World Music Supply | Takamine Pro Series

Hey guys its Brian from World Music Supply, sorry for yet another rather lengthy hiatus from the blog, what with all of these new products flying in after NAMM, its difficult to find time to even breathe, let alone sit down and review a guitar or three, just not enough hours in the day.  Well today I got a free minutes, so I used it  to look at a couple of cool guitars by way of our friends over at Takamine. Over the past couple of years Takamine has been more or less consolidating some of their higher end models to try and get a better, more applicable guitar into the hands of some of today’s most demanding musicians.

Takamine P1JC PRO Series 1 Acoustic Electric Guitar

Takamine P1JC PRO Series 1 Acoustic Electric Guitar

First up on that list is the Takamine P1JC, which is part of their Pro Series 1 level of guitars. The Pro Series is divided into different levels, to help really hone in what a guitarist needs, so that each series can really be just about what the guitar plays and sounds like, rather than having to worry about having a guitar of every type of tone wood in every series, or having to worry about different inlay work for one specific guitar, or different brands of tuners etc. because each series level is outfitted the same, the only thing that changes is the body style.

I picked what I consider the quintessential model from the Pro Series 1 Level, the Jumbo. I love the way Takamine does Jumbos, especially when they use warmer sounding tone woods like Cedar and Sapele, which long time readers will know, I simply adore. So maybe I’m a little biased, but when it comes to guitars, aren’t we all? The Cedar top on the P1JC was stunning, with tons of super tight grain, and a gorgeous orange hue to it. The sapele back and sides were rather nicely figured, and since they are within the same general family as mahogany, it had a similar bold, yet warm sound.

Combined together, these two tone woods, and the jumbo body generate a plethora of amazing sounds. With gigantic low end, a driving powerful midrange, and crisp, pristine highs, the P1JC was really something to behold. Fingerstyle lines really popped, with clear definition, but still lots of body to even single notes. Strummed, this thing was a cannon, it was amazingly rich in harmonics and sustain, with all of the tone you have come to expect from Takamine, oh and did I mention it was loud!

Plugged in, the Palathetic pickup and the CT4B II preamp come together to recreate the sound of the acoustic guitar with flying colors, and more so, this guitar almost sounds better through an amplifier, as the already harmonically rich sound of the Jumbo Cedar top is further enriched by the natural harmonics inherent within the preamp tube. The sound was clean, pristine, and amazing. The guitar is a little more prone to feedback than I am used to, but with a top carved so eloquently to resonate like this one does, it can only be expected to respond to harmonic feedback just as well, so a sound hole cover is a must.

For the first guitar I got to review in over two weeks, this one was a genuine treat. The tones were jaw dropping, the looks were subdued yet handsome, and the playability of the whole ensemble was just to die for. The P1JC easily snags itself a solid 10 out of 10.

Takamine P2DC PRO Series 2 Acoustic Electric Guitar

Takamine P2DC PRO Series 2 Acoustic Electric Guitar

The other guitar I got my hands on today was the P2DC which is part of the Pro Series 2. The construction between the Pro Series 1 and 2 at first seemed rather minuscule, the Series 1 has a Cedar top, while the 2 has Spruce. Now while the differences are small, the sounds are worlds apart. While the Cedar has that familiar old world warmth, and charm, the Pro Series 2 with its Spruce top had something else, something new. I love Spruce topped guitars, I do have a personal bias towards Cedar, but my main guitar on and off stage for years was a cheap no name Spruce topped guitar that I have put through its paces for close to 10 years now, so I know how Spruce tends to sound, but this guitar, it was so much richer.

The sound was crystal clear, big huge low end, mid range that had a depth to it that ate up a ton of frequencies, but left more than enough room for my voice to live within, and enough high end presence to bring the guitars jangly side out to the fore front. This guitar had a classy, very round sound to it, that took fingerstyle amazingly, with tons of definition between notes, with a brilliant warmth and harmonic richness that you just don’t usually hear with many spruce topped guitars.

Plugged in, this guitar has a very crisp sound, thanks in part to the palathetic pickups unique construction technique, but also thanks to the CT4B II Preamp which enhanced the pure sound of the guitar, with its added harmonic richness. The sound was as close to the true sound of this guitar as I think you can get without a microphone, all of the highs and lows recreated perfectly, and the mids were as close to the real thing as possible. The guitar wasn’t as prone to feedback as the P1JC, but I think it had more to do with the actual size of the guitar this time around, as it is slightly smaller and thus less prone to feedback than the jumbo, but still with the volume up much past 5 or 6 I had to put a sound hole cover in.

The P2DC seems perfectly suited for any job you would usually leave to a dreadnaught, be that studio work, stage work, or song writing, the bold, beautiful voice of the P2DC is second to none in its class. It easily deserves its score of 10 out of 10.

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World Music Supply | Takamine Guitars

Hey guys it’s Brian with World Music Supply again, here to bring you another dose of guitar and gear reviews. In today’s blog, I got to take a look at two great guitars from our friends over at Takamine. I always love Takamines, they make such consistently good guitars, that sometimes its easy to get caught up in the sound of one, and totally ignore how amazing they look, and how good their build quality is. Today however I got to play a few that just couldn’t be ignored, and the list begins with one of our best sellers right now, the EF340SCGN.

Takamine EF340SCGN Acoustic Electric Guitar

Takamine EF340SCGN Acoustic Electric Guitar

The very first thing you notice about this guitar, is that stunning vintage finished Cedar top, which is an almost caramel or cognac color and is down right beautiful. The workmanship is as close to perfect as I’ve ever seen, and the Nato back and sides are just as handsomely (although a little more subtlety) finished. The guitar also features a real bone nut, and real bone saddle to provide very clear, and resonant tones. Acoustically this guitar has a very vintage character to it, with lots of warm mid tones, sparkly high end, and a nice soft, almost jazzy low end. The neck is a very comfortable shape, and the Indian rosewood fingerboard is amazingly quick. Chords rung out with a distinctive boom, and single note lines had a very clear, defined character to them.

Amplified, this guitar was amazing. Acoustic guitar amplification has come leaps and bounds over the years, and the preamp technology always surprises me, how even with the same pickup, the guitars can sound miles apart based solely on their preamps. Sure, even low end instruments can have a pleasing character to them, but as you move up in quality, the quality of the sound changes dramatically. Sitting high atop the list of Takamines dozens of preamp designs is the Cool Tube series, which uses a small 12AU7 dual triode vacuum tube to help flesh out, and “warm up” the sound of the guitar.

The CT4BII pickup in the EF340SCGN is no different, and the second you hear this guitar, you understand just how important the cool tube is to the sound. The sound through a good acoustic guitar amp, or a good PA cabinet is just spectacular, with a sound that actually rivals the unamplified sound in beauty and clarity. The guitar was surprisingly resistant to feedback, and actually took quite a bit of volume to slide into that typical violent acoustic guitar feedback, and with a soundhole cover applied it took a ton of volume to switch into feedback mode. Tone wise the guitar has a lot like the actual acoustic tone, but with a bit fuller low end, and a slightly warmer sounding high end. Chords had a nice smooth character to them, with almost none of that usual piezo sizzle.

The sound of the EF340SCGN was amazing both amplified and unamplified, with tones that could cover anything you threw at it. For all of that, and its amazing looks, the EF340SCGN earns itself an easy 10 out of 10.

Takamine EF508K Noveau Series Acoustic Electric Guitar Koa

Takamine EF508K Noveau Series Acoustic Electric Guitar Koa

Next up is the Takamine EF508K which has the unusual appointment of having a Figured Koa top. I’ve seen Figured Koa as a back plate, and I’ve seen Figured Koa as sides on a guitar, but I’ve never seen it on a production guitar as a top wood. The reason its so rare as a top wood is because, first off its typically very expensive, as it is only grown in a few places around the world, and the cost tends to go up when it is as curly as the top on the EF508K. The sound of Koa is distinctive, with a lot of sparkly high end, some very warm mids, but not a whole ton of bass. This means it cuts through the mix very well, and helps to support the mix very well without overpowering it.

The feel of the NEXC body is nice, with its slightly smaller body, and a bit more even sound to the guitar, it really compliments all of the Koa in the guitar. Acoustically the EF508K has a pleasing, even sounding voice, with lots of note definition, and sustain. Chords ring out with almost piano like clarity, and they really do sustain for quite a while, far longer than almost any other acoustic I’ve had the pleasure to play thus far in my musical life. The only drawback is that Koa is hardwood, and as such is a slightly quieter wood, so the overall volume of the guitar is slightly quieter than say a spruce top guitar, although the fact it is an electric acoustic makes this point rather moot, as it can actually be as loud as your amplifier is.

The sound acoustically is remarkable, with tons of fantastic warmth and presence. The clarity of the guitar was also just dumbfounding, I was playing big jazz chords, full of 7ths and flat 5ths and there was never any overlay or woofy dissonance, just pure tone. The guitar was a tad bit quieter, athough no quieter than a smaller body size, like a mini jumbo or a parlor, and the guitar was still plenty loud enough to sing with as long as you aren’t really belting.

Amplified, this guitar is breathtaking, the definition and tone are just beyond anything I could have imagined. The sustain lasts far longer than a typical acoustic and the fact the top is made of a hardwood, the guitar is also very feedback resistant. Meaning I could play this guitar without a sound hole cover for quite some time, and at a pretty high volume without the body resonating to the speaker too much.

The EF508K was a downright magnificent guitar, with features well above your average acoustic. The figured Koa sounded like nothing else I had ever heard in an acoustic guitar, and the beauty of it was equally as profound. The EF508K easily earns itself a10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Washburn 12 String Guitars

Hey guys, it’s Brian again from World Music Supply. Sorry for the super long break between posts, what with the holiday shopping season, a lot of snow, and few other distractions, its been a little difficult to get back into the typical routine. But luckily for us all, I’m back and ready to bring you some brand new gear and guitar reviews just in time for the new year!

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

On Today’s agenda, I get to take a look at some new Washburn 12 Strings that just came in. First up is the WJ45S12, which is a 12 String version of the already popular WJ45. This guitar features a Solid Sitka Spruce top, and flamed maple back and sides, which greatly compliment its giant Jumbo style body. The first thing you notice about this guitar is just how good it looks. With all of the Abalone, the gold tuners, and of course the stunning flame on the maple back and sides, this guitar just looks amazing.

But looks aside, this is still a player’s guitar, with tones that just cant be beat. Twelve strings are a strange beast, with all of those octaves, and intonation abnormalities creating strange chorus effects, with almost piano like overtones, its amazing when you really think about it. This all comes at a cost though, as the guitar requires greater reinforcements to cope with the greater stresses, and occasionally this can lead to 12 strings sounding a little lifeless, and less organic then their 6 string counterparts. When it comes to the WJ45S12, this is just not the case at all.

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

Washburn WJ45S12 Jumbo Acoustic 12 String Guitar

This guitar sounds gigantic! It intonates surprisingly well, and the solid Spruce top has a very broad sound to it, with tons of highs and mid definition, but also a lot of very powerful low end to it too. The neck is surprisingly comfortable too, which while it is wider to accommodate the added strings, it is still thin enough to play comfortable chords, and even single note parts if you’re really careful with your picking technique. Trying to play quick lines on a 12 string is always a tricky affair, as the extra weight of the strings tends to get in the way of the speed of a fretboard, but thanks to the WJ45’s flat action, and its comfortable fingerboard radius, it is not only possible, but its also relatively easy on this guitar.

At the end of the day, the WJ45S12 is a simply amazing 12 string, even more so when you see just how little you have to pay to get these kinds of tones, and its because of that bang for your buck kind of power, that this guitar scores an easy 10 out of 10.

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Next up is the WD30S12 and its sibling, the WD30SCE12. First off, the WD30S12 is a 12 string variant of the standard WD30, which features the unusual appointment of Tamo Ash back and sides, now why Tamo Ash is so rarely used is beyond me, because it looks and sounds amazing. The sound that Tamo Ash lends to a guitar is similar to Flamed Maple, but with a subtler, I would almost say softer high end to it, which really helps to even out the typically bright sound of a 12 String.

This guitar, like the last one, features an Alaskan Sitka Spruce top which has an amazingly clear and robust voice to the WD30, with plenty of clarity between all twelve of the strings. The bone saddle helped to improve this clarity as it was intonated surprisingly well, with very few of the typical intonation issues that plague 12 Strings. The neck on this one also had the same surprisingly thin and comfortable feel to it that the WJ45S12 had, which meant both easy chording, and even single note lines.

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Washburn WD30S12 12 String Acoustic Guitar

Far and apart, this guitar brought something new to the world of 12 String production guitars, it had a nice quality to it that we rarely see from others. The look and feel of it was astounding, and the handsome Tamo Ash back and sides was a nice touch as well. For all of this and more, the WD30S12 earns itself a deserved 10 out of 10.

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

Finally in today’s blog, is the WD30SCE12, which is an electric cutaway version of the WD30S12 we just looked at. I’ve always loved the idea of cut away 12 Strings, just the idea that you could climb all the way up to the 20th fret and enjoy that strange, mild chorusing that you can only get from a 12 string, especially from the octave strings, which have a very strange, and interesting sound to them up on the higher frets.

To these expectations, the WD30SCE12 did not disappoint. The Fishman Presys preamp had that tasty Fishman piezo tone, with lots of boom and low end, some nice midrange presence, and that nice sizzling piezo high end that I’ve come to love over the years. The sound of it through a good acoustic amp, or a PA cabinet is pretty close to the actual sound of the instrument, which even without EQ adjustments would cut through a band mix just fine, although I guarantee that you will need a sound hole cover as this guitar is very resonate, and very lively in front of a speaker.

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

Washburn WD30SCE12 Acoustic Electric 12 String Guitar

The sound of this guitar on the upper frets is fantastic, with plenty of sparkle and jangle to keep your playing interesting and creative. The ability to play fingerstyle on this guitar is unmatched, as the added note definition thanks to the Fishman electronics and that perfect neck profile really lends themselves to that style of play. With the added harmonic content of the octave and doubled strings, the sound was just amazing, with an almost piano like texture.

Sure 12 Strings might not be everyone’s idea of a good time, and there is a little bit more to worry about than your average acoustic, what with all of those extra strings to tune, and that octave G string is always an issue for those who play lots of 12 string. But the rewards are worth it. That big, jangly sound of a 12 String guitar is something worth having at least once on every album, and it’s more than worth owning one or two just to keep around for color. When it comes to that kind of color instruments, with lots of wonderful tones to be pulled from them, the WD30SCE12 is definitely pretty high up on the list. For an instrument that many consider a one trick pony, the WD30SCE12 is wonderfully versatile. From Fingerstyle to Folk, and from classic rock, to modern, the WD30SCE12 easily won its rating of 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Taylor Limited Edition Guitars

Hey guys, its Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and in today’s blog I get to talk to you guys about a few of the amazing new Limited Edition Taylors that are available here at WMS. These Taylors are very limited and as such, I was only able to play them for the briefest of brief reviews, but never the less, I was floored by these guitars.

The Taylor 410CE-TZBK Limited Edition Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Taylor 410CE-TZBK Limited Edition Acoustic Electric Guitar

The first guitar I had the luxury to review, was the 410CE-TZBk, which is a modified version of their standard 410CE guitar, which features a Cedar top, and Tasmanian Blackwood back and sides. I am a sucker for Cedar top guitars, as they just have that classic sound, with warm, dry lows, and springy quick highs, and just the right amount of mids. Now Tasmanian Blackwood is one of those exotic tonewoods that you don’t hear enough of, with a very cool, rather unique sound. Tasmanian Blackwood has a darker sound, slightly reminiscent of rosewood, but with a faster attack, and more presence to it, similar to Koa, and in fact while trying to look up a nice way to word how Blackwood sounds I found it often described as “Koa on Steroids” which I found to be pretty accurate.

The Tasmanian Blackwood back of the 410CE-TZBK

The Tasmanian Blackwood back of the 410CE-TZBK

The Taylor Expression System

The Taylor Expression System

The action is perfect, as Taylors technique of setting the neck is far and above almost any other major acoustic guitar company, and the shape of the neck is beyond perfect for an acoustic guitar, smooth, comfortable, just thin enough, just fat enough. The sound of the guitar unplugged was gigantic, with lots and lots of warm tone, with a quick piano like attack and sustain. Plugged in the tone is exactly the same, thanks to Taylors revolutionary expression system, no Piezo sizzle, no overly boomy body noises, just the sound of the guitar, louder. This guitar is an amazing achievement, both as a stunning work of Luthiery, and as a musical instrument, and as such it would be a crime for me to award it anything but a well earned 10 out of 10.

The Taylor 314CE Limited Edition Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Taylor 314CE Limited Edition Acoustic Electric Guitar

Next up is the 314CE-Koa, which as its name implies features Koa back and sides rather than the usual African Mahogany. This is a slightly smaller guitar style, being a grand auditorium, which has a slightly brighter more present attack, and at the same time, more than enough bottom end to serve it well on stage. The Koa helps to add a little bit of this bottom end, and it does sound a little dryer, and a little more harmonically rich than its non-Koa counterpart. Koa is one of those woods that is used in guitars, but because of its difficulty to work with, and expense it is not seen nearly enough in the guitar industry.

The Koa Back of The Taylor 314CE

The Koa Back of The Taylor 314CE

Unplugged the 314 is amazingly versatile, it has a sound that would be at home onstage with a country band, a rock band, a folk group, R&B the list goes on, it just does anything you ask of it. The neck is absolutely fantastic, as it is the same perfectly set neck as the 410, and you can really move fast and play quick on a guitar like this and not feel weird about it, it never feels like an electric guitar, it always feels like an acoustic just with a lightning fast neck.

Plugged in, this guitar sounded just as wonderful thanks yet again to the Taylor expression system, there is no hint of the myriad of problems that have haunted the world of amplified acoustics for years, instead you get a perfectly acoustic sound, just louder. There is no wonder in my mind why Taylor is one of the reigning champs in the acoustic world right now when you look at these guitars, and just like the 410, it would be a travesty if I didn’t award the 314CE-Koa an honorable 10 out of 10.  

World Music Supply | Ovation Elite Guitars

Hey Guys Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and today I got the chance to review some awesome gear from our friends over at Ovation. Ovation Guitars has continuously delivered sonically, and technologically powerful instruments, many at prices far below anything else on the market. In today’s blog I got the chance to take a look at some of the models in their elite series, starting with the 1778TX-5GSM Elite T, which from here on out will be referred to as “the 1778”.

The Ovation Elite 1778TX-5GSM Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The Ovation Elite 1778TX-5GSM Acoustic-Electric Guitar

The 1778 was designed in conjunction with jazz guitarist Al Di Meola and acoustic rocker Melissa Etheridge, this guitar was built from the ground up to be a guitarist’s guitar, with everything you could want both in the studio, and especially on stage. The 1778 features a AA solid spruce top, scalloped bracings a mid depth cutaway bowl,  and oddly enough, a hard-rock maple neck which contributes increased high end zing, and sustain.

Its rather uncommon for an acoustic guitar to have a maple neck, and a slim feeling maple neck like this one is very atypical, but that isn’t to say that its incorrect in some way, in fact this guitar sounds great. The added clarity that the maple neck imparts adds a different, bolder character to this guitar, granted this guitar doesn’t have a ton of bass unplugged thanks to the mid depth bowl, but I have no doubt that you could record your fair share of rhythm tracks with a guitar as snappy as this, even unplugged.

Plugged in however, and this guitars design begins to make a whole lot of sense, as the slick, slim nature of the neck lends itself to fast playing better than any acoustic I have ever played, primarily because it now felt more like an electric guitar as opposed to an acoustic. The tone of the solid spruce top, translates fantastically through the OP-Pro preamp and OCP-1K pickup, with plently of warm low end, singing mids, and zinging high end response. Lets not forget that this guitar also looks amazing, with its single, spalted ash Epaulet, which contrasts so beautifully against the solid black body. All of these things contribute to the 1778 being one amazing guitar, which more then deserves a 10 out of 10.

The Ovation DS778TX-5 Elite T D-Scale Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Ovation DS778TX-5 Elite T D-Scale Acoustic Electric Guitar

Next up is the DS778TX-5 which is similar in many ways to the 1778, but is very, very different. It still features a great sounding A rated solid spruce top, the same OP-Pro preamp and OCP-1K pickup, and that same great feeling maple neck. The difference is that this guitar is what Ovation calls a D-scale guitar, which means that this guitars over all scale length is 28 and a third inches as opposed to the more traditional 24-25 inch range. This means that this guitar can be tuned down much further without the strings feeling like rubber bands, or having intonation issues.

I know that Ovation intended this guitar to be taken up, and carried into battle along side the ever growing horde of metal bands that are flooding the market place right now, what with its thin fast playing maple neck, blacker than black paint job, and extended low end response. I however found this guitar great for everything from low tuned finger picking tunes, cool Kaki King style experimentation and fun baritone country riffs. I’m sure that this guitar does have its place in the metal world, and playing power chords on it did sound beefy, but not using the extended sonic range of an acoustic guitar always just seemed…wasteful to me.

Unplugged this guitar has a very sprightly sound, with an odd tone, thanks to the lower notes, but higher end zing of the mid depth bowl/ maple neck combo. This means that all of the slick low end riffs, sing out with high end snap, which was surprisingly great at getting this guitar heard over the clamor of a second acoustic guitar, and an acoustic bass. Plugged in however, this guitar suddenly made a lot more sense as a metal guitarists acoustic guitar, as that low end suddenly sung out with deep, booming response. Sure I was still able to pull off my best Don Ross impression, and play weird Kaki King style lines, but the ability of this guitar to lay down quasi-bass riffs with all the punch and authority of any other baritone guitar I have ever played.

This guitar might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does cross an interesting line musically, half way between a metal guitarists acoustic guitar, and an acoustic guitarists baritone guitar, I personally loved it and will probably end up owning one eventually. This is why, despite its plain Jane image, and blacker than black paint job, this guitar gets itself a 10 out of 10.

The Ovation 2058TX-5 Elite T 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Ovation 2058TX-5 Elite T 12-String Acoustic Electric Guitar

Last up on today’s rundown is the 2058TX-5, which for all intents and purposes is a 12 string version of the 1778, but with a deep contour bowl as opposed to the mid depth version. Typically I try to shy away from acoustic 12 strings, even though I feel like every guitarist should own atleast one 12 string, simply because I know that if I were ever to invest in one, typically after a few years, the top will have ballooned out thanks to the pull of all of those extra strings, but with this ovation I honestly would feel safe owning it. Ovation has made a habit of always creating the perfect guitar top for the job at hand, and this top seems structurally sound enough to stand up to years, and years of abuse.

Acoustically, this guitar has a very modern 12 string sound, with plenty of low end added to those jangling upper octave tones. The sound is full, with lots to offer at every range, tons of low end, tons of mid range, and lots of high end to offer. This is great from everything from strumming some Beatles tunes, to quick experimental octave runs. This guitar has a similar neck profile to the other two in todays review, with that same lighting fast response, making actually playing lines on it a possibility, where as with most 12 strings relegate you to playing open position chords, thanks to generally poor neck construction, high action, and thick necks to help combat both of these problems. Ovation however, has constructed a neck that is flat, with low action, and is more than comfortable all along its length.

Plugged in this guitar has a larger than life sound, with a gigantic sound, easily able to hold its own in almost any situation, and with a band, is more than able to fill out more than enough of the sonic spectrum. I am always skittish about playing, let alone reviewing 12 strings, as my experiences up to this point haven’t been all that fantastic, as building a proper 12 string is an art unto itself, but the 2058TX is a fantastic guitar, and on top of that is a down right flawless 12 string, which is why this guitar earned itself an easy 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Washburn Acoustics

Hey guys it’s Brian Here with World Music Supply, and today I’m here to talk to you about some amazing acoustics from Washburn Guitars.  For years Washburn has been making fantastic sounding guitars, at even more fantastic prices. These guitars are no exception, with tone and playability that is on par with, or even above guitars costing five to ten times as much.

The Washburn WD16S

The Washburn WD16S

First up in this review is the WD16S, a stunning dreadnought acoustic that is part of Washburn’s heritage series. Featuring a solid cedar top, and mahogany back and sides, this guitar is comprised of some of the most sought after tone woods around. Helping to offset the “plain Jane” appearance of the WD16S is a stunning abalone rosette and matching binding.

Sitting down with the WD16S was a nice experience, as it embodied everything that the dreadnought is supposed to possess. With big, full sounds, with just the right mix of bass and treble, this guitar sounded just right. It has that specific tone that singer songwriters are just drawn to, with all of the boldness to support your voice, but never overwhelming it. Micing the guitar with an Audio Technica AT2020, this guitar yielded big bottom end chunk with high, chimy jangle that was perfect for everything from using as a rhythm track along side a band, or even just paired with a voice.

My Favorite part about the WD16S, and indeed any dreadnought, is just how versatile they are, covering everything from soft finger picking, to hard strumming, even just playing some chords while you sing, this guitar has the sound that just suits any situation. The WD16S is a beautiful guitar, with an amazing sound; my favorite part however is the feel of it. The dreadnought body shape fits you like an old friend, and the neck feels comfortable, with no rough edges, or dead spots. The WD16S is a great guitar, at an astounding price, with a tone that is far beyond anything in its price range. I give the WD16S a 9 out of 10, mainly because, while yes it is a fantastic guitar, it is a little plain looking.

The Washburn WG25S

The Washburn WG25S

Next up to bat, is the WG25S, an amazing Grand Auditorium style guitar, which features a solid Alaskan Sitka Spuce top, and Rosewood back and sides. I personally have always loved Grand Auditoriums, mainly because one of my favorite guitarists, Don Ross, uses one live so frequently. They have a nice big, illustrious sound, which is great for solo guitarists.

Putting the WG25S through its paces, I was amazed at how tight and punchy it sounded, it always had a big tone, with plenty of bass on tap, but when you really threw yourself at it, it had all the snap and swagger of a much smaller guitar. This is a trait that I have only ever experienced with Grand Auditoriums, they have almost as much big, bold tone as a jumbo, and all the versatility of a Dreadnought, but they also have this unique warm, round tone, that no matter how snappy and fast you play, never goes away.

Playing fingerstyle on the WG25S was always comfortable, and the extra body size never felt overbearing or cumbersome. The neck was fast, and leant itself to fast playing quite well. Overall, I love the WG25S, as it has everything I could ever want from an acoustic guitar, with all of the boldness of a big jumbo, and all of the soulfulness of a much smaller guitar. At the end of the day the WG25S gets a 10 out of 10, because of how much guitar you get, for so little money.

The Washburn WMJ40SCE

The Washburn WMJ40SCE

Last up in this review is the WMJ40SCE a fascinating little Mini Jumbo style guitar, which is somewhere between a Jumbo and a Parlor guitar in tonality, as it uses the brighter tone woods of the Jumbo family, and features a smaller, more focused frequency spectrum of a parlor style guitar. This also is the only Electric-Acoustic in todays review. Playing through some songs with my band, I found that the WMJ40SCE filled out its required range very well.

If you have ever played acoustic guitar live, you know that acoustic guitars tend to play devils advocate most of the time, and either be nearly inaudible over the sonic architecture of a band, or end up a screaming mass of strings and wood. The WMJ40SCE however features rather bright sounding tone woods, flamed maple in particular, this means that it has a much lower bass response than many, and as such, it responds to bass frequencies less than many other guitars. This means you have less frequencies to play havoc with your sound, and once a sound hole cover is added, this guitar sounds almost exactly as it does un-amplified, which is down right amazing.

The WMJ40SCE sounded great with my band, never too thin sounding, but never to overpowering in the bass range to interfere with my bass players duties. It was percussive enough that it complemented the drummer nicely, and snappy enough that when I took a turn playing some mellow lead parts it always pulled through and was easily heard over the mix. The WMJ40SCE also felt very comfortable, with its mini jumbo body feeling a lot like a dreadnought, just with a far more rounded profile. I loved getting to test run the WMJ40SCE, with its bright, yet warm tones and its little body with the flamed maple back and sides. For its ability to hold its own with a band, even in a really high volume situation without a sound hole cover, I give the WMJ40SCE a well deserved 10 our of 10.

so there you have it folks, some great acoustics at a great value, with all of these fantastic guitars at such awesome prices, it is hard to choose, but maybe now that you have a better idea of which guitar is suited for what, you can head on over to Worldmusicsupply.com today, and pick up your very own Washburn Acoustic today!

Washburn

Washburn