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Thread: Old Washburn tater bug

  1. #1
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    A friend of mine was just given an old Washburn tater bug mandolin, a style 225. The word is it belonged to a family member and was built around 1905. On the paper tag inside it has NO. A-6818. Anyone have info on these?

  2. #2
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have lots of info. What else do you need to know?

    Jim
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    Ca. 1923 Washburn (L&H) Pro A -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- 1904 Embergher Type 3 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo

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    I have name, rank, and serial number. I want stories of these things.

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    Info no; advice yes.

    Don't use BG strings. Martin extra light or GHS Classical are as heavy as you should go without warping the neck and top.

    You like stories about bowlbacks, you should check into the classical threads, where that is the primary instrument style. Perhaps you'll catch BAS.

  5. #5
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
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    Washburn was one of the prime brands made by Lyon & Healy. Other than that, you have the model number and the personal background. 225 is a midrange model, I believe. I don't have my catalogs at hand.

    Is it playable?

    Jim



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    Ca. 1923 Washburn (L&H) Pro A -- Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- 1904 Embergher Type 3 -- 1937 Gibson L-Century -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo

  6. #6
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    The mando is playable. I had to perform surgery on a couple of the tuner gears but it tunes up and plays. Unfortunately, I play left handed and I strung it up northpaw. Sounds quite nice (for a tater). It's really quite beautiful with very nice workmanship. We'll see how well it stays in tune and whether my friend will learn to play it.

  7. #7
    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    I have a Washburn 225 model that required a little work to make playable again. I like it quite a lot. The woods are very nice-well chosen spruce top and pretty rosewood bowl. It plays well (now) and sounds quite nice, particularly in the mid-range, to my tin-ish ear.

    All in all, it is very playable and a nice instrument. I strongly second BobA's direction on strings. Ultra-lights only, for sure.

    Enjoy playing it.

    Mick
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