Oscar Schmidt OE30 Review

manufacturer: Washburn date: 04/20/2011 category: Electric Guitars
Washburn: Oscar Schmidt OE30
The Oscar Schmidt OE30 is a wonderful sounding electric hollow body guitar. The lifetime warranty covers this fine instrument and Washburn's quality is throughout.
 Sound: 7.3
 Overall Impression: 8.4
 Reliability & Durability: 8.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 7.9
 Features: 8.4
 Overall rating:
 8.4 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.1 
 Users rating:
 8.6 
 Votes:
 48 
reviews (7) 8 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Oscar Schmidt OE30 Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 16, 2006
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 139.99

Purchased from: E-Bay

Features: I got this OE30 off of a seller on eBay. Brand new, in the box for $139.99. It came with a few packs of Dean Martin strings, a cheapo 5 foot cable, and some spray cleaner. I was pretty impressed for how much extra stuff they throw in, I was really just expecting the axe. As for features on the guitar, it's standard ES-335 fare. 2 humbucking pickups, 2 tone/2 volume controls, 3-way Switch, Grover tuners that stay in tune no matter what's going on. I got the tobacco sunburst model, and it looks fantastic. A friend I work with didn't believe I got it for 140 dollars. The rest of the specs can be found on Oscar Schmidt's site. The tuners alone cost 50 dollars, so you do the math on price/performance. // 9

Sound: Here's where it falls short for me. The humbuckers have no life, they sound brittle and hollow (no pun intended). I'm using it with a Fender Hot Rod DeVille through a Boss Super Overdrive and Electro Harmonix Big Muff. It's also feeds back a lot, but what do you expect with a semi-hollowbody. I put some Kent Armstrong P-90 pickups in it, and it made a world of difference. It was a pain in the ass to install them (required some routing of the pickup cavities), but now I'd put it up against any Epiphone (and a few Gibson) semi-hollows in terms of sound quality. Probably 90% of the tone. Sounds wonderful when overdriven/fuzzed out. However, stock the tone leaves a lot to be desired. Modified with your favorite pickups, I'd give it a 9/10. // 5

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came setup very well, it was immediately playable. It really is a well put together guitar. The pickup selector Switch feels a bit cheap, but it hasn't gone out on me yet. The finish is simply amazing, I honestly don't know why they don't sell this guitar for at least 250 dollars. Of course I have since set it up to my own liking, but out of the box it's ready to rock. Neck is very comfortable, though not the fastest. You will need to take a screwdriver/wrench set and tighten up some of the hardware, however it's nothing that can't be done in 20 min. The wood is also a good quality, as putting new pickups in sounds great. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I was skeptical at first, but this axe could defnitely do live shows without any major problems. The strap buttons are solid, although the pickup jack needed some tightening. I've dropped this guitar before, and it didn't get damaged at all (granted it was from a stand, but still). Hell, if you break the neck just get another one, it's bolt on and you're only out 40 bucks. I can't see that happening unless you pull something like the Clash and just smash it onto the stage ground. I imagine that the finish may not survive extended playing over the course of a few years, but to me it's all about the tone. It still looks great after 5 months with me. It could surprise one. // 8

Overall Impression: I'm mostly into indie/alternative rock (The Strokes, Von Bondies, Muse, QOTSA, Green Day, White Stripes, etc). This guitar is a good match, especially for those who fancy blues. The ES-335 design is a classic and suits many styles of music. I've been playing for a little over two years, and I own a Strat copy by Tradition. With these new pickups I find myself reaching for the OS over the Tradition (even though the Tradition is leagues above it in terms of stock performance). I would definitely buy this guitar again, although I may pay someone to mod it with pickups next time. Fishing pots through the F-holes will make you hate your life. I am now trying to decide whether to buy another Tradition Strat or another OE30 to modify. Overall, assuming nothing happens to this guitar in shipping, it's a fantastic deal and has a lot for anyone from a beginner to someone who's been playing 5-10 years. If you know how to setup a guitar, this axe will astound you. // 9

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overall: 8
Oscar Schmidt OE30 Reviewed by: punkart182, on april 27, 2005
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: The Oscar Schmidt OE30 is a wonderful sounding electric hollow body guitar. The lifetime warranty covers this fine instrument and Washburn's quality is throughout. - Semi hollow body guitar - Twin Washburn HH pickups - Stop tailpiece - Grover tuners - Dot inlay - Tune-O-Matic bridge - Rosewood fingerboard - Adjustable/detachable neck - Colors CH, TS, OR, CBL - High gloss finish - Lifetime warranty. // 8

Sound: The guitar is well suited for my tastes, I enjoy playing everything rock'n roll to punk rock music on this guitar. Jazz music sounds well on it as well but I do not play much of it. I use this guitar with a cheap Fender amp but the sound I get is very thick and rich. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came perfectly in tuned but I think it was because the people that work at Musician's Friend must have been playing it or something. The action came very low. The color was absolutely amazing, I got mine in cherry red but I think it comes in about 4 colors maybe. // 8

Overall Impression: I would say this is the perfect guitar for a beginner. It has both the features and sound of a much more expensive guitar but at only a fraction of the price. The overall tone of a semi-hollow body is much more beautiful I would say than a normal guitar so if you wanted to try it out but dont want to shell out 750 or so this guitar is well worth an investment. The only problem I would say is that you can't customize this guitar that easily because there isn't a hole in the back that pops out to make changes. // 8

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overall: 8.4
Oscar Schmidt OE30 Reviewed by: AOF_Rules_24, on january 03, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: When I bought my guitar I bought from the Octave music centre. It came with a life time waranty and a replacement during any repair times. The finish is a nice sleak sunburst giving it the look as if the edges were burned. It is givin 2 volume and tone knobs as well as a distort Switch. It is giving an extra pickup over most guitars (most have 3, this has 4) and the sound is amzing. // 8

Sound: I play hardcore punk which is quite suited in this guitar. The amp is usually on distort and The guitar quickly adapts and plays smoothly. The guitar can go from a high, Chinese like music all the way down to a medium bass volume, which is very helpful to the songs I play. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was set up perfectly. It had no chips, loose screws or strings, and was perfectly adjusted. THe pickups were in teh right spot. giving an extra distorion pick up. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I am almost certain that this guitar will be suited for live paly. You can rely on it and not need a back up and if you are in practice and it does break, you have the life time waranty to back you up. The strap buttons are solid and attached all the way into the inside of the guitar. The finish is nice and thick, and very chip resistant. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar is over all a perfect starter guitar. It is almost like a huge deal on a a 800$ guitar now on for 250$ It lasts and is great. I would buy it again if nething happened to it. // 9

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overall: 6.8
Oscar Schmidt OE30 Reviewed by: Macktruck, on june 29, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This guitar didn't come with any extras, except the cable. It is an archtop semi-hollow body. Not sure what wood is used, but it's nice. Got mine in tabaccoo sunburst, looks awsome. 2 tone, 2 volume controles. 22 frets, not great access to the lowest ones. Stopbar tailpiece. Decent playability. Washburn pickups are decent. Grover tuners. Tune-O-Matic bridge works great. Made in China. // 7

Sound: This guitar sounds good for it's price. Great for me because I'm a beginner to electrics and don't know how to really get different sounds out it. Sounds good out of my Yamaha amp, sucks with distortion, definatley not made for distortion above 2 on the amp. I get a decent variety of sounds out of it. Great value at $150. Especially for a hollow body. One major drawback the strings it comes with suck, that should be the first thing you do, get new strings. I put Ernie Ball regular slinkys on there and they sound great. Requires alot of setting up, at least mine did. Sounds great acousticly too, could be alittle louder though. Good guitar, just be ready to set it up or pay someone to set it up, but you should be able to figure it out. // 7

Action, Fit & Finish: The only thing the factory set up was the Tune-O-Matic bridge, but then I had to readjust it for the new strings. Pickups are set up good as far as I can tell. The first one I bought was all beat up, but I think that was musicians friend's fault. They have great costumer service though and the second one was almost perfect except for one litte spot where the paint is worn. // 5

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will withstand live playing if you know what you are doing as far as amp effects go. Everything seems pretty sturdy. The finish will last unless you beat the hell out of it, but even then it would still look good. Strap buttons are solid, but I don't trust them as much as my Epiphone. I would probably bring a backup to a gig. // 7

Overall Impression: I don't really have a set style of music but this guitar seems it could handel most stuff pretty good. Ted Nuggent uses a Gibson just like this but I can't figure out how he gets that sound out of it. If this guitar were stolen I would not get another one. I wish I would have gotten a Silvertone Paul Stanley edition or either an Epiphone hollow body or an Ibanez hollow body. // 8

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overall: 8.2
Oscar Schmidt OE30 Reviewed by: H1ghGa1n, on may 30, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 150

Purchased from: garage sale

Features: I bought it at a garage sale a few years ago. It seems like brand new, but it probably had some adjusting done to it I'm sure. 22 frets but not the best access to the lower ones. I'm not to sure on the woods, but it gives a decent tone plugged and unplugged. HH pickup config with 2 volume and 2 tone controls. Tuners are grovers and stay in tune perfect. I got a gig bag with it and some extra strings and pics. // 10

Sound: The sound from the guitar is good if you have a good EQ on your amp or dist pedal, but the sound is really lacking that certain fullness. The stock pickups give a somewhat thin sound and the pickup swtich is starting to go on me. When ever I flip it to use the neck pickup it goes silent unless I jiggle the Switch around. I'd really like to replace the pickups though. I'm starting to get some fret buzz on the 5th fret and on some of the lower ones too, but it's pretty bad on the 5th mainly on the A string. It can get noisy but it's a semi-hollow body so it's sort of expected. If you have the right rig the guitars sound can be very versatile. I've been able to sort of get a metal tone but nothing too heavy, a thinner kind of master of puppets sound, think of a bulimic master of puppets, because it doesnt't really have any bottom end coming out of the pickups it's quite thin. It's also good for just about anything else in my opinion blues, jazz, and some punk stuff. I'm running it though a MT-2 metal zone and my Peavey studio pro 40, and sometimes my dads old fuzz pedal he made, and my Alesis Midiverb2. I also sometimes play it through my crapy Crate amp because it seems to be the only guitar besides my cheapo Strat copy that sound good through it. It realy sounds better through an OD'd amp than a dist pedal. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: I don't know about the factory setup, but I do know the action is nice and low and it's fairly easy to play, but the neck is a tad thicker than what I'm used too. The pickups should be low away from the strings not too close and I've played around with them a lot since I got it and just put them back to their original places because that's where it sounds best. Also the bridge kinda cuts into my hand sometimes, but it could be worse I'm sure. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It could withstand Live playing, but I'm sure a backup would be a good idea. The hardware seems like it could last a long time, and I'm not worried about it breaking on me. The strap buttons had to be screwed back in once, but after that no problems, and I don't think I'll ever need strap locks. The finish is incredible I once dropped it and fell on it and not even a scratch on it no cracks no nothing. // 10

Overall Impression: I play just about everything I can learn, but at heart I'm a metal head so I'll bust out a metal riff on this thing, mainly Metallica or something older, because that's kinda just the feeling I get holding it that's the heaviest thing I can get it to play, and it doesn't do it too well. I'm impressed with the fact that a jazz box that's fairly inexpensive can come that close to a heavy metal sound though. It is a great guitar for the price I just wish the clean and distorted sounds were a bit richer and fuller. // 8

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overall: 9.4
Oscar Schmidt OE30 Reviewed by: rebelauthority, on august 19, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: The OE30 comes with decent humbucker pickups A very high quality high gloss finish Tune-O-Matic Bridge Grover Tuners (Worth $50 right there) Semi Hollow Body construction And over all is a great guitar for under $500 The issue is with the bolted on neck. This makes it harder to play the frets nearest the body. On the other hand if the neck was ever broken (this does happen) replacing is much easier as you just swap them out. // 9

Sound: I play everything from Grunge to Country to Blues and this guitar has a GREAT SOUND (See Overall Impression below for why) I play this over a Fender Amp and also a Roland Cube 30 and it makes everything sound good. I have a Strat and a Gibson ES335 and I prefer this guitar because 1. It's less expensive so I'm not so worried to gig with it and 2. It sounds awesome (Very close to my Gibson read below for why) // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The OE30 is made correctly for the most part. The guitar is manufactured like a quality $500 guitar. The only issue is the nut, it is a little to low and will give you fret buzz if you don't raise the action or replace the nut (as I did) // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built like a TANK. I would have no problem gigging with this without a backup (and I have) but I always advise you have a backup on a paying gig in case some drunk guy falls on your guitar. With decent care this should look very good for years. // 10

Overall Impression: I traded in a 1950 Epiphone Regent Triumph with original case on an even trade with the OE30 (some would call me dumb but the Epi was in need of some repair due to a drunk guy falling on it) I put in a new Switch and a new volume pot. Upgraded the pickups (GuitarFetish.com is a great place for pickups and nuts) with Gold Plated Humbuckers with Chrome plated Brass Trim. Changed the inlays from Dot to trapezoid (like the Gibson). Replaced the nut with a taller Bison Bone so I could lower the action. And went with Rotosound Nexus Polymer Coated Electric Strings NXE10 This guitar now is a great sounding guitar. Working on it was a pain in the ___. It sounded great when I got it and it sounds awesome now. Overall I put about $250 into this guitar and it was being sold for $250 (Though I would have haggled on the price) If you want to put a little effort you could have a guitar that sounds like a $1000+ guitar for around $500. Again the only issue will be playing near the body. Lucky for me I just don't go there... // 9

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overall: 8
Oscar Schmidt OE30 Reviewed by: sroze478, on april 20, 2011
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 140

Purchased from: musiciansfriend.com

Features: My guitar was made in 2005 or 06 or something, that's when I bought it. So I've had it for a good 6 years now, and I still love it. It is pretty similar to an Epiphone Dot or an ES-335 in looks and style, and it shares a lot of their versatility. The neck's not bad the and the frets are fine, but once you get past about #17 it becomes very difficult to reach the frets, even for me with quite long fingers. That's pretty much my only gripe about this guitar, by the way. The woods are quality, the build is quality, the finish has stood up to me for 6 years, the Bridge is great, the Grover tuners really hold it in tune, and it just looks great. Oh, the knobs are a little iffy, and the input jack gets loose sometimes, and the pickup selector gets loose too. But I have opposable thumbs, so I'm capable of fixing that pretty easily. But on a more expensive instrument, those things wouldn't happen. // 8

Sound: So, I play rock and roll. That means Incubus, Red HOT Chili Peppers, Weezer, Third Eye Blind, Foo Fighters, Muse, and 90's rock. This guitar handles them all very well. The humbuckers kinda surprised me with their quality. I mean, these are no seymour duncans or PAFs or anything, but they get the job done pretty well. I have the Bridge one set pretty high the the neck one at a normal height, and that combo gives me a very crisp, trebely sound for Rhythm and a very aggressive, bassier, full, rich sound for Lead. I play this baby through my Behringer Firebird, a little 20-watt practice amp (aka my main amp :( and I often hook up a Boss Blues Driver pedal to it when I need more overdrive than the amp can make on its own. I really like this combo, not gonna lie. I can get very many sounds out of this guitar, that's the main reason I bought it. For example, I can match some Led Zeppelin sounds, some Chili Peppers, almost all Weezer sounds, some Muse, most Foo Fighters, Green Day, etc etc. On the Rhythm setting it can sound almost like a Strat. Like a more filled-out Strat sound. I do get some buzz when the overdrive is cranked and the volume is up, but I'd say that's from the amp, so I think this guitar is pretty quiet on it's own. On the clean side, this baby has a lot of potential. It is semi-hollow after all, so it sounds pretty good on low distortion and clean settings. This is probably where you'd benefit from better pickups though. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: When I bought this guitar from musiciansfriend, I got a very good deal because it was listed as "Blemished." Well folks, I could not find the blemish. Everything sounded right, the finish was not flawed at all, and everything was there... So, I really can't complain much about it. It was set up fine from the factory, I have changed a few things around and now I get some fret buzz sometime so I have to get that taken care of, but this action can get real low. The neck isn't the fastest, but I like how it feels. Some of the frets could have been finished better, but that comes with the price I suppose. I haven't done anything about them, and I've been playing on it for 6 years, so it's obviously not much of an issue. Oh, and I usually have light strings on it, 0.09s or 0.10s. I like the combo of mellow tone from the hollow-ness of the guitar but the bite of light strings. I imagine if you used heavier strings you could get some very different sounds than what I get from it. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 6 years and no major issues. I did take off the pickguard, just because I like it better that way. And I upgraded the strap button screws from the ones that came with it to some that I found in my basement that are a bit beefier, because the original ones did become loose. The rest of the hardware is pretty solid though, and it's been holding up just fine. I play it at least 4 or 5 times a week and have been for as long as I've owned it, and all that I've done is replace strings and those strap button screws. I've banged it around a bit on accident, a few drops and bumps and stuff, and it's been quite durable. // 8

Overall Impression: Overall, I love this guitar. My first electric, my first love, and still going strong. It looks beautiful, plays well, and everyone who plays it likes it. They never believe that I only paid $140 for it new :) If it were to be stolen, I would be quite upset, but I would probably welcome the opportunity to buy a more expensive guitar, only because I do think I've outgrown this one a bit and am ready for something a bit more advanced. But until then, I'm so happy with it that I don't really care. // 8

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