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Thread: Washburn 220- 1906-15 Nice?

  1. #1

    Default Washburn 220- 1906-15 Nice?

    This mandolin might appeal to bowl back fans as it appears to be in good order and the price is very reasonable.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/29434508802...0AAOSwksZhFZKq

  2. #2
    Pataphysician Joe Bartl's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washburn 220- 1906-15 Nice?

    Is it just my eyes, or the angle on the first photo that makes there appear to be quite a bit of relief as you move down the fingerboard?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Washburn 220- 1906-15 Nice?

    You may well be right about the neck's profile and at 100 plus years of age, it would not be unusual to have an excess of relief. Anyone interested should as for a photo showing the neck to judge this better or ask for a measurement of the gap between the fret 10 and the string. I would ask him how many peenies he can get into the gap- more than two would suggest a problem to me but I assume these old instruments had quite high action when new.

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    Full Grown and Cussin' brunello97's Avatar
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    Default Re: Washburn 220- 1906-15 Nice?

    Quote Originally Posted by NickR View Post
    ......but I assume these old instruments had quite high action when new.
    I think that is an erroneous assumption, Nick. I don't think high action was the norm.....

    I've owned numerous Washburn / American Conservatory mandolins (including a 220 model) and quite a few other bowlbacks from this era: Martin, Vega, Favilla, Bruno, Schmidt, Ricca, Weymann, Waldo, etc.) that had excellent playing action.

    This is what we often see: 100+ years of string tension causing a bit of top deflection and the neck angle changes.
    It doesn't take much to throw things out of wack. Which is why adjustable truss rods do their thing.

    With their dovetail neck joint, these do offer the promise of a much easier (relatively) neck reset process than their Italian bowlback cugini.
    But it is a bit of work.

    The pity here is that the instrument is lovely and in good cosmetic condition.

    One might fiddle with the bridge here and improve the playability somewhat, but I'm with Joe...I'd sadly steer clear.

    Mick
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  6. #5

    Default Re: Washburn 220- 1906-15 Nice?

    Yes, I suppose it is easy to assume they were all made with a high-ish action because that's what we see, today, after all those years of string tension. I have measured the gap on my Vinaccia- which belonged to my great grandfather and the neck is very good and its action is 2.6mm at fret 11 which is pretty good for a 130 odd year old instrument. This mandolin sold for $142- let's hope the buyer is pleased with it!

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