1883, Chicago. George Washburn begins a legacy of greatness with the first Washburn stringed instruments, bringing quality instruments priced for home musicians. In 1889, Washburn becomes the largest mandolin maker in America.
In the early 20th century Washburn continues to lead with quality guitars, banjos, and mandolins. In 1912, Washburn releases the Lakeside Jumbo, the first dreadnought guitar. In 1930, Washburn merges with Tonk Brothers and releases the Solo Deluxe, the precursor of the auditorium style guitar and one of the best-selling guitars created.
With the onset of the 1970’s, Washburn releases the Wing series, our first electric models. The Wing series continues the Washburn standard by delivering a show quality instrument at a home artist price. In the 80’s and 90’s the Washburn Festival series revitalizes the art of acoustic performance, contributing to the rise of “unplugged” performances.
For over 135 years, Washburn has been committed to providing the highest quality instruments. Whether it’s a guitar, banjo, or mandolin – if it’s a Washburn, it won’t let you down.
With roots going back before the Civil War, Washburn began as a partnership between George Washburn Lyon and Patrick Healy. Formed in Chicago, Illinois, Washburn has been building stringed instruments since 1883. An American institution, Washburn has built guitars, mandolins, banjos, ukuleles, and more throughout the years. Many of the biggest names in folk, rock, and blues have played Washburn and some of the most significant trendsetting music has been played on a Washburn. From early blues, to the inspiration behind the MTV Unplugged revival, to the modern day, Washburn has been a choice among the song-smiths of the day.
130 years of history is at the root of our strong foundation building high quality instruments. It is this background that inspires us to create instruments for you and we hope you experience the exceptional value, playability and voice that is Washburn. On this Website, we encourage you to explore the Washburn line of fine instruments. We are sure you can find a musical partner in a Washburn, be it the historically significant Lakeside and DeLuxe, the quintessential acoustic-electric Festival, the luthier inspired Comfort, or our extensive variety of Americana models
Though our roots are firmly planted through providing some of history’s most well known, best valued and best selling acoustic and Americana instruments, your dreams have remained an important part of fulfilling our mission- to provide you with the perfect tool to achieve them. From the first Washburn electric built in 1976, everyone from beginners taking their first step into the bright stage lights to seasoned professionals commanding the attention of thousands of screaming fans have found a home here at Washburn. From rock, metal, country, bluegrass and jazz, there is a Washburn electric guitar that will fit you and your style perfectly and grow with you as you develop your style and technique.
We have a legacy of famous and talented artists who have helped shape the soundscape of today’s modern music, from Nancy Wilson and Howard Leese with Heart, to the rise of hard rock’s and metal’s glory years with Rudy Sarzo and Nuno Bettencourt- who is celebrating 25 years with us; through the grunge years where icons like Dimebag Darrel kept guitar solos alive until passing the torch to Ola Englund and Marzi Montazeri. The list goes on and is growing everyday. Whether you strive to join that list, or are happy to push your “likes” on YouTube, or just want to have some fun with family and friends in the basement or backyard- we have the perfect fit for you no matter your taste or skill level.
If you own a Washburn guitar, current or discontinued*, and are looking for information on it, we have included an archive of specs and key information below for most models dating back to 1990. The 1980’s are not currently archived.
Use the serial number on your guitar to determine the year of manufacture. The serial number can be found in the sound hole of the acoustic or on the back of the headstock on electrics. In most cases**, the first two numbers of the serial number are the year of manufacture. For example, if your guitar’s serial number is 94000000, your guitar was made in 1994.
You can look up the 1994 page, and locate your model number. All of the specs and information such as materials used, list price, scale length, nut width and finish are included.