Price paid: € 15
Ease of Use: The Dx:2 is an older Washburn distortion from the 80's (X series were made between 1983-'89). Made in Taiwan, somewhat related to the famous Boss DS-1 Distortion, but with a lower gain stage and less fizzy then the Boss counterpart. There are the typical "Level", "Tone" and "Dist" knobs, easy to set a good tone. Your typical "Op Amp" distortion, though the Washburn Dx:2 sits somewhat between a TS and DS soundwise, it delivers a very nice "crunch". It sits is a very sturdy metal enclosure and has a good weight (I like the fact it does not slip over the floor when engaging it). It also has quiet a good sized on/of foot knob, which engages a typical micro switch. Mine came used without a box or manual. // 8
Sound: I was looking for a less "fizzy" distortion and the Dx:2 delivers just that. I like the fact it can be tweaked from slight Od to a pleasant Distortion that still has enough bass and doesn't "drown" your overall guitar sound. It goes very well with either a clean or an already Drive amp. I like to use (old) tube amps mostly, but I occasionally run it through a solid state amp as well to get some warm drive/distortion.
The Dx:2 has been compared with Ibanez's SD-9, though the Dx:2 does not have that much gain. Gain-wise it's more in the TS 808 range, but more a Distortion then an overdrive. The Dx:2 also stacks very well with other pedals. I like to use it to boast some of my Fuzz pedals to get a more "buzz-saw" sound out of them. It doesn't change the voicing of these fuzz pedals only makes 'em sound less trebly. A great companion for the Danelectro French Toast or the older Ibanez SF-9 (Sixties Fuzz). // 8
Reliability & Durability: Since it's an older pedal that lasted since the 80's, I think it's safe to say one can depend on it. The casing is like a large Boss enclosure, so build to last. Jacks seam fine after years of (ab)use and everything is still there (even the battery cap). Pots were a little scratchy, but after some turning them 'round, everything worked just fine. I'm pretty sure I can/will use this pedal without backup. Since I was kind of curious to see how the circuit was constructed, I opened the pedal to have a peek inside. A very nice lay out circuit board, good quality jacks, pots and other parts. So I'm quiet confident this pedal will serve me for years to come! // 9
Overall Impression: I think these older Washburn "X" series pedals are "sleepers" being overshadowed by more well known names as "Boss" and "Ibanez", while these are just as good. Since these were marketed in North America rather then Europe, they are sparser here. But if you can find one for not to much money, I wouldn't hesitate buying it. I really like how this effect sounds and gets on with my Fender Jazzmaster, Jaguar and small collection of European made Vintage guitars (Hfner, Framus, Crucianelli). Works great with clean amps (Fender) as it seams to like more gainy amps (Marshall). Sure hope to find some other effect pedals from the "Washburn X" series. // 8