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Author Topic: New Idol WI45F Rocks!  (Read 7485 times)

Offline Scaryfast

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« on: January 12, 2010, 09:14:24 AM »
I've always wanted an Idol so I started looking for one on eBay.  I found a brand new WI45F Flame Maple Top (Honeyburst) for a great price (I felt) so I bought it.  It showed up a few days later and here's my review....

I was really excited to see the finish and I wasn't disappointed.  The ONLY complaint I have on this one is that the burst isn't very noticeable.  It almost looks like an amber stain over flame maple.  I wish it had a more noticeable burst to it with a little - and I mean just a little - darker color at the edges.  I looked at it very closely and found virtually no problems with the finish or the inlays, etc.  There's one tiny spot where the neck is set in that the clear is a little built up, but you have to look super hard.  The only other knock I have is that the bookmatching could have been slightly better by just moving the pieces ever so slightly.  Again, not a huge issue, especially at this price point.

Of course traveling in 10 degree weather was probably brutal on the neck. So, the first thing I did (after letting the guitar sit for 48 hours in my office to acclimate) was strip the Vinci strings and throw on a set of Ernie Ball Hybrid Slinkys and then adjusted the truss rod and bridge height.  This guitar has lower action than any guitar I've ever owned and that includes a Gibson Les Paul Custom.  I love the low action with the shorter 24.75 scale.  The thing is a vibrato MONSTER.

Balance wise, it's a little neck heavy.  Not bad and it sort of forces you to hold the guitar, but it does want to neck dive just a little bit if you're not paying attention.

The fret work was great although I will have my guy (Scott Bond at Fat Cat Guitars in Carpentersville, IL) take down the edges until they're perfect.  They're so close that I might as well make them perfect eh?

Oh...while I'm thinking about it...one MAJOR bitch I have are the stickers on the electronics cover on the back of the guitar.  There's a big one that talks about VCC and then some small inspection approval stickers.  They're paper based and don't come off without shredding.  I gave up after a while and now the back of the guitar looks like crap.  Use a different sticker that comes off easier...ugh...so horrible.

I have a computer based ProTools studio.  For guitars, I use a Vox ToneLab tabletop modelling box for my guitars.  So, I plugged it into that.  One thing I noticed soundwise is that this guitar doesn't have as much output/gain as my previous studio horse (a Floyd Rose Guitar with Dimarzio PAF Classic pickups).  I was suprised at that considering the PAF Classics aren't exactly high gain pickups.  The idol is a little mushier than then Dimarzios as well with slightly less individual string definition.  That's to be expected.  For OEM pickups, they're quite good though...just not quite what I'm looking for for recording so I'll probably swap them out.

I then plugged it into my stage rig which is a Carvin V3 head into a Sonic 4x12 cab with Celestion Rocket 50 speakers.  Again, compared to my Floyd Rose guitar, it had a little less crispness but it did have that Les Paul quality that I was looking for.  If I only played this guitar live, I wouldn't take the trouble to change out the pickups...they sounded great with little feedback.  Slightly noisier than my Floyd Rose guitar, but not bad at all..certainly good enough for rock and roll.

The VCC controls provide great flexibility.  I wouldn't say they sound like single coils...I think that's a stretch.  But, I will say it's AWESOME having the variety of sounds that this guitar provides with the VCC controls.  I think I'll leave the neck pickup at zero on VCC and the bridge at full up on the VCC.  For clean sounds, having the VCC turned down is a great twangy sound.

Overall, this is an INCREDIBLE value.  It seems very solid.  The tuners feel VERY high quality, the guitar stays in tune very well, and looks like a $2000 guitar.  The pickups are good - not fantastic - but very good for OEM.  

Change the stickers (or get rid of them completely) on the control cavity plate and this would be virtually a perfect guitar in my opinion.

Here are some pics.





Offline cedwards

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 09:27:00 PM »
Sounds consistent in every way with my flamed red one. Really nicely finished and appointed for a guitar at this price. I'm still completely in love with mine - SO playable! One thing I have noticed after a few months is that the nut holding the jack tends to loosen. Probably a wrench tightening will fix that - just haven't done it yet.

Congrats on a sweet acquisition - enjoy!
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 09:27:48 PM by cedwards »
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Offline NelsonB

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 11:13:11 AM »
Is it true, that the WI45 is the same guitar as a WI68, but just with different pickups?
 

Offline Tio Kimo

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 11:36:56 AM »
NO! Absolutely not.
WI-68 is a custom shop, made in USA model, the original Idol, a thin bodied single cut. There are other USA models, thicker, thicker and chambered, carved top etc...and then there are imports.

The -68, aside from craftsmanship, has a similar dimensional design to the -45, BUT has different p'ups and different electronics, different fretboard appointments, a different carve to the body. The assumption is that materials and craftsmanship are of a higher quality as well.

You MIGHT say that the -45 is the same as the -66(also an asian import) except for p'ups.

SOME have said that the Korean -66 of a couple of years ago are of a higher build quality than the more recent Indonesian made ones, and the -45 has only been available from Indonesia.

I've not seen a Indo -66 to compare, so I can't say. Eric at BSG is one who has voiced that opinion.

Having said that...there are experienced guitarists here who LOVE the -45, in both quality and playability. Can't beat an owner's testimonial.


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Offline cedwards

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 09:52:18 AM »
According to FunkyMunky, the 45 is, as Kimo says, essentially the same underlying guitar as the 66.
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Offline mfergel

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2010, 09:51:54 AM »
Just looking at the photos on the Washburn site, it looks like the 66 has a different carve to the body than the 45.  I have the 45 and it's less of a Les Paul style carve, while the photos on the Washburn site make the body look more like a Gibson Les Paul carve.  I might be wrong having never seen a 66 in person, but the shadows and highlights in the photos sure make it look that way.
 

Offline Tio Kimo

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2010, 12:00:52 PM »
i see what you mean, but I think it's just lighting. If you look at the Honey 66, it has no visible carve, while the others are very pronounced due to lighting. The -45's on the site look similar to that Honey 66, IMHO

I own a -67 (same as 66 but with a cavity/fhole) and in certain light the carve top jumps off, but other times it appears nearly flat.

Now you see it...


Now you don't



I've not held a -45 in my hands though, so I actually have no idea what I'm talking about. [:D]
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 12:05:06 PM by Tio Kimo »
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'95 Washburn D-55SW Cherokee (Bourgeois)
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Offline Marty

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New Idol WI45F Rocks!
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2010, 06:24:09 PM »
Awesome review.I bought my WI45 based on you and cedwards reviews.Thanks!

I couldnt be happier with mine.I bought the trans red and im selling a few of my other guitars to buy another one in Honey or I may go with the WI66 not really sure yet.

This is the Best import ive ever played.If you took someone who didnt know what these guitars sell for and let them play it they would think it a 1000 dollar guitar.

I bought a gibson les paul studio a few years ago and the wi45 feels and plays better than than the gibson.The action on the Gibson isnt near as good even when it was new.If i lowered the action at all on the studio it would buzz everywhere.Because of poor fret work.