WMS at NAMM 2016

Hey guy’s Brian here again with more promised info from NAMM, just covering some of the cool new stuff that we can expect to see in the year ahead from some of our friends. Let’s start off with Marshall, who came out swinging with their new Code amplifiers. They were designed as part of a collaboration between classic amp manufacturer Marshall and Next generation plug-in designers Softube as an “authentic modelling” of classic and contemporary Marshall tones via their new Marshall-Softube (MST) modelling, in addition to its banks and banks of high quality effects, CODE offers 14 preamps, four power amps and eight speaker cabinets. These include the JTM45 2245, 1962 Bluesbreaker, 1959SLP Plexi, JCM800 2203, JCM2555 Silver Jubilee, JCM2000 DSL100, JVM410H and more, while power amp voicings on offer are EL34, 5881, EL84 & 6L6 – there’s a selection of speaker cabs, too: 1960, 1960V, 1960AX, 1936V, 1912, 1974X and more. Also, just because I find it awesome, it’s also Bluetooth, so you can control certain aspects of it via your phone or tablet, send music to it, and even (so I’ve heard) control it via a Bluetooth foot controller!

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Next let’s talk about Fender, now every year it seems like Fender is trying to top themselves in some way, and for the past few years that has been their custom shop offerings. This year they had a few that stood out to me, firstly is the Repeater Telecaster designed by Master Builder Yuriy Shishkov, that’s modeled after an 18th century watch

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And by far my favorite, because of my love for weird old esoteric Fender models, is the Katana, Fender’s shot at a hyper modern Metal guitar re-imagined by Custom Shop Master Builder Todd Krause.

Katana

oh and before I Forget it, we can’t forget the viral youtube sensation of CARDBOARD STRAT

Waller

So aside from their custom shop offerings what’ve we got to look forward to?

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Yes folks, you see that right, Telemasters!
…or as their calling them “offset telecasters”somehwat-mad-completely-mad-u-mad-madad1

now for those out of the loop, Telemasters are sort of this cool parts guitar blue print that a lot of indie manufacturers and amateur builders have been busying themselves with for years now, and sure Fender made one or two in the past as trade show talk pieces, and for the most part they were more Esquier than Tele, but this is still super cool! to see such an interesting blend of vintage and modern pulled off with such style, I love it. Oh and what’s that on the other end of the display? Are those Jazzmasters with proper jazz tailpieces? Yup, bigsby equipped jazzmasters, imitating one of the most popular mods to their hard tail jazzmasters, and at the same time pulling it off with a style that only Fender could, no extra switches or knobs, just a black pickguard, simple, subdued single tone finishes, very stylish, love it.

Lastly for Fender is the new American Elite Series, which is replacing the long running Deluxe line. I liked them, from what I’m hearing on their youtube videos they sound fantastic, and the smaller touches like the sort of rubberized knobs are cool too, everything looks vintage enough but still very modern. The new color options are modern too, and yet still feel like Fender, with new satin bursts, and light blue to dark blue bursts, as well as the return of that lovely Camaro Orange color they call Autumn Blaze Metallic, I loved that color about 4 or 5ish years ago when that was one of their regular colors, just so unusual for a guitar, flashy and yet still sorta normal.

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All and all I loved what Fender is up to this year, and I can’t wait to actually get my hands on some of it!

NEXT UP
let’s take a deep dive into Charvel, who looks to be actually reissuing their pro mod San-Dimas and So-Cal series in some very exciting colors, clearly inspired by their 80’s aesthetic

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These look awesome, so retro and cool! I’m just happy to see that Charvel is starting to move out of the cookie cutter metal guitar scene, or at the very least peppering some color in there.  I would love for them to reissue the Style 2, because I haven’t seen a super tele in years! That being said, Charvel is shaping up to have some rad new stuff coming out that is sure to impress even the most discerning of players

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Lastly I want to talk about Washburn who had a TON of cool stuff going on at their booth this year, I wish I had more to say about it, but I feel like the pictures will speak for themselves, lets start with some new parallaxe models

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To their new, rather Californian influenced, electrics

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And of course let’s not forget their acoustics, with new rather affordable new designs coming to their heritage range, as well as their woodline series, both of which are shaping up to be just beautiful (really sorry I don’t have a picture of them from the showroom floor)
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So there you have it guys, tons of cool new stuff coming this year in terms of gear, with lots to look forward too! and you bet as soon as I can get my hands on it, I’ll be reviewing it right here for you guys.

~Hoover

 

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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 | Washburn Acoustics

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.

The Washburn WJ7SCEBM Jumbo Matte Black Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WJ7SCEBM Jumbo Matte Black Acoustic Electric Guitar

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.

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

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.

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WD115SWCE Acoustic Electric Guitar

World Music Supply | The Washburn RX12 Series

Hey guys, Brian with World Music Supply here again, bringing you your typical dose of gear and guitar reviews, and today I get to bring you guys a review of a guitars that has just been flying off the shelves here at WMS, the Washburn RX12. The Washburn RX12 comes in two basic formats, the string thru version, which features chrome hardware and a vintage TOM style bridge, or the RX12 is also available in a Floyd Rose equipped version, which features black hardware.

The String Thru Washburn RX12 Electric Guitar

The String Thru Washburn RX12 Electric Guitar

The standard string thru model features Washburn designed humbuckers, a solid basswood body, a bolt on maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard. Although its features sound rather blasé, it actually sounds really good. The humbuckers are surprisingly powerful, on a clean setting I actually really dug the sound of the bridge pickup, as it wasn’t super bright, but it had enough cut to do its job, and the neck pickup was fluty and warm, almost jazzy in the right light. The neck was thin, but not too thin, with enough girth to it to keep the guitar toneful, and to make chording a breeze. Turning up the dirt this guitar really started to sing, with big bold tones that sustained for days, with plenty of midrange cut and bite to it.

The plus of having a string thru body is that the added mass attached at the strings anchor point increases not only the sustain, but also the harmonic content of the strings as they are connected to a much more solid, stable base. This means that the RX12 not only has sustain for days, but when you crank up the volume, and turn up the distortion, this guitar has a very rich complex sound, which lends itself to everything from classic rock chording, to modern soloing. The String thru version is also available in a lot more colors than the Floyd Rose model, as it comes in black, white, red, and sunburst all of which are very classy, and attractive.

The Floyd Rose Equipped Washburn RX12FRMB

The Floyd Rose Equipped Washburn RX12FRMB

The Floyd Rose model, the RX12FR on the other hand is available in only one color at the moment , Metallic Black, which I lovingly keep calling “bowling ball black” as it has tiny, star like flecks of reflective material in it, which reminds me of a bowling ball far more than say, a motor cycle paint job, which I find attractive. I honestly love this guitar, its simple, its straight forward, and it sounds great. Now granted I might be biased, because as of a week ago, I actually bought and own one of these bad boys. The floating trem is perfect for any kind of hard rock styling, from Steve Vai style warble, Satriani screams, Dimebag dive bombs, to anything you can dream up. The sound of this guitar is a tad different as there is less mass to the guitar, and the bridge is made of different densities of steel, and has more moving parts than the string thru variant. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t sound amazing, because it does!

Clean, this guitar still has that same fluty, clear tone as the string thru version, but with a broader, more even sound. The sustain is surprisingly good, I say surprising as I suspected it would be less so. What with all the extra moving parts and less mass in the overall design, but the sustain was at least comparable to the string thru version. The harmonic content was different however, where as the string thru guitar sounded fuller, this guitar sounded much more focused, with a sound that seems more suited to lead playing, where the string thru seems more suited to rhythm work, as the Floyd Rose guitar seems to leap out of the mix and the string thru seems to sit in the mix far better.

A Myriad of Washburn RX12 Electric Guitars

A Myriad of Washburn RX12 Electric Guitars

What ever your need, and what ever your style there is an RX12 for you, and they have never been as affordable as they are right now. Their design is simple, and attractive, their sound is complex and dynamic, and their price is unbelievable. For all of these reasons, I have to give the RX12 series a deserved 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Washburn Woodline Acoustics

Brian from World Music Supply here again, bringing you your usual dose of gear and guitar reviews, and today I got the chance to test out some more acoustics from our friends over at Washburn. The guitars in question are the WG026SCE, and the WD015SCE, these guitars are unique within the Washburn family in that they both feature unique super thin open pore, and open grain finishes. These thin finishes allow the guitars sound board to vibrate far more freely, as there is less weight and material across the soundboard holding it still. This means the guitars both sound livelier, and far more resonant than their gloss finished counterparts.

The Washburn WG026SCE Grand Auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar

The Washburn WG026SCE Grand Auditorium Acoustic Electric Guitar

First up to bat in today’s review is the WG026SCE, which is part of Washburns woodline series, and is available in an electric acoustic cutaway (the version being tested today) as well as a non cutaway, and non electric non cutaway version. The combination of the solid cedar top, and the grand auditorium size are just perfect together, as they create a guitar without too much low end boominess, and just enough top end bite to help this guitar really sing out. The thin, open pore finish really does change the way this guitar sounds, which is something I honestly questioned before I actually got my hands on it. You hear claims about thinner finishes making guitars sound worlds better in almost every issue of almost any guitar magazine, and most of the time, it seems like a ton of hog wash, but in the case of this guitar, and likewise with the WD015SCE, I honestly believe it.

The reason I say that it usually seems like hogwash, is because it just seems like one of those magic guitarist things, you know the ones where a guitarist is asked how they get their magical tone and they lists everything from their hand ground titanium tremolo bar, to the tuning keys that were designed and built by some aerospace company in Switzerland. The honest to goodness fact is, that guitarist will probably have their “magical” tone plugged into almost any decent amp, with any decent guitar. Thin finishes on electric guitars do contribute a bit to the overall tone of the guitar, and they contribute to it aging in interesting ways, as the finish and the paint in certain areas will wear through much sooner than a guitar that is just coated in the stuff, but the over all tone of the guitar will still be there, just a little more muted. This thin approach does have a much more dramatic effect when it comes to acoustic guitars however, as suddenly the guitar just comes to life so to speak. Any satin finished acoustic I’ve ever played just had that big, worn in sound, like a guitar that had seen a hundred shows, with big bold bottom end, sweet singing highs, and a sustain that just rings and rings.

The action on this guitar was just fantastic, and playing quick lines on it was simple and comfortable, as the mahogany neck is smooth, easy to play, and not too big, but not too small. The WG026SCE sounds great plugged in too, as the Isys+ preamp translates the electric voice of this acoustic amazingly well, nearly perfectly replicating the natural voice of the instrument. Overall the WG026SCE is one amazing instrument, with a unique finish that helps it sonically stand out from the pack, that combined with its easy playing neck, and sweet electrified tone, earns this guitar a solid 10 out of 10.

The Washburn WD015SCE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

The Washburn WD015SCE Dreadnought Acoustic Guitar

Next up is the WD015SCE, which is a limited edition version of the WD15SCE. This guitar also features a unique thin finish, along with its open grain spruce top this guitar has a very distinct sound to it. The WD015SCE has a lot of booming low end, and a lot of crisp, bell like high end, with a tiny bit of glassy midrange kick that helps it project out through a band a little bit better. This guitar has a much different sound than the WD026SCE however, far different than a typical cedar guitar and spruce guitar usually differ, which I think is impart to the lack of heavy lacquer making them sound similar, as these two guitar are like night and day.

The neck is just as fast and sleek as the WD026SCE, with a similarly shaped, and as such similarly comfortable neck profile that is just not too thick, but not too thin to where you start losing tone either. This guitar is also amazingly loud, and resonant too, with far more sustain than any acoustic guitar should have. The sound is quite warm, with the perfect blend from high to low, which is enhanced more by the Fishman Isys+ electronics. The voice of this guitar through a good P.S system or acoustic guitar amp, is just spectacular, although the lack of weight or dampening finish on the sound board does make this guitar a little more susceptible to feedback than normal, although a sound hole cover solves this problem easily.

At the end of the day though, the WD015SCE is just amazing, with tones that are distinct, without being strange, and visuals that are conservative, without being boring. This all comes together to make one amazing guitar, that easily earns itself a 10 out of 10.

World Music Supply | Paul Stanley Signature Washburns

Hey guys, it’s Brian from World Music Supply here again, and today I am happy to announce that I get to talk to you guys about two of the coolest guitars we have here at WMS right now, those being the PS1800 and PSV2200 Paul Stanley signature models. Paul Stanley has been the longtime front man of KISS, and has always needed his guitars to be just as flashy as his persona. In 2006 Paul Stanley began collaborating with Washburn to create guitars with just as much stage presence as the man behind them, from this idea arose the PS1800, and the PSV2200, guitars with all of the outlandish stylings of the man himself.

The Paul Stanley PS1800 in White

The Paul Stanley PS1800 in White

Both guitars come in a variety of finishes, with the PS1800 in white, and covered head to toe in rhinestones, and the PSV2200 in black, white, in a similar rhinestone covering, and a cracked mirror finish. These two guitars have similar appointments, from their mahogany bodies and necks, to their use of the Buzz Feiten tuning system. However don’t get the wrong idea, these are two very distinct guitars, with two very different voices, so without further ado, lets get to the reviews.

The Paul Stanley PS1800 in White

The Paul Stanley PS1800 in White

First up is the PS1800 in white, I chose white as it’s a little bit more my style, and also, it doesn’t cost enough to make me overly cautious while I played it. The first thing I notice, even before the outlandish shape of the body, is the fretboard inlays, which are just downright gorgeous. They are half Mother of pearl, and on the other half of the inlay is abalone shell, this adds up for an expensive looking and downright stunning inlay work. Next up to be noticed is of course the strangely shaped body, which is about as far from a conventional shape as you can get. This is certainly a distinct guitar, no ones going to accuse this of being a clone of any other model, and no one is going to accuse this shape of being anything but unique.

Plugged in this guitar has one heck of a speaking voice, as the Randall designed UL and Ultra XL are two amazing pickups, with tons of bark, and growl. Playing through the dozen or so KISS songs I know on this guitar was fun, as the guitar just hangs in a certain way, and definitely looks cool enough to make you really feel like a real rock star. The clean tone is bright and jangly, and at times almost acoustic sounding and the distorted and overdriven tones definitely have that “Detroit rock city” style grind to them. I did get out the Rhinestone version of this guitar for a few minutes, to see if the increased mass of the rhinestones did anything for the already thick tone of this guitar, which they did, but just slightly, what they did best however was act like a mirror ball. They refract light in such a way that this thing creates one awesome light show, and who knows what it would do with some real lights, or maybe even lasers in front of it.

The Paul Stanley PS1800 Rhinestone Finish

The Paul Stanley PS1800 Rhinestone Finish

For what it is, the PS1800 is a beast, it’s definitely not your everyday guitar, and it really is designed to be one big eye catching machine. The Standard white version is a god send for anyone in a cover band, as you finally have the look and sound of those classic KISS songs, at a price that won’t leave you high and dry, and the rhinestone model is a definite for anyone who really just wants to be in your face and really own the stage. For its ability to actually get you the tones of those classic KISS songs, and look awesome while doing it, the PS1800 earns a definite 10 out of 10.

The Paul Stanley PSV2200 in White

The Paul Stanley PSV2200 in White

Next up is the PSV2200 which a totally different beast altogether. First and foremost, this guitar has a very vintage feel and voice to it, as opposed to the PS1800, which has an almost post-modern look to it, this guitar definitely feels like an old favorite. I chose yet again to play the white one, as it is far more my style than the other three, and also, I wasn’t as worried about scuffing the finish. This guitar has the same distinctive Mother of Pearl and Abalone inlays that just call out to me, and this guitar also sports a giant mirrored pickguard, which does a great job of being…well…a mirror. On stage this guy would reflect all of the house lighting back into the crowd, which would prove for one awesome addition to any light show.

Plugged in this guitar has a really cool sound, as the lone Seymour Duncan JB pickup just oozes classic rock tone. The sound is definitely defined, and bold, but never overly bright, this allows this guitar to perfectly fill out the rhythm guitar role that Paul Stanley has filled for decades, always a perfect halfway point between the soaring lead guitar parts, and the chugging bass lines. Playing the same dozen or so KISS riffs I know on this guitar proved interesting, as this guitar has quite a different tone than the PS1800, clean this guitar is what you would expect, bright, and with the tone rolled down, it has some more “acoustic” sounding clean tones, but over all this guitar is designed to be played distorted. Playing through an overdriven amp, this guitar was a lot less “Detroit rock city” and a bit more “I was made for loving you” as its tone is definitely more focused and defined. This allowed for bigger chords to come out with the same presence and power across the spectrum, no string over powering another, just big classic rock goodness.

The Paul Stanley PSV2200 Cracked Mirror Finish

The Paul Stanley PSV2200 Cracked Mirror Finish

The PSV2200 is one heck of a Rock n’ Roll machine, with more than enough power and punch to satisfy even the Starchild himself. Although the design is a tad simplistic, the image of this guitar on stage, with the lights shining off of its mirrored pickgaurd certainly makes up for its straightforward approach. For its ability to do just what you need it to, and nothing you don’t. the PSV2200 gets a solid 10 out of 10.

The Paul Stanley PSV2200 Cracked Mirror

The Paul Stanley PSV2200 Cracked Mirror

World Music Supply | Washburn Classical Guitars

Hi everybody, it’s Brian from World Music Supply again, to bring you more guitar and gear reviews. Today we’re going to be looking at something new to the blog, and that is classical guitars, sure they don’t have the raw attitude that an electric does, and they lack the stage presence and power that a good jumbo steel string acoustic has, but they do have their own special voice, and no guitarist should be without one or two in their arsenal. The three classicals we’re going to be reviewing today are from our good friends at Washburn, and the models in question are the WC150SWCE, the WC750SWCE, and the WC760SWCE, all of which use all solid woods, and are equipped with a fishman 501T preamp system.

The Washburn WC150SWCE

The Washburn WC150SWCE

So lets get down to business, with the first guitar on the list, the WC150SWCE, which is an all solid wood guitar, with a spruce top, and nicely figured mahogany back and sides. The WC150SECE also features a nice rounded cutaway, that doesn’t take too much away from the natural speaking voice of the guitar. The inside bracings are scalloped to help reduce weight and increase volume, and the neck is nice, flat and comfortable to anyone used to the thicker neck of a classical. The gold open gear tuners with their ebonite buttons are a nice and handsome, and the heavily carved headstock is an elegant touch. The inclusion of a two way trussrod is very useful, as it helps stabilize the neck when traveling from areas of high humidity to low.

Just playing it acoustically, it certainly has a nice, warm classical voice. Playing through the few purely classical pieces I know, it was clear that each string had a very distinct and articulate voice, playing quick finger style passages, it was clear where the bass notes sat, and where the treble notes sat. Playing chords the WC150 had almost piano like clarity, however, when you really dig into the guitar, it darkens up immensely, now whether this is because it is a spruce top, or because of the way the bracing is laid out internally I don’t know, but what I do know is the harder you play the WC150, the darker it gets.

Amplified this guitar has a very true voice, as in it really sounds a lot like its acoustic voice. The low strings had that nice zip that is so characteristic of classic guitar, with a high end that is chimey and bell like. It doesn’t seem to have the same increasing darkness the harder you play it when it’s properly amplified, through an acoustic guitar amp, or a decent powered P.A speaker, but it still has a nice mellow voice. The WC150SWCE really does have a voice that can do it all, with a timeless, and well outfitted form. This guitar is great for classical, and any kind of finger style playing. It’s for that jack of all trades style that the WC150SWCE gets a 9 out of 10.

The Washburn WC750SWCE

The Washburn WC750SWCE

Next up is the WC750SWCE, which is a lot like the WC150SWCE, except it features solid, and highly figured Ovangkol back and sides as opposed to mahogany. This imparts a slightly different tonality, which is a little more vocal, and a little bit mellower and slightly darker. The note definition is a little more laid back on this guitar, which means playing chords on it sound a bit more homogeneous, and playing quick finger picked passages tend to have a more uniform voice than the WC150SWCE.

This meant that playing big runs across the fingerboard sounded a lot more together than when you played them on the WC150, and while the WC150 is great for playing classical passages where something like that is important, the WC750 is great at playing more flamenco or quick classical lines. The reason being, is that as you race up the neck, it sounds like one continuous run, rather than a run across six different strings, the 750 just blends easier than its cousin the 150.

Playing harder does still bring out that dark quality on this guitar, and in a much more pronounced fashion than its siblings. This is still very musically useful, but you have to be aware of it as you’re playing, or else you could make an entire line or sequence sound muddy just by attacking the strings too hard. Knowing when to play hard, and when to play soft is a skill that most fingerstyle players, and especially classical and flamenco players know all too well. However, if this is your first classical style guitar, this might be a rude awakening, as this guitar is very dynamically expressive.

Amplified however, this guitar is a beast, as its electronics seem to work with this guitar in a lot more dynamic way than the 150. This was interesting, as its tone still retained the darker character even when amplified, which was interesting as that piezo sizzle really added a lot to the smooth, dark tone of this guitar. Whether it was the way the top was cut, or the different tone wood for the back and sides, this guitar was definitely a cut above. For its ability to have a distinct voice, acoustic or plugged in the WC750SWCE gets a well earned 10 out of 10.

The Washburn WC760SWCE

The Washburn WC760SWCE

Last up on the chopping block today is the WC760SWCE, which is a lot like the 750, except it features a cedar top, as opposed to the spruce of the previous two guitars. This change alone completely altered the voice of this guitar. Suddenly the guitar had a lot more mids to its voice, which brightened up the sound, and also gave it a more aggressive attack and far more definition. This made playing lightning fast a pleasant surprise, as the added definition made each note ring out in a very clear fashion, that was almost lute like.

Playing aggressively also was a nice change, as it never got darker, just more aggressive sounding. This meant that playing fast flamenco lines was always bright and articulate, and playing heavy with an aggressive rasgueado still retained all of the snap and power of its normal voice. Amplified, this guitar has a real power about it, which is unique all its own, it really does have an almost lute like tone to it, and when playing quick flamenco lines the guitar stayed taught and resilient sounding. The action was low enough that I could still play with my normal techniques, and yet it never buzzed or felt wrong in any way.

If the WC750SWCE was a cut above, than the WC760SWCE is a giant leap ahead, granted it doesn’t have a voice as well suited for classical as the 150 or the 750, but it does have a more modern sound to it, which is far better suited to flamenco playing, and if need be even playing with a band than its siblings. The WC760SWCE certainly has its own voice, and its electronic voice is worth its weight in gold, for that fact alone the WC760SWCE earns itself a10 out of 10.

So there you go three guitars, all with very distinct voices, which are all amazing, but at the same time varied and useful in their own way. The WC150SWCE is great for anyone who needs a lot of string to string definition, but still wants a big, dark tone from their guitar. It would be great for classical, playing around with folk guitar, or even just an entry level instrument for the rock guitarist trying to expand their horizon. The WC750SWCE is great as a classical guitar, with plenty of control over dynamics, and a very clean, homogeneous tone. For a player who plays mainly lead lines, or just wants to lay some classical sounding lines over their existing work, this would be a great guitar for you. Lastly the WC760SWCE is great for the flamenco player, or just someone who loves that sound. It has plenty of snag and bite to it, so if your going to be playing a nylon string onstage, this might be the wisest choice, as it will help you stay above the mix, without stepping on everyone else’s toes.

World Music Supply | Washburn Guitars

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.

The Washburn XMDLX2FRFPSB

The Washburn XMDLX2FRFPSB

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.

The Washburn WMISTDLITECB Mighty Idol

The Washburn WMISTDLITECB Mighty Idol

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.

The Washburn XMPRO2USEPB

The Washburn XMPRO2USEPB

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.

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

World Music Supply | Washburn Guitars

Hey guys its Brian from World Music Supply here again, and today I’m here to talk to you about some great guitars from Washburn. Washburn has always been known for making fantastic guitars, at bargain basement prices, and these are no exception. These guitars all sound, and play like instruments that cost three or four times as much.

The Washburn WIN14FVSB

The Washburn WIN14FVSB

Lets start with the WIN14FVSB, a nice single cut style guitar. The WIN14FVSB fits you like an old friend, it just feels right. The WIN14FVSB has a classic tobacco burst finish, with a basswood body, a bolt on maple neck with a nice carved cutaway, making it easier for your hand to slide up to the top of the neck. The power of the WIN14FVSB comes from the Washburn designed humbuckers, the sound of them is quite meaty, and musical. It filled out lead lines well, with thick harmonic sustain, and when I sat back and just strummed some chords, it was bright and resilient sounding, almost kind of twangy when in the bridge position, and in the neck position it sounded nice and round with all of the body and warmth you would expect. The control layout is slightly rearranged then a standard singlecut guitar, which is nice, because it makes doing pinky volume swells a lot easier. Overall I really like the WIN14FVSB, probably because I’ve always loved double humbucker guitars with basswood bodies, I give the WIN14FVSB a 9 out of 10, because I know people usually want a set neck on a guitar like this, but I love this guitar nonetheless.

The Washburn WINSTDCB

The Washburn WINSTDCB

Then lets move onto the WINSTDCB, which is a lot more typical of what you expect in a guitar this shape, carved mahogany body, maple top, and a bound body and neck. However you also get the extended relief neck joint, which makes it easier to slide up the higher frets, it also features a graphtech graphite nut, meaning the tuning on this guitar is a lot more stable than your average guitar. The WINSTDCB sounds big and fat, with more than enough sustain on tap for anyone, it has that classic sound that you can only get from a guitar like this.

Seymour Duncan USM

Seymour Duncan USM

The WINSTDCB also features Seymour Duncan USM humbuckers, which sound amazing, running it through a slightly overdriven tube amp I got plenty of classic blues rock style leads, with that nice fluid tone, that kind of sound that just soars when you bend it up just right.

The Washburn WINSTDCB

The Washburn WINSTDCB

Adding in some more gain, I got some serious chunk, with enough punch so it never got muddy. Later on, I dropped the tuning a step or so, and the WINSTDCB just growled and grinded through some chunky metal riffs, I personally love how versatile guitars like this are, it has all the right sounds for all the right situations, from bone dry jazz licks, to searing metal riffing, the WINSTDCB has it all. I give it a 9 out of 10, only because just like most LP style guitars, the WINSTDCB is a little on the heavy side, but it’s thanks to that weight that the WINSTDCB sustains as well as it does.

Lastly there is the WINSTDLITEG, a classic gold top style guitar, with a slimmer LITE style body. The guitar is a bit thinner than the other two guitars in today’s round-up, which means it weighs a bit less, meaning the WINSTDLITEG is more comfortable if you have to carry it around all night.  The WINSTDLITEG features a smooth and rather comfortable feeling carved maple top, ontop of the mahogany body. The set mahogany neck features a nice slightly slimmer profile then the other two, its not too thick to where it feels awkward to play leads, but it’s not too thin to where it feels uncomfortable to play chords, and just like the other two, the WINSTDLITEG is comfortable enough to play for hours and hours. The WINSTDLITEG has the same searing tones as the WINSTDCB thanks to those Seymour Duncan USM Pickups, with the same versatility as the WINSTDCB, with tones that range from smooth, warm jazz licks, to shred runs, this guitar has all of the power to give you the tones you want. Overall the WINSTDLITEG feels comfortable, and its slimmer body meant I could keep playing it for hours without it ever feeling heavy. I give the WINSTDLITEG a 10 out of 10 easy, because it has all of the tonal power of the WINSTDCB in a unique slimmer style body.

The Washburn WINSTDLITEG

The Washburn WINSTDLITEG

The long and short of it is, these guitars are awesome. You get all of the classic LP style guitar tones, and at a fraction of the cost. So if you’re looking for a great guitar, at a fantastic price, why don’t you go and head on over to WorldMusicSupply, and look through our long list of Washburn guitars and pick yourself one up today!