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Author Topic: WI-66V: first impressions  (Read 1021 times)

Offline Tony Raven

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WI-66V: first impressions
« on: October 14, 2015, 10:07:32 PM »
Like I need another guitar... but, for $200 (+s/h), I couldn't run away fast enough. Korea 2002, in a lovely burgundy (or whatever the hell it was called that season) & thick-bound top -- too bad those wing inlays ain't abalone, but wtf. :(

Sure, it's got a 1" ding above the jack; a nick on the back of the horn, too. And the nut has never been properly cut to height, with the high E taller than the B.

This is my first Idol, though I've been hoping to try one for a few years. I prefer Tele over (full-size) Strat, & the Idol body seemed to be a well-engineered melding of Tele & LP.

I've never been a big fan of the Les Paul due to weight issues, while I've had much affection for the SG. My first impression is that the 64V feels like an SG (though hanging much better!) but looks much like a flash LP. In fact, I'd say it adds some of the classic LP's richness to the SG leanness.

The twist here is the vibrato, a modified synchro style. The externals appear to be the same as used on the X-33, with extra metal on top surrounding the slugs on three sides. (I really wish, though, that this had been gold-plated, because that's a large chunk of bright chrome in the midst of all that color!) Though this unit adds some metal, the spring & block routs take out a big chunk of mahogany, making the 66V even more of a hybrid, with similarity to the modern chambered-body LP.

While the tremolo looks really good, it's using the little weedy pot-metal tone block that hassomehow become the standard for just about every inexpensive guitar on the market. Not difficult OR expensive for me to replace with brass or real steel, this does make me wonder how many similar Washburns got similarly short shrift. I mean, as an after-market mod it's $25 or even less, so when you're selling something like the 66V with MSRP $1K, maybe either eat the added $10/unit, or add that to the wholesale price.

And the pots are teensy, albeit Alpha. I don't want to mess with the VCC, but the volume knobs might get a full-size upgrade -- the good news being that the rout is generous. And the three-way switch looks moderately robust, &hasn't been overused on mine,so it's probably got plenty of life remaining.

It's got the BFTS, but as the guitar was clearly NEVER fully set up in the first place, any such artsy-fartsy niggliness is rendered entirely moot. Then again, that decal DOES bump resale value a few bucks.

NEXT: spending a few hours running the VCC through a few amps, to see why so many people just absolutely WHINGE about it. 8)
« Last Edit: October 18, 2015, 09:10:48 PM by Tony Raven »
M1SDL; XB-400 (natural), XB-400 (burg), XB-500 (teal); X-10, X-33; D46CESP, WCSD30SCE; BT-3, BT-4, BT-6, JB-80; WS-4; WI-66V; Lyon LCT24; OS Autoharps

resident troublemaker: http://forum.frugalguitarist.com/

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: WI-66V: first impressions
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2015, 11:11:47 PM »
The model was only made 2002-2003, known around here as The Great Gaping Hole for official info on Washburns: no catalogue scan, no price list. Even VintAxe.com doesn't have a catalogue archived.

The closest I've come to official is BlueBook Online:
Quote
-- mahogany body with quilted arched maple top, one-piece mahogany set-neck, rosewood fingerboard with block inlays, two WB630 high output humbucking pickups, chrome hardware, flush tremolo, Buzz Feiten Tuning System, available in Carmel Burst, Wine Burst, or Trans. Blue finish, mfg. 2002-03.
They probably mean "Caramel Burst" since naming a color after a California resort community seems silly. And the"block inlays" are the stylized Washburn wing.

In any case, my axe is a 2002 in Wine Burst, & that's about all I know thus far. Oh, wait: I also know that it's a great axe, & wandered up at an excellent price.
M1SDL; XB-400 (natural), XB-400 (burg), XB-500 (teal); X-10, X-33; D46CESP, WCSD30SCE; BT-3, BT-4, BT-6, JB-80; WS-4; WI-66V; Lyon LCT24; OS Autoharps

resident troublemaker: http://forum.frugalguitarist.com/