Washburn WI66 PRO Wine Red Reviews 4

I saw this in eBay and bought it in mint condition for £330. I wanted to check out a Washburn, the BF tuning system and the VCC tone control. I got slightly carried away on the bidding but when the guitar came it was in immaculate condition and had a pro setup.

Here is the spec: Mahogany body Bound, carved quilt maple top Set neck joining style Mahogany neck Fingerboard radius 14" Bound rosewood fingerboard Bound headstock Pearl wing inlays on fingerboard Seymour Duncan '59 reissue pickup in the neck Seymour Duncan Custom Custom pickup in bridge 3 way toggle Switch Speed knob Tune-omatic bridge with stop tailpiece Exclusive Grover 18:1 gear ratio tuners Chrome hardware Buzz Feiten Tuning System™ The frets are quite high which makes it easy to get a good note. The sustain is incredible! You have to palm mute any string that you don't want to resonate. If you hit the B string and then damp it, you can still hear it because the bottom E is resonating and it will go on for about 5 minutes! The VCC was a slight disappointment. It does let you vary the tone from HB to S, but I wouldn't say you can get lots of different tones from it like I have heard some ads say. The intonation was perfect and even on the 15th fret it is perfectly in tune, unlike some other guitars. I tuned the strings to E on my tuner by fretting each string accordingly as that is how you are supposed to tune a BF guitar but there really didn't seem to be much difference from just tuning it to EADGBE on the tuner. The tuners are OK, but tuning the B string accurately always seems difficult for some reason on this guitar. The pickups are VERY sensitive. So much that it picks up even the tiniest finger movements like a microphone! You really need to roll off the guitar volume controls unless you want it to scream. I immediately ordered some half-round strings to cut down on string noise. It keeps in tune well and v. sounds good.

The guitar is very heavy. The finish is good (with binding all round) but the heavy plastic/lacquer finish makes it look and feel plasticy and you really couldn't tell it probably has some nice wood under there somewhere! The nut had sharp edges which almost cut my left hand but this was soon sorted out with a file. Given the slightest excuse, any open string will resonate. You really have to practise palm muting with this guitar! The only other minor niggle is that the top horn, for some reason, seems to stick into my body when playing in a seated position (I am an armchair player!).

The binding was not perfect and some bits of the 'wine red' colour had mixed into the white binding and lacquer finish (but only in a couple of places for 1mm or so, on corners where the binding finished and was joined to another piece.) Construction (fixed neck) seems solid. I did notice that the tuner pegs were quite sloppy when the strings were removed (but they don't rattle when the strings are attached!) You really need to use a string winder with the 18:1 Grover tuners when fitting strings!(with care though - I broke a 9 E string even though I thought I was being reasonably careful!). The fretboard seems perfect, no high or low frets and perfectly in tune. Switch, knobs, pickups all seem good quality.

I am just an armchair hobby player (never gig-ed) but have played spanish and folk guitar off and on for 30 yrs. I have now started getting into electric guitars (about 6 months). So I am not exactly a heavy metal freak! This guitar is well made. The BF system does seem to work and the pickups are the most sensitive (too sensitive?) I have ever come across. This guitar takes some handling (maybe too much for an amateur like me)and requires accurate playing (you can hear every mistake!) - but I am getting used to it. I am going to rate it 4 because this is supposed to be a $1000 guitar and it did have a few finish problems. I get the feeling that you are really paying extra for the binding and inlay.

Steve rated this unit 4 on 2004-11-16.

Write a user review

� Gear Review Network / MusicGearReview.com - 2000