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stewblack

NBD - Anchor's Aweigh

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Posted (edited)

Unwrapped a suspicious parcel only to find lurking inside, surprise surprise, another bass guitar 🤦🏼‍♂️ 

Seriously, somebody stop me. 

Every time I scrape together a few quid I tell myself to save it for a rainy day. Then find myself in a dark alley trembling and twitching as I hand it all over for just one more score. 

This week I have become the proud owner of a Washburn Scavenger. 

I have a few weak areas in my feeble defences, of which, early 80s MIJ basses is one. 

This is a doozy. Really lovely finish, great shape (I think so anyway) and it sounds wonderful. 

No neck dive at all. There can't be any really. Not unless the neck was another three feet longer and constructed from cast iron. This is a heavy piece of wood. 

No problem on a comfort strap, I played it all evening and even my dodgy shoulder is fine. 

It's also string through, which I've not had before. Tell me, does this mean flats are a no no? 

I know @Bassassin knows a fair bit about these. Any info gratefully received.

 

IMG-20200729-WA0005.jpeg

Edited by stewblack
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Looks like a nice example, and good (as well as unusual) to get what I assume is the original case too.

Don't know as much about these as I'd like to, having owned 2 MIJ Washburns from the same era - but these were made by Yamaki Gakki, and later by Chushin. I don't think the Wing series basses - the Scavengers & Vultures - were around for very long so they're almost certainly Yamaki. This is a 1980 catalogue:

http://www.matsumoku.org/models/washburn/catalogs/1980_fullline/80_wash_cat_pg7.jpg.html

Serial should be dateable, the first 2 digits should be the year.

If you do FB there are a couple of relevant groups:

Washburn Guitars - The Golden Era

Daions Online

Daions were made by Yamaki - in fact the two companies were owned by the same family - and Yamaki's head designer Hirotsugu Teradaira designed the MIJ Washburns made there, so there is a lot of shared DNA.

 

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Had a scroll through the FB groups. Got an uneasy feeling that I may have started a whole new love affair here. 

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Looks an awful lot like the first bass I ever got my hands on - a “Hondo II” which was black with a maple board and lumbered with a Gibson style bridge. No doubt a copy of a bass like this!

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Having seen the weight of these, if you get fed up with it you can always use it as a mallet to put in fence posts or erect circus marquees 🤣🤪😂

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I should thing flats would be ok, but might be worth trying it with a cheap ish set first.

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13 minutes ago, Bassfinger said:

I should thing flats would be ok, but might be worth trying it with a cheap ish set first.

I can't recall where I read that you shouldn't use flats on a through body string set up...maybe I dreamt it!

 

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I would think that the construction of flats, wider wrap, would possibly prevent the use of flats for through body stringing (have a look at the photo's in the 'flat wound string close ups' thread in 'General Discussion' and imagine how the string would look when bent at 90 deg).😀

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The original Fender Precision had through-body stringing, and that was over a decade before they got around to inventing roundwounds.

I think there has been at least one through-body Fender in the catalogue for the last 25 years, and there are still plenty of us who prefer the sound (and feel) of flats. It seems unlikely that flats are as fragile as some are suggesting.

IMHO

 

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11 hours ago, MoonBassAlpha said:

How heavy is heavy in this instance?

I put it on a 'speak your weight' machine and it said 'one at a time please' 

I don't know is the honest answer. Bathroom scales I have are horribly inaccurate. 

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I remembered! It was on Bass Direct. 

Screenshot_20200801_091230.thumb.jpg.f45bab197573cbf8f05042e262c35527.jpg

Maybe only Labella say this? 

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That would make sense ... they offer a flatwound string designed specifically for through-body stringing.

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Posted (edited)

The JMJ mustang is string-thru and comes with Fender Flats, and as Fender don't do short scale flats, a fair amount of the wound part of the E & A strings end up going around the tuner capstan, so that's two no-nos that have been proven wrong (at least anecdotally).

Edited by Jean-Luc Pickguard
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Posted (edited)
18 hours ago, stewblack said:

I can't recall where I read that you shouldn't use flats on a through body string set up...maybe I dreamt it!

 

I dont think theres any inherent law of man or physics stopping you.  It can be done, seen them first hand, although may be the case that some types don't survive the bend where they turn 90 degrees at the bridge. The power of Google shows many folk successfully doing so and listing the strings they are using.

Edited by Bassfinger
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Posted (edited)
22 hours ago, theyellowcar said:

Looks an awful lot like the first bass I ever got my hands on - a “Hondo II” which was black with a maple board and lumbered with a Gibson style bridge. No doubt a copy of a bass like this!

Definite similarities. There was a pretty standard format for a lot of MIJ original design basses, which was basically a symmetrical doublecut body, bolt neck, 2-a-side headstock & a single P type pickup. Washburn, Westbury, Vantage, Kasuga, Aria, Hondo, Morris and various others all had basses like this. Not sure if they were an attempt to "originalise" something like a Gibson EB type, or just have consistency with their guitar designs. Or maybe just an odd affection for neck dive... :lol:

Edited by Bassassin

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13 hours ago, PaulThePlug said:

nice... simple and elegant...

White pickup covers need to go... they scream!

Ah, but are they original? If so they must stay! 

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Nice score! I’ve had flats (Chromes) on a Mustang and they were fine, no sign of possible breaks where they came through the body. Make sure there is enough length before the taper to accommodate the extra couple of cm required to pass through the body.

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My dad had one of these, it was last seen nailed to the ceiling of the White Hart Tap in St Alban's (wonder if it's still there!)

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, stewblack said:

Ah, but are they original? If so they must stay! 

They certainly are - cream covered DiMarzios (or copies made by Maxon or Goto, which Yamaki/Washburn used) were absolutely de rigueur on early 80s basses! Swapping the covers would be sacrelige!

Edited by Bassassin
Absolution.
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