View Full Version : Washburn m-7sn

Jan-18-2008, 1:10pm
I gave this mandolin to my brother as a gift right around 1980 and it has sat in it’s case ever since. He is going to give it back to me on “permanent loan”. I have been trying to find out something (or any thing) about this instrument but have so far only found one store that is selling a used one and one guy who has some photos posted on a webshots account. If any one knows any thing about this mandolin I sure would appreciate the help. What I am trying to find out is what are the woods and are they solid? Where it fit in the Washburn product line i.e. low end, middle, upper end and what it might be worth so I can insure it. Thanks in advance for the help and I will post a picture tomorrow after I pick it up from him.

Jeff Hildreth
Jan-18-2008, 1:18pm
The 7 was the highest number ion order of quality

starting at 1, 2, 3 etc

Is this an F style or is it a 2 point ?

These were Japanaese made and may have had Jethro Burns name somewhere on it

Jan-18-2008, 1:49pm
Thanks for the information. Here is what I can remember with out holding the mandolin. It is the two-point model and I don’t recall if the finish is sunburst or natural as it was 27 (ouch!) years ago since I last saw it. So if I understand what you are saying correctly this is a pretty good mandolin as it is the Jethro Burns signature model and being a 7 series makes it just about top of the range. I am looking forward more than ever to getting it tomorrow.

Jeff Hildreth
Jan-18-2008, 6:01pm
I owned one.. got it from Chet Atkins after Jethro Burn's death.

The S means solid and I believe the N means natural

Mine was a 7-sb sunburst mine was quilted maple of the highest quality

I stupidly sold mine and have regretted it since.

Jan-18-2008, 6:27pm
The book on Washburn history by John Teagle notes this about the M-7SW - if indeed its the same model you are asking about:

"A short lived reissue of the late-teens early 20's Lyon & Healy Style B was available for a short time in the early 80's, built with carved tops and backs. Called the "Country Mandolin", the M7SW had a higher (model) number than the Jethro Burns models only because all the other numbers were being used. This is not to suggest that they were not nicely designed, having the two point asymetrical body shape of the old Washburn/Lyon&Healy A' and B's, and the sytlish peghead of the old B's and C's. The black binding and oval soundhole also reached back to the 20's as did the solid spruce and book matched solid maple."

The sales flyer for this model lists as features:

Country Mandolin M-7SW
Original extended cutaway design
Hand carved solid spruce top
Ebony fingerboard with pearl dot inlays
Adjustable compensated rosewood bridge
Washburn style headstock
Hand-carved curly maple back
Available in tobacco sunburst and grained brown

Picture shows it in a rectangular hard shell case. That's all I can find on this model.


Martin Jonas
Jan-18-2008, 6:35pm
If this is indeed the asymmetric two-point model Mark is describing, then this is a pretty exciting (and pretty rare) mandolin. Unlike just about any other carved mandolin on the market (both then and now), this one is not a more-or-less-successful copy of an original Gibson model. This one is a copy of a Lyon & Healy, a distinctly differently constructed and differently-voiced concept of the carved mandolin, and by no means an inferior one.


Jan-18-2008, 6:58pm
These are pretty rare models and most I have seen have been highly regarded by their owners. As I recall, the early 80’s Washburn Jethro Burns F-5 style mandos were Model numbered as M4, M5S (or SW) and M6S (or SW) – and M6SW was the high end model with hand carved solid spruce top, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and bridge, flamed AAA maple sides and back, and very cool “rope” purfling on the top edges. As noted above, the M7SW had a higher model number than the Jethro Burns F models only because all the other numbers were being used (the M2 and M3 were A style lower grade instruments). These Washburn mandos from the early 80’s era were made in Japan and were usually built with very good quality control and a thinner finish - as a result, they generally sound very nice with good tone and volume.

Jan-18-2008, 9:09pm
ok, i have a wasburn f5 jethro burns model m5s-sb. not rope binding, but regular w-b-w (more like yellow color) binding. Is there a difference between "s" and "sw"? serial number starts with 82... so i believe it was made in 1982. i was going to sell it (thin the herd) but i'd like to know more about it.

Jeff Hildreth
Jan-18-2008, 10:01pm
I also owned a 1979 M6S with the herringbone/rope binding.. I bought it from Mandolin Bros.. It was made in Japan to a very high standard..
again.. stupidly sold this instrument...

Tiny Moore played it and liked it...

While the written description may lead you to believe this was an L&H copy the 7 was not.. it had its own characteristics more "in the style of" rather than a copy

David Grisman played mine at one of his clinics in Carmel Calif around 92 ish
These instruments (7's) IMNSHO were best suited to classical and Jazz...

Jeff Hildreth
Jan-20-2008, 9:04pm
Any news of the 7 http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Photos ?

Jan-21-2008, 4:15pm
Charles Johnson had one of those for sale a while ago I think.
It was a sort of a wine/burgundy colour and looked very nice.
I resisted buying it but it did catch my attention.

Jan-22-2008, 7:52am
A quick update. My brother got snowed in (or was it out) this past week end . He was trying to get to our mothers house but the snow prevented it. Any way I should see him again in six weeks or so and get the mandolin then. I will post pictures when I do. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif

Jeff Hildreth
Jan-22-2008, 12:49pm
Send a UPS "call tag" ! ! : )

If the instrument is what I think it is, worth it.

Bird in hand and all that

Good Luck