The Washburn Guitars Forum

Washburn General Forum => General Discussion => Topic started by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 10:07:54 AM

Title: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 10:07:54 AM
I wasnt able to reply to the original thread about Matsumoku and HP35s, so I had to create a new thread.

The original thread is here:
http://forums.washburn.com/index.php/topic,16184.270.html

Anyway, a LOT have happened since the last post - and this will clear up a LOT of the speculation about Washburn and Matsumoku.

And Tio, and Racing, you guys were VERY close to getting this right.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 10:08:25 AM
First things first. As you may know, we are a small group of Daion fans that have done research into Daions the last 6 years. Doing this time we have also done research into Washburns.

So here are some of the things we have been able to prove.

Yamaki build Washburns from 1977-1984. This is confirmed by the head designer and son of the Daion founder.
Yamaki closed the factory in Suwa in 1983 and moved into an office in Shiga. Thats when they outsourced the instruments. They went under in 1984.
Yamaki build the Stage series, the Wings series, and several acoustics and they build the HB35 series.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 10:10:06 AM
One of the major keys here is that in 1973 Japan passed a law that all instruments leaving the factory completed had to have a unique serial number where you could ID factory and date. They had a grace periode of 3 years to emplement this. So at the latest by 1976 all factories in Japan had to use serial numbers. That law is still in effect and has turned into the consumer law in Japan.
This is a major key because that means that you now can ID the factories through the serial numbers. This also means that you can elliminate factories if you can prove that the factory used another style of sn at the same time. That would not be legal. An example of this is the Aria Cardinal series. They used 7 digits starting with 0 or 1. They were ONLY build between 1981-1983.
See where I am going with this? Because we now KNOW that Matsumoku used that style a different style serial number from 1981-1983 there is no way they could also use 8xxxxx style. That would simply not be legal. This also means that we can 100% rule out Matsumoku as the builder of these HP35. Thats the beauty of this law and why this law is the key in this.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 10:13:14 AM
Adding to this, we found out that Matsumoku NEVER build ANY Washburns. Not only is this confirmed through the JP serial number law, but its also confirmed by a guy that worked at Matsumoku until he moved to Korea in 1987. 
However the reason for this myth is actually fairly logically. Its that third factory that is also mentioned in this thread as a possibility. That factory is Chushin and they are the key to this. They build instruments that was outsourced by Matsumoku and they build instruments outsourced by fx Washburn so people conclude: Matsumoku build Washburn. Thats not the right conclusion but its an understandable conslusion.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 10:19:50 AM
I cant seem to post the rest of the info I wanted to post. Admins, can you help here?
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: WEBgUy on December 07, 2017, 10:36:09 AM
There may be a time limit keeping you from posting more than a certain number of posts at a time. Wait a bit and try again or try to fit everything you want to say into 1 post.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 10:37:34 AM
There may be a time limit keeping you from posting more than a certain number of posts at a time. Wait a bit and try again or try to fit everything you want to say into 1 post.

If I write too quickly it says there is a 30 sec timelimit. So thats correct. But now, even after I wait I get an error saying that I need to contact an admin
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: ship of fools on December 07, 2017, 11:50:15 AM
are you talking about electrics being built by Yamaki from 77-84 cause I am pretty sure they built acoustics before 77 can see why there is so much confussion records I can guess were not a big priority for them at that time
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 07, 2017, 11:58:38 AM
are you talking about electrics being built by Yamaki from 77-84 cause I am pretty sure they built acoustics before 77 can see why there is so much confussion records I can guess were not a big priority for them at that time

Well sort of :) Its true that Yamaki also build some acoustics Washburns earlier. We just dont know if they were full scale productions or prototypes of some sort. We have also seen some acoustics Washburns that was build prior to 1977 that was build by Terada. So we dont know for sure about the acoustics :)

On the electric sides its a whole different story. Wings, Stage, HP35 and Force to some degree as well are confirmed to be Yamaki.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Tony Raven on December 07, 2017, 08:58:06 PM
Yamaki also build some acoustics Washburns earlier. We just dont know if they were full scale productions or prototypes of some sort. We have also seen some acoustics Washburns that was build prior to 1977 that was build by Terada. So we dont know for sure about the acoustics :)

On the electric sides its a whole different story. Wings, Stage, HP35 and Force to some degree as well are confirmed to be Yamaki.

I apologize in advance because I realize that you are a serious fan & not simply seeking for controversy.

First, though I will gladly have Jim Smith weigh in here, there is little argument that there are Yamaki-built instruments branded "Washburn." There were, of course, the dreadnought-format acoustics built for Beckmen Musical Instruments, which ceased operation in 1977, selling off assets (including the Washburn brand).

There is no confusion about this, except for your use of undefined terms such as "full-scale production": as Jim Smith has said, many Washburn models (particularly acoustic)  were ordered in lots of 200 units &, if sales were poor, were simply never re-ordered. I certainly wouldn't make the case that the 200 were somehow "a prototype" rather than "full-scale production."

Rudy Schlacher sourced multiple factories to produce Washburn-branded instruments, & one of those vendors was Yamaki. The better Wing & Stage models were likely made by Terada, with the lesser (biolt-neck) models from Matsumoku, possibly until its 1987 demise. After Schlacher launched Washburn, he certainly continued to "audition" other manufacturers in pursuit of both quality AND profit margin.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 08, 2017, 01:51:30 AM
[quote author=Mbechmann link=topic=27080.msg159514#msg159514 date=1512669518Yamaki also build some acoustics Washburns earlier. We just dont know if they were full scale productions or prototypes of some sort. We have also seen some acoustics Washburns that was build prior to 1977 that was build by Terada. So we dont know for sure about the acoustics :)

On the electric sides its a whole different story. Wings, Stage, HP35 and Force to some degree as well are confirmed to be Yamaki.

I apologize in advance because I realize that you are a serious fan & not simply seeking for controversy.

First, though I will gladly have Jim Smith weigh in here, there is little argument that there are Yamaki-built instruments branded "Washburn." There were, of course, the dreadnought-format acoustics built for Beckmen Musical Instruments, which ceased operation in 1977, selling off assets (including the Washburn brand).

There is no confusion about this, except for your use of undefined terms such as "full-scale production": as Jim Smith has said, many Washburn models (particularly acoustic)  were ordered in lots of 200 units &, if sales were poor, were simply never re-ordered. I certainly wouldn't make the case that the 200 were somehow "a prototype" rather than "full-scale production."

Rudy Schlacher sourced multiple factories to produce Washburn-branded instruments, & one of those vendors was Yamaki. The better Wing & Stage models were likely made by Terada, with the lesser (biolt-neck) models from Matsumoku, possibly until its 1987 demise. After Schlacher launched Washburn, he certainly continued to "audition" other manufacturers in pursuit of both quality AND profit margin.
[/quote]

There is a lot of things here.

First of all. The Wings and Stage are NOT made by Terada. They are made by Yamaki. How do I know this? I am talking to the man who designed them - the son of the Daion founder.
Add to this, that the sn is Yamaki. There is no doubt at all, that they are Yamaki made.

The bolt on neck versions. These were made by Chushin. I know that they were NOT made by Matsumoku. We have a contact at Matsumoku and he confirmed that they never build ANY Washburns. Again the sn confirms this.

As for full-scale production. I will clearify a little bit what I am talking about. Prototypes build by Yamaki are less than 5 build. Yamaki produced around 1200 Washburns a year through 77-84.
Before 77 the low numbers I am talking about are indeed prototypes. Less then 5 instruments each time.

 As for the 200 orders at the time. I think that sounds about right. Its a number we have heard before but we have also heard numbers saying 50, 100, 250 and 500. Even 12 (Yamaki build Harptones). I think the answer to this is that they didnt focus on the 200 as a number. They would order more a specific model and that was it :).
That being said, they still have a contract on building these so it was not like they ordered them. They were contracted to build them from 77 and they were to deliver a specific number of instruments each year. What models they were producing would be whatever that they sold the most of.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 08, 2017, 02:02:12 AM
There may be a time limit keeping you from posting more than a certain number of posts at a time. Wait a bit and try again or try to fit everything you want to say into 1 post.

Database Error
Please try again. If you come back to this error screen, report the error to an administrator.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: YerDugliness on December 08, 2017, 09:18:11 AM
There may be a time limit keeping you from posting more than a certain number of posts at a time. Wait a bit and try again or try to fit everything you want to say into 1 post.

Database Error
Please try again. If you come back to this error screen, report the error to an administrator.

I keep getting that notice, too! I notice that if I can't get the information to post, the forum software deletes my intended post in quick order, too. It is quite frustrating, as I do tend to create rather lengthy posts.

Cheers!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: YerDugliness on December 08, 2017, 09:24:37 AM
[quote author=Mbechmann link=topic=27080.msg159514#msg159514 date=1512669518
As for the 200 orders at the time. I think that sounds about right. Its a number we have heard before but we have also heard numbers saying 50, 100, 250 and 500. Even 12 (Yamaki build Harptones). I think the answer to this is that they didnt focus on the 200 as a number. They would order more a specific model and that was it :).

I know for a fact that they order smaller runs. When I ordered my C124SWK I asked one of the moderators how many were received and was told the total production run was only 26. For the C124SWCEK model I was told it was even smaller (IIRC I was told it was 12).

I have played classical guitars for over 40 years and with the single exception of a handmade Hippner model, this C124SWK model is my best classical. To be truthful, there are things about my C124SWK that I like better than the Hippner (like the floating arm rest, for one!).

Cheers!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 08, 2017, 09:40:59 AM
I know for a fact that they order smaller runs. When I ordered my C124SWK I asked one of the moderators how many were received and was told the total production run was only 26. For the C124SWCEK model I was told it was even smaller (IIRC I was told it was 12).

I have played classical guitars for over 40 years and with the single exception of a handmade Hippner model, this C124SWK model is my best classical. To be truthful, there are things about my C124SWK that I like better than the Hippner (like the floating arm rest, for one!).

Cheers!

Dugly 8)

There is 1 difference. The C124SWK is not made by Yamaki  :D. I use to own a Washburn DM2000S Millenium Series Limited Edition, and that was only made in a 1000 production run total.

But this was much earlier than these. There you had a fairly decent amount of production runs. That being said, yes, they did shorter runs as well. Fx a Washburn Falcon Goldtop. We know of 2 of those built so they did do much smaller runs. I am talking about the runs for the standard Wings or Stage series. The order would be: 50 Falcons, 50 Eagles, 50 Ravens, 50 Hawks and so on. In total it will be an order for 200 instruments
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: ship of fools on December 08, 2017, 11:10:33 AM
I still have not heard that Terada actually made any acoustics for Washburn I know they were very heavy into the electric and we also know that there were smaller runs of guitars made of basic models but I think that was after Rudy took over when we see a shift into different guitars. I have tried to reach out to the Beckmen Winery to see if he would provide any more info from when they owned it but never got a response back from him. All we can provide is the best info gathered from each and all of us and then one day who knows maybe someone will sit down and write the damn book on Washburn and clean up a ton of misinformation.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 08, 2017, 11:22:23 AM
I still have not heard that Terada actually made any acoustics for Washburn I know they were very heavy into the electric and we also know that there were smaller runs of guitars made of basic models but I think that was after Rudy took over when we see a shift into different guitars. I have tried to reach out to the Beckmen Winery to see if he would provide any more info from when they owned it but never got a response back from him. All we can provide is the best info gathered from each and all of us and then one day who knows maybe someone will sit down and write the damn book on Washburn and clean up a ton of misinformation.

Hehe funny you should say that. That book is on the way - written by the 2 friends and myself. Right now we have about 80% of the Yamaki/Daion/Washburn history confirmed and as soon as the last part is confirmed, we will go public with the whole thing.

As for Terada. Thats the interesting part about the serial numbers. Because I know what style of serial numbers Terada used, I can ID the instruments that they build. This is on the acoustics by the way. Those are the easiest to see. The style they used was 6 digits stamped/burned into the heel of the neck with an sn where the 2 first digits are the year (80xxxx). So yea, some the Washburn acoustics are indeed build by Terada :)
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Tony Raven on December 10, 2017, 02:02:31 AM
The style they used was 6 digits stamped/burned into the heel of the neck
Please define what YOU mean by "heel of the neck." For us lutheirs, that would be "just north of the neck pocket."
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 10, 2017, 03:47:24 AM
The style they used was 6 digits stamped/burned into the heel of the neck
Please define what YOU mean by "heel of the neck." For us lutheirs, that would be "just north of the neck pocket."

You are right. I could have explained better what I was talking about.

A picture says 1000 words.

(https://guitar.natsuya.jp/img/caribou015.jpg)
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: ship of fools on December 13, 2017, 09:28:10 AM
Sorry but I am still uncertain about the claim that Terada ever made acoustics for Washburn I have checked with several folks who know Washburns and they have never seen one either that was built by Terada. I do recall someone mentioning that they did build some proto type guitars for them but they never went into production so I myself would NEVER include them with just the serial numbering in any written books without proper proof, i look at it as liking buying a vintage guitar you want documentation or you would want someone like Jim Smith Sr. to weigh in and say that he has guitars built by Terada as right now he is the most knowledgeable person in all of the world on Washburn guitars and where and when.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: ship of fools on December 13, 2017, 09:30:39 AM
Sorry but I am still uncertain about the claim that Terada ever made acoustics for Washburn I have checked with several folks who know Washburns and they have never seen one either that was built by Terada. I do recall someone mentioning that they did build some proto type guitars for them but they never went into production so I myself would NEVER include them with just the serial numbering in any written books without proper proof, i look at it as liking buying a vintage guitar you want documentation or you would want someone like Jim Smith Sr. to weigh in and say that he has guitars built by Terada as right now he is the most knowledgeable person in all of the world on Washburn guitars and where and when. I do not consider myself an expert by any means but I have bought many Washburns and have searched catalogues and the net for any connection to Terada and found nothing but speculation that he might have.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 13, 2017, 09:51:15 AM
Sorry but I am still uncertain about the claim that Terada ever made acoustics for Washburn I have checked with several folks who know Washburns and they have never seen one either that was built by Terada. I do recall someone mentioning that they did build some proto type guitars for them but they never went into production so I myself would NEVER include them with just the serial numbering in any written books without proper proof, i look at it as liking buying a vintage guitar you want documentation or you would want someone like Jim Smith Sr. to weigh in and say that he has guitars built by Terada as right now he is the most knowledgeable person in all of the world on Washburn guitars and where and when. I do not consider myself an expert by any means but I have bought many Washburns and have searched catalogues and the net for any connection to Terada and found nothing but speculation that he might have.

Thats just it. I am also not specifically looking into Terada as a builder for Washburn. I am looking into Yamaki/Washburn/Daion instruments. Thats where my focus is :). That being said, there are some things that I know because of this research we have done. Tereda is one of the factories.
However, if you want a tip to figure this out, you should study Terada branded instruments and their serial numbers. Find out what style of serial number they were using. After you have done that, you compare that style to Washburns. Since you KNOW that by JP law they were not allowed to have 2 different styles at the same time, you now have proof about Washburns.

After that you confirm that proof can by comparing this with catalogs + people that worked there and so on.

Thats the process we have been going through with Daion and Washburns. We dont use serial numbers as the only proof. We use serial numbers + our Daion contact as well other contacts in Japan to get this confirmed all the way. We have multiple confirmations saying the same thing. Thats also why we are so sure that this is correct.
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: ET Music on December 15, 2017, 03:37:31 PM
Fascinating thread...

This is totally speculation, but speaking of Terada...its possible that they made the Washburn Hollowbody guitars in the late 80s (1988-1989).  My reasoning for this is that Terada was known for making the Barrington Guitars, including the beautiful BGW-200.  Here is a late 80s Barrington BGW-200

(https://s11.postimg.org/izhcky02n/Barrington.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/izhcky02n/)

Now....here is a Washburn HB-60... from the same era 1988-89:

(https://s13.postimg.org/i56r5dn77/HB60s.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/i56r5dn77/)

Very similar in birdseye maple.

Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: Mbechmann on December 16, 2017, 06:14:13 AM
Fascinating thread...

This is totally speculation, but speaking of Terada...its possible that they made the Washburn Hollowbody guitars in the late 80s (1988-1989).  My reasoning for this is that Terada was known for making the Barrington Guitars, including the beautiful BGW-200.  Here is a late 80s Barrington BGW-200

(https://s11.postimg.org/izhcky02n/Barrington.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/izhcky02n/)

Now....here is a Washburn HB-60... from the same era 1988-89:

(https://s13.postimg.org/i56r5dn77/HB60s.jpg) (https://postimg.org/image/i56r5dn77/)

Very similar in birdseye maple.

It is possible yes. The best way to prove it, is to use the serial numbers. Since it wasnt allowed to use 2 different styles of sn, you find a Terada with a sn, and compare it to yours. If the sn match it was made by the same people :)
Title: Re: Washburn build by Matsumoku and/or Yamaki?
Post by: ET Music on December 16, 2017, 01:38:18 PM
That is not my HB-60.... however its very similar to the Barrington... both have 5 piece necks btw.

I just listed one of my Yamaki Made HB-35s on Ebay.  This is a 1982 and is very close to being "mint" condition.  The reserve is hidden but is $949 plus shipping.  I love this guitar but am selling this and some others to help pay for my girls engagement ring.  She is expensive.  :)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/292373269359