Jim Smith with 25 of his Washburns ranging in age from over 100 years old to one year old. This represents less than 1/20th of his total collection.
Presentation model and I thought about it
awhile before I actually ordered it.
Are those numbers one and two
I have to say in doing research for this story
in your collection?
Yes ... When I received the Presentation,
the dealer also mentioned the possibility
of getting a Paramount, which was also
a high-end guitar being introduced by
Washburn for a reasonable price.
I never hit so many brick walls in my life!
Yes! It’s impossible to research the trade name.
I didn’t know when I bought that first
Presentation that it was being built by
Bourgeois Guitars. It was just sold to me as a
US-made guitar. I thought it might have been
made by the US Music custom shop, but at
the time nobody knew, until 2002 or 2003,
that Bourgeois had actually made five models
for Washburn in the mid-’90s.
The Washburn C20 Jim picked up after the interview.
He’s been looking for this rare nylon string for four years.
A Washburn D- 84 SW “koa” made by luthier John Stover.
What was the last Washburn model
We continue to buy Washburns each week.
As a matter of fact as soon as we finish
this interview I’ll be placing a bid on a C20
that’s on eBay.
I find it interesting that as a brand
Washburn is probably best known for music
that was born out of the South. But they
are a Northern company.
Yeah, that is kind of unusual. The word
Washburn itself, I think a lot of people identify
with the South. I don’t know why. In the back of
my mind, I always associate the name Washburn
with a Southern-type instrument. I don’t know if
it was advertising from the turn of the century or
something I read or players I’ve seen … I think
you’re probably right though, most people associate Washburn with a Southern-type instrument.
The reason that I go for all these Washburns
is that there is so little information from the
dealer and from US Music Corp. on models
they sold before the year 2000. They’re in the
business to sell guitars and not to archive.
They’re not like Martin or Gibson, who carry a
very distinct line of guitars and sell guitars by
serial number, and you can go back and trace
the guitar’s year of origin. With Washburn,
they’re mainly an importer of guitars.
Were all the US-made Washburns in the
1990s from Dana Bourgeois?
The USA-made guitars in the ‘90s and the early
2000s were made by three different companies.
Tacoma was one, Dana Bourgeois and his little
company did five Washburns, and then John
Stover built four models from 2002 to 2008.
Is there a mark on the guitar somewhere that
lets you know it’s a Dana Bourgeois Guitar?
Yeah, there is. It’s actually a Washburn sticker
that will have Dana Bourgeois’ initials on it
showing he had personally inspected the
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