Washburn AB-20 Fretless Acoustic Dreadnaught Reviews 4

$390 from Daddy's Junky Music, with HSC [chipboard type] and a long scratch on the front [uglee is cheaper ....]

Love the sound of fretless acoustic, and the dreadnught style body emphasizes that more than the thin-bodied hollow basses. It has a 34" scale, not too common among large-bodied ABGs but I prefer it.

Obviously, it's bulky and won't fit into most gig bags etc, plus the reach over the body for the right arm is a bit awkward compared to thin-bodied ABGs. The strap buttons are in the usual awkward ABG set up: End pin and neck joint. Action is adjustable only via the neck rod because of the wooden bridge. ALthough not as touch as some large ABGs, it is rather easy to get feedback. The bridge is attached only to the top, with no tailpiece, which ultimately can warp the top.

It's built like typical acoustic/electric guitars, with piezo bridge PU, body all of formed wood, ribbed top. It has a row of narrow slots instead of a round sound-hole, maybe to limit feedback. Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, 2+2 tilt-back peghead with sealed tuners. 9v system with 4 sliders on top body edge. Jack is on the side wall, lower rear [similar to many solid body axen].

It's got a really great sound with nylon covered strings. Has proved durable so far for what play time it gets due to its size and feedback. Mostly I play thin body ABGs. The AB20 is plenty loud for practice when unplugged, but no AGB can play in a band unplugged, thus I prefer the thin bodies. But, the AB-20 has a plainly woody-er more acoustic tone when amped, compared to the semi-acoustic types, so I have no plans right now to retire it. It works best in a small ensemble where it's not too crowded for the big box and where sound pressure is not always above feedback level. The only reason I'm not rating it a "5" is because I know the sound of the super-huge Talyor ABGs, in a class of their own. The Washburn would be a "5" if I'd never heard the Taylor.

Golem rated this unit 4 on 2003-12-17.

Write a user review

� Gear Review Network / MusicGearReview.com - 2000