Hi everyone,

I'm about to buy my first electric, been playing on acoustics for about 4 years now (currently a Tak EG523). I'm going for an ES clone for both aesthetics and sound; I want to play rock (british stuff mainly, libertines, kooks, etc), folk and blues, I was told semi-hollows and telecasters were the best choices for that purpose but I just hate the Tele look. Plus, being a tall guy coming from a jumbo-sized acoustic, I feel more comfortable with a chunky beauty. Solid bodies make me feel like I'm playing ukulele or something :/

I'm not telling you anything new, there are so many of ES copies to choose from it can get confusing for simple mortals like me, especially since only a few of them are available at my local shop (and even then, I'm not used to playing on electrics so it's pretty hard for me to try and judge them properly). After doing some research, I managed to narrow it down to 2 models :

The guys at my local shop introduced me to the Hamer Echotone :

It looks and feels great, as mentionned before I'm not comfortable with electrics yet so after trying it I asked for a demo from one of the guys there and I was blown away, it has a really nice sound to it and seems quite versatile. I'm pretty sure they still have it, they don't have price tags on their guitars but I think they were willing to sell it for around 500€ (700$). I can't think of any cons, seems like it's just a great guitar for the price, and all the reviews I could find were going in that direction.

And then there's the Washburn HB32 :

I was almost on my way to buy the Hamer recently and I stumbled upon this absolute beauty. I can't put words on how much I love that distressed finish, it gives it such a unique look, and even though the sound obviously matters a lot, I want a guitar I will HAVE to pick up every time I see it in my room, so it's scoring big points. The thing is, I haven't seen it in flesh (well, in wood) and I'm afraid to order blindly online. Reviews are really good though, some minor things here and there but nothing too bad, people seem to find that the neck is quite thin but my tak's fretboard is narrow as hell too so it's no big deal for me. It's also a lot less expensive than the Hamer - I could get it for 330€ (460$)

So in the end, reviews are telling me that they're both awesome choices in their respective price range, but that doesn't help. What if we compare them directly ? Does the Hamer sound *noticeably* better ? Good enough to make you think I should sacrifice the looks (and more money) to get it over the WB ?

Thanks in advance, hope someone is able to share their experience because these are probably not the most common models x)

BTW sorry if I made any mistakes, I'm just french

PS : If anyone has any other suggestions in this price range, I'd love to know about them
Last edited by Mgroeber at Oct 26, 2011,
Bumping this back on the 1st page, would be really helpful if I could gather some opinions, I'm probably headed to the shop later today or tomorrow. Cheers !