RX50 review by Washburn

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  • Features: 8
  • Sound: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 8 (2 votes)
Washburn: RX50

Features — 8
Not sure what year this was made or what country it was made in, but I can tell you that this is a 24 fret guitar, rosewood fretboard and mahogany-set neck. The colour is listed as "flame-black sunburst," but I would call it "pebble-brown." The headstock is black and has the Washburn logo on it. It's a very nice, smart looking guitar. It has a string-thru-body bridge, knobs for tone and volume and a switch for the pickups. The pickups are dual Washburn humbuckers - and as far as stock pickups go, they aren't that bad, especially for the price. The neck is quite thin, but it seems to fit my hands perfectly, which is good.

Sound — 7
I play sludge/doom/death/thrash sort of stuff, but use a lot of spaced-out cleans and use flangers, phasers and chorus pedals a lot. I've used this guitar through 3 different amps - a Roland Cube 15XL with a Metal Muff pedal, Peavey Vypyr 30 and currently a Jet City 100HDM. It's sounded pretty decent on all those amps and when using various different pedals, but I have always found that when playing clean WITHOUT effects, the tone is a bit lifeless. The pickups are also quite muddy, but since I have a very sludgey tone, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, although if you play other styles it might well be. Overall though, it is relatively simple to get some good sounds out of this guitar and you could play any genre with it, from blues, jazz and funk to rock or metal. It's certainly versatile.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The action was absolutely fine when I got this out the box - the pickups were excellently adjusted, the strings were all perfectly in tune and the action was great, with no buzz on any fret. It was also absolutely spotless - not a single blemish on it whatsoever. Overall, great condition. But then I went and ruined everything by adding thicker strings and tuning down to Drop A. It's worth noting that, whilst I needed to adjust the action greatly to use this tuning, I didn't need to adjust the truss rod or anything. Whatever I do, I have a bit of buzz on the first two frets, but that's my own damn fault for tuning so low on a six string, isn't it?

Reliability & Durability — 7
I've had this guitar for about a year now and I have managed to give it a few dents and scratches... but that's because I've accidentally bashed it up a few times. As long as you don't bash it up though, it stays in tune very well and resists damage. One consistent problem I've had, however has been with the input jack socket. It has this habit of getting loose every so often - to the point where some of the wires broke - but this can be prevented by tightening the screws every now and then. That's the only major problem I've had though, so I guess it's a reliable enough guitar and I'd be content to gig with it without a backup.

Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing for about 5 years and haven't really tried that many guitars, but my RX50 is doing a decent enough job for now and I am content with the tone I can get from it with my other gear. Now, if this was lost or stolen I'd probably try something different, but that's mainly because I'd want something more expensive - although if money was tight, I'd be more than tempted to get another one. Overall, I think that as far as the price goes, this is actually a decent instrument. Normally lower-priced guitars are let down by awful pickups, but the stock ones on this aren't that bad and I'd wager that if you replaced them with expensive ones and kept the input socket tight, this guitar could last you a long, long time.

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