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What's Up With Washburn Lately?

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  • What's Up With Washburn Lately?

    I read somewhere that Washburn is under new ownership and I'm wondering if it's a good thing or not. A handful of their endorsers left (Scott Ian is playing Jackson again and Dan Donegan is playing Schecter) and, even stranger, their Idol line has been kind of gutted. The number of models offered in the unique, and in my opinion excellent, Idol shape has dropped and most of the guitars now labeled "Idol" are LP clones. I know they are in a competitive market and have to appeal to people with that LP body shape but it doesn't really say "faith in the brand" when that happens.

    Is the company doing well? Has anyone played a new Washburn from this year? How are they in terms of quality?

  • #2
    And now it seems as if their entire site is down.
    Mazi Bee Militia!
    JJ Pistols Kickfụck Brigade
    PpP
    My gear list is in serious need of an update...

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    • #3
      About a year ago, I bought a guitar from a guy who claimed to have been their VP of Marketing. He lived near where I was working and dropped the guitar off and asked if we needed marketing people since he just got let go. He seemed pretty convincing saying the company was headed in a different direction, moving exclusively to Asian and Indonesian assembly, changing their line of guitars, dropping the Idol models, etc.
      "I've got a briefcase of thin air. I can play some tricks on you, pretend that I don't care." The Contrast

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      • #4
        About a year ago, I bought a guitar from a guy who claimed to have been their VP of Marketing. He lived near where I was working and dropped the guitar off and asked if we needed marketing people since he just got let go. He seemed pretty convincing saying the company was headed in a different direction, moving exclusively to Asian and Indonesian assembly, changing their line of guitars, dropping the Idol models, etc.


        Asian and Indonesian assembly EXCLUSIVELY? That's strange... maybe the whole company will become one giant budget line? Now I'm really curious...

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        • #5
          They used to be a top of the line instrument like a PRS back in the 70's 80s. Those didnt sell all that big and werent profitable to build. I think they began to follow the ibanez model too closely late 90s and 2000 and just lost quality control in the budget market selling nothing but the name pasted on fancy looking junk. Too bad because they did have some high quality guitars in they're time.

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          • #6
            Another casualty of a guitar company that just couldn't compete, either upper-end or lower end; they just never caught on.

            Even as relatively successful as the Idol series was, I really can't think of one Washburn model, going back to the '70s, that was a huge hit, or would be considered as "iconic" or even "classic".
            This used to be a great place. Thanks, GCI, for killing it.See y'all at Wein's.

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            • #7
              someone I know has an HM superstrat type from last year, very good all around, I would like to try the new idol shape type, but it almost seems too cheap for the features (set neck and so on). The old idol shape probably had a lack of demand, I didn't go for the look. Also I hear the Nuno series is still good, the 2 comes with a Bill Lawrence USA pu and it's not even a high end model.

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              • #8
                I've never played a Washburn that I would consider buying. Never have liked the look, or feel of their stuff.
                My Gear:
                2008 Fender American Standard Telecaster
                1998 Squire MIM Stratocaster
                Takamine acoustic
                Fender P-Bass

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                • #9
                  From Wikipedia:

                  U.S Music Corporation
                  is a company based in Mundelein, Illinois. US Music Corp is an international musical instrument company that manufactures and distributes products worldwide under the Washburn Guitars, Parker Guitars, Randall Amplifiers, Eden Electronics, Oscar Schmidt, Hagstrom, Jay Turser, Jay J, Ministar, Phonic, Mano Percussion, Quik Lok, and Profile brand names. US Music is a subsidiary of Jam Industries, Ltd.


                  Washburns's website is sure enough down. They introduced a crapload of new models at NAMM last month, though. Weird.

                  US Music's HQ in Mundelein is the old Washburn HQ/factory. I think they still recently made stuff there, like the Parkers.

                  I used to live in Mundelein and went to a Washburn anniversary party there circa 2003(?) featuring George Clinton
                  and his P-Funk/Guitar Army circus. It was mucho fun. US Music acquired them a couple years after that, and moved Washburn production offshore, as I recall.
                  ************************************







                  Originally Posted by tedmich


                  "incoherent thoughts can fly free in the pristine openness of a vacuum, while they are tortured to death in the smooshy morass of your brain...oh man I sat on my cheesburgers..."




                  HCEG Bluesman

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                  • #10
                    They used to be a top of the line instrument like a PRS back in the 70's 80s. Those didnt sell all that big and werent profitable to build. I think they began to follow the ibanez model too closely late 90s and 2000 and just lost quality control in the budget market selling nothing but the name pasted on fancy looking junk. Too bad because they did have some high quality guitars in they're time.



                    This. A shame. Some really great guitars in their day. GREAT proprietary pickups.
                    "All metal is muscle memory" - NeoAngelo

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                    • #11
                      Whaddya know. Musta been a website redesign, or somthing. They're back:

                      http://www.washburn.com/index.php
                      ************************************







                      Originally Posted by tedmich


                      "incoherent thoughts can fly free in the pristine openness of a vacuum, while they are tortured to death in the smooshy morass of your brain...oh man I sat on my cheesburgers..."




                      HCEG Bluesman

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                      • #12
                        Washburn is owned by US Music Corp which owns Randall, Parker, Eden, Jay Turser and a few others. Regarding Washburn, their US shop has only been around since the late 80s I believe with Japanese builders making their better lines prior to that. Not surprised if they are downsizing in this economy and perhaps eliminating their US and Custom Shop lines.

                        The US shop was a very good shop IMO. I have a US made WM3 and Laredo that are just flawless instruments in every way. I had a P4 which I sold to finance my Gibson Studio Lite which was also a very fine instrument. My Washburns are every bit as nice as my Gibson, my US Hamers or my Custom Fender.
                        My 9/11 Tribute Song: https://vimeo.com/49284582

                        The 9/11 Wall of Shame (caught stepping in it):
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3s4_dkKn8Y
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6Xoxaf1Al0
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jPzAakHPpk
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n7uJ...feature=relmfu
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QU961SGps8g

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                        • #13
                          Paul Stanley PS2000 10th anniversary going for $5000




                          Perhaps **************** like this could be the cause of the financial problems.


                          Good news is that they do have several models listed on the site as still being MIA.
                          AxeFXII with these: Axis | BMG RS | Strat |N4| LP Classic | SG Classic | Sheraton | Tele

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                          • #14
                            For some reason I always associate Washburn with good quality but affordable acoustics.

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                            • #15
                              I don't know anything about their electrics, but I started a thread in the acoustic forum singing the praises of the Washburn D10S. Without exception, everyone agreed that it's an awesome value and a great sounding guitar. If I didn't already have a Takamine acoustic that I love, I'd be all over the Washburn D10S.
                              Gear & Stuff

                              Captain in the SG Army, 101st Airborne Division
                              Honorary Mention on bassesofalessergod's "a list of jerks", 4/17/07
                              Proud owner of The Legendary Orange IKEA Gorm Pedalboard

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