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kammy
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#1
26th February 2012
Old 26th February 2012
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Do not buy washburn

I just wanted to share my negative experience with Washburn with anyone here who is considering buying one of their products.

I bought an expensive D64SWK Bluegrass model guitar. Because their Chinese factory did not let the wood age properly, the neck wood expanded and caused cracks. Washburn's "Lifetime Warrantee" is garbage.

I had to pay an extra $180 out of my own pocket to get it fixed at my local luthier.

My guitar was made in China, and the serial starts with a G so it was made at their Chinese "Grand Rewards" factory which I found out that they are known for inferior workmanship... from improperly set necks, to using improperly aged woods.. all the way thru to shipping guitars in the wrong sized cases!

You can follow my story closer on Washburn's forum:
crack in my D64SKW

In closing.. SAVE YOURSELF A HEADACHE, DO NOT BUY WASHBURN !!!!
#2
26th February 2012
Old 26th February 2012
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kammy View Post
I just wanted to share my negative experience with Washburn with anyone here who is considering buying one of their products.

I bought an expensive D64SWK Bluegrass model guitar. Because their Chinese factory did not let the wood age properly, the neck wood expanded and caused cracks. Washburn's "Lifetime Warrantee" is garbage.

I had to pay an extra $180 out of my own pocket to get it fixed at my local luthier.

My guitar was made in China, and the serial starts with a G so it was made at their Chinese "Grand Rewards" factory which I found out that they are known for inferior workmanship... from improperly set necks, to using improperly aged woods.. all the way thru to shipping guitars in the wrong sized cases!

You can follow my story closer on Washburn's forum:
crack in my D64SKW

In closing.. SAVE YOURSELF A HEADACHE, DO NOT BUY WASHBURN !!!!
does this belong in the high end??

... hate to say it like this, but, that is NOT an expensive guitar.. its a lot of $$ to pee away ... but you are not going to get a great guitar for that buck...I have a guitar that I call my 'work stick' that I paid about that for.. it stays in tune, plays fine and the electronics sound good in a PA ..but the guitar itself sounds a bit like wet cardboard.. its stable because all but the top are laminated woods (even the neck is multi piece) I usually call that PLYWOOD. a guitar in that price range that has solid sides or back is NOT going to have aged or select wood...they are made to sell ...not to play .... I have played guitars in that price range the sounded good but lacked stability. you don't get a luthier on the job for that money..

my 5 cents worth
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#3
26th February 2012
Old 26th February 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerbrain View Post
does this belong in the high end??

... hate to say it like this, but, that is NOT an expensive guitar.. its a lot of $$ to pee away ... but you are not going to get a great guitar for that buck...I have a guitar that I call my 'work stick' that I paid about that for.. it stays in tune, plays fine and the electronics sound good in a PA ..but the guitar itself sounds a bit like wet cardboard.. its stable because all but the top are laminated woods (even the neck is multi piece) I usually call that PLYWOOD. a guitar in that price range that has solid sides or back is NOT going to have aged or select wood...they are made to sell ...not to play .... I have played guitars in that price range the sounded good but lacked stability. you don't get a luthier on the job for that money..

my 5 cents worth
I am going to have to agree. I looked on line and saw the the D64SKW model goes for $799. A good chunk of change yes, but that buys you a cheap guitar (new) these days. Hate that you are going through all the trouble, but as a guitar player I would not have high expectations for an $800 guitar. For that kind of money it's best to buy used. You live and you learn.
#4
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
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I have a custom shop Washburn n4 in padauk and any high end Washburn is hand made in the USA in Chicago, and honestly, to a very high standard. same as Parker.

the construction of at least the n4 range is extremely high, especially the 2.0 models. make gibsons look silly. and they are a lot more than $799 I'm afraid!

there's a lot I hate about Washburn to be honest, but the build quality of the stuff made in the USA is great. I wouldn't buy a non USA Washburn, to be honest. in fact the N-series range is all I care about.

I'd spend your cash elsewhere!
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#5
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
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The only guitar worth a Damn at that price is a Yamaha ac3r or m. All solid and top notch craftsmanship ( for a Chinese factory guitar). I put it above Mexican made Taylor's 1 and 2 series ( laminate) and way above Martin x series.
If you want American made you are gonna be spending a minimum of 1300 new for a factory all solid guitar. Hand made and the price goes up. Sorry for your bad experience but now you know.
Peace
#6
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
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799 might get you a decent solid body electric .. but won't get you anywhere close to a quality 'acoustic' instrument .. sorry .. anything below even double that amount is going to be iffy ... start at $1800 and go up for a pro level acoustic (with no electronics).
#7
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
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Unless you're in Australia, then you can get a Cole Clark Fat-Lady 1 for around $1000. absolutely beautiful acoustic guitars from a company started by the ex-director of Maton.

Otherwise yeah, like The Beatsmith said, Nunos N4 electric , yummmmo.
#8
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
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Confusingly, I have exactly the opposite experience with my "force 5" washburn bass, made in china. Its easily the best sounding and best built bass I've ever played on.
#9
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
  #9
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#10
27th February 2012
Old 27th February 2012
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
washburned
Ooo, Good one. Touché
#11
28th February 2012
Old 28th February 2012
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my buddy got a really nice made in America Washburn bass off ebay for $250, would easily sell on Craigslist for twice that. It's a nicer than my Carvin, which is no slouch itself.

So I guess if you can find the American-made Washburn stuff, it's worth checking out...
kammy
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#12
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc Mixwell View Post
washburned
nicely done!

$1k might not seem like a lot to some of you guys, but for $5-600 you can get a used Larrivee L-03 on eBay that CAN compete with the big boys.
If I had unlimited money I would prob go for a Santa Cruz or high-end Larrivee model... I will NEVER buy a Washburn again no matter what!

I had both of my threads (Washburn forum, and Acoustic guitar forum) closed before I got around to responding back to them. Most posters rubbed it in my face that I didn't follow Washburn's warrantee instructions to a tee and it's my own fault. To those people.. YES, I know I didn't, but that's not the point. The point is, Washburn Customer Service dept could have handled this situation much, much differently.

Instead of offering to compentate $180 repair bill for a guitar that was obviously built defective, they gave me the run-around due to not following each bullet point in their warrantee process. They missed the plot.

Some other companies put a lot of value into their customer service,.. and those are the companies I will buy from and recommend.
Last year I bought a couple of Snark tuners. One of them started bugging out and then stopped working. I tried a different battery but it was obvious that the tuner just died. I emailed the company and they said NO PROBLEM WE WILL MAIL YOU A REPLACEMENT ASAP. 3 days later I had another Snark tuner in my hands, and all I had to do was email them a photo of my receipt. I never filled out any warrantee. They just did it because they value good customer service. Yes I know this is a much smaller ticket item, but that's not the point. I have had similar positive experiences with other companies with larger ticket items as well.

MORAL OF THE STORY: In my eyes, if the product had not been defective to begin with, this whole situation would never have happened, and THIS is the reason I made my posts. To warn you not to make the same mistakes I made, starting with not buying a Washburn made in China... and ending with that Washburn does not stand behind their product.
#13
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsgear View Post
799 might get you a decent solid body electric .. but won't get you anywhere close to a quality 'acoustic' instrument .. sorry .. anything below even double that amount is going to be iffy ... start at $1800 and go up for a pro level acoustic (with no electronics).
I would consider my Larrivee to be 'pro' and 'quality', $1000 used (but in like-new condition). Def less than $1800 new. Not the most expensive acoustic, but many pro guitar players have played it or heard it and were impressed.

What make/model would you consider a minimum for a 'quality', 'pro' acoustic?
kammy
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#14
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
  #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rumbletone View Post
I would consider my Larrivee to be 'pro' and 'quality', $1000 used (but in like-new condition). Def less than $1800 new. Not the most expensive acoustic, but many pro guitar players have played it or heard it and were impressed.

What make/model would you consider a minimum for a 'quality', 'pro' acoustic?

what model is your larrivee?
#15
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
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I was just talking NEW prices. I never implied that with patience you couldn't find a nice guitar used for $1000 (or even less with luck).

ps - I own a Larrivee L19 (circa 1996).. love it love it love it !!!

The L03 is fine , but it's a 'satin' finish that isn't my cup 'o tea. Yes, You got a nice guitar for $1000 for sure.

Note: Elderly has 2 used Larrivee L03's at $1350 & $1500 (plus taxes + shipping) which are OK deals but really only because Elderly is a store you can trust - i.e. a real 'brick and morter' store with a great long term rep.

LARRIVEE - Flat-top Guitars - Elderly Instruments

I absolutely would buy used of course if possible .. but for acoustics IMHO that limits you to local deals w/local pickup .. unless you want to take a BIG gamble and have a 'wafer thin' acoustic guitar shipped to you via the gang at UPS/FedEx .. and buy it sight unseen without trying it first (even bigger risk).

Note that I just saw my L19 for $2000 used on ebay which btw is a GREAT DEAL ( certainly vs the L03 at Elderly above ) - but in terms of new there is VERY little on the market for less that $1800 new (list) .. YMMV ... to each his/her own .

For example, the entry level Martin (D18) is $500 more than that up here in Canada ($2300 ++ add 13% tax too). And I don't even think a Martin D18 is particularly good these days - very hit/miss I find.

This is a good starting point for the used market :

Flat-top Guitars - Elderly Instruments

Cheers and happy hunting.

Js.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rumbletone View Post
I would consider my Larrivee to be 'pro' and 'quality', $1000 used (but in like-new condition). Def less than $1800 new. Not the most expensive acoustic, but many pro guitar players have played it or heard it and were impressed.

What make/model would you consider a minimum for a 'quality', 'pro' acoustic?
#16
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
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Sorry, I assumed the Larrivee guy who posted had a Larrivee L-03 for $1000 .. mixed up with a later post.
#17
2nd March 2012
Old 2nd March 2012
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Quote:
Most posters rubbed it in my face that I didn't follow Washburn's warrantee instructions to a tee and it's my own fault.
You didn't not follow the instructions to the tee...you weren't even close. You didn't buy from an authorized dealer, and you had the repair done before you contacted them about it, by a non-authorized service center (so they would be paying large a premium over what they'd pay to one of their own service centers). I don't know of any manufacturer that would cover you in that situation.

Quote:
Instead of offering to compentate $180 repair bill for a guitar that was obviously built defective, they gave me the run-around due to not following each bullet point in their warrantee process. They missed the plot.
I think you're the one who has missed the plot (point?). There were only three bullet points and you missed two of them. Since you didn't buy it from an authorized dealer they have no way to know the history of the guitar. It could have been a factory second, or one that sat in a warehouse for months, or one that was liquidated from a dealer going out of business, or one that had been returned because it was defective and somehow found its way into another dealer's hands. Your issue really should be with the dealer you purchased the guitar from...why didn't you take it back to them?
#18
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kammy View Post
what model is your larrivee?
DV-03
#19
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsgear View Post
I was just talking NEW prices. I never implied that with patience you couldn't find a nice guitar used for $1000 (or even less with luck).

ps - I own a Larrivee L19 (circa 1996).. love it love it love it !!!

The L03 is fine , but it's a 'satin' finish that isn't my cup 'o tea. Yes, You got a nice guitar for $1000 for sure.

Note: Elderly has 2 used Larrivee L03's at $1350 & $1500 (plus taxes + shipping) which are OK deals but really only because Elderly is a store you can trust - i.e. a real 'brick and morter' store with a great long term rep.

LARRIVEE - Flat-top Guitars - Elderly Instruments

I absolutely would buy used of course if possible .. but for acoustics IMHO that limits you to local deals w/local pickup .. unless you want to take a BIG gamble and have a 'wafer thin' acoustic guitar shipped to you via the gang at UPS/FedEx .. and buy it sight unseen without trying it first (even bigger risk).

Note that I just saw my L19 for $2000 used on ebay which btw is a GREAT DEAL ( certainly vs the L03 at Elderly above ) - but in terms of new there is VERY little on the market for less that $1800 new (list) .. YMMV ... to each his/her own .

For example, the entry level Martin (D18) is $500 more than that up here in Canada ($2300 ++ add 13% tax too). And I don't even think a Martin D18 is particularly good these days - very hit/miss I find.

This is a good starting point for the used market :

Flat-top Guitars - Elderly Instruments

Cheers and happy hunting.

Js.

Yeah - I suppose if Larrivee's are going to be cheap anywhere, it's here in Vancouver (where mine was made). If I had to pay $2000 for it then I may have ended up with a different guitar, since there seems to be lots of competition in the ~$2000 range, but not much in the $1000 range. . .
#20
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
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This is pretty much identical to my L19 :

1995 Larrivee LS-19 Special Acoustic Guitar Rosewood Spruce Made In Canada L-19! | eBay

Note that the L-19 has been out of production for many years.

Also note that to my knowledge the Vancouver Canada factory only makes the cheaper entry level guitars (mostly satin finishes). While the USA factory makes all the higher end of the lineup. That's because Jean Larrivee and family moved the head office/design down to the USA years ago.

J.
#21
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlsgear View Post
This is pretty much identical to my L19 :

1995 Larrivee LS-19 Special Acoustic Guitar Rosewood Spruce Made In Canada L-19! | eBay

Note that the L-19 has been out of production for many years.

Also note that to my knowledge the Vancouver Canada factory only makes the cheaper entry level guitars (mostly satin finishes). While the USA factory makes all the higher end of the lineup. That's because Jean Larrivee and family moved the head office/design down to the USA years ago.

J.
yeah - i heard that only the 3 series are made in Vancouver, the rest in California now.
#22
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #22
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I am telling you guys. If you want a sub $1000 all solid wood well made and fantastic playing and sounding guitar ( sound awesome plugged) good unplugged. Check out te Yamaha a series. It replaced my Taylor 414ce and I do not miss the Taylor. It came down to the Ac3r or the Martin gpcpa3. Obviously I wanted to spend a grand less and I felt the guitars were so similar it was crazy.
It is made in china, but at the Yamaha factory and they really did a great job of qc. It is nicer than anything close to its price range.

No brainers are Taylor's 3 series and up... Martins, larrivees and breedloves but as always it is best to play since it can vary from guitar I guitar even within the same series.
#23
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
  #23
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Thumbs up

.

IMO, the best sounding guitars for under $1k - some even under $500, especially used - are the Martin DXs.

Even resonance throughout the frequency spectrum.

Warm, not too boomy, and yet detailed.

They play great, and have a solid spruce top.

Otherwise, they're plastic, synthetic, resin, plywood, etc.

Who cares, though. They play and sound great.

If I was spending in this lower end price range - I'd start with these.

I've done many blind shootouts with the DX guitars against guitars that cost up to 20 times as much,
and these cheap Martins kick ass.

From a company that knows what they're doing, these guitars rock.

Here's one new at Sweetwater for $500. At this price, they can't be beat, IME.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DX1RAE/


.
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#24
3rd March 2012
Old 3rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sqye View Post
.

IMO, the best sounding guitars for under $1k - some even under $500, especially used - are the Martin DXs.

Even resonance throughout the frequency spectrum.

Warm, not too boomy, and yet detailed.

They play great, and have a solid spruce top.

Otherwise, they're plastic, synthetic, resin, plywood, etc.

Who cares, though. They play and sound great.

If I was spending in this lower end price range - I'd start with these.

I've done many blind shootouts with the DX guitars against guitars that cost up to 20 times as much,
and these cheap Martins kick ass.

From a company that knows what they're doing, these guitars rock.

Here's one new at Sweetwater for $500. At this price, they can't be beat, IME.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/DX1RAE/


.
I actually returned my x series Martin for the Yamaha. I had a guy a luthier at Willies ( best guitar shop in the twin cities and incredibly helpful) tell me to take it back immediately. The problem with the x series is only the tops can move. The back and sides are Rigid plastic. This is fine if you really keep you guitar properly humidified. But as soon as it dries even a little the top sinks in on those models since it is the only piece I wood that can expand or contract. Anyway, mine was brand new and dry as shit.
I am glad I returned it because the ac3r kills it in my opinion. Sound and feel are similar because of the body size and neck but it just is a little nicer in every regard. The same luthier was super impressed with the Yamaha, called it a "much nicer" guitar. Not what I was expecting since I did not buy either at willies and they only sell American made - are a Martin dealer - and usually don't care much for Chinese built guitars.

I did like the x series but the luthier brought up concerns about durability that could be ignored. --- not to mention the yamaha is all solid wood ( Sitka / rosewood / ebony fingerboard and mahogany binding).

Yamaha should pay me at this point for my PR l! Ha
#25
1st January 2014
Old 1st January 2014
  #25
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I try to take guitars on same as people. One at a time without a pre conclusion of what to expect. Fact is Washburn has been outsourcing it's manufacturing to contractor / jobbers for most of it's history & has a long reputation for mid to low range instruments. That said Japanese Yamaki made Washburns were for the most part exceptional. I believe Tacoma made a few USA models also as well as a couple of smaller Luthier USA operations. All Highly coveted by players & collectors with a wow factor that turns heads when played. Even some of the models most agree are not very good guitars can produce 1 in a thousand that somehow comes out right. If you can't find a good guitar for $800 in todays market something is wrong. You just gotta eye them like a museum curator. Smell them, crap or /and uncured wood has a distinct odor. Check out the grain pattern etc. Best advice came previous when the guy said buy from a reputable dealer. Especially if your not real experienced. Heck, I've bought over 1000 guitars & I still get stumped occasionally. All Washburns are not bad & all Martin / Taylor are not good. Breedlove's quality control seems consistent. But Buying any new guitar is a crap shoot. I like giving them 5 years or more to cure and settle. If their good by then it's likely without abuse they will stay good. Newer don't mean better. That all said I'm not a huge Washburn fan. Other than USA or MIJ manufactured. Made in China is not a big incentive for me when I buy a guitar & if I do I'm not throwing close to a grand on it regardless of the manufacturer.
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