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Author Topic: My adventure with a Washburn WIDLXSPLTD  (Read 1444 times)

Offline Six String Stewie

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My adventure with a Washburn WIDLXSPLTD
« on: March 02, 2016, 03:13:20 AM »
Hey Gang,

I'll start with a little introduction of myself. My name is Stewart and I currently live in Springfield, Ohio. I was 2 years old when I touched my first guitar and ended up receiving one for that Christmas (or so the story goes.) I've owned a few guitars over the years and have wanted to join a band, but alas life has thrown a couple of curveballs. I recently got bit by the guitar bug again and hope this story will have a different ending. My current goal is to get a band together to play at my brother's bar. This goal seems a little more attainable than global music domination.


In mid February, I got a catalog from Sweetwater. While flipping through the pages, I saw the WIDLXSPLTD. I loved the look of the spalted maple top and it was within my price range, but they were out of stock. So I turned to eBay and scored one for $249. It was listed as having a blemish which turned out to be a crack in the binding on the inside of the horn. It's not noticeable unless you know it's there. Otherwise, the finish on this guitar is very nice.

I've done an extensive internet search on this guitar and not a lot of useful information has popped up that cover my issues, so that's why I decided to join the Washburn forum and start this thread. I hope any of the information I share can be found useful to others.

I found that this model was made in China, so when I ordered it, I wasn't expecting much other than to be a decent guitar to practice on. Despite a couple of trouble spots I have found, I do hope that the upgrades I have planned for it will make it a suitable guitar to gig on.

The hardware on the guitar is black and chrome. To my eye, I really like the black so I will be replacing the chrome parts with black parts. I'll start with the head and work my way down to the body noting what changes I will be making.

Here is a picture of the head with a Gotoh mini tuner in black. To me, the larger tuning keys look better so I've ordered a set of Planet Waves locking tuners in black with the auto clip feature.




The issues I am having with the guitar are located on the neck. I did a setup that included straightening the neck, adjusting the ToM bridge and tail height for action, and intonation. I noticed the B string produced a sitar sound, which indicates trouble with the nut. Upon further evaluation of the nut, I found the slots for the High E and B were too deep. The B string sits really low in the nut and the nut needs to be replaced. Below is the best photo I could get. I sent off an email to Washburn about the specific model of Graphtech nut they used so I could get a direct replacement, but haven't heard back from them. I ordered a Graphtech black Tusq XL PT 6116 based on several measurements I took from the stock nut. I measured a nut length of 1 11/16" (Washburn spec's are 43mm) and E-E length of 1 7/16".



The 3 way switch, input jack and plate, strap buttons and ToM set will be swapped out for all black components. I was hoping I could use my Gotoh ToM set I already have, but found the holes for the bushings are larger than the 11mm Gotoh bushings. When I am installing the upgrades, I'll take measurements and get the correct size bushings ordered. The stock hardware and Gotoh hardware are incompatible. I tried every combination and nothing fit.

Here's a picture of what the guitar will look like with a black ToM set...



After I get the nut, neck and new hardware installed, I'll start messing with the pots, caps and pup's. I'll save all of that for a later post.


Offline Tony Raven

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Re: My adventure with a Washburn WIDLXSPLTD
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 12:54:01 AM »
That "sitar sound" can also come from the bridge -- be sure it only happens at the open note. But, yeh, though the origonal was supposed to have been Graphtech Nubone, a proper Tusq couldn't hurt.  8) Though be aware that ANY  pre-slotted nut is based on someone's idea of the "common" string size, & usually uniform center-to-center spacing; depending on your string preference, you might do better with slotting a blank nut.

The tuners SHOULD have been the same config as fullsize Grover Rotomatics (102 or 103). Oh, gone are the days when Washburn put Grovers on any guitar over $340 retail... :'(

But it's a great choice: an actual Idol-shaped Idol (rather than an LP clone), apparently using up the last of Washburn's spalt-maple veneer, on a mahogany/mahogany guitar that can certainly go up against an Epiphone & more than a few Gibsons. Figuring that these are still going out for ~$400, I'd say you got a decent deal.
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 Six String Stewie

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Re: My adventure with a Washburn WIDLXSPLTD
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2016, 01:06:32 AM »
That "sitar sound" can also come from the bridge -- be sure it only happens at the open note...you might do better with slotting a blank nut.


Thank you for the input Tony.

I received the new nut today. I popped out the stock nut and test fit the new one. In doing so, I found a new issue with the nut routing. The depth of the nut routing increases from the high E to the low E. I lined the stock nut up behind the new nut and you can see an incline in the stock nut. I then placed a ruler in the nut routing and confirmed this bit of bad news. I re-measuring the stock nut and it is roughly 1 5/8" (42mm exactly) long, 1/4" wide, 11/32" high E side, 12/32" high in the middle and in between on the low E side, and E - E was 1 13/32" (36mm). With the stock nut back in place and lined along one side of the neck, you can tell it is shorter than the width of the neck. Based on the new measurements, the closest nut I could find is the PT 6143 (43mm L, 1/4" W, 11/32 H, E-E 35mm), but that doesn't correct the bad nut routing. I'll have to think about what I want to do with the nut going forward. I'm going to find out if I can get it replaced under warranty.


Offline Tony Raven

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Re: My adventure with a Washburn WIDLXSPLTD
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2016, 12:04:45 PM »
Speaking from experience, DO NOT consider cutting the nut slot deeper -- total PITA to get those dead flat without skill & great tools. If you go that way, then sand the NUT down to fit.

As for warranty: it's possible that you'd go through the returns only to find that the replacement has the SAME problem. Unless you need actual local-shop "factory authorized" bench work done on a higher-end axe, or the guitar arrivesin pieces or otherwise totally unplayable, warranties are pretty much worth less than the paper etc.; gone are the days you could just walk it back into the store & say "give me THAT one instead." ;D

Which is to say: if you can fix it (or have it fixed locally), & everything else suits you fine, then don't bother with returns. An actual luthier can hand-cut a nut from blank bone AND suit it precisely to the strings you prefer AND set it to exactly your playing style's optimum height for $100 or less, & I've been quoted "as little as $40 but I'd have to see it first."
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/