Skip to main content Skip to footer
Get it by Christmas - 1 day left for Christmas ground shipping
Looking for Coupons?Call us Hablamos Español
MF MD HG01 Biggest Coupon 12-13-17
Washburn Logo
SKU 
502034 000872000

Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin Vintage Natural

  • Write a Review

Washburn has been building mandolins since the late 1800s. Whether you're a bluegrass, Celtic or rock player, see how the addition of a mandolin can ...Click To Read More About This Product

Available 01-05-2018

Gold Coverage: (What’s This?)
    Warranty Options
  • Shipping (48 Contiguous U.S. States)
    FREE
  • Your Price :
    $73637
  Reserve Now Notify Me When This is in Stock
Add to Wish List

Earn up to 5,888 reward points.

Special Financing Offer
$21/month for 36 months
Musician's Friend Platinum Card

Special 36-month financing. Valid through 12/30/2017
Get DetailsAbout Special Financing Offers

See All Washburn Mandolins
Don't Forget
OVERVIEW

A Florentine-style model that sounds great and looks vintage.

Washburn has been building mandolins since the late 1800s. Whether you're a bluegrass, Celtic or rock player, see how the addition of a mandolin can broaden your sonic pallet and add a new dimension to your music. For traditionalists, you'll find all the tone & projection you'd expect from world class instruments.

The M118SW is a Florentine style mandolin and features a worn/used look as well as aged hardware, ebonite tuner buttons and a thinner satin finish for a broken in and well played feel. Only premium woods like solid flamed maple and solid spruce have been used in crafting this fine instrument.

The F-style body design on the M118SW is deeper than traditional instruments for more volume and projection and it has a wider nut, with wider string spacing to accommodate bigger fingers.

Lyon & Healy, Washburn’s parent company in the 19th century, was the first American manufacturer of mandolins and Washburn began making mandolins in 1887. The M118SW echos the trends in mandolin styles of the early 20th century and remains the popular style today. Case sold separately.

FEATURES
  • General
  • Model: M118SWK
  • Series: bluegrass series
  • Body
  • Shape: florentine
  • Top: carved solid spruce
  • Back: solid flame maple
  • Sides: solid flame maple
  • Bracing: quarter sawn sitka spruce
  • Rosette: n/a
  • neck
  • Material: flame maple
  • Fretboard: ebony
  • Inlays: dots
  • Nut: bone
  • Nut width: 31mm
  • Scale: 13.86
  • Electronics
  • Preamp system: n/a
  • Hardware
  • Bridge: ebony
  • Tuners: distressed open gear
  • Other
  • Strings: D'addario J73 light gauge mandolin strings
  • Case: MC93-case included

Play a mandolin that looks like an heirloom. Order today.

Reviews
Loading....

Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
WashburnM118SW F-Style Mandolin
 
3.5

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

57%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good tone (5)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Back-up (4)
  • Concerts (4)
  • Practicing (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (6)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Not for everyone

"The Bluegrass Bark" is a mixed blessing. When I play bluegrass I love it. When I play other styles I wish for a less harsh, less shrill tone. This...Read complete review

"The Bluegrass Bark" is a mixed blessing. When I play bluegrass I love it. When I play other styles I wish for a less harsh, less shrill tone. This thing can get LOUD and SHRILL playing chords and the sound cuts through, you will be heard.

My main reason for buying this was the wider neck. As I get older, my fingers need all the help they can get. I am not a fan of distressed finishes but this seemed to be the best bang for the buck.

The bridge sting slot for the first G string was cut a whisker too deep. This was an easy fix but should have been caught at the factory.

This is too much money but then all decent mandolins are. I do not understand why mandolins are so bloody high priced compared to guitars. Is a great puzzlement!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Mandomydreams Is A Big Mistake

I've never been so disappointed with an instrument. The cheap Fender I already own looks light and delicate in comparison to the Washburn. Such a fancy pants case, yet when I opened it...Read complete review

I've never been so disappointed with an instrument. The cheap Fender I already own looks light and delicate in comparison to the Washburn. Such a fancy pants case, yet when I opened it the thickness of the plastic purfling reminded me of those white, red, and black plastic toy guitars from the dime store of my childhood. And the "antique" finish makes the wood look like plywood, dark and cheap. Returned it for a Loar M-600.

Reviewed by 11 customers

Displaying reviews 1-11

Back to top

(7 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

quality hit or miss - buyer beware

By mshock

from Chicago

About Me Novice

See all my reviews

Ask me a question

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Some Are Good

Cons

  • Bad Distressing
  • Poor Tone Quality

Best Uses

    Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

    I bought this mandolin as my first mando to learn on. It has some fair reviews across the internet - though Washburn is nowhere near as well known or consistant as Eastman, Kentucky and other lines. I really liked the distressed look in the pics. Unfortunately, the distressing on the horn tore up some of the purfling which was the main reason I had to return it. Secondly, it did not come setup very well at all. Action too high, intonation all wrong. I guess I did not expect much, though, this being an internet mass vendor. Some people swear this model is a good deal, but I would steer clear for a more well-known brand. It's hard to find quality F style body mandolins in this price range. I ended up increasing my budget a few hundred and buying an Eastman 615 secondhand which I couldn't be happier with. This Washburn is probably one you'd want to see and play before purchasing, it has potential but as I found out - quality control is hit or miss.

    (7 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Mandomydreams Is A Big Mistake

    By 4got10one

    from Chicago

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Florentine sytle

    Cons

    • Maple looks like plywood
    • Plastic and plywood look
    • Plastic purfling
    • Poorly Manufactured

    Best Uses

    • Returning to store

    Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

    I've never been so disappointed with an instrument. The cheap Fender I already own looks light and delicate in comparison to the Washburn. Such a fancy pants case, yet when I opened it the thickness of the plastic purfling reminded me of those white, red, and black plastic toy guitars from the dime store of my childhood. And the "antique" finish makes the wood look like plywood, dark and cheap. Returned it for a Loar M-600.

    (7 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Best bang for the buck

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

    This mandolin plays and sounds great. Chop and single note quality, loud too.

    (7 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great mandolin for the price.

    By Freddie Thronson

    from Florida

    Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

    Tone and volume is great. Set up out of the box was okay. I was pleasently supprised by the sound. Nice case. would recommend mandovoodoo to maximize the sound and set up. Great instrument for the money. Would also consider the Richie Owens model for about the same price.

    (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Not for everyone

    By Skeeter

    from Great Plains

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Bluegrass Bark
    • Consistent
    • Loud
    • Wider Neck

    Cons

    • Bluegrass Bark
    • Distressed Finish
    • Setup

    Best Uses

    • Backup
    • Concerts
    • Practicing

    Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

    "The Bluegrass Bark" is a mixed blessing. When I play bluegrass I love it. When I play other styles I wish for a less harsh, less shrill tone. This thing can get LOUD and SHRILL playing chords and the sound cuts through, you will be heard.

    My main reason for buying this was the wider neck. As I get older, my fingers need all the help they can get. I am not a fan of distressed finishes but this seemed to be the best bang for the buck.

    The bridge sting slot for the first G string was cut a whisker too deep. This was an easy fix but should have been caught at the factory.

    This is too much money but then all decent mandolins are. I do not understand why mandolins are so bloody high priced compared to guitars. Is a great puzzlement!

    (4 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    I really have no clue

    By Total Sound

    from L.A.

    See all my reviews

    Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

    I like the mandolin a lot despite the flaws. I very much wish that American manufacturers could compete in price but that isn't going to happen. It stays in tune and the machine heads are tight and work well so far and it has a completely adjustable bridge. I'm going to try the alternate stringing method with octave strings for the G and D and see how that works to improve playability.
    I like the "Washburn" name too because "Eastman" sounds like "Eastman Kodak".

    It's a really nice looking Mandolin and it comes with a distressed case with a green felt lining that is very nice too. I don't care for Sunburst finish so this is a really nice alternative. I don't know if it is easy to play or not because I have no criteria on which to judge. I've never played one before. But mandolin stores like to call this one "cheap" so it might be that it has a hard action. I am considering having an expert look at it to maybe improve the height and playability some. I tried adjusting the bridge myself and it was as low as possible out of the box. It stays in tune all the way up the neck and that is good and it is crisp and has a good volume output.
    Again,I'll give it a high rating because I've never seen a top model. The music store locally doesn't carry anything past the price point of the Washburn and the ones they have, with typical Sunburst finish, look cheap. Quality appears pretty good except the glue joints from the neck to the body are very sloppy. They may have been trying for that "distressed" look again but it concerns me. I expect clean joints. Same with the inlay. The inlay is uneven in spots around the neck joints and there is glue overspray. I suppose for the price that is to be expected although this price or so is very costly to me.
    I think for this price, any Chinese made mandolin will be about the same in value. Many say the Eastman is a better instrument but there were none available at this price. I was able to afford the Washburn in this awful economy and it is fun to play.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Beautiful instrument

    By Jamie

    from Miami, FL

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Good Tone
    • Recording
    • Strong

    Cons

    • None

    Best Uses

    • Backup
    • Bluegrass Soloing
    • Celtic
    • Classical
    • Concerts
    • Practicing

    Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

    I bought this because it has 1) a thicker neck, 2) solid wood construction, 3) wider sound box, and 4) a distressed thin matte finish, all of which results in a beautiful "woody" tone, which is what you want in a mandolin. It comes with a very nice, felt lined case. The finish was perfect and I am very pleased.

    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Think twice with this mandolin

    By Rich

    from Miami, FL

    About Me Experienced

    Pros

    • Good Tone

    Cons

    • Not Consistent

    Best Uses

      Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

      Caution on this mandolin. I originally purchased a used one, took it home but returned it a few days later, decided the asking price was too high, very used & needed some repair, but excellent tone, look and feel, so I figured I would spring for a new one, ordered from MF, and was shocked at what came in the package. It was unplayable, even a truss rod adjustment was unlikely to fix the bowed neck, workmanship was shoddy, with burr marks on the binding, unattractive color, wouldn't stay in tune. MF was very good about allowing return. This is not the type of mandolin that you can buy through the mail, obviously extreme variability of workmanship, and you will need an expert luthier to set you up. I later stepped up to an Eastman, more money, also Chinese import, but a quality instrument. This Washburn can be OK if you can look at a bunch of them, handle them, and pick the best one, spend some money for a good luthier (neck, bridge, & frets), and you may be OK. Big disappointment at this price range. The beaten-up used one I briefly had(built in 2010) was infinitely superior, probably from a different factory. Nice case, however.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      mixed feelings about it...

      By oldsurferdude

      from Whittier, Ca

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Easy To Fret
      • Good Tone

      Cons

      • Too Many To List

      Best Uses

      • 2nd Or Third Backup Instr
      • Backup
      • Beach And Park
      • Camping Backpacking
      • Entry Level

      Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

      I agree with all the above folks who previously commented. It's good and it's bad. Looks good from a distance but if you start looking at the neck joint, scroll, and binding, etc... not much time spent there at the factory. Four out of eight tuners are so sloppy they refuse to hold a tune. The bridge was so far from where it needed to be for proper inntonation. The 11th thru the 14th frets were lifting out of ther slots from the fret board. The frets are such a small gauge. They won't last long the way I play. The 4 seconds that it holds a tune, it sounds fair and has excellent projection and volume. After doing all I could I took it to GC luthier after calling washburn about it, they worked on it and gave up. I returned to it washburn via GC for a new factory QC'd replacement with a very helpful and concerned customer service rep. Thanks Ryan! Should be here any day now. I will write a new review when it arrives. It's fair to mention that I have been playing mandolin since the mid seventies, not just bluegrass either, so my expectations of a reasonably useable instrument may be snootier than your average player. This item cost 700 to 900 depending on where you purchase it. I personally have bought better for under 200 so I expect alot more precision at that cost. An American Breedlove at 1399.99 is so much more for not that much more money, to me. This is the last imported mandolin I will ever buy. Never again. Ever. I've heard so much hype about eastman and kentucky, but I was not totally thrilled when I played them vrs thier cost. I recommend domestic Breedlove, Weber, Collins, Rothfield, a couple of Gibsons... If you must buy an import I would ask you to check out the upper models of the Mike Kelly line. It's also only fair to mention that the Washburn case is a very nice quality case. Too bad the mandolin fits so sloppy loose in it... TBC

       
      4.0

      Great Mandolin

      By bob

      from myrtle beach,sc 29577

      About Me Experienced

      Pros

      • Good Tone

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Concerts

        Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

        1st,I describe myself as "experienced" because I no longer play for my income,which I did for a long time.Love this mandolin,great tone & the neck is one of the nicest I've played on.I also own a Loar LM600.Hard to compare because they each do their jobs really,really well.Wider string spacing feels great & no problem transitioning from Loar to Washburn.Definitely has the bluegrass bark in abundance.The aged,or "distressed" finish is nice without being overly distressed.Felt comfortable as an old pair of jeans after I got it set up.Tuners are not great & I may go to a set of Grover 309s,but for now,i made a call to Washburn & talked to someone that was truly helpful & concerned about what I was saying.A new set of tuners are on the way from Washburn.Great customer support.All in all,really happy with this mandolin.

         
        5.0

        See and hear it being played

        By The Ledge

        from Wilburton, Ok

        About Me Professional Musician

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        Pros

        • Consistent
        • Good Tone

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Backup
          • Concerts
          • Practicing

          Comments about Washburn M118SW F-Style Mandolin:

          This needed to set up out of the box. It is definitely improving with age. It looks sweet and my lovely wife will barely let anyone touch it. we had an LR Braggs pickup put in it and the luthier had no problems getting it in the right spot or setting it up. If you would like to hear it then check out this YouTube video. We're The Captain Ledge Band and the mando is the same one we bought from musicians friend.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2j9iIwlbfo&list=UUu93bioSFXHBtCJrbgJiITw&feature=share&index=3

          Displaying reviews 1-11

          Back to top

          You are changing the Ship-To country.

          Our product catalog varies by country due to manufacturer restrictions. If you change the Ship-To country, some or all of the items in your cart may not ship to the new destination.