Washburn Rare Wood Guitars
Product Review from George's Music:
Washburn D12S Rare Wood Series Guitars
As beautiful to look at as they are fun to play!
Washburn D12S -
$349.99 $299.99 - Buy Now!
By Ben Blakesley
First let me say that this series of guitars cannot be found at all music stores...It's a George's Music Exclusive!!
When these 4 guitars arrived at our stores, it was love at first site; they're gorgeous! The series provides 4 amazing woods to choose from, all with their own distinct look, feel, and tone. Washburn went over the top to trick these guitars out with some excellent features that make them a joy to look at, play, and own.
The first thing you'll notice when you see one of these guitars is that they don't look like anything else out there (especially in this price range!). They're dubbed Rare Wood Series guitars and with good reason; how many Melanti Wood guitars have you seen for under $400?
Let's break down the four different models:
The D12SDAOK utilizes a Zebra Wood back and sides. This is the standout among this line as it's striking zebra stripe pattern sets it apart from the rest. It's simply beautiful and easily my favorite look of the line.
The D12SWALK is made with Walnut back and sides and gives that warm, rich look and sound that only Walnut can provide.
The D12SPNTK gives some nice variation by using Paint Wood for the back and sides that gives it a super-warm tone and a very pleasant appearance.
The D12SMELK provides a Melanti back and sides; a wood that provides a stunning design and wood grain.
All the models are built with a solid Spruce top and Rosewood fretboard.
Needless to say, with woods like those, these guitars look fantastic. Choose the one the fits your personal flare and really make a statement. I can't say that there is a better looking guitar than the D12SDAOK Zebra Wood for my money. Fantastic! But beyond wood, Washburn has given these guitars some excellent small touches that really put it over the top.
The fretboard inlays are diamond-shaped Mother-of-Pearl and the pickguard is a striking leopard pattern with a nice contoured shape. They've also got an upgraded, metal Washburn logo on the typical Washburn-style headstock and distinct, unique rosettes. The D12SWALK and D12SPNTK have white binding all around, while the D12SDAOK and D12SMELK have a tortoise shell binding that give them real eye-appeal. Top it off with a high gloss finish and you've got yourself some beautifully crafted guitars that have a look all their own.
So enough about how they look! How do they feel? Answer: Great.
Too vague? Ok, let's get into it...
All the guitars have a dreadnaught body with nice action, not too high, not too low. It's very playable and the neck isn't too bulky which makes it a cinch to play for those electric guitar players looking for an acoustic model that won't cramp their style. The tuners are solid, well-built mechanisms with an unusual rubber covering on the superior die cast tuners that give a nice grip when winding and tuning. They also come equipped with a Buzz Feiten Tuning System to keep your intonation at its best. I found all the models easy to play and with a similar feel despite their differences in appearance.
Wood is a living thing and all guitarists know that your tone is going to be effected by the materials of the instrument. So although I can say with confidence that all these guitars sound very good, they certainly do have some prominent tonal differences from model to model.
On the whole, they all have a warm, mellow sound to them. If the acoustic guitar range of sounds runs from Martin (mellow) to Taylor (bright), these guitars are definitely closer to the Martin end of the spectrum.
As a professed Martin Guitar enthusiast, lover, and owner, I felt right at home with the D12SPNTK and its very warm, mid-range heavy sound. Hands-down, my favorite of the bunch, but again, I dig that mellow tone that doesn't overpower and cut through. The D12SWALK remains in that same tonal range.
The D12SDAOK moves a little further up the line, nearer to a Yamaha/Gibson acoustic sound that gives a nice balance and good projection and the D12SMELK pushes that even further along.
These limited edition, exclusive guitars are display the ultimate balance in appearance, playability, tone, and value. Hard to believe you can own a great-sounding rare wood guitar for such an amazingly low price! I wouldn't hesitate recommending this guitar to any of my friends as a way to add some flare to your guitar collection without the worry of having to keep it in a glass case because it was a large financial investment. Plus George's throws in a free gig bag making this a real no-brainer.
Ben Blakesley heads up the Marketing and Technology division of George's Music and spends his time trying to figure out ways to play his many guitars simultaneously.