Meet Mary – Paul’s Guitar


“Mary” is a Washburn DC 60 E, serial # 62304.

I purchased it new on September 6, 1991 for about $800 at The White House Of Music in my home town of Waukesha, Wisconsin.

This model was produced only for about 5 years. Aside from when they were first available, I’ve only seen a few ever since they came out in the early 1990’s. What sold me on the guitar is the unique 24 fret (2 octave) neck. Very rare for any guitar, and unheard of for an acoustic. What keeps me playing her is the incredible tone, it has SO improved with age.

11065_724719659070_23901884_41192184_3768149_n-1And it is a warhorse! Takes a beating on the road and has held up amazingly.

For example:

Due to a drunk patron, Mary took an upside down dive off a 3 foot stage in New York City in 1993 and came out with only a tiny ding. By rights that should have broken the headstock off.

In Temple Texas, a metal footswitch dropped on it from several feet up when the guitar was lying on the stage floor without a guitar stand. Dumb idea.

Mary also survived Tropical Storm Alison, a flood in Houston on June 8, 2001. The car I was in got stalled in high water, was pushed to higher ground, but the water kept rising. Thankfully the water never got higher than the rear wheels after that. I had to leave the guitar in the trunk as my girlfriend and I waded thru chest high water to flee to a nearby hospital for shelter for the night.

Recent repairs & modifications have been done by Tom Oatley. Tom was Jimmie Vaughan’s guitar tech for 5 years, and was also a tech for the Dixie Chicks recently. Of special note is the beautiful hand made metal cross he himself made after receiving the idea for it in a dream! It’s purpose was to cover the hole in the side left from the original electronics panel.

The pick up system he installed is a Trance Audio Amulet System. This pickup system I was turned onto by Michael Hedges, who used a prototype model. It’s what captures all the body knocks and hand nuances on the guitar.

Other mods have been done by Luthier Del Langejans of Holland, Michigan. The man makes guitars that will make you melt; and has made guitars for guys like Phil Keaggy & John Michael Talbot.

Another important addition are brass bridge pins on the bass strings. Again, I got the idea from Hedges, but then was convinced to make the change after hearing for myself when I played Willy Porter’s guitar. Brass pins add a huge amount of volume and tone. Both very good things!

The neck & headstock is 1 piece of mahogany which I find amazing. Several pieces of wood at least are normally used for this step. And mahogany being a soft wood makes for easy neck vibrato when you shake the guitar with love.

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One thought on “Meet Mary – Paul’s Guitar

  1. John Wilson

    If I may suggest something to try on the 12-string:
    I also tune to DADGAD, but 3 half steps down. I use a medium 6-string set (13-56) for the main strings. I use the first four strings from an extra light 6-string set (10, 14, 23w, 30) for the octaves.

    Give it a try. Sounds HUGE with a sub-woofer, and some reverb. Enjoyed your playing.

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