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Thread: NMD! Washburn mandola (w/ video)

  1. #1
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default NMD! Washburn mandola (w/ video)

    Well...technically I bought it a few weeks ago, but I'm just getting time to sit down and write this. Here's a quick review of the Washburn M226SWK mandola:
    • Tone: Good, balanced, strong lows and clear highs. There's some meat to the notes.
    • Intonation: Mostly good out of the box, but I'm still tweaking. 17" scale. Low notes are a little sharp, which could be...
    • Setup: Not bad, but stereotypically high action. I've lowered it, but have room to go down more if needed.

    Notably, the bridge feet were fit pretty well to the top, but the saddle slots were all in different places. The bridge was maybe 1/16 or 3/32 off center, so I sanded down the saddle top and recut the slots. Nobody would notice, but it makes me happy.

    And I LOVE the rustic finish on this thing. The back, neck and side wood is surprisingly awesome, with some real depth in the flame.

    Here are some chords, single notes, double stops, and original tunes/melodies/musings I've written since owning this. In short, it inspires me to play, I'm VERY pleased and I would buy it again.

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    Registered User GeoMandoAlex's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMD! Washburn mandola (w/ video)

    Drew
    Thanks for posting the video. The Washburn sounds very good. I have been looking at adding one to the stable and have not been able to find too many videos (or sound clips). Was your tweaking more than just doing a good set up?

    Much appreciated.
    I can only play half as much as I want, because I only play half as much as I would like.

  4. #3
    Registered User Drew Streip's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMD! Washburn mandola (w/ video)

    Hey Alex, thanks for the reply. I'd say it was just a smidgen more than doing a basic setup, because I went out of my way to re-cut the saddle slots. It was playable from my local store -- just not optimal, because I know what I'm looking for. I'm not sure how much tweaking they did before I bought it. (They basically told me they found it in their inventory pile and forgot that they had it.)

    Things I did:
    • Sanded saddle top and recut the slots
    • Removed extra material from the nut and rounded the corners
    • Filed a couple burrs from the string holes in the tailpiece
    • Buffed the neck with 0000 steel wool
    • Lubed the tuners


    If the mandola makes its way into my performing lineup, I'll probably upgrade the tuners. They are still a bit sticky.

    If you have the know-how, I think it's a good buy. Obviously fit and finish are not on par with higher-end mandos, but part of that is the antique aesthetic. I'll be happy to take some more pictures and videos if you want.

  5. #4
    Fingers of Concrete ccravens's Avatar
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    Default Re: NMD! Washburn mandola (w/ video)

    I've heard that these can be a good bargain for anyone who can do a little set-up work.

    Sounds good.

    Like your melody at :23. Very nice.
    Chris Cravens

    Girouard A5 Mandolin
    Montana Flatiron A-Jr.
    Girouard A Mandola
    Leo Posch D-18

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