Hey guys, Brian again from World Music Supply, here to bring you your usual dose of guitar and gear reviews. In today’s blog I get to take a look at some acoustic guitars from our good friends over at Washburn. Today I am going to cover two of the most popular Washburn acoustic electrics here at WMS, the WD115SWCE and the WJ7SCEBM.
First up to bat is the WJ7SCEBM, which is a Jumbo acoustic electric, sporting a solid Spruce top, Mahogany back and sides, and a cool, matte black paint job. The WJ7 also sports a Washburn made EQ4-T preamp that sounds surprisingly strident and musical. Unplugged this guitar has a very warm, big tone. Thanks to its jumbo size, and choice of tone woods, you get a luxuriously large sound, with lots and lots of bass, and more than enough mids and highs to keep your sound clean, and pristine. Plugged in this guitar has a very good electric tone, it’s not super accurate to the true sound of the guitar, as it does add a little bit of body to the high end, and gives it a little of that familiar Piezo sizzle, but the sound is close enough that if you weren’t trying to dissect the tone, you probably wouldn’t notice it too much.
The guitar feels great, the neck isn’t super big, but it is nice and chunky, which meant comfortable chording and relaxed riffing. With a band this guitar can be a little hard to handle, as the body is rather sensitive to sympathetic resonance, and so adding a sound hole cover is a must. Once it’s on however, this guitar does a good job of supporting a mix, it doesn’t jump right out of it, at least not without some EQ tweaking, but it does do a great job as a rhythm guitar. For what it is, this guitar would be right at home in a studio or stage setting, and it could easily deal with the stress of the road thanks to its no nonsense paint job, it’s for these reasons that the WJ7SCEBM scores a solid 9 out of 10.
Next up for the day is the WD115SWCE which is an all solid wood Dreadnaught with a Solid Spruce top, and Solid Mahogany back and sides, and the whole ensemble is powered by a Fishman Presys 501T blend system with Microphone and under saddle pickup. First off it needs to be mentioned how good this guitar looks, the entire guitar is finished in a sleek looking gloss finish, that is shiny enough to see yourself in, when in the right light. The sound of this guitar unplugged is big, and robust. Chords ring out with far more body than a standard laminate guitar, and added definition of the solid mahogany back and sides gives the guitar an added darkness and much more musical bottom end.
Plugged in, this guitar is a handful. Anyone who has ever used an acoustic with a band knows the danger of having something so resonant around things that can make it resonate, and this guitar is no exception. The solid woods tend to respond to this sonic phenomenon a little bit more so than most, so a sound hole cover is key. The Presys is a blendable system, meaning there is both a small microphone and a saddle Piezo unit. Alone the microphone has a bit of a “boxed in” character, atleast with the sound hole cover on, when its off the sound is a tad bass heavy, but no more so than if you placed a condenser right in front of the sound hole, the secret to the system is mixing this rather bass heavy sound, with the typically treble heavy sound of the Piezo. Used in conjunction this guitar sounds absolutely magnificent amplified, just like a finely mic’d studio sound. As long as you know where to stand on stage, this guitar would work perfectly for most stage work, and would work absolutely amazingly for studio work.
This guitar is by and far one of the best Washburn acoustics I have gotten the chance to play thus far, with its comfortable familiar shape, its sleek, fast neck, and its amazing sound, the WD115SWCE scores itself a deserved 10 out of 10.