Price paid: £ 200
Purchased from: Ebay (bargain)
Sound — 6
I'll play anything from blues, to bluegrass, to rock, to hard rock, to even some metal. The pickups are pretty versatile, so I can easily get just about any sound I want. I'm playing it through my Vox AD15VT, sometimes with a Boss OS-2 pedal, but not often. The guitar can handle all the tones, but the pickups are really undefined when I turn on just a bit of gain. The treble is not articulated, and seems too rounded and undefined. The pickups aren't noisy though, and they do have a rich sound. With the right settings, I can get a good bright sound. The cleans on this guitar are fantastic! The rock side however, not so much. With a simple pick-up change, the sound would be improved vastly.
Overall Impression — 9
The guitar itself is quite good. It contains something I've always admired of Washburn, and that is fantastic quality control. The guitar is stunning, and can handle just about any genre. Again, I would recommend a pickup change as soon as possible, so you can get the best out of the guitar. I would easily pay 700 for it, and then spend another 150 for pickups. I chose this guitar because it was stunning, and had quite good reviews, for which I understand and support now that I own it. Needless to say, I love this guitar!
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar can withstand anything. I've constantly knocked it into walls and such, and no cracks or dents have started to show yet. The hardware will last, but I would recommend a pick-up change. The strap buttons are quite solid and work very well; strap locks aren't necessary unless you're planning on spinning the guitar or doing flips or something. I would definitely use this on a gig, by itself without a backup. The finish is quite solid, and will last many years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Since I did not get the guitar directly from a licensed dealer, I am unable to review the factory set-up. What I can say is this. The action can go pretty low. When using 9's, I got the action to the lowest I ever have with any guitar, and there was no fret-buzz. I've upgraded to 11's by now, so the action needed to be raised, but it still stays quite low and quite easy to play. I adjusted the pickup height myself just to try to get more clarity, but it didn't matter. I put them back where they were, because that's what they were best at. The bridge tailpiece and other cavities are all quite smoothly routed, and the electronics on the inside are quite organized. There were some flaws with the guitar, but they were all due to the previous owner's inability to take care of a guitar.
Features — 8
The guitar as best I can tell from the serial number was made in 2003. It was made in Korea. There are 22 frets that feel medium to me, but I could be wrong. They are on a really nice dark piece of rosewood. The guitar has a highly figured quilt maple top, and it has an incredibly blue dyed finish, with a really good shell of lacquer. The body and neck are both made of solid mahogany. The body style resembles that of a Les Paul, but is shorter and fatter, which I find to be much more comfortable. The bridge has what's called a 'Fulcrum Stay-In-Tune Vibrato Tailpiece' which is essentially a Fender Vintage style trem. The guitar has Washburn stock passive humbucking pickups. There are two volume, two tone, and a three-way toggle switch. The tuners are Grover Locking 18:1 tuners. The guitar also features two of Washburn's infamous designs. One being the Buzz Feiten Tuning system, which uses a different kind of nut to properly keep the guitar intonated. It does quite a good job. The other is VCC (Voice Contour Control), which is a coil split, but in a knob. These take place of the tone knobs. Dial it to 0, and you have a single-coil. 10 is humbucker. 5 is either P90, or a hot-rail type sound. You can go inbetween and try to find some unique tones. Very useful.