Price paid: $ 200
Sound — 7
The sound is pretty good for the price, better than anything else in this price range anyway. However, I find it to be stronger in the highs and that for a dreadnought it lacks lows. But if you record, this could actually be a blessing. It is also good if you use a soundhole pickup like I do, because it avoids the boominess of other more bassy guitars. It sounds clear and woody enough. But this is no Martin. For a very inexpensive Acoustic I think it is excellent, but if you spend a bit more you will obviously notice the difference.
Overall Impression — 9
Overall I find this to be by far the best Acoustic in this price range and in order to surpass it you might even have to pay double. However, there is no getting around the fact that it is an entry level solid-top guitar so don't expect a refined pro-level guitar. However, I've made many recordings with it and people are tricked into thinking it's a far better guitar. Sure the playing has a lot to do with that, as does the placement of mics or pickups and EQing, etc, but if one can get a really good recording from it then I'd say it's worth keeping. In short, an excellent value.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've owned it for about 3 years and have had no problems. It will handle live playing as well as any acoustic. One drawback I've noticed, which affects any Acoustic instrument but on this I've found a bit more noticeable, is the neck does move a lot with weather and himitidy changes. I find having to adjust the truss rod on this a lot more than on my other axes. But the neck is in no way warped. It's perfect, just a little high on maintenance.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The construction is very good. The only flaw I notice is that the back part of the dovetail on the neck is a bit crooked, but that in no way affects the playability or sound. The top doesn't have the closest grain, which I hear is the most desirable in an acoustic, but it resonates nicely. And the glue and wood work is flawless. Impressive for a cheap Chinese axe.
Features — 9
Don't know what year it was made but it was done in China. Dreadnought Acoustic with a mahogany neck, swamp ash back and sides and solid sitka spruce top. Rosewood fretboard and bridge, large frets and grover tuners. The tuners are really the only feature that stands out. They are excellent. Grover really makes good quality tuners and Washburn has made an excellent alliance with that company. It really ups the quality of the guitar.