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Messages - Tony Raven

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Discuss Basses and Bass Playing / Washburn CB line?
« on: January 16, 2012, 08:41:42 PM »
I'm (yet again) late to the party, & only became aware of the CB "Classic Bass" series of basses last year. As so often happens, Washburn put out a rather sprawling line, with all sorts of veneers & pickups, then apparently pulled the plug on the whole shebang. Browsing online, I've spotted the CB4RG, CB14SB, CB5QB, CB16SB, CB14M, CB14MK, CB4QB, CB15OCOK, & a couple of carved-top semi-hollows (no model number listed)... but I can't find ANY structured info about these!!

I'd really appreciate any info on these instruments.

Bantam Basses / Re: Machine Heads For XB105
« on: January 14, 2012, 10:27:57 AM »
I was just out browsing for similar -- an XB-400 with a slightly bent tuner shaft that sticks a bit. Allparts has similar no-names for $13:
Or Gotoh for a few dollars more:

The shape is pretty common. You could probably fit Wilkinson or Hipshot or Grover, if you want to put in a new set.

Bantam Basses / Re: forum newbie, long term Bantam cusodian
« on: January 14, 2012, 10:19:54 AM »
Seems like everyone who has a Washburn headless bass loves the thing!! They don't show up very often, for sure. Personally, I've been interested in a B-20 since playing one back in the 1980s when I was flat broke, & while not "a collector" in the market, I've yet to see one used....

Offhand, all I know is that it's an unlicensed copy of the Steinberger, but without the double-ball string system. (I can't find any indication that this copying led to a cease-&-desist, so I suspect that production was never very large.) Yet I have seen at least one strung with double-ball strings, so maybe it'll handle both?

At a guess, I think it's Matsumoku era, which would be pre-1987. If so, one source says the first digit is the year, so then 1983.

Seems like the (licensed) Hohner version is a LOT more common on the market. If you find any more info on the Washburns, I hope you'll keep us informed!!

Bantam Basses / XB-100..XB-200..XB-400
« on: January 03, 2012, 10:18:51 PM »
Yeah, that seems to be about typical for both price & condition. Which is a shame, as the 400/500 seem to be great working instruments. My guess is they suffer from being off-brand basses.

The worst I can say is that I've heard the preamp can break down if the bass gets bounced around a lot. Well, yeah -- it'll never be as bulletproof as (say) a stock P-bass. My 500's board-mounted pot is stuck solid so needs some surgery. I thought I'd hate having to pull screws to replace the battery, but (with other basses) I've snagged the snap-off cover on my belt a few times, so maybe Washburn did the right thing here.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / METRONOME PREFERENCE?
« on: January 03, 2012, 10:06:43 PM »
I keep going back to my old Boss DR-220 with just the minimum, either to phones or a spare amp.

But I'm attracted to getting a Wittner Taktell, an old-fashioned windup model. I played against one (yet again!!) at the guitar store, & there's something VERY effective about having that visual wigwag to cue me. The pocket-size Ultra Mini is nice, but I may end up with a Classic.

Bantam Basses / XB-100..XB-200..XB-400
« on: December 26, 2011, 10:40:46 PM »
I should add...

The XB-120/125 are essentially variants on the 400/500, with actives & the asymmetric heel, the XB-200 is an improved 100, & the 900 looks like a top-end 100 (square heel, passives, 24 frets).

This numbering system will drive me insane....

I like the looks of my Alvarez 5019: gloss black dreadnought, just the right amount of abalone inlay. Great tone, built like a tank. I'd like to retire it to admiration at home & get a similar playing-out axe.

So, I was excited when Washburn announced the 5SB family a year ago:

Being Washburn, the line has evaporated, no longer mentioned in polite company like crazy Aunt Ruthie's latest run-in with the state troopers. And being the frikkin' Internet, information has disappeared as well, including the Products page on the Washburn site, but from a discussion I had elsewhere a few months ago:
Theres the 5SBWD (dreadnought) & 5SBWPJ (petite jumbo) at list $265, as well as full jumbo (WJ 5SCEB) & mini-jumbo (WMJ 5SCEB) for $355. All in black, of course.

If you Google Washburn 5SBWD, you'll find that model mentioned exactly twice... this & my referenced comment. I swear I didn't make up those model numbers, but copied them from the Products page!! Searching Washburn WD5S & Washburn WD5SB gets me a lot of dead links & This item is no longer available.

Did anyone ever have a chance to PLAY one of these??

General Discussion / Hey, Washburn, we have an idea!
« on: December 25, 2011, 09:53:02 PM »
+1 on cedwards & Ascension.

Recall that great Luke Skywalker quote: If there's a bright center to the universe, you're on the planet that it's farthest from. Okay, that's kinda where I live. There are three official Washburn dealers within 100 miles of me. (In the same radius, there are seven Fender dealers.) One of 'em is a nice shop, & responsible for showing me how good modern Washburn & Oscar Schmidt acoustic guitars are. But at my last visit they had three Wash acoustics, one electric, & no basses.

I could probably find at least a hundred dedicated amateur players, in any musical niche you could name, yet there's no apparent effort to expose 'em to these great & affordable instruments.

resident troublemaker:

Guitar Care, Repair, Modification & Lutherie / buying a used guitar
« on: December 25, 2011, 01:10:51 PM »
In the past few years, I've finally started making enough from my day-job that I can afford to indulge my guitar addiction a little. Having dealt with a few pawnshops, & regular citizens cleaning out the garage or attic, I'm starting to feel like a mugger. [8D] Well, here's a few things I've found to happen -- maybe you can get a better deal yourself, but try not to abuse the power, okay? [;)]

First: noisy pots. If a common potentiometer sits unused for months (sometimes days, like one amp I own), the resistive oxide often picks up dust -- at a guess, it even makes its own crud, reacting with moisture & other stuff in the air. I tried out an amp in a pawnshop, & forgot to exercise the knobs before firing it up, so when I touched the Gain knob there was a loud pop from the speakers. Startled, I barked out ack!! then laughed at myself for being a doofus. But the guy behind the counter heard the conversation, saw me shaking my head, & dropped $50 off the asking price without me saying a word to him. So, before you test anything out, turn down the amp's main Volume knob (if only out of self-defense!!), then casually make all sorts of horrible crunching & grinding noises by turning knobs. A surprising number of sellers don't know Thing One about musical instruments -- to them, if it SOUNDS broken, then the gnomes living inside must be angry & should be sent away ASAP. [:o)]

Rarely do I need to replace such a pot. A shot of contact cleaner or dielectric grease into the pot can almost always fixes it. Until then, just remember to work the knobs through their full rotation for a literal minute, scraping the crud off, & that generally works a treat.

This one may make you laugh, but it's true: loose knobs. Even in some very good music stores, they hang used guitars up where the nuts on the pots have loosened, so of course some kid has cranked 'em around & shorted out (even broken) the wiring. A surprising proportion of guitar owners have never ventured into the guts of an axe, so (again) the gnomes are seen as cranky, & you can often ask for a price cut to take home a broken guitar that needs nothing more than ten minutes with a soldering iron. Much the same happens with a loose output jack or switch.

Input jacks on many amps are a similar problem, because the jack is mounted directly to the circuit board, so if the nut falls off, repeated use will crack the jack loose -- ta-daa, a non-working amplifier. Buy it for parts, resolder the pads, put on a new nut, & it's fine. Even if the jack is wired in, someone who tightens the nut with a pliers will often twist the jack around, causing various shorts; I got a broken Crate for $65 due to this (the EV speaker is worth at least that much). You might spend an hour tearing it down & reassembling it, but the repair itself takes a minute.

Then there's the busted nut. Snapped into two or three pieces, or outer lands broken off, too high, worn... if you can replace a nut, you've got another negotiating point.

Ditto for high action or bowed neck. If you say something like It sure looks nice, but I dunno, it's kinda hard to play... you can probably get that price down further. Ten minutes with fret files or an Allen wrench, & you're set.

Anyone got similar negotiating points they've found?

Show Us Your Washburn / XB-400 -- meet the twins
« on: December 25, 2011, 12:24:38 PM »
What can I say? They keep showing up for under $150...

Yeah, a previous owner yanked some frets out.

Per my comments in another forum, the thin natural clearcoat seems to be much more forgiving than the VERY pretty color options (which chip something fierce), minimizing many gouges, looking cool & workmanlike, & will be a whole lot easier to refinish if I go that route:

Show Us Your Washburn / D46CESPK
« on: December 25, 2011, 12:11:14 PM »
Both solid & flashy -- a thousand (or so) inlay chips & a quarter-mile of binding:

Bought it a bit more than a year ago, & I've babied the heck outta it -- still smells a little of white glue.

Originally posted by evenkeel

More importantly, did you buy the guitar and if so, how about a few pics?

On both counts: certainement!! [:D] I'll take a whack at putting some snaps in the photos forum -- gotta learn sometime....

Discuss Basses and Bass Playing / B-2 Wasburn bass - non exsisting?
« on: December 18, 2011, 11:35:11 PM »
Originally posted by pyrotech_j

im also looking for a late eighties washburn bass that i have know idea what it is called. i have only seen one.. in a store about 17 years ago  it was headless and had some long crazy warbird angles is the only way i can describe it.. warbird being what i called it the dude may have said warbird it was so many years ago. i have know clue what it realy was..headless dark stained wood and the only thing i could compare it to would be a new stiletto.. crazy beuatiful guitar...

S70? --

Bantam Basses / XB-100..XB-200..XB-400
« on: December 18, 2011, 11:20:40 PM »
It's tough for me to compare the models directly. I like the sound of the soapbars on the 400. The 100 is a lower-end model, with fewer frets, passive system, & Fenderish heel. The fretwork on my main 400 is VERY accurate & I get good tone all the way up even on the E. There are some odd resonances at around fret 9, with notes that'll sing forever next to notes that are a bit dubby, but I'm used to that with slim necks -- think Gibson EB-2 -- but YMMV; I may just get a Boss LMB-3 to even it out.

The biggest downer: those great-looking transparent finishes. My 500 is chipped all to heck, & the clearcoat seems to be a little fragile. The 400 is natural, what looks like a thin poly clearcoat; this stands up to a fair bit of abuse, doesn't chip, hides scars really well, & will be simple to refinish if I go that route.

There also tends to be some warping of the cavity covers. I may get around to cutting wood covers.

I also like the cast bridgeplate, rather than the Fender-style bent steel on the 100/102.

While great basses, if I lost one of these & had to find a replacement, I'd reach up to a Force -- slightly wider head, but otherwise identical to the 400/500 form except with that beautiful thru-neck & body lamination.

Bantam Basses / Need some XB400 help
« on: December 18, 2011, 11:02:49 PM »
Did you go for it? I've bought three XBs for about $150 each (two 400 & a 500), & greatly enjoy 'em. Though others have had problems, I was impressed with the active pickup system. I haven't played out in 25 years, so when I filled in for a show I was surprised at how well-balanced the instrument is -- I put in three hours & felt no back fatigue.

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