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Author Topic: Guitars made in China...Washburn?  (Read 7627 times)

Offline Washburngrasser

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« on: November 14, 2007, 02:18:57 AM »
Probably most here know about the American brands that have been contracting with manufacturers in China. Its been a source of controversy sometimes.

Blueridge. The Johnson Carolina series. Epiphones Masterbilt line. The Guild GAD line.

I personally have a Blueridge and an Epiphone Masterbilt. And I've heard the Guilds and Johnson Carolinas are just as good.

To put it plainly, these guitars are nothing less than stunningly good for the cost. You can actually, for less than $1000, get a guitar that can compete with much MUCH more expensive guitars by makers like Martin and others.

I'm just wondering if Washburn is going this route? I have 3 Washburn guitars and love them all, but I've had them for a long time and I've sort of lost touch with what is going on with Washburn.

There was a Washburn guitar that was reviewed by Acoustic Guitar magazine maybe 3 years or so ago, and it got a very VERY good review. I noticed that the inlay on the fretboard looked exactly like the inlay on some Blueridges and Guild GADs and it got me wondering if Washburn was tapping into this option.

Thanks,

WBG

Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 04:33:53 AM by Washburngrasser »
Martin D16-T
Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
Les Paul electric
Telecaster electric

Offline Simon

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2007, 02:37:20 AM »
Excuse me for being a bit thick [:)] - are you asking if Washburn are having guitars manufactured in China?  Short answer: Yes, several! My D10 is one example.. If you search for 'made in china' (use Match phrase) on this forum I get six pages of hits that probably contains lots more models...
Are you thinking of this D56SWCE http://www.washburn.com/about/reviews/reviews/D56SWCEReviewAGW.pdf
or the D52SW http://www.washburn.com/about/reviews/reviews/acousticguitarreviewjuy05.jpg ?
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Offline Washburngrasser

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2007, 04:18:48 AM »
Simon,

Thanks for the reply. Your 2nd link...the D52SW...is the very article I remember reading! You da man! [:)]

Glad to see that Washburn is still humming along making great guitars. My D44SW is a good one. It has been with me for a long time and I'll never part with it.

WBG

Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
Martin D16-T
Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
Les Paul electric
Telecaster electric

Offline YerDugliness

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2007, 06:16:58 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by Washburngrasser

Simon,

Thanks for the reply. Your 2nd link...the D52SW...is the very article I remember reading! You da man! [:)]

Glad to see that Washburn is still humming along making great guitars. My D44SW is a good one. It has been with me for a long time and I'll never part with it.

WBG

Blueridge BR160
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead



WBG, I couldn't help but notice you own an Epi Masterbilt AJ500RC-12 Fretter and a Blueridge.  As I approach retirement in a couple of months, I am planning on celebrating with the purchase of a good quality guitar.  The AJ500RC-12 is one of those I am GASing over--can you tell me what your impression of this guitar is?  I notice you own some pretty fine equipment, would you mind comparing the AJ500RC-12 to the Blueridge (another brand I am considering)?  Right now the front runner is a Santa Cruz 12-fretter, but there might be adequate funds for both the SC and another, so I'd very much be interested in your impressions of the Epi Masterbilt and the Blueridge.

Thanks for whatever insight you can provide!

Dugly [8D]

YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Lifelong Audiophile
Guitar Playin' FOOL
Ready to retire and age disgracefully!!!

The crew:
Washburn WD32SW and WD32S (WD32S soon to receive an under-bridge pickup)
Epiphone AJ-10 (campfire guitar!!)
Yamaha G231-II and G60A Classical guitars
A Hohner classical I left at a vacation home in SW KS.
Epiphone Dot '63 ES335  Repop, Epiphone Les Paul Custom II
Ibanez RX20
A cheap Circle K banjo I play when feelin' funky
YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL 8) !!
Retired & attempting to age disgracefully!!
Washburns: WD32SW, D61SW, C124SWK, WMJ11S, WMJ21S (2) and WGO26SCE
Other fine acoustics: Breedlove custom 000 Revival, Darren Hippner #506 Hauser, Takamini 2005 LTD, Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500RC

Offline Harmonycat

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2007, 09:21:48 AM »
Yes those Washburn Timbercraft guitars are made in the same factory as the other brand labelled products. I have a D-52SW and it, like so many of those higher quality Made in China guitars, represents an outstanding value in an American designed guitar contracted to super quality driven factory. They are manufactured to an uncomprimising level and provide an opportunity for those of us not willing to spend one to two thousand on a sophisticated instrument. Many of them are made in the now famous Grand Rewards Factory. In fact Greg Rich formerly of Blueridge and designer of the Carolina II's and Recording King made a comment neither confirming directly or denying they were just about all, other than the Masterbilt, superfically adjusted versions of the same guitar. He did say that like the large retail chains such as Walmart, everybody wants a personalized version of the product. Adjustments most often include material changes such as Sitka vs Englemann, Solid mahogany vs solid EIR, slightly diffferent snowflake marker fret boards, Bindings of either white plastic or maple, Rosettes and trim differences, as well as Necks, Bridges and, Headstocks that are Brand identifiable. The sound box or body dimensionally is the same.

The simmilarities in construction, quality of assembly, and dimensions between my Englemann/ solid EIR Aria AD-80 and my Wasburn D-52SW are undeniable.

I can assure your that it had better be one hell of a Sitka Mahogany Martin for my D-52SW to be outshone.

BTW: You can add Recording King and the Aria AD series to your list. I have played many of the others and whenever I see someone on a Forum going GAGA over any of them often point out that there are lots of choices in available variables.

The Timbercrafts do not get the press and recognition of many of the others, despite being one of the first, if not the first of them.

Cheers!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2007, 09:25:23 AM by Harmonycat »
May You be in Heaven Half an Hour, before the Devil knows your Dead.

Offline Washburngrasser

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007, 01:16:21 AM »
Dugly,

quote:
I am planning on celebrating with the purchase of a good quality guitar. The AJ500RC-12 is one of those I am GASing over--can you tell me what your impression of this guitar is?


Well, when I 1st sit down to test drive a possible new guitar, the 1st thing I do is grab a Bluegrass G chord and strum down on the strings. There are only 3 guitars I've ever played that stunned me with just that. A vintage Martin small bodied 12 fretter several years ago(that was way out of my price range), the Blueridge BR160 I now own, and my AJ500RC.

As I contiuned to play it it passed every test grading out at 110% in every area.

It is VERY loud. The tone DRIPS with character. Very woody. Exceedingly well balanced. It flatpicked wonderfully, and fingerpicked just as well. This happens to be my 1st cedar topped guitar, and I find the tone to be VERY provacative. Loud like a spruce topped guitar, but without the very *trebly* brightness. This guitar just sings beautifully.

quote:
I notice you own some pretty fine equipment,...


Well, thank you! I am not a rich man, so I dont have any *vintage* Martins or Gibsons. No Collings or Santa Cruz's, etc. But I try to get the most bang for the buck with my purchases.

quote:
Would you mind comparing the AJ500RC-12 to the Blueridge (another brand I am considering)?


Both of them blew me away on the 1st strum, and never dropped in any area after that. The primary difference is the tonal differences between the cedar top on the Epiphone, vs the Sruce top of the Blueridge...and the tonal differences that the body shape of the 12 fretter produces.

Both are very loud with great tone. The 12 fretter has a more midrange shimmer wrapped around its tone, as opposed to the Blueriges more trebly shimmer.  Both have wonderful sustain. They both speak very quickly. You hit a note or chord and its like its *instantly* 5 feet in front of you.

The Blueridge is a very very powerful guitar. An absolute cannon. I play bluegrass a lot and need that power to compete with the mandolins and banjos, etc. I have not tried my AJ500 yet in a bluegrass setting. So far its been so good that it wouldnt surprise me a bit of it cuts just fine. But if it proves to be a bit less powerful than the Blueridge that wont diminish my regard for it in the least. I'd just attribute it to the cedar top and its darker tone.  

quote:
Right now the front runner is a Santa Cruz 12-fretter, but there might be adequate funds for both the SC and another, so I'd very much be interested in your impressions of the Epi Masterbilt and the Blueridge.

Thanks for whatever insight you can provide!


I hope I've helped some! [:)]

WBF


Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 01:29:50 AM by Washburngrasser »
Martin D16-T
Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
Les Paul electric
Telecaster electric

Offline YerDugliness

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 06:52:18 AM »
WBG, that is EXACTLY the sort of information I was hoping you would be able to provide [:D] !  Thanks, so much!!

The Santa Cruz I've been looking at has the spruce top and is a 12-fretter, so I'm sure my yearning for upper range defintion will be satisfied with that one.  I already own a fine Washburn dread, so probably no need to consider the Blueridge at this time (although, I must admit, I can feel the GAS increasing every time I surf through their offerings!!).

There has yet to exist anyone who had a less than 110% review of the Epi Masterbilt AJ500RC-12 Fret guitar.  Yours was just a bit more eloquent than others I've read or heard.  Every time I read or hear rave reviews like yours, I'm more sold on the cedar top issue.  I own a cedar top classical guitar and it has a fine, well voiced tone to me and should I buy the Epi it will be a welcome tonal addition to the steel string line-up, I'm sure.

Again, please accept my heartfelt thanks for that review [^] --there could have been no better answer for my questions, and after hearing your comments I'm sure that the Epi is certainly in my future (and who knows, maybe the Blueridge, too???? [:0] ).  

Dugly [8D]

YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Lifelong Audiophile
Guitar Playin' FOOL
Ready to retire and age disgracefully!!!

The crew:
Washburn WD32SW and WD32S (WD32S soon to receive an under-bridge pickup)
Epiphone AJ-10 (campfire guitar!!)
Yamaha G231-II and G60A Classical guitars
A Hohner classical I left at a vacation home in SW KS.
Epiphone Dot '63 ES335  Repop, Epiphone Les Paul Custom II
Ibanez RX20
A cheap Circle K banjo I play when feelin' funky
YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL 8) !!
Retired & attempting to age disgracefully!!
Washburns: WD32SW, D61SW, C124SWK, WMJ11S, WMJ21S (2) and WGO26SCE
Other fine acoustics: Breedlove custom 000 Revival, Darren Hippner #506 Hauser, Takamini 2005 LTD, Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500RC

Offline Washburngrasser

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 11:38:37 PM »
Yerdugliness,

Just thought I'd let you know. The guy at the Epiphone forum that reviewed the AJ500RC was....ME! [:)]

I'm Washburngrasser here. CedarTopFan there.(The AJ500RC turned me into one!)

WBG

Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
Martin D16-T
Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
Les Paul electric
Telecaster electric

Offline Washburngrasser

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 11:44:01 PM »
Yerdugless,

I noticed you own a cheap Circle K banjo. I'm the same way. Its not on my list but I have a cheap no name banjo that I traded a very poor quality guitar for several years ago. No name on it. I have no idea what kind it is. Someone said it might have been a kit banjo.

Thats the neat thing about banjos. You can still have a blast with them even if they are cheap junkers. And your right...even the cheap ones are super funky!

WBG

Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
« Last Edit: November 15, 2007, 11:44:47 PM by Washburngrasser »
Martin D16-T
Blueridge BR160
Washburn D44SW
Epiphone AJ500RC 12 fret slothead
Martin D15S 12 fret slothead
Washburn D21S
Washburn EA20 Festival electric/acoustic
Alvarez/Yairi DY38
Gold Tone PBS Maple Deluxe dobro
Regal RD52 Black Lightning dobro
Washburn C80 Classical
Les Paul electric
Telecaster electric

Offline YerDugliness

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Guitars made in China...Washburn?
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2007, 10:16:41 AM »
quote:
Originally posted by Washburngrasser

Yerdugliness,

Just thought I'd let you know. The guy at the Epiphone forum that reviewed the AJ500RC was....ME! [:)]

I'm Washburngrasser here. CedarTopFan there.(The AJ500RC turned me into one!)

WBG




Small world, eh [:D][:D]?

Good to make your acquaintance, WBG/CTF!!  It sounds like we share many similar musical tastes (I've attended the Winfield Bluegrass festival for decades!) and equipment choices.  If you ever find your way down toward this little state of Texas, please drop me an email--it would be nice to get acquainted personally.  A few of us Washburn forum members meet on (sometimes) a monthly basis in Pearl, TX for a bluegrass musical jam session--if you are unaware of it, visit this site:

http://www.pearlbluegrass.com/

Come join us sometime--we usually sit outside under a large live oak tree, but there are about 7 other very well attended jam sites at the location, all types of music, just a great time, and it's free!!  You'd be more than welcome to join our little Washburn jam group, but you'd also be welcome to join in any of the other jam groups--it's just a great celebration of music!

Cheers--I'll let you know when I get my AJ500RC-12.  I'm sure I'll like it, and thanks again for the best review and comparison I received during my search for information.

Dugly [8D]

YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Lifelong Audiophile
Guitar Playin' FOOL
Ready to retire and age disgracefully!!!

The crew:
Washburn WD32SW and WD32S (WD32S soon to receive an under-bridge pickup)
Epiphone AJ-10 (campfire guitar!!)
Yamaha G231-II and G60A Classical guitars
A Hohner classical I left at a vacation home in SW KS.
Epiphone Dot '63 ES335  Repop, Epiphone Les Paul Custom II
Ibanez RX20
A cheap Circle K banjo I play when feelin' funky
YerDugliness, Esq./Post No Bills
Guitar Playin' FOOL 8) !!
Retired & attempting to age disgracefully!!
Washburns: WD32SW, D61SW, C124SWK, WMJ11S, WMJ21S (2) and WGO26SCE
Other fine acoustics: Breedlove custom 000 Revival, Darren Hippner #506 Hauser, Takamini 2005 LTD, Epiphone Masterbilt AJ500RC