Price paid: C$ 1299
Purchased from: Colosimo's Music
Sound — 9
The WM526 has what I can only described as a neutral tone. The guitar doesn't seem to add much character of it's own to the tonal range. This is probably due to it's Mahogany body and active pickups. This is not necessarily a bad thing, it just means that your other gear amps and effects will player a bigger role in shaping it's overall tone. Since the WM526 is designed for metal and shred, I gave it a workout using IK Multimedia's AmpliTube Metal software. The WM526 adapted easily to all the different high gain models and effects I tried. In fact, I found that no matter how much gain I used, the WM526 never got muddy. Note definition was outstanding. I could even play Major Seventh chords with massive gain without the sonic mayhem this would normally cause with passive pickups. The WM526 always remained in control. This clarity of notes when using high gain amps makes it ideal for shredders.
Overall Impression — 10
The WM526 is truly a shred machine in every sense of the word. The Parker Carbon Glass Composite fretboard is very fast, and the well-behaved tone with it's excellent note clarity makes it ideal for blazing up and down the neck through high gain amps. The Floyd Rose locking system will keep you in tune through all your whammy bar excursions. If you are looking for a shred guitar, you owe it to yourself to give the Washburn WM526 a try.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar really seems Like it would take a beating and still stand up for itself.of course, with this pricey baby I try to cause as little damage to it as possible:p.But it seems pretty darn tough. The hardware is very responsive and well built. The EMG's can sure take a birage of different tons and still be perfect. What else is there to say?
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The fit and finish on this US built guitar was excellent. The frets were smooth and polished with no sharp ends. This is a high end guitar and it shows. The review unit I received was all black including the finish and the hardware. They all blended together to create a very sleek-looking guitar. A shiny, black, weapon-like instrument that would be at home in any metal or shred band. Yet it's looks are not so extreme that it would look totally out of place in other situations. It looks fast and lean, and it is. A real stunner. Well done Washburn.
Features — 10
The WM526 is a total shred machine. It features a Mahogany body with a set 25.5" scale Mahogany neck. The fretboard is Carbon Glass Composite with stainless steel frets made by Parker guitars, and includes the Buzz Feinten tuning system. It has an original Floyd Rose locking tremolo system. The tuners are Grovers and it has active EMG pickups an EMG 85 in the neck position and an EMG 81 in the bridge position. It comes with a nicely padded hard case.