MG40 review by Washburn

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 9.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 5.1 (26 votes)
Washburn: MG40

Price paid: $ 109

Purchased from: Pawn 1

Sound — 9
This guitar can do anything from Jazz to Thrash Metal, on the right settings. I normally play a LOT of Heavy Metal, and it works great. I use it with a Laney TF300 from about the same era. It can be noisy at times, but only when you have it blasting really loud. It is probably the best guitar I own, sound-wise.

Overall Impression — 10
This is an AMAZING guitar for people who play a lot of different styles. If this guitar were stolen/lost, I would DEFINITELY buy another one. It is a perfect guitar for experienced players. I love it. I definitely recommend this guitar to anyone who likes Strat-style guitars.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar can EASILY withstand live playing, even for people that abuse their guitars insanely onstage. The hardware is in near-perfect condition, despite never being changed for almost 20 years, and being used constantly. The strap buttons are solid, and the strap has never come off while I was playing, even though I headbang a LOT. The finish is pretty much perfect, except for a few chips in the guitar. It would last a LONG time, no matter how much (and how often) it gets played.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The only major flaw I can find on this amazing guitar is a noisy pickup switch, which is relatively common for guitars about 20 years old. The pickups are well-adjusted, and the bridge, despite being a licensed model, is very solid. The guitar is also very customizable, based on your needs. The action was set up almost perfectly at the factory, and I can't find many flaws, just set it up right and it will work fine.

Features — 8
The guitar was made around 1992/1993. I think it was made in Japan, but I can't quite remember. It has a 24-fret Bolt-On Oak neck. It also has a licensed Floyd Rose style bridge, with passive pickups. The only problem with the electronics is it only gives you two knobs. I normally mute one pickup and quickly switch between them, so that doesn't work. It also has a 5-way pickup switch, which makes it hard to quickly switch between pickups. It has 2 passive single coil humbuckers, and 1 double coil, at the bridge, which is somewhat unusual for a Strat-style guitar. It has Non-locking pickups. It has no shortage of features for an experienced guitarist, so that's a plus, right?

15 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Grab up any Japanese guitar that you can. Those were the good old days. Now you have to dish out over a grand to get anything close to them.
    Sweet! I've got a Charvel superstrat from 1990 with about the same features. Really flexible guitars thoose Japaneese guys did back then!
    what an awkward review, 9.2 for a guitar that's under 200 dollars? And you can play jazz on it? You can play jazz on any guitar, it doesn't make it a versatile guitar especially one with a locking trem
    Remember that it was made in Japan and it might be that cheap because it was bought used. You can get good guitars for cheap if you buy used. And the guitar is 20 years old and made by Washburn, not the most expensive brand. Also HSS pickups make it versatile and what's wrong with FR bridge? Yes, the review was bad but it doesn't make the guitar bad. And I have no experience with this guitar so I can't tell if it's really good or bad.
    What's wrong with a locking trem besides being a pain in the ass and lessening sustain?
    Honestly, I'd rate this guitar about 4.5-ish, because the locking nut can't withstand my heavy-handed playing style. Also, the pickups seem to be extremely sensitive to interference, and the neck pickup doesn't amplify the high e string enough. However, it does stay in tune rather well, and it's one of the most comfortable guitars I've played. I'd say it would work well if you do a lot of divebombing, you'd just have to get used to the awkward humbucker sound (it has essentially no low end, and sounds a bit squeaky).
    Just traded into one of these and it is a pretty versatile axe indeed. Great feel and quality sound at a great price!
    SHaun Steel
    I had one of these yrs ago and I'm certain it was made in Korea. I had lots of problems with high frets on it once hammered down it played quite well. I agree the stock pups weren't up to much.