View Full Version : Washburn Mandolin

Garry G
Apr-07-2004, 2:52pm
Hello all,
#I'm new to the group and would like to ask if a Washburn Model M3SW is a good instrument. I have never played a mandolin and don't know much about them. This Mandolin may be traded to me in lieu of money owed. It looks like new and from what I can tell is very nice and sounds good. I have played other stringed instruments before and this has kind of given me the notion that I'd like to try a little bluegrass mandolin playing. I might as well tell you all now I'm a banjo player http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif #I love the banjo but perhaps this mandolin would be a good addition to my collection. Thanks.

Apr-07-2004, 4:42pm
It is a very solid, Korean-built instrument. Constructed of solid wood with a thick finish. The headstock inlay isn't very fluid - of course, that would be a matter of my personal opinion.

I purchased one from a friend about 10 or 12 years ago. I gave him $500 - the instrument had a Fishman bridge installed. The bridge was probably worth about $100 alone (then).

It is a comfortable instrument to play. The tone will of course be subject to your ears. I still have mine although it has be relegated to the closet since I recently upgraded.

Apr-08-2004, 9:48pm
I had a Wasburn M3Sw. A good lookin mando, however, the sound SUCKKKED!!!! No volume, no low end, and it's highs were low at best. I even replaced the bridge with a Brekke and upgraded the nut. Still a no-go. Please don't waste your $. Get a Kentucky 750, a Michael Kelly Legacy or a Morgan Monroe.:( :( :(

Martin Jonas
Apr-09-2004, 12:48pm
All a matter of taste, I guess, and probably also variability between individual instruments. I have a M3-SW, built in 1989, and I like the tone. It has very thick wood and thick finish. I am told that Washburn changed the factory several times in the 1980s and 1990s and although the specifications stayed the same, the quality of the instruments varied a lot.


Apr-09-2004, 12:52pm
There's a guy around here that plays one and it really does sound pretty good. He's been playing it for at least 5 years, if that tells you anything (most get MAS in a while after they buy a Pac-Rim mando).

However, there are two hanging on walls in a nearby store that just sound horrible.

Might want to try a couple out to make sure you would get a good one.

Apr-10-2004, 9:56pm
Maybe I read t he original post wrong, but the questions was not should I buy a Washburn, the question was: somebody owes me money and we discussed trading the Washburn to clear the debt. Garry said he was a banjo player, that he'd played the Washburn in question and was looking for feedback.

I didn't get the impression that Garry was out mandolin shopping.

Garry G
Apr-11-2004, 6:01am
Grsnovi you are correct. I'm not out shopping. I just wanted to know if the Washburn was worth the 350.00 owed to me and apparently it is and more. I think I'll do the deal and add my name to the list of aspiring mandolin players. Thanks to all who responded.

Apr-11-2004, 12:57pm
Hi Garry,

I think that the Washburn is easily worth clearing a $350 debt and what is important is that YOU like the sound of the instrument. Once you have some mando miles under your belt you may want something more.

Although my Washburn is now in the closet, I wouldn't hesitate to take it out and about or perform with it (as it has a pickup already on it). Since I would never be viewed as a stand-in for Sam Bush, Dave Grisman, Chris Thile or Mike Marshall, nobody is going to blame the mandolin...


Apr-11-2004, 6:02pm
The instrument is worth what you have in it. You also have a better than average starter mandolin, better than what I started on. if you upgrade later you should be able to put a good down payment when you sell the Washburn.