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Thread: George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

  1. #1

    Default George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

    Hi, I am a mandolin newbie and bought the George Washburn model above. It sounds good and loud versus other newer mandolins I tried. Did I make a good choice for my first mandolin?

  2. #2

    Default Re: George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

    I assume it was used? I would imagine it is fine assuming it is in good order. There are so many entry level mandolins to choose from these days. Some people recommend paying a bit more for one that you will wish to keep for longer but for learning the basics, there is no need to pay out a fortune. Obviously, you want a mandolin that will be okay in terms of its playable nature. I started on a daunting old bowlback but in my early days I was just concerned about not dropping the pick and rarely fretted a note!

  3. #3
    Registered User Timbofood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI.

    Default Re: George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

    If YOU like it, you did fine! Have as much fun as you possibly can with it. Only you will know when you think you want to get something different.
    Welcome to one of the many levels of Hades! After you get sucked in, you will understand what I mean.
    Timothy F. Lewis
    "If brains was lard, that boy couldn't grease a very big skillet" J.D. Clampett

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  5. #4
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Rochester NY 14610

    Default Re: George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

    If you paid around $200 you did OK. Solid machine-carved spruce top (according to the specs), laminated maple back and sides. The fingerboard is described as "engineered wood," which I would guess is some form of wood composite; dunno what to say about that. Can't speak to the quality of the metal parts (tuners and tailpiece), but they're probably at least serviceable.

    Crucial variable is if it's properly set up. Most entry level instruments don't get the benefit of a shop set-up, unless you get 'em from certain mandolin-specialist dealers. The major on-line sellers just take them out of the shipping boxes from Asia, wrap 'em up and send them to you. So you get "luck of the draw," maybe well set up, maybe not.

    By the way, don't be misled by the hyperbolic Washburn "history" about their storied American heritage. That "Washburn" line of instruments disappeared decades ago, when Lyon & Healy dropped most of their stringed instrument manufacturing to concentrate exclusively on building harps. Current Washburns are Asian-made, decent instruments but not at all related to the Washburns of a century or more ago.

    Also by the way, there was no "George Washburn." "Washburn" was George Lyon's middle name, and was given to one of the more upscale lines of Lyon & Healy instruments.
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  7. #5

    Default Re: George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

    Thank you. I restrung the mandolin right away. It is in beautiful shape and I love the sound - very clear. It was used and I paid less than $100 for it. I am enjoying mando lessons on YouTube and working out of an Alfred's book on learning. My grandfather played mandolin - his was a bowl back as I recall - this brings back great memories. Thank you all.

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  9. #6

    Default Re: George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

    If you paid less than $100, that's great- now all you need to do is stick at it and you will improve. This tends to happen suddenly after long periods of effort that appears not to pay off. It's the same as learning to ride a bike. You fall off dozens of times and then you try again and you are cycling away merrily- yet all previous attempts appeared to be a failure- yet you were in fact learning something.

  10. #7

    Default Re: George Washburn Mandolin Model M-1S/TS

    Thanks NickR - It is a journey. I will happily pick away at it. I appreciate your posting!

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