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Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Mainesails........
« on: October 18, 2005, 11:26:49 PM »
I'm sorry.  I posted to this thread some time ago but the post doesn't seem to have made it online.

Could you help me out here and give me the name of the guitar?  We never refered to them by number and Washburn seems to have recently deleted their old pricelist archive so I can't look it up.  If it is a DB guitar, I may be able to tell you something about it.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / Mainesails........
« on: October 14, 2005, 10:32:56 AM »
Thank you!  I'm sorry, but I don't know anything except about the Dana Bourgeois Guitars products.  I would help if I could.

The closest Martin would be a D-28.  However, the bracing is different, as is the bridge and bridgeplate.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / D55SW
« on: October 11, 2005, 09:36:30 AM »
I haven't seen one in years, but that sounds to be in the ballpark.  It might even be a little wider than that.  If I recall correctly the plate was long enough that we had to cut away one corner to clear the top tonebar (one of the two angled cross-braces below the X brace).

By the way, I mentioned this board to Dana yesterday and he says hello to everybody.  Dana confirmed the information about the serial numbers that has been printed on this list.  The numbers were supplied to us by Washburn, and we added the date to them before writing them on the label.  

Interestingly, he told me that he had been shown a Tacoma Cherokee (possibly a prototype), with a figure of an Indian in a headdress on the headstock, as opposed to the feather motif on the DB Cherokee.  Neither or us know if such a guitar was ever produced in quantity.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / *
« on: October 11, 2005, 09:27:51 AM »
Yes.  The differences are the Brazilian rosewood back and sides and the ornamentation.  The specs on the Paramount call specifically for an Engelmann top, while the Cherokee mighe have either that or Sitka.

Finally, the Paramount does not have a serial number like the Cherokee.  My label is printed number 4 of 6 made and dated with the CPT initials.

That's it.  Other than that, it's the same guitar.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / *
« on: October 08, 2005, 10:30:45 PM »
LOL, I don't play it much ... it's too valuable.  If I ever have to sell it, I want it to be as near mint as possible.  I usually play my '95 DB OMC in Indian Rosewood or my '67 Martin 016NY slot-head.

But when I do take it out, the sound is wonderful, and especially suited for my gentle fingerpicking.  It is extremely loud, well balanced and has a bright, detailed sound.  The bass is very good but not tremendous.  I think it would not be a great flatpicking guitar because it doesn't have the headroom that one of the DB guitars with a Red Spruce top would have.

The guitar has a tree-of-life fretboard, pearl border, pearl inlays in the bridge and a wide mother-of-pearl rosette.  The t-o-l is very heavy and not delicate at all.  Washburn sent us the inlays from Korea and we put them in.  The inlay work in the bridge is sloppy, but the inlay in the fretboard is better (It shoud be ... I did it!  I wish I had been the person to do the bridge).

The printed part of the label says 4 of 6 but I don't believe that is correct.  I had to put the pearl in the fretboards of these guitars using a dremel tool, which took forever.  I only remember making 4 of them.  One has been destroyed - we were asked to make on incredibly short notice - about 6 weeks - before a NAMM show, and didn't have dry back and side wood in house.  They told us to just make the guitar, as it only had to last through the show.  That's as long as it lasted.  It shrank and cracked within weeks, and was disassembled.  So, I think there are about 3 of these out there.

How did I get this guitar?  When Washburn decided to drop DBG as a supplier, they refused to pay several outstanding invoices to DBG.  At the time, we had several of their guitars in for neck-set adjustments before going to dealers.  The two managements compared dollar values and agreed to walk away as it was about a wash, and DBG sold the two or three guitars.  I was lucky to be at the right place, at the right time, with a check.

Nope.  I don't have an Apache.  Those were lookers!!  The back was 3 piece, with a tapered center section like a D-35.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / D55SW
« on: October 08, 2005, 10:07:53 PM »
The DB Washburns were true hand-made guitars.  They sounded as good as the production DB guitars.  They should be better than most factory guitars like a Martin, Taylor or Tacoma because they are hand voiced.  

The bridge plate is (if I remember correctly) about an inch wider - extending back towards the endpin end of the guitar.  The bigger plates were maple, at Washburn's request.  

Washburn didn't like that DB guitars have some belly.  It is an inevitable side-effect of a guitar that is that lightly braced.  Also, many Washburn customers are used to less expensive factory guitars, which generally don't belly as they are always more heavily braced.  A factory can't make the braces as light because they have to hit an average.  If they tried, then some of the guitars would be underbraced and have a flabby sound.

We felt that it would compromise the sound, but that the effect would be very small, and since the customer wanted it, we were happy to comply.  In general, the Washburns are slightly less responsive than DB guitars of the same period, because of the bridge plate and also the heavier bridge, but the difference is miniscule.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / *
« on: October 06, 2005, 10:28:20 PM »
I have one.  What would you like to know about it?

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / D55SW
« on: October 06, 2005, 10:08:41 PM »
I should mention before going further, I also worked at DBG at that time (I was the guy who made the tops, backs, fretboards and headstocks).  I still set necks for Dana at Pantheon Guitars.

I stumbled on this forum because I was checking out DB guitars on E-bay and saw a link.  

Because of the way DBG went out of business, Dana does not have the exact number information and order records, so individual guitars can't be identified.  All I have at this point is 10 year old memories.  I am NOT going to bug Dana with a bunch of questions, but I will try to answer questions to this group as best as I can.

As to topwood, we used both Sitka and Engelmann, depending on what we could get with the right price and quality.  I have a Paramount from 1995 and that has an Engelmann top.  Washburn never insisted on any particular top wood except for the Paramount model, where it was chosen for it's white, even appearance.

Just FYI, the differences between a DB guitar and a Washburn were 1) headstock shape 2) oversize maple bridge plate 3) Washburn supplied tuners 4) butterfly bridge and 5) Washburn inlays.  That's it.  Other than that, they were identical to DB guitars.

Also, as to numbers, if I remember correctly, there were about 20 Apaches (3 piece birdseye maple), about 50 Savanahs (koa - some plain, some figured), about 150 Cherokees (indian rosewood), about 4 Paramounts (brazilian rosewood), and a couple of other 1 or 2 of a kinds for shows.  Finally, we built a black double-neck acoustic Washburn for Led Zeppelin using 6 string and 12 string Washburn necks on a unique DB mahogany body!

The guitars appeared in the 1995 catalog (I have a copy).  The specs are at  The guitars shown on the 1997 archive are leftovers.

The Cheyenne, Commanche and Navaho are not DB guitars.

We produced guitars for Washburn for about a year.  Washburn dropped us as a manufacturer for Tacoma because Tacoma could produce the guitars cheaper and in larger quantity than we could.  Our production record was 15 Cherokees in a week, but 12 was more typical.

I've never had my hands on a Tacoma/Washburn, but I would think they are excellent.  The difference is that the DB/Washburns are truly hand-made, individually hand-voiced, high-end guitars, and the price reflected that fact.

Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions / D55SW
« on: October 06, 2005, 06:39:43 PM »
CPT Stands for Chuck Thornton.  He did the fretting, setup and final inspection on these guitars.  He now makes awesome electric guitars at  

Of course, I'm biased, as he's a good friend of mine.

Only Bourgeois built Washburns have the CPT or DWB initials.  I don't think any left the factory without one of these two sets of initials (a remote possibility would have been WL).

No production Cherokees were built in anything but Indian Rosewood.  I won't swear that there wasn't some NAMM special Cherokee built for Washburn out of Brazilian, but I doubt it.

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