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Thread: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

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    Post Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    Hi there,

    Just wondering if anyone can give me any information on a Washburn 2-point A-style mandolin which I picked up recently? I know there has been a previous thread on older Washburns, but I would love to find out more about this particular instrument. The model number is M-7SSB, and the serial number is 3738. Sunburst finish, nice purfling, quite heavy. Some Washburns were made in the eighties and I would like to know if it dates from that period. Any info welcome - thanks!

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    A picture (or three) paints a thousand words and will illicit far more informative replies - welcome to the forum from a sassenach!

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    Thanks, Ray, working on it!Click image for larger version. 

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    Hope this is a help...
    Last edited by douglas; Sep-29-2020 at 1:47pm.

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    I owned the identical instrument.
    Mine was custom made in the late 70s early 80s for Jethro Burns. Not just a Jethro Burns model as was my same vintage F style top of the line at that time, also made in Japan. I bought it from Chet Atkin's collection (Jethro's brother in law) .

    It was made in Japan and of the highest quality. I (sadly) sold it and a few other mandolins and guitars when I pushed my right hand into a wood working machine back around 1992. Could not play for 2 years.

    Regret that sale.

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    I'm grateful to you for this info, Jeff. I paid £150 for mine, so I think I probably got a bargain.
    So sorry to hear about your misfortune. I trust that you have fully recovered and are
    still pickin'!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    I wonder if the instrument mentioned made for Jethro Burns was an M-7S. Here is a thread on that model with a photo further down:

    https://www.mandolincafe.com/forum/t...-Washburn-M-7S

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    Many thanks, Nick, I hadn't seen this really interesting thread. This narrows it down - it looks as if mine was built in the late 70s - I think they must have used a different system of serial numbering then, as my serial number begins "37...". The cover on my Jethro Burns Complete Mandolin Book shows a two-point with f-holes, a tortoiseshell pickguard and what seems to be part of a motif on the peghead, so not the same as mine.
    I'd like to know how much my two-point is worth - not that I have any intention of getting rid of it!

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    Sometimes going to the manufacturer's (importers) website can be very helpful.

    Instruments with serial numbers that have 4 characters are from the 1970’s and early 1980’s.
    There is no serial number information or tracking capability for pre-1978 models.
    It's after 78, into the early 80's.

    https://www.washburn.com/faq/

    As much as the current Washburn company touts it's history there is no connection to the earlier instruments built by Lyon and Healy and Tonk Brothers other than the name.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    Thanks, Mike, I think that's as close as I'm likely to get. I did write to Washburn, but got no reply. They probably thought I should have checked their site. Yes, I knew that they'd "borrowed" the name.

    Anyway, that clears it up now!

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    It even got me curious. I bought a Washburn parlor guitar in 1993 from a local store. It's in the 93 catalog on the site but not the 93 spec/price sheet. This seems like more of an afterthought. You might get lucky and find a catalog page from the time period but they certainly don't have it.
    "Bargain instruments are no bargains if you can't play them". These are the words of J. Garber.

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    Thanks, Mike. I'm very happy with all the information I've had from everyone. I won't be selling it any time soon! I'll keep looking out for an old catalogue...

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    "I wonder if the instrument mentioned made for Jethro Burns was an M-7S. Here is a thread on that model with a photo further down"

    You are correct .. it was a 7S-BR and of the best quality top and backs and sides. Outstanding instrument with very low action without buzz.

    I sold it to Norman Levine (who supplied me with my 2 custom ordered 2 Seifferts which I also had to sell at the same time)

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    two t's and one hyphen fatt-dad's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    does it have the country of manufacture? My first thought, if made in Japan, was a sister to all the others? I've had a few of those - both 12 fret and 15 fret models. Yours is asymmetric; however, and unique to those I've seen from Asia.

    Otherwise, I know nothing, but it's cool and I'd like to know where it was made.

    Cheers!

    f-d
    ¡papá gordo ain’t no madre flaca!

    '20 A3, '30 L-1, '97 914, 2012 Cohen A5, 2012 Muth A5, '14 OM28A

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    Default Re: Washburn Mandolin - from 1980s?

    Unfortunately there's no indication of country of origin. The label simply says "Hand crafted in the Washburn tradition of Chicago".
    There's a stencilled number on the side: "08 1054 1057", but I don't know what that represents. Jeff (see above) seems pretty sure
    it was made in Japan.

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