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Anyone ever play a Washburn Bantam series Bass?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by riffripper, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. riffripper


    Nov 12, 2006
    I recently purchased a five string Washburn and I was wondering if anyone else has one or has played one. Tell me what you think about it.:bassist:
  2. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    I`ve played them a couple of times. Can`t remember the exact model but guess was a XB-500 (made in Indonesia).

    For me it was just OK for an entry level bass. I personally didn`t like the wood too much. However, I had the chance to see a bassist playing a XB-600 and he sounded great.
  3. MobileHolmes

    MobileHolmes I used to be BassoP Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2006
    I rememberplaying an xb-600 probably 10 years ago. It was fine, but nothing special. Didn't make much of an impression one way or the other.
  4. bassman10096


    Jul 30, 2004
    Like a lot of (most) economy basses - some are good, some are not, a few are great and a few are firewood. My son's bass player had a Bantam (100, I think) that looked like hell - the basswood was trashed and it dinged every time you looked at it, but it played and sounded like a very good alder P bass. Go figure. If yours is a good one, enjoy it.
  5. I've just sold my XB126 6 string. It was a really good bass and I got it relatively cheap as i didn't want to buy an expensive 6 string and decide that i didn't like it.

    There was only one thing i didn't like, there was a black mark on the neck, not dirt and not a knot but some kind of imperfection in the wood that I couldn't help notice when I played it.

    It had a very fast neck and a good range of sounds that I could get from it.

    One of many basses i made a profit on when i sold it (bought for £130, sold for £190 - £300 was the original RRP)
  6. I have a Korean made Bantam 8 string with a swamp ash body. I love most things about the bass except that the neck is too thin front to back. Because of the thin neck it is not comfortable for me to play for very long. Otherwise, I would probably play it all the time. The body shape and fret access is really good on these basses IMO.

  7. purfektstranger


    Apr 10, 2003
    I once had an XB120. Where else could you find an inexpensive bass that came with a lifetime warranty?
    A solid bass for the money but I found the pickup sound was
    one dimensional. Still, a good buy for the bucks in my opinion.
  8. msherman


    Nov 20, 2002
    Connecticut, USA
    Riff, which model did you buy?

    I ran the Washburn Custom Shop in the past and I designed the Bantam. I designed it originally to be a neckthrough for Hamer (I worked for them as well) and the top brass thought it didn`t identify with the Hamer image back then.
    When I went to work for Washburn, Rudy and Grover liked the design and we tweaked it as a bolt on bass.

    The early USA XB900 series are the best ones. We made the bodies with Swamp Ash, and regular Ash, Bart W4/5 pups and NTBT preamps.

    On a side note, the first two Washburn XB900 bolt-on prototypes we stolen out of Ellington, Ct. about 4 years ago after a gig:crying: One being a ebony F/B fretless, Mohagany body with flame maple top in trans burnt red, and the other a Pau Ferrow fretted with a heavy Ash body in gloss black. Both had no logo`s or serial #`s on them. They were tone beasts!!!

    Here is a pic of the Bantam I recently built in it`s original intended design as a neck through to celebrate it`s 20 anniversary. You will notice, the original design had a wider "butt" with the "Noogie" (thats what I called it) on the end.


    Attached Files:

  9. riffripper


    Nov 12, 2006
    I bought the Bantam BB5 a week ago and I am not sure if I like it, still tweaking.
  10. I'm not sure if I got one of the best pieces out of the factory or I just have crazy taste but I love my XB500 and it still gets frequent use. Thin neck, narrow string spacing, great asthetic appearance and a warm dark sound that my spector doesn't get close to. It took a set of DR highbeams to give me a sound that I really liked out of it though. The preamp is a bit noisy though and if anyone has any experience replacing it without significantly altering the tone I love I would appriciate suggestions.
  11. phxlbrmpf


    Dec 27, 2002
    I hear the US-made Bantams are quite something, do they still make them?
  12. msherman


    Nov 20, 2002
    Connecticut, USA
    Some of the Korean Bantams sound and play good. It`s hit or miss with them. The preamps were all known to be noisey on the Korean made ones. I would replace the preamp with a Bart NTBT preamp.

    FYI, the XB900 series where USA made and the rest were Korean made.

    I did some consulting for Washburn 4 years ago and they still had some XB900`s and 925`s in stock. I designed a new prototype bass for them, but I see it never made it into production.

  13. ROON


    Aug 5, 2006
    Sydney, Australia
    Never played one of these Korean Bantams. But I have a Washburn T24 Taurus, loooooooooooooove it. The playability is great, everything just feels good. Only two things i could possibly complain about is the tuners seem to be really loose, but with a quick tighten its fine! And when i got it there was an unbelievable amount of fret-buzz, for some reason its gone now, maybe the strings just needed to wear in? Who knows. Its got two "ABT" single coil pickups that you can get many great sounds out of. Fast neck, but not as fast as my Ibanez (obviously, Ibanez necks are very thin!). But anyway, I get comments on it everywhere i go, a very sexy bass indeed. Quite a few people have said you can get a $3000 sound out of this bass, while im not so sure about that, there is no doubt it is an awesome sounding bass. Great bass w/ neck-thru construction. Nice n cheap!
  14. tekkmo


    Sep 16, 2011
    Hi guys,

    I know this is 5 years old but I am banging my head against a wall right now and I would really like some help.

    I have the xb500 with a broken truss rod. My friend tightened it too much so it snapped at the nut, and no, no way to fix it with repair tool but to remove the board and just replace it. So here is where I need some advice more than anything and it's particularly for MSherman (I really REALLY hope you're still reading this forum).

    I inherited the bass after the truss rod so I want to fix it. I used to LOVE this bass -- the sound was amazing and soo versatile I was impressed the first time I held it in my hands. In a nutshell I really want to fix it. I have tried some repair shops and they all say it can't be done.. blah blah, might as well throw it away..... Not in a million years. I will do it myself since none of them want to do it.... (I assume it's because of time/labor vs price)?!?!

    So my question is -- since the neck is soo thin (I really like that .... and I LOVE how wide the board is on the 5-string), is the risk of it breaking hi when I start separating the seem with the hot iron???? Is the 250' for the glue sufficient (with some moisture of course) or is that not even going to help -- I mean the type of glue is the question here. I hope there is no wood slab covering the truss rod under the fingerboard.....

    From looking at the nut it looks like a Martin style truss rod is that right?

    P.S. I am thinking I might actually slap an Ebony on it since I am already working on it ... and def refinish it since it's been banged around quite a bit -- dyed black (Fiebing's probably) and Tung on top or may be just clear lacquer :)

    P.P.S. MSherman, Good job on the design!!!
  15. Bagusys


    Sep 5, 2012
    Anything below the 400 series is obv lower end. I play the xb400 and have never gotten another bass since. being an experimental metal player its got a great heavy sound, tapping, slapping and just basically hitting the **** out of it I always get great tones and it has been incredibly durable. guess i should point out mine has been altered and maintained extremly well. after installing the Kahler trem and getting a custom nut and my own handmade custom tuners, some after market mods... this thing is a POWERFULL MACHINE!!! the model I have was higher end of the 400s also but well worth it big time. I m now obsessed. upset that WB stopped the xb and now has the Taurus series I am.hunting them down. my.goal is.the xb500, 900 and 925. both 5strings will be converted to 6 strings John Muyung style and 1 each will.become fretless and my guitar tech as well as.myself are FANTASTIC at maintence so after that ill never have to buy another bass. my only other 2 basses are my Washburn OS acoustic (cheap as **** but sounds great) and i took apart my $100 Ibanez and built a stronger bass and installed a Kaoss pad on it which I use for weird ****. So I am obsessed with the Bantams and will pretty much be their poster child
  16. Bagusys


    Sep 5, 2012
    Damn you guys really should have made fretless versions. I am obsessed with the xb series and am hunting them down for myself lol. Will be converting the 900 and 925 to fretless

  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    The Bantam name covers a wide range of instruments, from entry models to high middle level.
    They tend to be comfortable and well built. Tone I've heard from ok to very good, never fantastic or crappy.
  18. Emsdaddy

    Emsdaddy Emsdaddy

    Feb 9, 2013
    Old post, but wanted to chime in. I have a xb500 I bought new in 1996. Has been my main bass ever since. Primarily play at church, with some classic rock and country thrown in. Very versatile with great action, intonation and tuners that hold forever. Only grump is the noisy preamp as mentioned. Have picked up a few other basses along the way but keep coming back to the bantam. Worth a grab if you see one in good shape IMHO.

    ImageUploadedByTalkBass1360446213.321063. ImageUploadedByTalkBass1360446237.936934.
  19. bootsox


    Apr 28, 2012
    Biloxi, MS
    I played one of the bantams with a bach music tremolo before, and it wasn't bad by any stretch of the word.
  20. I have owned a Washburn XB-500 5 string Bantam series for 12years now. After I got a set of DR strings on her I have never looked back!! I love the tone and ease of play with it. Everyone looks at me funny when I tell them I play a Washburn unitl the hear my bass then they want one!!! I will never get rid of this bass!!!