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Washburn WD750SWCE (solid wood series) anyone?

Hi folks,

This is my first post, as I am new to acoustic guitar. I am seeking some input to help me with my guitar shopping. I am looking at an all wood (Engleman spruce top, Ovenkol back and sides) acoustic/electric Washburn that is currently on sale for $549. This seems like a great deal. Any thoughts from someone who is experienced player or someone who owns a WD760SWCE?

I recently got a deal on a new Alvarez AD70ce acoustic/electric for less than $300 (and have 30 days to return it). It has Sitka spruce top and laminate redwood sides. It has similar electronics (mic and pickup). My goal is just to use them for practice and some home recording. So, my second question is whether a novice is going to notice a huge difference between the laminate and the all wood guitar (that is worth the extra $250).

Thanks,
Steve

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Always worth the extra to have solid wood over a laminate guitar, but the guitar you are talking about is fairly new for the market place so I cannot give you a personal experience other then to say some of their lesser guitars that I have tried were of really decent quality. I have had many of Washburns and found them to be great guitars that I have used on many CD's .

So now it comes down to you if you are willing to give it a try I am sure you'll be more then pleasantly surprised.ship

Thanks for the input, Ship. One of the other wrinkles here is that I was able to play the Alvarez but I have only been to find the Washburn all wood through an online dealer (World Music Supply). So, there is a bit of anxiety with the latter.

Cheers,
Steve
IMHO, you will most likely not notice the difference, especially if you are going to record plugged-in.
However, you should play both, to see if there are any differences that are noticeable to YOU.
Ok - so, you can't... Then, IMHO, before you buy the Washburn you should try some Seagulls, Simon & Patricks, Waldens, Eastmans, Wechters, and such...
Thanks, FLGull. I have tried some Seagulls (and like the made in Canada thing). They seem like nice guitars (and still reasonably affordable). I have seen some Simon & Patricks but that is about it among the other brands that you've suggested here.

I am glad you addressed the "plugged-in" sound. I understand that projection is important, when playing unplugged, and can see where there would be appreciable benefits of all wood there. So, I think I need to bring along my headphone amp and do some comparison shopping on that front.

Cheers,
Steve
Go to www.godinguitars.com - all their acoustic lines are great - different materials and finishes. Seagulls tend to have a wider, 1.8" nut - the other lines have the 1.72" nut. All made in Canada.
Check out the websites for the others - very interesting, IMHO.

   I have always liked Washburn guitars, I had one that I kept in the car in a padded case for a year, summer and winter so that I would always have something to play on, and each time I pulled it out it was in tune, I have played a few of the newer Alvarez and didn't really care for them (just my personal opinion), I have a friend who has a few Alvarez his old ones from the 70's are great his new one from the early 2000's had to have the bridge re attached, it started pulling up, and it doesn't sound as nice.  But both guitars are nice for the money and you will learn as you play what you like, good luck and have fun playing

Thanks for all your sage advice gang. There is another option that you didn't mention and was curious if any of you have opinions or experience with the Epiphone Masterbilt DR-500MCE. It has solid Sitka top and solid mahogany bottom and sides, with some really nifty Shadow electronics.

They are made in China but I understand that, unlike other companies that contract out, Epiphone has its own factory that builds using Gibson manufacturing technologies.

Cheers,
Steve
That would be good, if true - and I'm not doubting it. Walden has their own, dedicated factory as well.
Epiphone Masterbuilts, the Blueridge line, LAG Guitars - all have some decent things said about them. If you're going made in China, I'm just partial to Walden and Eastman. YMMV...
I read that bit about Epiphone having their own factory, in an online interview (came from Epi site so some spin expected):

http://www.epiphone.com/News-Features/News/2007/Gibson-Qingdao-Fact...

I went out and tried the Epi Masterbilt DR-500MCE today. At $599 (retail) it seemed pretty impressive in terms of its projection and tone unplugged and the dual pickup system gave it a really nice amplified sound (low end was very pronounced either way). The downside was that it did not have a compensated saddle, as depicted in Epi promotional material (and the action was also far too high). Despite this, the overall sound (unplugged and plugged-in) was noticeably superior to the Alvarez I am currently trying out. I am beginning to think that, even as a novice, I might be better served spending a couple of hundred more and going all wood.

I tried a few Sea Gulls but didn't have enough time to give them a proper go. I will also need to explore some of the other options that have been suggested here.

Cheers,
Steve

Hey Steve I ended up giving my student my Masterbilt ( but with rosewood ) and 6 months later had to have the bridge reattached and it was a pretty nice guitar except for that one thing, but I am leaning more towards the Washburn line as I did have a few issues with Epiphone warranties ( especially if you live in Canada their warranty is for one year only if outside of the US ) Am not crazy about the electronics in the Alvarez and some do not like the neck profile on the Masterbilts and even though I am not comfortable saying this I have never been a fan of Seagulls ( Godin Line ) even though they are Canadian.

Good hunting which ever way you go.ship

Thanks, Ship. Do you recall if the Epiphone you passed on to your student was their Masterbilt Advanced Jumbo, as I have seen that online as well. Once upon a time, "Guitar Player" named it a top pick. From what I read, despite the name, it really is the size of a dreadnought but with "sloped shoulders" (whatever that means). It is one of the only Masterbilt a/e models that I have seen with rosewood (most have mahogany).

Most of the postings in various forums have been pretty positive aboutt the Masterbilts, with the most consistant complaint having to do with the reliability of the electronics, which supposedly have a 5 year warranty.

The sticking point with the Washburn is that I can't play it before buying. I live in DC metro but most stores do not seem to carry the upper end of the Washburn line.

Thanks,
Stev

Yes it was Steve and if you want living in the DC area there must ne someone who has one in therre store let me check with someone I know who might get you a location of one in DC.ship

And this should help you to see the difference.

[IMG]http://i36.photobucket.com/albums/e4/ship123/403865656_e5a13c492b_o...[/IMG]

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