Price paid: C$ 350
Purchased from: Fanfare (local music/skate/apparal store)
Features: As far as I know, this guitar was made in 2011 at the Washburn factory in the States. I honestly have no idea regarding the manufacture date, etc and I can't be assed to bother looking.
Features of the guitar include:
- Flame maple top, basswood body
- 24 fret maple neck, rosewood fretboard w/ medium jumbo frets. I'm thinking it's a D profile neck - it's not a baseball bat but it's not like an Ibanez neck either.
- Super Strat style body with string through body and Tune-O-Matic bridge
- Passive Washburn designed humbuckers (more on those later)
- One volume and one tone knob w/ three way switching
- Washburn tuners, not sure of the gear ratio. I'm assuming 18:1 since it's fairly accurate
- Came with a hardshell Profile case, a crappy patch cable and a package of cocaine. No, not really. Just those little things used to keep the case smelling fresh. Silica gel I think it's called?
Overall, I'm pleased with the features of the guitar, especially considering what I paid for it. 8/10, mostly because of the pickups, which I'll explain below in the "Sounds" section. // 8
Sound: Overall, this guitar suits my playing styles, which range from country to most forms of metal. My signal chain thus far consists of guitar(s) < Boss TU-3 Tuner Pedal < Boss CE-5 Chorus Ensemble < Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator < Dunlop ZW-45 Zakk Wylde Wah < Randall RG75. All of my Boss pedals are housed in a Boss BCB-30 Powered Pedal Board for easy set-up/transportation.
It sounds good both clean and dirty, but I mostly play it on the dirty setting of my amp. This guitar has TONS of sustain thanks to its string through body design. It's not too bright, not too dark. It sits nicely in the middle so it really cuts through the mix when I'm playing in any setting - whether I'm playing at my church with my worship band or rocking out with my new metal outfit, Poets Operandi. I can get a variety of different sounds, from clean country twang to raging metal and everything in between, but one of my favorites is to take both pickups, roll some tone off, go clean and add some chorus. It's a very nice interlude style sound.
Now, for my complaints here - the pickups. They sound incredibly tinny and they buzz a LOT when not being played on both clean AND dirty settings. I'm not sure if it's mismatched wiring or what, but these could be a lot better. I had better pickups on my Epiphone Les Paul Special II when I owned that. Currently saving up to put some Duncans in there - either an Invader or a Dimebucker in the bridge and a Jazz in the neck. For this section overall, I'd give it a 7, mostly because of all the pickup flaws. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar's initial set-up wasn't bad, but it needed to be improved. The action was just right for me - not too low and not too high. There was a bit of mild fret buzz when I got it, but that was easily remedied. The intonation was also way off, but a screwdriver and a tuner pedal combined with lots of patience fixed that problem.
Pickups are at a good height despite their flaws, and provided even output from the neck and bridge positions. Top was bookmatched nicely, as well as the bridge being properly routed and attached. I only wish the TOM part of it locked into the body like on Epiphone guitars. I found no real flaws on the guitar itself, other than the small issues I'd mentioned above, but it's nothing to split hairs over. I would most definitely rate it high here. // 9
Reliability & Durability: I have gigged with this guitar many times, and it can most definitely withstand live playing. Everything here seems like it's going to take a licking and keep on ticking. The stock strap buttons were very solid, but on every guitar I own, I've attached Schaller straplocks just to be safe. I do not want to damage my investments. I would definitely gig without a backup guitar if I had to, but since I own two electrics, I always bring both in case I break a string or something.
Finish is very nicely put together and will most definitely last. I've been playing Cherri (yes, I named my guitar for her red flame maple top) almost nonstop since I got her, which was 3 months ago. No wear and tear from all my sweat. Just needs to be polished after I'm finished to keep her nice n shiny. // 10
Overall Impression: As I stated before, I play everything from country to metal and again, this guitar is a good match as is, but it could stand some improvements, at least in my opinion. I bought this guitar with the intent of making it my "mess around" project. It's a starter instrument for most but overall, it's a very solid quality.
I've been playing guitar for 8 years and my other gear can be found above, minus my other guitars, which include a Washburn D20 acoustic modified with a Fishman pre-amp (named her "Burny"), Ibanez AE acoustic/electric that I was given as a Christmas gift ("The Black Nez"), and an Ibanez ART 300 electric I bought second hand from a friend ("Arty"). I most definitely did not have any complaints buying this guitar and there was nothing I would have asked before purchase.
If stolen, I would most definitely buy another one and modify it as I had planned. The feel of the guitar is comparable with some of the other guitars I played at the time, which consisted of other entry level to mid-level guitars. My friend was surprised when I told him how much I paid for the guitar - he thought I had paid something significantly higher.
Things I love - the color, the feel of the neck, the way it hangs comfortably on the strap, and the sustain! Things I'm not too fond of - the pickups, the non-lock in TOM bridge, and the somewhat mediocre set up (but a little bit of elbow grease can remedy it). Overall, this guitar is good for the price point it's in and if you're looking for a guitar to have for modding out, I would suggest you give this one a look. // 7