has apparently never had a "month digit," & didn't even indicate year until 1976. Epiphone's vendors have been shown to have used one- AND two-digit years (same year, same factory), & at least one doesn't use ANY month code.

To repeat myself, there is no good reason to believe that there is some "secret code" built into EVERY serial number -- it's NOT like a VIN.

Discuss Basses and Bass Playing / Re: Force 8 Bass
« on: January 09, 2019, 02:13:52 AM »
If a six-digit serial number were to give up its first two digits to indicate year, that would indeed leave four digits -- 10,000 units -- for the entire year.

Note, however: there is no indicator of month, so claiming "500 a month" is impossible to substantiate & therefore imaginary.

If (as widely believed) there are two "year digits" followed by two "month digits," that leaves two serial digits, meaning that only 100 units -- yymm00 through yymm99 -- could be produced without repeating numbers.

If there is a single-digit year, then it has never been established whether the following TWO digits indicate month, or the following ONE digit indicates month somehow, though I have in the past pointed out that a very few industrial manufacturers were comfortable with a ten-"month" year).

Please specify which of these scenarios you are attempting to substantiate, & then stick with it.

The "S-" prefix indicates Samick, probably Korea.

The next two digits say 2010.

The "WIN" versions are worth substantially less than the comparable "WI." The WINSTD & WINDLX had bound tops; the WIN14F was only available in trans red.

That conclusively leaves the WIN14, comparable to the earlier WI-14, the bottom rung of the Idols, though with a balsa body.

"single cutaway basswood body, bolt-on maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with pearl dot inlays, black headstock overlay with pearl logo and design inlay, three-per-side tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece, two exposed humbucker pickups, four knobs (two v, two tone), three-way pickup switch, chrome hardware, available in Black, Walnut Satin, or White finish, 24.75 in. scale"

The best I can suggest is to contact Sweetwater or World Music Supply, and see if there is even a mechanism for them to order a left-handed version.

Vintage and Rare Washburns / Re: D-30-SN (cedar/bird's eye maple)
« on: January 06, 2019, 05:00:45 PM »
(Damned software ate my post...)

I have a couple of electrics from the same era, & their numbers are typed on small strips of white tape, affixed to the back of the headstock. Not unusual that these fell off or were removed at some point.

Any numbers written on wood are control numbers for the component (neck or body assembly) & say nothing about the finished instrument.

Discuss Basses and Bass Playing / Re: Force 8 Bass
« on: January 06, 2019, 04:38:38 PM »
Well, since the TROLL has seen fit to resurrect this zombie thread, I might as well comment.

I disagree about the year supposedly indicated in the s/n. Generally, ten-digit numbers use the first two digits for year & the next two for month, but I have seen two impossibilities, so grain-of-salt. Eight-digit numbers usually have a two-digit year, though I have seen the one-digit year.

Shorter numbers run out of room to be useful as serial numbers. If a six-digit s/n gave up its first four spaces for year/month, that would leave only TWO to count, so they'd only have been able to make 100 Washburns in that month, which seems unlikely. So, the first digit indicates year, & there may be no month counter.

Plenty of MIJ models used a four-digit s/n. I have no confidence in this as a year indicator; in one instance, the owner had a receipt showing that the s/n (taken literally) indicated it was built two years AFTER he bought it. :o Even if it appears acccurate, that means the vendor could only have counted 1,000 Washburns in the entire YEAR before repeating numbers.

The value of Force basses is all over the place. Like so many great Washburn models, they're mostly forgotten, so there's no demand, so prices collapse. A striking BBR Force 8 has been sitting on for 2+ years at $650; a Force 5 ABT can't catch $275.

FWIW, I've heard most Force are Daion/Yamaki; though I'm not yet fully convinced, I have to admit they've got some familiar design quirks.

D10 Series / Re: Where was my D10 made?
« on: January 06, 2019, 03:59:17 PM »
I'm uncertain. 1988 is rather late for Japan builds. As well, a ten-digit s/n is unusual for Japan vendors.

Vintage and Rare Washburns / Re: washburn d60sw timber ridge...
« on: January 06, 2019, 03:42:47 PM »
With a six-digit serial, it's more likely the first indicates year, so I'd guess 1988.

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