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Author Topic: D46S12: wow! I am very surprised.  (Read 5463 times)

Offline Monk_

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D46S12: wow! I am very surprised.
« on: August 09, 2009, 07:50:03 PM »
I just received my Southwest Series 12-string and.. wow!  I'm really impressed.  I actually feel somewhat sheepish about the whole thing:

I play almost exclusively on acoustic instruments, having abandoned electric guitars years ago when I stopped playing in rock bands.  I played bluegrass intensively for a few years, then moved away from that and presently play original music as a duo with my wife.  Like most guitarists, I've owned a lot of guitars..  In the last 15 years I have repeatedly passed over Washburns because the models which were available for me to try, either in stores or belonging to friends, didn't live up to the competition in terms of sound quality: resonance, tone, volume, etc.  I usually chalked it up to laminated back and sides and heavy gloss finishes.  Of course, local vendors never offer the higher end Washburns... and now I'm stamping my feet to know why not!  Because this is one of the nicest guitars I have ever owned, and the price is simply unbeatable.

Well, I had to buy a 12-string to add some depth and intrigue to the music we are performing.  I was limited by a budget of about $700 and the purchase had to be on a Musicians Friend credit card, thus further limiting my choices to their inventory.  I've owned three other 12 strings in the past: Seagull (M12?  can't remember the model), Fender DG1012 and one other which was so long ago I don't remember if it was a Yamaha or another Fender.  So two weeks ago, before buying the Washburn I made rounds of the local shops and tried out whatever I could.  The Guild GAD-F212 was the forerunner in the hunt, but I would have had tp remove the awful clear pick guard, and it was also pushing the budget constraint at about $750.  The Martin D12X1 sounded very weak, had no resonance to speak of, and looked like it was built out of a kit.  Several Takamines failed to pass the test and were difficult to handle.  There were no Washburn 12's to play at any of the stores..

But I bought this guitar sight unseen because the top is solid, it has no pickguard and features nice inlay styling.  I read a few decent reviews, and the price was right.  I also like the figure in the ash wood back and sides.  I was nervous because as I said, I have never been inclined to buy a Washburn, and the only models I;ve ever had the chance to play have been 'economy' models.  Now I'm blown away by the overall quality and playability of the D46S12.  The action is wonderfully low and it stays in tune better than any 12 string I have ever owned.  The Grover machines are amazing and it's a crime that all 12 strings don't come standard with Grovers.  The 18:1 ratio makes fine tuning a breeze.  Sustain is breathtaking, just hangs in there forever, and the projection is impressive, too.  Playability across all frets up to 12 (I don't play above the octave much) is very consistent.  I feel pretty silly having had such a low opinion of Washburn guitars in the past because I think this is one of the nicest 12 strings in the market right now.  It's hard to believe how inexpensive it was.  Sorry for something of a rant but wow.. I'm now converted.  [:)]  I'm going to give higher priority to other Washburn models in the future because it seems to me that the instruments being produced by Gibson/Seagull/Taylor/Martin/Breedlove etc. in the same price level are hardly comparable.

Good job, Washburn!
« Last Edit: August 10, 2009, 01:10:42 AM by Monk_ »
 

Offline BobinNJ

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D46S12: wow! I am very surprised.
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2009, 10:23:54 PM »
Hi Monk_,
Welcome to the forum from a new member as well. I'm sure that other more seasoned members will be along soon to do the same.
Congratulations on the 12 string purchase. I can understand your enthusiasm when you kind of go out on a limb buying without trying, and then getting such a pleasant relief at your good fortune to get something that exceeds your expectations to that degree. That's great. I wish you many enjoyable years with it.
My D-46-SCE holds tune very well. Day after day, in and out of the case, take it out and it's ready to play. I like that.

Once you get a picture of the duo with the new guit., post a picture for us all to see.

Bob
 

Offline Monk_

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D46S12: wow! I am very surprised.
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2009, 01:29:50 AM »
Bob, I'll be sure to post a few pictures.  It is definitely a solid and dependable guitar.  After three days under regular tension and two pretty lengthy sessions, I've hardly had to touch the tuning.  I can't say so much for the Seagull that I owned which, in spite of its unique headstock design, was a constant battle to tune.  

It felt reassuring to open the case and find a quality control card, measuring the action at different intervals along the fretboard.  It's good to know that Washburn is double-checking what comes out of the factories in China.  I am happy that an effort is being made to ensure consistency from offshore production.  Can't say so much for Hohner accordions (that's my other addiction..)  

Funny, I'm looking around my apartment and thinking if I can find something worth trading to get another Washburn of a different model. [:)]

Chris
 

Offline evenkeel

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D46S12: wow! I am very surprised.
« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2009, 12:16:02 PM »
A bit late, but welcome to the gang.

Great review.  I have never played the 12 string version but used to have the D46sce.  My comments are right in line with yours.  Wonderful guitar and lot's O bang for the buck.

Love some pics if you've got 'em.