Washburn Guitars is an American manufacturer and importer of guitars, mandolins, and other string instruments. The company began as a partnership between George Washburn Lyon and Patrick Healy, initially established in 1883 in Chicago, Illinois. While it has been over 130 years since its founding, the music maker’s journey until today has been somewhat bumpy. Nevertheless, by 1889, they were the largest mandolin manufacturer in America, and in 1912, Washburn released the Lakeside Jumbo, one of the first dreadnought guitars ever made. Washburn has a legacy of famous and talented artists who have helped shape the soundscape of today’s modern music, from Nancy Wilson and Howard Leese with Heart, to the rise of hard rock’s and metal’s glory years with Rudy Sarzo and Nuno Bettencourt, and through the grunge years where icons like Dimebag Darrel kept guitar solos alive until passing the torch to Ola Englund and Marzi Montazeri. Currently, Washburn is owned by the US Music Corporation, who manufacture all styles of guitar - electric and acoustic.
In the acoustic department, one of the most sought-after guitars is the Washburn AD5Pack, Washburn’s acoustic guitar bundle with a guitar, gig bag, strap, picks and a tuner. It is an impressive one-stop bundle for aspiring guitarists. The tone of the AD5K is warm, and build quality is comparable to the renowned Yamaha F310. The AD5K is also available without the pack. This is a dreadnought size guitar, which gives it a pronounced base and louder overall sound. Dreadnought-sized guitars are often large and mildly cumbersome to manage for a younger player. If you don’t want to compromise on comfort, Washburn has a whole range of guitars called the (you guessed it), ‘Comfort Series’. These offer a smaller sized guitar with added cushioning in appropriate areas by carving body-hugging shapes along the sides of the guitar. Some of the models in this series are - G-MINI 15S, G70SCE, G55CE, G15SCE 12-string, and more. If portability is your main concern, Washburn has the Rover series which was designed for travelling. With its small footprint and compact soundboard, the Rover has a full-length fretboard and doesn't compromise the play feel. However, because of the smaller soundboard, the overall loudness of the guitar is comparatively less. They come in multiple colour options.
Another acoustic guitar series that Washburn has is the Festival Series. This is one of the most popular Washburn guitars, used by icons like Nuno Bettencourt and Rudy Sarzo, sporting a shape not seen in many acoustic guitars. These produce a memorable tone and have some of the best play feel in any acoustic guitar. And despite their higher price point, they hold their value for years to come, making reselling an option if required. Three other notable acoustic series by Washburn are the Harvest, Heritage, and Apprentice. All these are well built acoustic guitars with different tones and play feels. Each supports artists of all levels and caters to personal preferences. 3/4 sized guitars are recommended for players below ages 13. In their acoustic lineup, they also make classical guitars. Acoustic Guitars feature 22 frets, while Classical Guitars with nylon strings have 21 frets. Acoustic Guitars use steel wound strings and tend to have a slimmer neck which is easy to play.
Washburn’s electric guitar lineup is also quite popular and exquisite. The different series they have are - Parallaxe, Sonamaster, Idol, Hollowbody, Jazz, and Nuno Bettencourt. Apart from the standard electric guitar range, they also produce a variety of bass guitars (both electric and acoustic). Starting with the signature Nuno Bettencourt range, named after the legendary guitarist in the American band, Extreme. The Hollowbody is a semi-acoustic with electronic components, giving it an electric guitar tone with the advantage of a soundboard (for loudness, can be used without an amplifier). The necks are specially designed for fast movements and will hold tuning better. Electric Guitars are made from solid wood, so they are less fragile. This is also an option to consider if noise is a factor since headphones are compatible with most Electric Guitars. Electric guitars can amplify their sound with the help of pickups. When the strings on an electric guitar vibrate, a pickup converts that signal to an electric signal which is amplified using a guitar amplifier. The pickup can convert signals owing to the magnetic properties present in the copper-wrapped magnet (producing a magnetic field) around the strings. The stronger the strum, the higher the disruption (of the magnetic field), and the better the output volume. Since Washburn has a variety of guitars to pick from, it is always recommended to try and feel the guitar before investing in one. This ensures that you find the most optimal, comfortable guitar for long term use.