Hey its Brian here from World Music Supply and I’m here to talk to you guys about some cool guitars from Washburn. Over the years Washburn has earned a reputation for cool guitar designs the world over, having crafted the custom guitars for artists like Paul Stanley of Kiss, Nuno Bettencourt of Extreme, the late Dimebag Darrell of Pantera, and even the likes of Bootsy Collins. When it comes to well made guitars, Washburn is one of the leading names in this day and age, and today we’re going to review three of these fantastic instruments, specifically the XMDLX2FRFPSB, the WMISTDLITECB, and lastly the XMPRO2USEPB.
First up to bat today is the XMDLX2FRFPSB, which while being just one of the many great guitars in the XM Deluxe 2 line, it is the only one in such a striking finish, I mean what more do you say about this finish, flamed transparent purple. No picture I take of it really does it justice, but wow, is this eye catching or what! The black hardware contrasts nicely, and gives it a very medieval feel to it, with its chunky black steel Floyd rose, and its royal purple coloring, this guitar is just something else.
Plugged in it’s the same story, this guitar with its Seymour Duncan designed pickups, just sounds out of this world. Clean, this guitar had far more warmth and texture than any other strat style guitar in its price range. The tone had a fullness to it that you don’t get from many guitars in this price range, this is mainly thanks to its basswood body, and its beefy pickups. When I cranked the gain up on the amp however, this guitar just woke up. Suddenly, it was just singing, with a voice that evoked some of the greatest guitar legends of the 80s. all of that throaty sustain, and sweet bell like harmonics. Also, lets not forget that this guitar comes standard with a Floyd rose tremolo system, what that means is not only does this guitar have that thick 80’s style shred tone, but it has the hardware to back it up.
Within moments of cranking up the gain on this guitar, I was throwing down every great speed metal lick I could remember, with screaming harmonics, to dive bombs, to “beat it” style overly exaggerated vibrato. This guitar can do it all, is at a price that anyone can afford, and lets face it, it really has a look all its own, and it’s because of that fact that the XMDLX2FRFPSB gets a well deserved 10 out of 10.
Next up is the Mighty Idol WMISTDLITECB, which is a fantastic little guitar. I say little because it’s a LITE guitar, meaning Washburn has trimmed away as much of the bodies thickness as they can, while still retaining the natural tone of the instrument. This results in a guitar that has a brighter, quicker attack, and a weight that is a fraction of that of its non LITE brethren, while never being neck heavy, or thin sounding. Couple that with its Duncan USM Alnico pickups, and couple that with the coil tap switch and this is one Mighty Idol.
Plugged in the WMISTDLITECB has a smooth, resilient tone that has all of the warmth and body of a normal LP style guitar, but with a little more snap and shimmer to it than you would expect. Clean that translated to an almost acoustic quality, with very strat-y style colors available when you flick the coil tap. This all translated to smooth quick jazz tones, with all of the warmth and body of a big jazz box, just in a much smaller package. Thanks to its coil tap feature, it also has the capability of having great twangy tones, meaning you can do country style runs as well, which is always a handy thing to have in a guitar.
Distorted however, this guitar went from a good clean sound, to a great rock sound. Thanks to its thin body, it has a tone reminiscent of an SG, which means that this guitar has a lot of bark behind it, full of bold AC/DC style swagger and bite. What this means is this guitar has a lot of really vintage spark to it, playing it through a journey tune or two with the band, or a few back in black style riffs was no problem. Switching it into single coil mode, and I got a tone more reminiscent of a Jaguar, or mustang than a strat or tele, which is a good thing, as usually getting those short scale fender tones requires buying a much more expensive short scale fender. This all made playing a few of those shoe gaze style post-rock riffs a real joy, and also added up to a really unique guitar tone, a jaguar style tone locked away in a lespaul style body.
In short the WMISTDLITECB has a lot of real potential locked away in its tiny frame, from searing blues rock, clean country spank, big jazzy dancing, or even post-rock weirdness, this guitar has it all wrapped up in one simple package that is super easy on the eyes, and thankfully, the wallet. For this amazing ability, the WMISTDLITECB scores a 10 out of 10 for its jack of all trades style.
Last up for the day is the XMPRO2USEPB which is the most metal member of the XM PRO family of instruments. With its pearl black body, all black hardware, and its EMG 81/85 pickups this guitar is armed to the teeth so to speak. The longer Fender style scale length also means that this guitar can cope with lower tunings amazingly. I tested this guitar under two set-ups, one with standard .10 style electric guitar strings, all tuned up in standard, and a second review, with the guitar strung up in .13s tuned a step down.
Running clean and in standard tuning, this guitar has that nice warm, albeit dark tone that I have come to expect when it comes to EMG pickups. Granted, tweaking the amp a bit from my usual set up results in a nice, bright twangier sounding tone as well, but I am growing to like the warm rumble that I get from EMG pickups on my clean channel. It was great for doing jazzy style runs, and it warmed my country style licks right up. Just strumming the guitar resulted in warm bell like chords, with tons of string definition and body. Tuned down this guitar had great piano like sustain, with all of the snap, and brooding baritone esk sound that I wished it would.
Turning up the distortion a little, and this guitar came alive. Suddenly its dark clean tones, became monstrous distortion tones. Tuned in standard, this meant that I had the definition and body to comp anything from classic rock, to modern metal, all of it drenched in fiery distortion and perfect string to string definition. This fact is only expanded on when I dropped the tuning. Suddenly the guitar had a bark, and an attitude that really spoke, everything had its own unique sound, and this guitar really didn’t sound like any other metal guitar I have played before. It really had an attack and a clarity all its own. For this fact alone, the XMPRO2USEPB scores a perfect 10 out of 10.