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WASHBURN HM Series WI556 Electric Guitar

Metallic green, mahogany set neck, mahogany body, EMG pickups, floating Original Floyd Rose.

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Mean, green, but lacks something in between.... featured

Sound This guitar has EMGs in it, a type of pickup of which I am not really a fan. I love the sustain they give, but find they do so at the expense of tone and character. Playing through a Vox Night Train, and a Marshall 1960 cab, I got plenty of gain, but with the price of a lot of mud. Notes were not distinct and clear. As well, with my picking attack, and using a nylon pick,I got a lot of pick squeak, which is supremely annoying.

This said, it sounds like what it is advertised to be -- a modern metal shred guitar.

Action, Fit, & Finish The guitar was as well set up as one might get from playing it right off a guitar shop wall. Action was OK, and the whammy returned to pitch.

One of the guitar's selling points is supposed to be its neck, with a carbon glass epoxy composite fretboard, jumbo frets and no inlays. I was ambivalent about this new type of fretboard. I didn't find it helpful necessarily, but perhaps I was hindered by the high gloss finish on the back of the neck. It's certainly not my preference -- I like a satin finish, or oiled wood. Another issue; the guitar kept sliding off my leg. I was wearing jeans, and this doesn't often happen for me.

The shape of the neck itself was thin and flat. I am pretty sure I would like this neck a lot with a satin finish.

Overall, I don't think it plays as well as it could given its cost. I have often found that I didn't think higher-end Washburns were worth the extra money over the import versions (N4s possibly excepted), but there was nothing to make it jump out as being a great guitar.

Reliability & Durability n/a

Customer Support Past experience with another guitar hasn't been super -- if a guitar is warrantied in America, and bought by a Canadian, why can't a Canadian Washburn dealer service the warranty?

Liked about it 1) The look -- the Idol body shape is growing on me.
2) The neck carve.
3) The fact that they'd make this type of guitar today.

Didn't like 1) The finish on the neck (personal preference).
2) EMGs. I'd bet this thing would sing with a set of Burstbucker Pros in it.
3) Price. It doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from other, less expensive instruments.

Overall satisfaction:

By Philboski
Mar 15, 2010
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