View Full Version : Ebay Washburn

Martin Jonas
Apr-28-2004, 11:04am
There's a Washburn bowlback on Ebay UK (http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=3720389980&category=10179&sspagename=STRK%3AMEBWA%3AIT&rd=1). It looks a well-maintained instrument, with recent luthier overhaul, but I'm a bit concerned about the wisdom of retrofitting a truss rod to the neck of a vintage bowlback. Any opinions on what that would do to the tone? I'm also surprised that it has a flattop without cant (which I thought was an indication of the lower price and quality bowlbacks), but at the same time it seems to have about 30 ribs from what's visible (which I thought corresponded to the upper part of the Washburn range). Anybody here can put this one into context?


Jim Garber
Apr-28-2004, 11:24am
From a copy of a 1909 Lyon & Healy catalog, it seems to resemble a style 235 which should have 28 rosewood ribs. It also says that the soundhole is inlaid with "goldfish pearl" tho i is hard to tell from the photos on the site. The one in the catalog shows a cant. I have a similar era Washburn that looks like the top flattened so that is possibly what happened here.

As far as a truss rod:I suppose it would not hurt the structural integrity of the instrument. Sonically, it will add mass to the neck which probably makes it louder. Who knows it might help or it might sound ridiculous.


Apr-29-2004, 6:44am
I once owned a Washburn which a so-called luthier put a truss-rod in the neck. The important thing to keep in mind is I said that "I once owned". It didn't do anything for the instrument in tone or volume. It just threw the balance off big time. Some folks just can't seem to leave well enough alone.


Apr-29-2004, 11:09am
I don't know about the bulk of a proper adjustable truss rod a la Gibson, but the later Washburn Neapolitan types were actually built with a thin, flat steel bar built into the neck for reinforcement. I guess there is some slant precedent. The seller doesn't clarify if this is a slight and simple steel bar or a proper truss with all the bulky, adjustable accouterments. I think I'd shy away from the latter.

May-01-2004, 8:07am
Most Washburn bowlbacks have a non adjustable steel truss rod buried under the fingerboard and the top...and Levoi is a reputed luthier - FWIW