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Topics - Meker

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Discuss Basses and Bass Playing / NV and K in front of Serial Numbers?
« on: December 15, 2013, 11:01:34 PM »
1. Friend has a Force 4 ABT, 2006. The serial number has NV  starting it out. Any idea what the NV means? I pressume it refers to country of manufacture.

2. Another buddy has a 1985 B-70RS with the serial number starting with "K". Does that mean one of the Kasuga factories or Korea. I think 1985 would be early for Korean Washburn builds and I believe Matsumoko (a) did not put letters with the basses SN's and (2) finished their Washburn involvement in 1984.  ????

Vintage and Rare Washburns / Kasuga factory
« on: December 15, 2013, 08:27:12 PM »
Somebody remind me when Kasuga factories got involved for sure in making some 1980's basses and guitars. IIRC it was 1985'ish? After Matsumoko dwindled off of Washburn in '84. And does the K on some of the 1985 models serial numbers in fact refer to Kasuga at point of origin. I think '85 would be a bit early to refer to Korea.

Show Us Your Washburn / Washburn Bass History 1978-1985 rollup
« on: September 30, 2013, 12:05:39 AM »
Here is a general thumbnail sketch (without referencing all my research as that would be too long )of Washburn 1978-1985 "classic" productions (minus the Sarzo and Bantam basses and S-42 headless bass which will be included in a later list after some more research):

Washburn Basses from the magic years

1978: Wing series Scavenger, Vulture I

1979: Wing series Scavenger, Vulture I, Vulture II and proto-type B-40 with the Vulture II electrical package very possibly made by Daion in TX or Japan FOR Washburn (it is the only Wing series bass with the stripe insert in headstock and similar to Daion XX B and then came out for general sale in 1980 with the regular wing headstock until B-40 sales ended in 1983. I did a looong bit a research on that and am pretty well convinced of it, to include talking to a Daion (from the Texas factory started by those 2 brothers) endorsee from back then.

1980: B-40 Wing Series with the Vulture II electrical package, B-20 Stage basses begin along with the 8-string B-20-8 Stage bass (Scavenger,Vulture I and II still being sold).

1981: same models as 1980 along with the new SB-40

1982: the Wing series SB-40EQ replaces SB-40 but same as the '81 SB-40 (with the possible exception that the 40 had brushed aluminum cavity plates and the 40EQ did not as far as I can determine), the Wing series B-40, the Force-40- headstocked B-40EQW with SB-40 electrical package, the Force 40EQ, Force 8 and Force 4, the B-20's little brother B-5 Stage bass introduced (Scavenger,Vulture I and II still being sold)

1983: Wing series B-40, Force series B-40EQW, the regular Force 40 begins, Force 4's and 8's and B-20's/5's (Vulture I and II still being sold as well)

1984: Regular Force 40's, introducing B-20 Stage BBR and B-5 Stage BBR and Force 40 BBRs and Force 8 BBR (single pup)--BBR'd completely: body, neck and headstock --only in 1984. Last year for the B-40EQW. Vulture II still in production.

1985:Now we have the Force series B-40EQ, Force 4+8,  B-5 Stage bass and note the the only BBR is the Force 8 BBR which is NOT BBR'd on the maple fretboard neck--so its a partial BBR. NO more regular Force 40's or B-20's!(someone please show me a 1985 one and I'll change this, but do not believe so). Several guitars, however, were still BBR’d (HM models, Tour 24, some A series, Force 6)

If anyone ever comes across more info to change this, PLEASE let me know. There are still plenty of surprises in trying to unearth the lost history of this period's basses I am sure. I personally am at  Also posted this in the Talkbass forum's BASSES in "The Official Washburn Club (redux)" thread on page 40.

I just put this up over at TALKBASS a few days ago.  Some of you may have noticed my strong interest in the history of the SB-40 bass and I have spent literally years trying to sort out the history of this wonder bass.  Below is what I have found so (I have an amazing array of pictures and SNs on this). As more info is found, any corrections  and additions will be posted/edited into this continued gathering of info.  Below is what is currently sorted out:

"OK, here’s a partial history I have not put up previously---pretty exciting and not the end of the story yet. The missing links are many advertisements, catalogs and brochures from 1979-1982 that would finally solve everything. They are really mostly missing. From 1983 onward they are mostly findable. The next lines should make clear an evolutionary path.
OK, the SB-40 and B-40 appear in history at about the same time in 1979  as far as being designed and manufactured as new 1980 basses. These two basses ended the "classic hollow body" shape used by the Scavengers and Vultures I and II. They brought in the "modern" or "catch-up" body phase for Washburn. They did keep the 2x2 tuners to remain in the WING series.

1.The B-40 (known in Europe as LB-40 for some {I am sure} stupid reason) with 4 knobs and 1 toggle switch appears to be a dead end branch of evolution, altho I cannot find an end date for them. The latest I can find is a 1982 Rudy Sarzo ad with a B-40. So the lifespan parallels the SB-40. So any other Washie with 4 knobs and 1 switch could claim SOME kind of kinship with the grandaddy B-40. It may even be that the B-40 INSPIRED
2.the SB-40 which comes out with 3 knobs and 2 switches(toggle and mini) as perhaps a bit more sophisticated for 1980-1982 (the SB-40EQ appears to be introduced 1981): to be followed by SB-40, (not B-40), look-alikes and with same electronics of 3/1/1 except that the headstock was changed to 4 in-line and thus closed the Wing Series era and entered the Force series.

So the SB-40 of 3 pups/2 switches elec pkg (the B-40's 4/1 elec pkg is dropped) then continues success by morphing into

b. B-40EQ +40EQW in 1983 I have ads for them.
c. drop the EQ/EQW to be a regular FORCE-40 in 1984 which had a long run of success

So, to recapitulate, The Scavengers and Vultures along with their body shape are like the old cars on the road because they were still produced until, at least, 1981-1982.

The B-40 and (notice they just added on an "S" to show cousinry in this "new-to-Washburn" shape) SB-40 ushered in the "modern" body style together for Washburn if you want to call it that, since Fender  pretty well knew it was cool since 1951 and it took Washburn all that time to get on board!

Next step is I must get into the Library of Congress Patent Office and drag out some info to further NAIL THIS STUFF DOWN!  NOTE BBR Force series has the same 3/2 elec pkg of SB-40 also"

Please note that the B-40 was proto-typed and also (in limited numbers)sold by Daion for Washburn. Daion fans will argue that point. I am looking for evidence that the SB-40 was also originated for Washburn with Daion --but so far nothing. If anyone has info on that, please let me know.  That is a missing piece of the puzzle as well. BTW I am MEKer on Talkbass as well.

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