MG40 review by Washburn

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  • Features: 5
  • Sound: 3
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.4 Decent
  • Users' score: 5 (25 votes)
Washburn: MG40
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Purchased from: Pawn Shop

Features — 5
This guitar was made in 1992 in Japan. It's a cheaply made superstrat, common for that era. It has a rosewood, 24-fret fretboard on top of a bolt-on maple neck. I'm not sure what kind of wood the body is made from, but I do believe it's maple. Simple HSS pickup configuration. It uses a Floyd Rose-style floating bridge and a locking nut. The bridge does a good job of staying in tune, but not when you play it really hard. The strings have a tendency to slip out of the saddles or unravel themselves, but this might just be because I use 12 gauge strings, and tune into E-flat. It has 2 knobs, 1 volume and 1 tone. The volume control is really noisy, and if you just barely hit it while you're playing, it will cause the pickups to fade in and out in a really odd manner. It uses non-locking tuners, but I'm not sure what kind they are.

Sound — 3
The bridge pickup has a really odd sound. It has almost no low end whatsoever. By that, I don't mean it just sounds really bright, but it sounds like it has a high pass filter on it, like when you're mixing music. The bass strings sounds really strangled because of this, but the treble strings sound fine. The middle pickup sounds pretty average, like you would find on a cheap strat. The neck pickup sounds very muddy. It has the same problem and the bridge pickup, but in reverse. It also doesn't seem to pick up the high e string.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
I bought this guitar used, so I can't say how well it was set up at the factory. However, I can say that it has a bit of buzzing when you set it up with low action, but nothing too bad. The pickups were adjusted fine when I bought it, but they have a tendency to recede into the guitar over time, so you constantly have to adjust them. The guitar isn't exactly built like a tank, but it's very durable for being so cheap. I would use it for gigging, but I would recommend taking a backup, because even though it seems VERY unlikely, this guitar seems like it could break pretty easily it you dropped it hard enough.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Like I said previously, it's very durable. The hardware will last you decades of gigging and playing constantly, but I can't say the same for the pickups. The strap buttons are solid, and I would recommend it for gigging if you don't have a backup on hand. The finish will last just fine, I have had no problems with it wearing off. It doesn't look to pretty, but it's a durable machine. The springs at the back of the bridge have quite a bit of rust, but the still seem pretty solid, and haven't given me any problems.

Overall Impression — 5
Since I play more heavy handed, punk-oriented stuff, id doesn't suit me well. It would be better for shredders who do lots of divebombing. It would be a great guitar, if it weren't for the terrible pickups. If you get one of these replace them the first chance you get. Then you'd have a nice guitar. I will replace this as soon as I get the money to do so. I would recommend it to someone with a more technical playing style, or a beginner who wants something nicer that a Squier Strat from Wal-Mart.

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