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jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4176
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 11:21 am:   Edit Post

I've been searching through some old pictures again and this is a bass I bought in the early 80's after seeing Stanley Clarke. In my naivety It was the closest thing I could find that was "sort of" alembic looking.

However I sold it eventually as I was more of a guitarist in those days. I don't recall what model of washburn bass it was but it was a through neck.
Any ideas?

bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2227
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 12:56 pm:   Edit Post

Jazzy, on this side of the Atlantic, I think I remember these were called Washburn Wing basses, similar planform to a line of guitars they sold, late 70's / early 80's. Japanese production, maybe Matsumoku.

These were contemporaries of the 'Japanese Bass Explosion' (heavily Alembic-influenced) axes like the Daions, BB Yamahas, Musician Ibanez's, Aria SB's. I always giggle when I see pieces from this time frame as I a) like John Taylor, did NOT want a Fender and b) see those massive Stars Guitars-style bridges and DiMarzio pickups, the hot ticket in those days.

The most notable user that comes to mind quickly: Bakithi Khumalo who played a fretless version of this all over Paul Simon's Graceland.

Like a lot of those axes, somewhat overlooked in the Vintage market, though guys are starting to realize what bargains they were / are. Update this with modern pickups, and a good survivor would still make a great gig axe.

Man . . . . you were really SMOKIN' back then ! !

J o e y
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4177
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 2:11 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Joey, I've never been a smoker, It was just a puff on a cigar for the photograph.

Jazzyvee
peoplechipper
Senior Member
Username: peoplechipper

Post Number: 470
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2014 - 10:38 pm:   Edit Post

Cool!

That looks like the bass version of the Eagle from that time...never seen the bass before...Tony
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5810
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 1:04 am:   Edit Post

I have one of the old Washburn Wing guitars; a Falcon as I recall. A heavy, massive feeling guitar, kind of like Alembic meets Les Paul.

I don't think the bass is an Eagle. As I recall, the Eagles had fancy inlays on the fingerboard, at least on the guitars.

Bill, tgo

(Message edited by Lbpesq on August 16, 2014)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11456
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 2:06 pm:   Edit Post

I ran a search. It seems that beyond being a Washburn Wing series bass, it is likely a Vulture, might reasonably be referred to as a Vulture II, and possibly built by Daion, rather than Motsumoku, possibly as a prototype, the prototypes having eventually been sold through regular channels. Further I'm guessing a build date of '79 or '80, as '81 and '82 apparently had long upper horns.

If you dig deep enough, you can find a number of discussions in various corners of the web, with often contradictory information. But my guess from what I've read, and the pictures I looked at, is that it's a Washburn Wing series Vulture II built by Daion. But I could easily be wrong; Washburns are not something I have any knowledge of whatsoever.
lbpesq
Senior Member
Username: lbpesq

Post Number: 5811
Registered: 7-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 1:17 am:   Edit Post

Daions were built by Yamaki.

Bill, tgo
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4181
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 12:24 pm:   Edit Post

Well I did a search for the Washburn Series Vulture II bass and found this one on audio fanzine.


http://medias.audiofanzine.com/images/normal/washburn-vulture-wing-series-518700.jpg


Looking carefully at mine and this one. I noticed some very similar imperfections in the wood under the finish. The horizontal line between the bridge and bridge pickup for instance and the dark line going broken by the E string end of the bridge pickup. So then I remembered that I changed the jack in the side of the bass for an XLR jack as I recall being told all those years ago that it would sound better for recording if I did that. I can't remember it making any difference anyway.

Anyway bingo this bass also has the same xlr socket in the side.


I then got out my little book that I used to keep all my music stuff purchases in and would you believe it the serial number is exactly the same as I have recorded in my book. So there you go, I've located completely by chance the bass I bought 22/10/1980.

I've joined the site and will try to locate the guy who posted the image. Seems like he is in France so if he wants to sell and it's cheap enough then I may consider buying it back for nostalgia. Maybe a refinish and some activators and it will be all good.

We shall see what happens.
Thanks guys for pointing me in the right direction. :-)
davehouck
Moderator
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11459
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 1:57 pm:   Edit Post

:-)
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 778
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Sunday, August 17, 2014 - 8:33 pm:   Edit Post

Washburn made some fine instruments back then. I was the owner of 2 - 3 A20 neck-thru guitars for a while and they sounded as good as 90% of the Gibsons from the same era. I think Heart used Washburns and endorsed them back in the day.

I used to have a site bookmarked that showed the Washburn catalogs from back then. They made a cool 8 string bass along the lines of the A20 explorer style too.
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 653
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 4:55 am:   Edit Post

There is one for sale in Australia going for $1500
When it rains it pours.
slawie
keith_h
Senior Member
Username: keith_h

Post Number: 2055
Registered: 2-2005
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 4:57 am:   Edit Post

That's cool about reconnecting with your old bass.

Keith
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4183
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 6:32 am:   Edit Post

Slawie, that sounds high to me as I only paid £100 ($179) when I bought it in 1980 so $1500 is dreamland. :-)
slawie
Senior Member
Username: slawie

Post Number: 654
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 3:22 pm:   Edit Post

Here is a link to the ad. There are some nice pictures.
Rare & Vintage 1970’s Washburn Vulture Bass Guitar (Wing Series) on Gumtree http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/1054372314
Also the write-up
According to the book ‘Washburn- Over One Hundred Years of Fine Stringed Instruments’ by John Teagle, on page 188, it states that the Vulture was a prototype and the subsequent production model was the Scavenger. You will not find another in Australia and there are only a handful scattered worldwide.

Features:
- Body- archtop, double cut-away, bound edges
- Body wood- Ash
- Neck- 3 piece maple rosewood maple, neck through body
- Fingerboard- rosewood, bound edges, dot inlays
- 22 frets
- 34 inch scale
- 2 volume and 2 tone knobs
- 3 way toggle switch
- Brass saddles, string through body
- Tobacco sunburst
- Control cavity and truss rod cover are made of wood
- Original George Washburn case

Excellent condition for a 35 year old bass.

A very rare instrument and a unique piece of Japanese history.
bigredbass
Senior Member
Username: bigredbass

Post Number: 2230
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, August 18, 2014 - 10:31 pm:   Edit Post

I think $1500usd may be a bit optimistic, but it seems to be in exceptional shape. Interesting to see the wood cover for the electronics, and it's REAL interesting in that the top and the back are almost 'center to center': Notice how you only see the center strip of the neck-thru on the top, and it's that same look top to bottom on the back side? Unless it's not visible in the pics, they covered the maple shoulders in the laminations, really trick if that's what they did. Or maybe you can see all three plies in person, can't tell. Original case too.

I'd get it below a grand, put in a modern bridge and modern pickups, and have a ball. These Japanese basses were from a time that won't come back, real minor treasures to me, their like won't be seen again.

J o e y
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2237
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 1:10 am:   Edit Post

I noticed jazzy that your pic almost emulates Stan's on the cover of his 79 album 'I Wanna Play For You'
cozmik_cowboy
Senior Member
Username: cozmik_cowboy

Post Number: 1763
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 8:22 am:   Edit Post

The whole neck is on display if you look closely, Joey; the finish, however, makes the lines very subtle.

Peter
jcdlc72
Advanced Member
Username: jcdlc72

Post Number: 371
Registered: 11-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 8:54 am:   Edit Post

Speaking on Alembic Naiveté (and without any intention to hijack the thread, but seeing as how it was somehow a central subject of the original post), my Hondo neckthrough bass was also "The closest Alembic-looking thing I could find" around here. I still have it, tho, and each time I A-B it with my Epic, I got reassured on how much worlds apart they are. Now, only if I had a Series bass... :-)
http://alembic.com/club/messages/449/111542.jpg
jazzyvee
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4184
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:55 am:   Edit Post

Trust you to recognise my posing Terry. :-)
Well spotted. Now let me just hide on another thread to cover my shame. ......
gtrguy
Senior Member
Username: gtrguy

Post Number: 781
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 11:14 am:   Edit Post

I'd still like to own a Kawai (sp?) series copy.
peoplechipper
Senior Member
Username: peoplechipper

Post Number: 471
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 10:35 pm:   Edit Post

I have one of the Fernandes series I copies; alas it had been rewired passive when I got it and one of these days I'll put a preamp in it but it only gets played at home so it's low on the list...anyway it is actually a really nice bass; my Distillate kills it of course, but they are pretty close. The Fernandes has a rosewood fretboard with fake pearl markers and the finish is way thicker than Alembic's (I stick to poly so the thinner the finish the better) the woodwork is very good and it does sound really good, but try as they might, it ain't the original...Yay Alembic!
terryc
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2238
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Thursday, August 21, 2014 - 1:07 am:   Edit Post

Jazzy...I was a huge Stan fan(I still am!) in the 70's and have all his vinyl recordings. Sorry to cause you embarrassment!
Imagine if you had stuck a Bigsby on that bass..you might have been done for copyright! LOL
hankster
Advanced Member
Username: hankster

Post Number: 366
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Friday, August 22, 2014 - 4:27 pm:   Edit Post

Jazzy,

That story cracks me up. I wish life was like that more often.

Rick

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