ATTN WASHBURN MEMBERS--SB40 History

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MEKer, Jan 26, 2013.


  1. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    OK, heres a partial history I have not put up previously---pretty exciting and not the end of the story yet. The missing links are many advertisements, catalogs and brochures from 1979-1982 which would finally solve everything. They are really missing. From 1983 onward they are mostly findable. The next lines should make clear an evolutionary path.
    OK, the SB-40 and B-40 appear in history at about the same time in 1979 with a questionable appearance of the B-40 MAYBE in 1978. These two basses ended the "classic hollow body" shape used by the Scavengers and Vultures I and II. They brought in the "modern" or "catch-up" body phase for Washburn. They did keep the 2x2 tuners to remain in the WING series.

    1.The B-40 (known in Europe as LB-40 for some {I am sure} stupid reason) with 4 knobs and 1 toggle switch appears to be a dead end branch of evolution, altho I cannot find an end date for them. The latest I can find is a 1982 Rudy Sarzo ad with a B-40. So the lifespan parallels the SB-40. So any other Washie with 4 knobs and 1 switch could claim SOME kind of kinship with the grandaddy B-40. It may even be that the B-40 INSPIRED
    2.the SB-40 which comes out with 3 knobs and 2 switches(toggle and mini) as perhaps a bit more sophisticated for 1980-1982 (the SB-40EQ appears to be introduced 1981): to be followed by SB-40, (not B-40), look-alikes and with same electronics of 3/1 except that the headstock was changed to 4 in-line and thus closed the Wing Series era and entered the Force series.


    So the SB-40 of 3 pups/2 switches elec pkg (the B-40's 4/1 elec pkg is dropped) then continues success by morphing into

    a. FORCE-40EQ + EQW in 1982 along with the final SB-40s NOTE: I JUST FOUND OUT VIA EBAY SB-40EQ WAS ALSO MADE AND SOLD IN 1982--WOW PICS POSTED WAY DOWN THE THREAD--and then
    b. B-40EQ +40EQW in 1983 I have ads for them.
    c. drop the EQ/EQW to be a regular FORCE-40 in 1984 which had a long run of success and was joined for a while with the Force series B-40EQ TS model which did not last long IIRC.

    So, to recapitulate, The Scavengers and Vultures along with their body shape are like the old cars on the road because they were still produced until, at least, 1981-1982.

    The B-40 and (notice they just added on an "S" to show cousinry in this "new-to-Washburn" shape) SB-40 ushered in the "modern" body style together for Washburn if you want to call it that, since Fender :p pretty well knew it was cool since 1951 and it took Washburn all that time to get on board!

    Next step is I must get into the Library of Congress Patent Office and drag out some info to further NAIL THIS STUFF DOWN!

    In the first picture (some of my basses except for the B-20 I sold to a TB'er), the blue bass is Force 40 (1984) followed by two SB-40s (a 1980 and a 1981)

    2nd Picture is the SB-40 headstock on the second SB.

    Attached Files:

  2. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    May 30, 2006
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    More pictures
    1982 SB-40EQ

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  3. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    More pics

    1982 Force-40EQ ---looks just like my original, first run SB-40 (see my first pic in thread)except for headstock.

    1983 B-40EQ

    Note all have the SB-40 electronic package as opposed the B-40 package.

    Attached Files:

  4. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    more pics

    1982 SB-40....the last year of them

    1984 FORCE 40 (belongs to another TB'er-------I am SO jealous) with soapbars just like in the '84 Sarzo ad!

    Attached Files:

  5. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    Crap---------forgot the BBR series of Force 40---the "Chicago Bass" (came with one pup or two pups) BBR means "Black, Black, Red) referring to body, pups, binding). It also has the SB-40 electronic package of 3/2.

    I found this on eBay about 4 years ago. Great tones for jazz. This is a 1984 bass.

    Attached Files:

  6. msact

    msact Gold Supporting Member

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    Bucks Co, PA
    Nice job putting all this together. I know how sketchy this info is having searched for it myself. The few people who have these basses don't even know what they are sitting on. That's really unfortunate because they are really great basses.
  7. Twocan

    Twocan Supporting Member

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    Michigan
  8. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    May 30, 2006
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    Ohio
  9. Melonthief

    Melonthief

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    Jan 25, 2013
  10. Melonthief

    Melonthief

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    Jan 25, 2013
    Thought you may enjoy seeing my washburns. The b20, the status, the force 40 Chicago series
  11. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    Tremendous, Melonthief. I addressed your basses in the Member thread with some questions. Love your basses big time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  12. Melonthief

    Melonthief

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2013
    Thanks! I just answered some, on the other thread. I could have gone on but was afraid of being a windbag! People who know these basses get really excited about them, those who don't know them just don't know the care that went into them. When I let other bassists check them out they get it immediately!
  13. millsbass5

    millsbass5

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    Logan,W.V.(not up some holler)
  14. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    May 30, 2006
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    Ohio
    1982 SB-40EQ Serial # 820686

    PICS BELOW
  15. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    Location:
    Ohio
    THE PICS

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  16. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    more for your enjoyment :hyper:

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  17. Melonthief

    Melonthief

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  18. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    it is KILLING me! Lemme say again--It is KILLING me!!!!!!:bawl::bawl::bawl::bawl::bawl::bawl::bawl:

    both that gorgeous Vulture II already sold on eBay AND the SB-40EQ still up for 3 more days on eBay
  19. ChristianOnBass

    ChristianOnBass

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    WOW, thanks for the memories...and regrets:( I bought a Washburn "Force" 40 in late 82. It was beautiful, cherry-colored wood. I was so proud that Rudy Sarzo endorsed those. That bass was one of many things I sacrificed for my addictions. Now, I am clean again, playing a cheap bass and trying desperately to get a bass amp sufficient for rehearsing. Not sure why I shared that. Don't be a junkie my friends...kicking self
  20. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

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    May 30, 2006
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    Ohio
    Glad you are on board! Keep clean, get a good 'ol early '80s Washburn bass when you can and keep on truckin' !!

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