Price paid: $ 300
Purchased from: eBay
Features: This is my first review so be kind please. There was no selection for a "X40PRO" on the UG pull down list under model. There was only an "X40" and that is a shame because these two guitars are worlds apart. I tried an X40 model with the two humbucker and a single coil in the middle position configuration several years ago and was totally unimpressed. For some reason I still wanted to try this so-called PRO version because of the upgraded specs. I was not disappointed.
This guitar was made in Indonesia in 2007. That is the only "bad" part of it. Before that turns you off though you should know that it is made with top shelf specs.
The X40PRO has a light weight alder body with a bolt on maple neck. The neck is very thin and fast compared to most post WIZARD necks out there. This is definitely a nod to the 80s shredders guitars. I tried the X50PRO model with the set neck and it doesn't compare to this one. It was much chunkier than the the X40PRO and was painted which I do not like. The fretboard is rosewood with, count them, 24 frets. One of the striking things about this guitar is that there are no fret markers on the fretboard which I thought looked really cool. However, I would be totally lost without some kind of markers so luckily there are discreet markers on the side of the fretboard which I got used to very quickly. In fact, I think it is better than leaning way over to see the fretboard version of markers.
The hardware is what you would find on higher end guitars with Grover 18:1 gear ratio tuners, a Seymour Duncan '59 pickup in neck, a Seymour Duncan Distortion pickup in bridge and a REAL German made Schaller Floyd Rose Bridge. It is also outfitted with the Buzz Feiten Tuning System which I am not too sure about. It is one of the most controversial systems out there. All I know I'd the intonation is spot on regardless of the tuning system and that's all that matters.
The only aspect that causes me concern is the pitch angle of the head stock. It is quite an angle which makes it difficult to find a good match in a hard/poly-foam case. The end of the head stock sets back further which provides the neck less, or no, support in most cases as it sometimes doesn't even touch the support part inside the case. This is the only gripe I have with the guitar though. // 9
Sound: This is a Rocker guitar. Most high end Washburns come with a Seymour Duncan '59 pickup in neck and a Seymour Duncan Custom Custom in bridge. This one comes with a Seymour Duncan Distortion in the bridge which tells you that it is ready for heavier tones. This pickup also has the added feature of a coil tap operated by pulling the tone knob. Very cool. If you are looking for Vintage type tones though you should look elsewhere. All I play through right now for my year long ear training/transcription Quest is a Fender Champion 110 and it wails. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I can't find a thing wrong with the action, fit & finish. One thing of note is that the routing is very precise and the Schaller trem is completely flush with the body. Most routes are larger than needed and the trem is just kinda placed in there. This one seems to have have meticulous design and attention. Those Indonesians are doing a damn good job. Of course I bought this used so I don't know what the previous owner might have done to it. // 10
Reliability & Durability: Everything on this guitar is built solid and, if I gigged, I would wouldn't hesitate to use it without a backup if it weren't a necessity due to possible broken strings. Anyone who gigs with a floating trem on a guitar without a backup of some kind either had big balls or is a fool. // 10
Impression: Washburn makes plenty of crap guitars. I am convinced that they would be a much more highly respected brand if they didn't cater to the beginners market. Unfortunately, the el cheapo guitars is what you normally think of when you think of Washburns. This is not the case though with this, and any other mid/high end Washburn guitars I have tried. I have a WM100 USA Custom Shop that is to die for.
The X200PRO is the European version of this with the same specs except that it doesn't have the (kinda cool but kinda funky) carving on the top. I like the carving because it really differentiates this from literally all other guitars. However, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The black hardware on the black body is really sexy too.
If this was lost or stolen I would DEFINITELY scour the planet for another one but these things are VERY rare. I would pick up another one in a heartbeat if one came available.
A little note on Washburn in general: I just wish Washburn would branch out on the colors of their higher guitars. For a decade they seem to be mostly be black, blue or red. Give us some variety already. That being said, Washburn was recently bought out by a Canadian company and they promptly discarded the Buzz Feiten system which I am convinced is to same licensing fees. They also did away with the VCC tone controls which was a long standing feature for them. However, these cost cutting measures and new designs don't necessarily mean good things. I have tried a couple of the newer guitars and am not impressed. I hope I am wrong but I feel that the best years for Washburn are behind them. Luckily there is the X40PRO to prove that at one time they did do things right. // 10