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Vintage MIJ (formerly [email protected]@p) Spotting

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17 hours ago, BreadBin said:

Me too 👍

I had one! My first properly good-quality bass back in my teens. Sold it after a couple of years because it looked too "metal" for the band I was in. The folly of youth etc.

I know a bit about the Washburn Stage series - enough to think that £500 is probably not too wildly overvalued for a good original example. I'm guessing you paid a fair bit less!

There are some decent catalogue scans on the Matsumoku.org site:


Although, paradoxically, MIJ Washburns were never made by Matsumoku - they were initially from Yamaki, with production moving to Chushin Gakki after Yamaki shut up shop.

There are some good FB groups where there are people who know these way better than I do - you'll probably be able to find out about serial decoding, manufacturer & possible value:

Washburn Guitars - The Golden Era

Daions Online

The Daion Guitar

The Daion groups are relevant because that was the house-brand of Yamaki Gakki so there is a lot of crossover between the instruments. The Stage series guitars were designed by Daion/Yamaki head designer Hirotsugu Teradaira, who is in contact with some of the group members, & contributes to discussion.

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Thanks @Bassassin 👍

I paid quite a bit less - right place, right time I guess. The plan was to not like it and punt it on but it plays amazingly, and fits well with my love of all things 80s Washburn.


The S1000 is having a new string retainer made, hence the wonky strings...

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2 hours ago, ash said:

Definitely never seen this before. I'd guess it's Japanese domestic market - export Aria copies disappeared completely by the late 70s, like most other MIJ brands.

I suspect the pickup's a DiMarzio lookalike, like on most MIJ basses from this era. Don't think DiMarzio ever used white covers, did they?

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