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Messages - woodrat

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I purchased my WSJ60 about a year ago (me cedar fan) but was not bowled-over initially by the feel of the wide but thin neck, and large heavy body.  The voice did not excite me either -- it seemed loud but thin/tinny.  I loaned it to a friend, then stashed it away the case for a Rediscovered &  retrieved, restrung with DAddario EXP16 coated bronze, and I'm impressed with the deep rumbly rich sound, balance and projection.  It's back in the livingroom.  I'm liking the neck better, enjoying the roominess of the 1.75" nut & accurate   Intonation.  I think the cedar top imparts a mellowing and smoothing of the voice, sounding elegant and unhurried, but not dull.   cedar tops are just unique!  I've also purchased, and play a lot , an OM styled Ibanez AVM10 with torrified solid spruce/mahogany that is a very comfortable player with splendid sound clarity and playability.  I have trimmed quite a bit of wood from the top braces of the WSJ60 to get it moving more freely, and it seems plenty strong and stable enough to tolerate this.  Glad to have resurrected & rediscovered this beauty.  Our experience (and taste?) in instruments -- and especially the wsj60 --rather similar!!  Have you tried a torrified top?

General Discussion / Re: Washburn with no serial number on the label?
« on: February 19, 2018, 04:58:21 PM »
Here's another serial oddity:  I've got an R320swrk with a small Ser. No. label pasted over the usual Washburn label.  The number appears to be:  *OI 12080xxx.  (the last digits are scratched off)  Elsewhere label indicates "Crafted in Indonesia"  I purchased new in 2009...

General Discussion / Re: WG26 variations
« on: September 10, 2017, 04:16:51 PM »
Dugly,  I'm not surprised you like your WG26s -- I think it is the best looking of my guitars, possibly also best sounding... My daily player preferences move around.  Lately I'm using my R320, also handsome in appearance, intricate Tree-of-Life fb inlay, and the solid redwood body has distinctively richer tone than other parlors I've played.  I sanded down it's deep V-neck a bit to soften it and facilitate getting my thumb around to catch bass notes -- still a V, but not so much. Improved feel, for me.  I disassembled my inexpensive Johnson resonator round-neck, carefully re-set the cone where the edge sits (now flush) in the well, tweaked the spider legs and saddles, added nickel/bronze strings... now no buzzing and piercing treble. cool.  I've so many guitars now that some (ironically, the Martins) simply sit stored in cases, for the most part.  I love to tinker and tweak my acoustics (kinka like my daily driver '67 Datsun roadster) where the individualized setup makes a big change in the experience.  But I always took my toys apart and recombined them as a kid, now I don't get in trouble for it.  Love the Washburn acoustics, esp the 2010-2011 era, cheers for CNC fabricated guitars copying classic guitar architecture so competently and affordably! BTW, I've strung everything with Elixer strings: Easier on my finger tips, sound great, and last much longer when just sitting around waiting to be played, so economical when you have many guitars sharing playtime.
Glad you enjoy your WG26!

you know, I loaned my slope-shoulder to a friend for a while ago.  My intent, when I get to it, it to lighten it's top braces, tapering them significantly at the edge of the top to loosen it's suspension in the body.  Thought I'd soften the fingerboard edges by rounding them a bit more, and maybe cut a new nut. Then I'll keep it at home and play it... and give a better informed report.
For now I'm playing parlors mostly, re-discovering my R320 with its generous fingerboard, and having fun with my newest -- a cheap Ibanez PN1 parlor.  I seem to have Blind Blake's double-time piano-beat ragtime stuck in my inbox lately, crazy-making actually, now approached on a small guitar capoed-up, short frustrating spurts...
so many guitars, so little time (& patience).  peace, rick

My WSJ60s elite does have a somewhat wider nut, and thin profile D shape.  The top & neck binding is maple wood. This is very elegant.  However, I'd like a less glossy, less robust finish --  after all, its not a boat!
   Despite the additional width of the WSJ fingerboard at the nut, the pretty fingerboard binding adds "non-functional" width and a hard edge... Overall not personally more comfortable than fingerpicking a WG or WJ with optimized nut for string spacing. 
  Cocobolo seems quite dense as this WSJ is a relatively "heavy" guitar.  subjectively.  and a little flat but tense & underspoken tonrewise, iykwim.  rick

General Discussion / Re: WG26 variations
« on: May 29, 2017, 06:27:41 PM »
    I'm curious to learn your evaluation of the WSJ60.... I purchased also one recently from AMS at $299.  It is very lovely, cedar over cocobolo, and all the fancy bling (and case).  The WSJ neck is a bit wider with a shallow D shape -- to me it feels somewhat different than other Wash acoustics I've played.  I think my WG26s has a more ringing mid-range, overall a sweeter sound.  My last purchase was an Ibanez PN1 parlor, all lam, cheap, pretty enough, and fun to play, sounding twinkly and clear, with surprising volume. (also made in China). 

My heart-felt thanks to all who labored assembling this important Washburn information.  As much for illuminating what is not known, and what is.  Much splayed over these threads for several years...
The new Wikipedia page is really stunning, and the improvement too dramatic to detail.  You may rightfully feel proud, IMHO. 

WGO26s -- This is the "plain" grand auditorium model without binding on body or fingerboard. I've noticed a comment re: the thickness of its cedar top.  The sound hole edges have a doubled reinforcement giving the impression of greater thickness, but this is confined to the immediate area around the sound hole, not the entire top.  Another fun fact: Absent top & back binding, the edge of the solid cedar top and laminated "rosewood" back reveal quartersawn grain lines for the solid top (as expected) and a very thin rosewood lam ply over mahogany on the back -- virtually a mahogany body with paper-thin rosewood veneer.  So, Pleasantly earthy sounding, somewhat like a mahogany D18.  I also have a WG26s model which appears to be rosewood laminated to rosewood for the body, and feels much heavier, sounds brighter.  So maybe all lams are not the same.

General Discussion / Re: the REAL history of modern Washburn
« on: April 02, 2017, 03:52:32 PM »
Thank you for posting this info!  Complicated story, but the fragments are fitting together thanks to the knowledge and speculation compiled here.  I'm grateful for the input.

General Discussion / zero fret
« on: November 26, 2016, 05:14:09 PM »
add Penco 12-string (~1975) to Japanese inst with zero fret.  Looked tacky to me, but worked very well contributing to surprising +++ playability. 

General Discussion / of necks and serial numbers
« on: October 31, 2016, 03:49:45 AM »
I have a theory: my recent Wash acoustics are a '13 WSJ60sk and '15 WP11sns and both employ a neck/peghead joint at the nut.  Several older acoustics (ser# prefix "C" or "CC", '10-11 dated WMJ21s, WG26s, WGO26s, WJ45s) have this neck-to-peghead scarf further up the neck at about 2nd fret. Corresponding with the "new" construction details, a prefix "SC" appears in the later serial numbers...Wonder if this denotes Samick/China? Are they from different factories? These necks work well for me, and the similarity from model to model is handy sometimes. 
    I'm always curious how many of the acoustic models have been made & sold, or for that matter, where these instruments are assembled, where parts come from, how designs have evolved. Some history and perspective... for example: I have a WG26s with tapered top braces which I prize for its sound. specs & every other Wash I've seen has scalloped braces.. .  How'd that happen in a CNC workshop?

ps actually, on closer inspection, not only the WG26s, but also my WGO26s, have tapered X-braces and scalloped tonebars, whereas my WJ45s, WSJ60skelite, WP11sns, and R320sw are all braces scalloped.  Ser. #s beginning "SC" have neck-to-headstock joint at the nut, others at 2nd fret., suggesting,  perhaps, a different factory...

I'm another cedar-top fan.  Just ordered this cedar WSJ60s (cocobolo) from WMS.  I've jumped on their discounts previously, and with the case, well, time to get a slope-shoulder for my git family... I assume these are close-outs, and may presage extinction of this line (eg WG26s ?). So, already collectable ....cheers, Rick

General Discussion / Re: WG26 variations
« on: April 04, 2016, 03:16:52 PM »
the WG26s maple binding is very classy -- way finer than plastic strips!  Buying blems and 2nds, I have had some issues with the bridge-lift on Washburn acoustics (twice), but I was able to clamp and re-glue without difficulty or removal.  I have previously mentioned my habit of replacing or re-cutting the nut.  Especially on the necks with multiple layered binding, the nut string spacing can be increased for roomier  finger space.  The overall increase in spacing maybe only 1/8 to 1/16" -- but this makes a significant difference in playability for me.  Typically the bridge saddle needs also be lowered.  The "new" WG26s also required planning of the bridge itself to get the action down as needed. A cautious bit of filing (ramping) of the bridge pin holes can improve the string break over the saddle.  Finally, saddle must fit completely plumb in it's slot, with no contact gaps or high spots.  The slot bottom must be smooth (not rough) for best sound transfer.  I also like to lighten the top braces tapering the x-brace legs to end before side kerfing.  The tone bars can also be lightened considerably, and the the finger braces as well.   I want to loosen the top's stiffness where it meets the sides, aiming to improve the bass volume.  While these mods may weaken the body somewhat I expect these instruments will easily outlive me, and the improved playing and sound are tangible. Besides, it's fun to take your toys apart & see how they work... Right?  Rick

General Discussion / Washburn goes to China for new "old" guitars~
« on: March 29, 2016, 02:58:14 PM »
And then?... How about the era of Chinese acoustics?
  I have a 1987 martin D-2832 whose well-made rosewood ply body was made in Japan, "assembled" in USA, typical of an era of Japanese imports, then Korea... Now the action shifts to China..
    Do we know dates that Chinese factories create acoustic guitars for Washburn?  & Who supplied the designs/specs to be implemented for Washburn's acoustics?  Even more, the actual run dates and numbers of each model would be welcome as I've owned/played many fine insturments  from years 2010-2015 and always wondered about global back-story here.
  thanks for this history info.   just so curious about the next installation.  anyone?  rick

General Discussion / WG26s vs WGO26s
« on: March 27, 2016, 02:41:08 PM »
My WGO26s is a different beast than the WG26s:  Lower bout of the WG is a bit wider than the WGO, and slightly less rounded (flattened) shape. Both have a deep body. The absence of binding on WGO body and neck results in a slimmer neck on the WGO, and allows a glimpse of the very thin rosewood ply of the back, hardly thicker than a paint layer, and laminated to a lighter (mahog) base.  WGO's absence of top binding makes it really easy to bump and nick edge of the soft cedar top.  The WGO feels lighter than the WG. I would describe the WGO as woody sounding, deep bodied with pleasant bass, but less clarity and projection in treble range.  The WG26 feels heavier, a bit more solidly armored with fancy binding. It's sound is crisp and clear, loud and distinct in mid and treble... perhaps less 'cedar' in tone than the WGO. Thick gloss finish for the WG, matte (open pore) thin finish for the WGO. Top braces are shaped differently as noted.
    I play in a RGD thumb/index style using picks, percussive & heavy. Both guitars work well and sound good in this use. I'd liken the WGO to a D18, and the WG to a D28 tonewise.  I like them both, play both, but would rate this WG26 as objectively superior -- at least between these two.  I'm also fond of my comfortable WMJ21s, but its shallower body can't produce sound like the WG and WJ models.  In my view  Washburns tend to be over-built, and benefit from some top-brace trimming, replacing/recutting the nut to optimize string spacing for fingerpicking, trim bridge saddle to lower action, replace tuners as necessary.

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