Purchased from: Middletown Music
Sound — 9
When I first played the D56SW at Middletown Music I was blown away. The D56SW sounds as bright and has the resonance of guitars costing twice it's price. It compared well to american made guitars in the $2000 range. Since this is a solid wood guitar the sound will only improve with age. I bought this guitar locally because the guitar I originally ordered from Musicians Friend never arrived (It has been two weeks since I placed the order and they still have not refunded my money). I originally ordered one of the Washburn "SD" models and I am really glad that I ended up getting the D56SW because the sound is well worth the extra dollars.
Overall Impression — 9
When I was looking for a second acoustic guitar for my middle son I wanted a guitar with good sound and quality but did not want to spend a fortune for an American Made guitar. When I first played the D56SW at Middletown Music I was blown away. The D56SW sounds as bright and has the resonance of guitars costing twice it's price. The quality of the D56SW is excellent and that is surprising, considering that it was manufactured in China. This is the forth acoustic guitar I have purchased and is by far the best value of any guitar I have seen. To find an equivalent guitar from Martin or Taylor you would have to spend about twice the street price of the D56SW. So if you want the sound that only a solid wood guitar can provide and don't have money to throw away on a name, buy a Washburn D56SW. Oh, and I forgot to mention that Washburn is currently running a $50 rebate for any D56SW guitars purchased from Washburn dealers.
Reliability & Durability — 9
While this is not the guitar for the professional it is the right guitar for someone Who plays out occasionally. The guitar projects well and sounds great when miked. The guitar is extreemly strong and I believe it will last a lifetime. This guitar was a gift for my chef son who plays mainly blues. To say that he is tough on a guitar would be an understatement so I was looking for a guitar that could take a beating. I think that a gloss finish is a must if you are going to be playing out in all kinds of humidity/temp/smoke conditions and the finish on this guitar should stand-up well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The setup on this guitar was perfect right from the store. I suspect that the guys at Middletown music may have done some setup work becuase the action is fairly low. The neck on this guitar feels slightly narrower than standard dreadnaught acoustics and is really easy to play. The gloss finish of the solid spruce top and solid redwood back is perfect. The maple binding and inlays are beautiful without looking tacky. I am a perfectionist and I could not find anything wrong with this guitar. No extra glue inside, no flaws in the finish, no gaps in the inlay work.
Features — 9
The Washburn D56SW is an all solid wood dreadnaught that is manufactured in China. It has a solid sitka spruce top and solid redwood sides and back. It has a mahagony neck with 20 frets and a redwood fretboard with Mother of Pearl inlay. The tuning machines are the same 18:1 ratio Grover tuners that I have on two other gutiars. The binding is Maple on the neck and Maple and what looks like Mahogany on the body. The D56SW has a beautiful gloss finish and with all the excellent features does not look tacky like so many other guitars in it's price range (no gold plating, etc.) If this were an American made guitar I would give it a 10 but since it is foreign I have to give it a 9.