Who also has vintage Washburn Basses?


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Oct 24, 2013
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Hey all----I am assembling and researching the lost history of Washburns 1978-1985. I am interested in pics and serial numbers and any documentation at all on SB-40s (I luckily own 2), Force 40EQ or EQW, B-40EQ or EQWs and any of the BBR models. I read an old 2008 post with st3ady saying he has a Force 40EQ. Hope he sees this. That may be the rarest of them all depending on if he has the B40 or the SB40 elec package on it.

If anyone has any vintage Washies basses, can you please post pics and numbers (to verify year) for us?

When Washburn was bought out in 1988, all previous records were dumped because "it would be too much trouble to digitize them". Wow! What a bonehead move. Washburn themselves cannot give any reliable info as they simply do not have it. I did send them recently the listing below which I hope any Washburn fans here will appreciate. Tthere is so much misinformation on these wonderful basses at various "Washburn expert" sites that I'd like to get out a definitive book one day.

For anyone interested here is a general thumbnail sketch, without referencing all my research as that would be too long, of Washburn 1978-1985 "classic" productions and what basses were for sale during each year. It has taken a few years to track all this down with authentication via pictures, serial numbers, ads, catalogs, reviews, etc. Am still investigating many things on this as Washburn had many inconsistencies. Hope you enjoy it and I am also MEKer at Talkbass.com where I post quite a bit on Washburn investigations.

Thanks all, and by the way---my Best Man when I was married back in 1986 was...a drummer!

Washburn Basses from the magic years

1978: Wing series Scavenger (bass brother to Raven Guitar), Vulture I (bass brother to Hawk guitar)

1979: Wing series Scavenger, Vulture I, Vulture II and proto-type B-40 with the Vulture II electrical package very possibly made by Daion in TX or Japan FOR Washburn (it is the only Wing series bass with the stripe insert in headstock and similar to Daion XX B and then came out for general sale in 1980 with the regular wing headstock until B-40 sales ended in 1983

1980: Introducing the B-40 Wing Series with the Vulture II electrical package (4 pots and toggle), B-20 Stage basses begin along with the 8-string B-20-8 Stage bass (Scavenger,Vulture I and II still being sold).

1981: same models as 1980 along with the new Wing series SB-40 (electrical package is 3 pots/toggle/mini-switch and later adopted by all Force 40s and the B-40 EQ/EQW)

1982: the Wing series SB-40EQ replaces SB-40 but same as the '81 SB-40 (with the possible exception that the 40 had brushed aluminum cavity plates and the 40EQ did not as far as I can determine), the Wing series B-40, the Force-40-headstocked B-40EQW with SB-40 electrical package, the Force 40EQ (also SB-40 elec pkg except for a very few with the B-40 elec package), Force 8 and Force 4, the B-20 and with it’s little brother B-5 Stage bass introduced (Scavenger,Vulture I and II still being sold)

1983: Wing series B-40, Force series B-40EQW and the B-40EQ(including fretless), the regular Force 40 begins, Force 4's and 8's and B-20's/5's (Vulture I and II still being sold as well)
Note: 1982 and 1983 sheet ads (same basses used for both years) list only B-40EQW, the 1983 catalog ( page 8 ) lists only the B-40EQ as does the price list.

1984: Regular Force 40's, B-20 Stage BBR and B-5 Stage BBR and Force 40 BBRs and Force 8K BBR (as opposed to the B-8—there are 2 differently priced Force 8’s this year and 2 Force 8K’s) and the Bantam B-60 headless (for $999.00 while a regular B-60 is $899.00))--BBR'd completely: body, neck and headstock --only in 1984. The B-40EQ (the B-40EQW is not in the catalog). Vulture II still in production. (guitars also BBR’d: HM models, Hawk, Tour 24, Force 6, FV-20V, A series to include A-20/20V, A-23K, A-20K, A-5V, etc). Also for sale is the Tour Series for Rudy Sarzo Slammer Basses: B-70RS in black/white starburst and the B-70G (metallic gray).
Note: BBR means BLACK Body, BLACK Hardware (with dark rosewood fretboard) and RED binding all the way around. Also the B-60 Bantam headless and the double neck Bantam B-62 came out.

1985: the Force series B-40EQ, Force 4+8 last year, the B-5 Stage bass...and the only Bass BBR is the Force 8 BBR which is NOT BBR'd on the maple fretboard neck--so its a partial BBR. NO more regular Force 40's or B-20's!(someone please show me a 1985 one and I'll change this, but do not believe so). Several guitars, however, were still BBR’d (HM models, Tour 24, some A series, Force 6). Also in the 1985 catalog is the Force 42 headless bass, and with the Bantam
B-60 ($899.00) headless and the double neck Bantam B-62 (fretted/fretless for $1499.00) still in production. The GB-63B was a double neck with both guitar AND BASS (catalog says in black only and priced at $1499.00).

If anyone ever comes across more info to change this, PLEASE let me know. There are still plenty of surprises in trying to unearth the lost history of this period's basses I am sure. I personally am at mekentinc@yahoo.com.