#1
im getting my choices narrowed down here- believe it or not- LOL, i was almost set between the yamaha FGX 730 or 720 until i played washburn WD20sce today- i just like the fit, finish and playability of it better, only thing is it has the rosewood sides and cost $50 more then the W10 model, my problem is the lows sound a bit muddy with my hearing, so im wondering if the less expensive W10 with mahogany sides would be a better choice, or get the rosewood W20 and put on 11 gauge strings for a brighter tone? thanks for any help- john
#2
Quote by harpspitfire
im getting my choices narrowed down here- believe it or not- LOL, i was almost set between the yamaha FGX 730 or 720 until i played washburn WD20sce today- i just like the fit, finish and playability of it better, only thing is it has the rosewood sides and cost $50 more then the W10 model, my problem is the lows sound a bit muddy with my hearing, so im wondering if the less expensive W10 with mahogany sides would be a better choice, or get the rosewood W20 and put on 11 gauge strings for a brighter tone? thanks for any help- john
I wouldn't say that ".011 strings" will automatically give you a "brighter tone. They will cut out some of the bass, hence causing the guitar to sound brighter. You have the same amount of bright as before, but less bass.

80/20 alloy "brass" or plain bronze. are often recommended for rosewood guitars.While phosphor bronze is recommended for the natively brighter mahogany.

So, to brighten up rosewood, you would just switch the alloy to 80/20, while maintaining the same gauge set. That way, you wouldn't suffer the same bass loss, but would get a brighter tone.
#3
Even in laminates, the better chance of getting "bright" is to have mahogany rather than rosewood b&s. Most folks think of 12 and 13s as the acoustic gauges. 11s are more likely to make it sound thin rather than bright. 80/20 would be brighter than phos bronze, but they don't last as long. I don't know how coated strings compare with plain.
#4
The back and sides of a guitar contribute very little to its sound and it's also difficult to predict how different strings will sound on a particular guitar. Personally I view back and side wood - both solid and laminate - much more as a cosmetic feature rather than a contributor to sound.

A particular guitar sounds pretty much the way it sounds whatever tinkering you do. You hear people asking things like "If I buy this or that guitar will it sound better if I put a dinosaur bone saddle and gold plated strings on it?" - it's bonkers - buy a guitar that sounds good and plays well to you - just as it is - and enjoy it. It will sound a bit brighter for a few days when you put new strings on it then it will settle down to how it usually sounds.

For what it's worth I think the Washburn W10 is a good, value-for-money guitar. I've played a few of them and they are very "playable" and sound OK. As for strings I would recommend that, whatever guitar you buy, you experiment with different makes, compositions and gauges. I generally use 10's or 11's on my dreadnoughts - they sound fine to my ears and play well.

PS. A true story: a couple of days ago I bought a set of cheap and cheerful, no-name, made in China 80/20 strings that I found in the 99p box in a charity shop. I put them on my Crafter TD06 dreadnought to replace the D'Addario 80/20 strings that were on it and the guitar sounded just about the same. Go figure.
#5
Quote by Garthman
...[ ]...For what it's worth I think the Washburn W10 is a good, value-for-money guitar. I've played a few of them and they are very "playable" and sound OK. As for strings I would recommend that, whatever guitar you buy, you experiment with different makes, compositions and gauges. I generally use 10's or 11's on my dreadnoughts - they sound fine to my ears and play well.
FWIW,(and this was most likely true of most Asian guitars, of the period, especially MIC builds), Washburns were absolutely cringe worthy, back in the mid 90's. They made a fair amount of left hand models, so I checked them out. The music shop in may area sold them. Upon close inspection, the 12 strings had actions very close to, if not more, than 3/8" of an inch off the deck.

(I'm offering this as purely anecdotal, as I haven't a clue how their product as evolved since then). The skinny blond Wilson sister from Heart, was pitching their, "White Eagle" electric near that time period, of which she had a custom build, (s?).

I can say truthfully, the Epiphone 12 string I bought around the same time, was a massive turd as well. With that guitar, I had to notch out the bridge to clear the E-6. It took a lot of soul searching, and Musician's Friend's 30 day return policy, to convince me buying another Epiphone was even close to a sensible idea. My new Epi EJ-200 SCE was close to perfect, right out of the box...

Quote by Garthman
PS. A true story: a couple of days ago I bought a set of cheap and cheerful, no-name, made in China 80/20 strings that I found in the 99p box in a charity shop. I put them on my Crafter TD06 dreadnought to replace the D'Addario 80/20 strings that were on it and the guitar sounded just about the same. Go figure.
Go figure indeed. I bought a Crafter 12 string AE from Adirondack Guitar. (They sell a lot of lefties). The guitar's specs for the strings were noted as, "Korean 12 string). Dear lord,, they were absolutely putrid! I believe the set was brass, they had that light gold color. I thought I had been ripped off for guitar. So, I replaced them immediately with a set of D'Ads, in PB, a .010 to .047 set. Didn't even take the free grace period for changing a string set, which normally comes with a new guitar. The D'Addarios changed the sound of the guitar almost completely, and I've been living with it happily ever since. So yeah, you were pretty darn lucky...
#6
laminate guitars often have a sort of fuzzy sound, and while using strings like DR rares can improve that a bit, it's the nature of the beast. btw, i personally don't care for the washburn sound as much as the sound of yamahas, and that boxy sound is one of the reasons.

btw, the sidewood on most laminate back and sides guitars is only a paper-thin veneer of the specified wood - usually rosewood or mahogany - covering thicker layers of a cheaper wood. some brands do deliver a better tone than most, but having multiple glued layers can cut down on volume and clarity in many cases.
Quote by Skeet UK
I just looked in my Oxford English Dictionary and under "Acoustic Guitar", there was your Avatar and an email address!
Last edited by patticake at Feb 15, 2015,
#7
Quote by patticake
...[ ]...btw, the sidewood on most laminate back and sides guitars is only a paper-thin veneer of the specified wood - usually rosewood or mahogany - covering thicker layers of a cheaper wood. some brands do deliver a better tone than most, but having multiple glued layers can cut down on volume and clarity in many cases.

Now be fair, the 'paper thin veneer', is on both sides of the lamination, and it does impart a fair amount of the sound of the wood would have if tit were solid.

As a rebuttal to 'boxy', I got nothin'.
#9
Quote by Captaincranky
. . . . . FWIW,(and this was most likely true of most Asian guitars, of the period, especially MIC builds), Washburns were absolutely cringe worthy, back in the mid 90's. . . . .


I'm sure you are right. But since the introduction of modern machinery to factories and the wide availability of good quality materials and components things have improved enormously - many PacRim-made guitars are every bit as good as Western-made ones.

Quote by Captaincranky
. . . . . Go figure indeed. I bought a Crafter 12 string AE from Adirondack Guitar. (They sell a lot of lefties). The guitar's specs for the strings were noted as, "Korean 12 string). Dear lord,, they were absolutely putrid! . . . . . :


Those strings had probably been on the guitar for centuries LOL.

PS. I had a quick look at "Adirondack Guitars" - they carry some nice looking stuff.
#10
Quote by Captaincranky
FWIW,(and this was most likely true of most Asian guitars, of the period, especially MIC builds), Washburns were absolutely cringe worthy, back in the mid 90's. They made a fair amount of left hand models, so I checked them out. The music shop in may area sold them. Upon close inspection, the 12 strings had actions very close to, if not more, than 3/8" of an inch off the deck.

(I'm offering this as purely anecdotal, as I haven't a clue how their product as evolved since then). The skinny blond Wilson sister from Heart, was pitching their, "White Eagle" electric near that time period, of which she had a custom build, (s?).

I can say truthfully, the Epiphone 12 string I bought around the same time, was a massive turd as well. With that guitar, I had to notch out the bridge to clear the E-6. It took a lot of soul searching, and Musician's Friend's 30 day return policy, to convince me buying another Epiphone was even close to a sensible idea. My new Epi EJ-200 SCE was close to perfect, right out of the box...

Go figure indeed. I bought a Crafter 12 string AE from Adirondack Guitar. (They sell a lot of lefties). The guitar's specs for the strings were noted as, "Korean 12 string). Dear lord,, they were absolutely putrid! I believe the set was brass, they had that light gold color. I thought I had been ripped off for guitar. So, I replaced them immediately with a set of D'Ads, in PB, a .010 to .047 set. Didn't even take the free grace period for changing a string set, which normally comes with a new guitar. The D'Addarios changed the sound of the guitar almost completely, and I've been living with it happily ever since. So yeah, you were pretty darn lucky...


I have a washburn wd7s that's about a year old and as far as I'm concerned they are still "cringe worthy". The best way to describe the sound would be harsh with plenty of buzz. Terrible fretwork and the action was low on the saddle end and very high on the nut end. I guess with washburn, the higher the number - the better the quality or maybe I just got a bad sample.
#11
My dad's Washburn D10S-12 I have is an absolute basket case. Its just horrible to play. Te action is like 3/8" at the 12th fret, which is an absolute joke. And because of that action, the intonation is really painful. If the guitar is ever going to play right, it needs a neck reset no question. But for a £200 guitar? Not worth it. The 6th fret is also high and it buzzes on the B string. Even with the stupid action.

Its a shame because it is actually a pretty decent sounding 12 string for its price range. Even if the back and sides are a mahogany laminate, at least the top is solid spruce.

On the other hand though, my sister has another Washburn acoustic (forgot the model) and that guitar plays really nicely actually. Probably because the saddle was shaved and the frets were checked for levelling by the store my sister bought the guitar from.

I think the back and sides do make a significant difference to tone. If you A/B guitars with the same construction but different B/S and you can't hear a difference, you're pretty tone deaf imo. To me the difference is quite surprising.
Quote by TheSennaj
And well yes, I'll enjoy the carpal tunnel and tendonitis, because trying to get one is clearly smarter than any word you have spoken thus far.
Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Feb 17, 2015,
#12
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
My dad's Washburn D10S-12 I have is an absolute basket case. Its just horrible to play. Te action is like 3/8" at the 12th fret, which is an absolute joke. And because of that action, the intonation is really painful. If the guitar is ever going to play right, it needs a neck reset no question. But for a £200 guitar? Not worth it. The 6th fret is also high and it buzzes on the B string. Even with the stupid action.
If you could, please take a moment to post the vintage of your dad's 12 string. I'm of the opinion that every acoustic guitar MIC a couple of decades ago, had the need for a neck reset built into it.

I can say with full certainty my Epiphone 12 string surely did.
#13
Resetting the necks of many Asian guitars would be very difficult, even if the the value of the guitar justified it, because the neck joint is epoxied. - That is the reason I would only by brands I know have a resettable neck joint. However, for anyone who likes tinkering, this might be worth a try:



What I did was make a wide saw cut down the heel, then force the neck back (two blocks and a bucket of water) and (epoxy) glue it. I then tidied up the saw cut and filled it with black bog made from epoxy and tempera paint. It took a couple of tries, including the screw hole, which turned out to be unnecessary, which accounts for the fairly wide black strip. This one didn't have a truss rod, which simplified it, but my repairer mate got it to work OK on a neck that did have a truss rod.

The nail and bog in the body aren't my doing, the guitar was built like that, a fine piece of Colombian workmanship.
Last edited by Tony Done at Feb 17, 2015,