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Where are all those Washburn basses?


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1 hour ago, lemmywinks said:

 

A pal of mine had one of those, in a fancy wine red finish. Weighed a ton and I hated the preamp but it was built to withstand some serious abuse. They were Samicks I think.

The preamp was a bit all or nothing, I always left it in the centre positions. This one's not that heavy to be honest, it's just unbalanced. The bridge position is somewhat strange, a long way from edge of bass.

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I always thought of Washburn as top quality. The first band I was in had a lead guitarist who was insanely good. He and his step dad had an amazing guitar collection but the Washburn super Strat was always his number 1. Then when I started to see all the budget Washburns come up I felt a bit let down by them. I'd be happy with an 80s or 90s Washburn any day. 

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I've owned two Washburn basses both dating from the 1980s.

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The first was a B105 Force ABT which was my first 5-string and a reasonable instrument, but not a patch on the Overwater that replaced it less than a year later. Interestingly before I got the Overwater I "upgraded" the pickups with a set a quite expensive active EMGs that made absolutely zero difference to the sound. It was sold to someone on here who was specifically looking for this model, at which point I was surprised to see just how battered the red finish was considering that it has spent most of it's life unused as my backup bass.

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The second was a B20-8 which I bought second hand in rather poor condition with the intent on doing it up. However stripping the finish off the neck revealed a rather serious break and repair that had been hidden behind a darker stain. In the end the project turned out to be too complex for my skills and available time and the parts were sold on eBay who then managed to loose the bass in their Global Shipping programme. 

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I can only speak for the force 4 and I’ve played the force 5 , but imo they are really underrated, and I’ve seen the 4 sell for £200 , which is a lot of bass for the money 

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1 hour ago, uk_lefty said:

I always thought of Washburn as top quality. The first band I was in had a lead guitarist who was insanely good. He and his step dad had an amazing guitar collection but the Washburn super Strat was always his number 1. Then when I started to see all the budget Washburns come up I felt a bit let down by them. I'd be happy with an 80s or 90s Washburn any day. 

Are Washburn guitars holding their value and status as good quality instruments? I only owned a cheap bass for a few months so I really didn't have experience fo their good quality basses. I think the local music shop had a deal with them at one point, as the shop seemed to be full of Washburn. 

This is great to see so many high quality instruments here. Plus I am now spotting more Washburns for sale in the usual places. Hiding in plain sight. 

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I used to have a washburn mb6 that I bought from gak in the early 90s

sold it far too cheaply a few years ago,would have another in a heartbeat

great bass,sounded great ah memories memories

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Washburn seemed to go the way of Aria - once they stopped being made in Japan in the mid/late 80s, there was a shift in the types of instruments they were producing & a narrowing of their appeal. Fashions change, & both brands moved away from boutique-looking through-neck designs and associated themselves more with the pointy headstock & garish paintjob SuperStrat market.

Moving manufacture to Korea meant that for a lot of the range there would have been a drop-off in quality compared to the MIJ stuff and by the 90s, both Washburn & Aria had largely lost their high-end/pro-endorsed market & were seen as pretty much budget brands.

On 08/03/2021 at 12:43, adriansmith247 said:

Are Washburn guitars holding their value and status as good quality instruments?

The original late 70s/early 80s Japanese instruments, very much so. The Wing & Stage series guitars & basses particularly are increasingly sought-after, & high-end examples are getting towards the 4-figure bracket. They're pretty scarce, which helps.

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I remember seeing Washburn guitars and basses in the most amazing crackle/lightning finishes on the back of guitar magazines when I was a youngster (late 80's?) I fell in love with them right there and then. 

I think if I saw one in that finish now I wouldn't be able to resist temptation. 

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Edited by Old Horse Murphy
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I've got an old Washburn AB10 acoustic bass it's around 25 years old and a bit of a weird one as it's got a round sound hole. I've never seen another one. All the AB series I've seen have the diagonal slashes where a sound hole should be.

Great bass when it worked, but the onboard fishman EQ gave up the ghost, so now has a Shadow pickup installed. I love it, was my uncles before me, so a bit of a family heirloom! 😂

Edited by 40hz
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I desperately wanted a Tune Maniac  but with little cash bought Washburn instead, if the Nanyo Bass Collections were out I wasn't aware of them.

 

Started with a Force  ABT B-20 in a kind of oyster/ivory finish. It  was replaced with a Bass Collection.

Years down the line nostalgia struck.

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  • 3 months later...
11 minutes ago, Gnermo said:

I have two of these, one with the humbucker and one with a split-coil.
Really good basses with quality parts, not sure why Washburn faded from the market.

 

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That's a good looking bass! What is the model name? 

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On 08/03/2021 at 11:29, uk_lefty said:

I always thought of Washburn as top quality. The first band I was in had a lead guitarist who was insanely good. He and his step dad had an amazing guitar collection but the Washburn super Strat was always his number 1. Then when I started to see all the budget Washburns come up I felt a bit let down by them. I'd be happy with an 80s or 90s Washburn any day. 

Well... Since writing this I got a Facebook notification one day and within ten mins had done the deal for this beaut. I've got an 80s band starting up, OK I've already got an 84 Aria SB but this has more of the obvious 80s look. It sounds great and it was 1/6th the price of a real Status. 

So where are all the Washburn basses, I can't answer that. But one of them is in my office and I'm very glad of its company. 

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1 hour ago, uk_lefty said:

That's a good looking bass! What is the model name? 

That's a Force BBR. Don't remember the model number off the top of my head, there were several variants with that colour scheme. One of my biggest regrets is being unable to afford a Force 42 BBR (the headless/neck-through version of this) when I was offered one here on BC a year or ten ago.

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17 minutes ago, bass_dinger said:

I have a green Washburn XB500.

Until about 2 years ago, they would appear on eBay regularly, for less than £200.  Now, nothing.

A BC post on the safe removal of control pots from an XB500  

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A few lefties have turned up over the years but usually in a bad state. Shame because I reckon there's a decent bass if looked after well. 

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I remember playing a Washburn AB34 acoustic bass many years ago and being absolutely blown away by it. Probably the best ABG I've ever played.

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