X30 review by Washburn

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 7 (39 votes)
Washburn: X30

Price paid: $ 320

Purchased from: Parsons Music

Sound — 8
I play metal/jazz/rock and this guitar is fairly good for all three of them. I can get a very nice metal tone with the pickups which are pretty high output. Sounds incredible through a tube-amp and pinch harmonics drop like butter. Bridge position gives off a lot of bite and attack when coupled with the alder body however flip it to the neck position and there's a great solo sound especially when used with a TS808 or something along those lines. The neck position is also nice when you want to get your distortion a bit mellower for rock/blues though tbh I depend a bit more on my pedal (MD-2) to get that sort of nice crunchy overdrive. As for jazz, you can't really play jazz on a solid body and expect Bireli Lagrene/Charlie Christian tones but the neck pup (once again) is especially big and fat with tubes so it's alright I guess. During practice I'm playing this through a Roland Microcube (solid-state) and a Boss MD-2. The MD-2 along with the X30 sounds very good but the Microcube is what's pissing me off. The tone of the guitar really breaks through when played through tubes (as most guitars anyway) so play with tubes! And finally, the pickups aren't really noisy (humbuckers, durr) though they do get a little mad with a 100w amp cranked to 11 but you'd never do that anyway, I hope. The bridge pup is bright and attacky and full of menace whilst the neck pickup gives you great fat tones when playing rhythm and awesome sustain and clarity when soloing. However, I have noted when I use the split coil on the neck pup, the tone gets a tad muddy when distorted (clean is okay). Split-coil on the bridge can get some very nice Strat tones when used with the right type of pedal/amp too. The tone of this guitar is fairly varied and I don't really have any concerns here although tbh, I think I'll change the pickups anyway.

Overall Impression — 9
I've played for three years and counting and have owned/own an Ibanez Ergodyne, a Musiya acoustic, a Boss MD-2 and a Roland Microcube. I can't really compare this to my acoustic as it's a bag of balls and acoustic. However, this totally shits all over my Ergodyne which was heavy with terrible tone and a horrible tremolo system. When coupled with the Boss MD-2, the guitar screams though if run through tubes. Don't use pedals with a solidstate amp when using this guitar, it'll sound terrible. However if your getting a direct-feed from the guitar to the amp, it'll sound alright. Erm, anyway for metal and rock, the Washburn delivers very well. For jazz, well, y'know it's solidbody. If it were stolen or lost, I would not buy another one but rather get a Washburn X50PRO fe. The only reason I didn't get the X50 over this is because I was short on funds and there was a huge discount at the store when I bought this. It's very good value nonetheless. I absolutely love the neck width/thickness and feel of it. The split-coil, feiten nut and grover tuners are also very worthwhile for this price. Some of Washburn's factory settings are shit although you can change that easily. That did give me a bad first impression of it though. I originally contemplated buying an Ibanez RG312MH before this. The value of the Washburn is a lot better than the RG321MH (although the Ibanez is cheaper). I'm glad I got this instead. If I could make a few improvements to this, I'd definitely get an ebony fingerboard and maybe some EMG or DiMarzio pickups, gold hardware and a neckthru but really, that's pushing it. I guess on hindsight I do kinda dislike the X inlay, but really, overall this guitar is great bang for the buck.

Reliability & Durability — 8
I've played this guitar quite a lot since I've bought it and gigged with it twice or so. The finish picks up a lot of scratches but lots of the small ones can be rubbed out with some polish. I've gotten a few dings here and there, but those are normal. I have a tiny paint chip on the back via a screwdriver accident but really, no worry. Strap buttons feel very nice, and I really just wasted my money buying straploks for it. The hardware so far has not oxidized one bit which is very satisfactory. The jack has also not became crackly or whatever yet so awesome. I think I could use it at a gig without a backup (seeing as this is my only guitar too).

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Here's where the X30 loses some marks. The guitar's action initially was shit, the strings were really high up and they were crappy Vinci strings which were rusted up. When my friend tried stretching the strings out, two of them snapped. They also left some rust on the nut which I had to clean out. Asides from that, the pickups were adjusted very well and at a nice level to the strings. I opened up the back of the guitar too and it was a very neat soldering job and the wood inside had all been painted and it looked very professional. There were no fret overhangs which made sliding on the neck very sexy. I guess, if I was really pedantic, I could say that the tone control was a bit looser than the volume control, but really, that's no big deal at all. Everything was in very good condition (asides from the shitty action and strings).

Features — 8
Good features for the price. Makes the guitar look good and sound good without going over the top. Split-coil, grover tuners and the feiten nut are all very good. Vinci strings suck though. I would have preferred to see an ebony fingerboard since IMO it sounds better tonally and would also fit that black look the guitar's got going on. Eh, beggars can't be choosers. The contoured heel is nice however I think they could have had the bolts in the Standard Fender style to make it easier for Warmoth replacements or whatever. It came with no gigbag either which was kind of a drawback too.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I have this guitar, and i would say that it rocks!..even if i use a poor amp..hehe