The Washburn Guitars Forum

Washburn Electric Guitars Forums => X Series => Topic started by: cahumb on April 15, 2015, 08:00:43 PM

Title: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: cahumb on April 15, 2015, 08:00:43 PM
How would a 2005 or 2006 Washburn X-40 compare to an Ibanez RG350? Or what would be the closest Ibanez to the X-40? I'm looking to swapping the pickups on either of them, how would an X-40 react to this?
Title: Re: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: Tony Raven on April 18, 2015, 01:02:37 PM
Seems like most players who post online just hate ANY Washburn-branded pickups -- few bother to mention they like them, & I've never seen much outright love. I doubt you'd get any guff if you joined the crowd!

But you don't mention your needs (playing style, genre, string prejudice, amp, typical venue, pedals) so I'll plunge blindly onward.

I'm vaguely interested in a non-PRO X-40 for two reasons.
(A) my X-33 has been a very positive experience & a standout among the previous 50+ guitars I've owned.
(B) the 40 is supposed to have a maple body. There's so much hype about ash/alder/mahogany that the difference appeals to me, makes me curious about weight & tone & sustain. I've been told the tone tends to be "bright but not harsh" -- at worst, I might put in underwound or classic pickups. We mostly see maple as a neck wood, then a veneer wood, so it just kinda amuses me to put a chunk under opaque paint.

The two brands look like a South Korea Cage Match -- Samick v. Cort. ;)

An X40 (h-s-h "W" Head Hunter pickups & generic Rose)... or an X40PRO (Duncan h-h & Schaller Rose)? Either way, they fetch $300-$500 right now.

(Those Duncans are a 59 Reissue & a Distortion, btw.)

The RG series is a close cousin of the JEM (without the hype), covers quite a range, & has been around since the 1980s :o so there's the constant risk of comparing a beat-up Vega to a new Corvette. Used, the 350 goes for half (or less) what an X40 earns. Per the Ibanez Wiki:
The RG300 models such as the RG350 and RG360 featured the new body shape but cheaper tremolo and pickup models.

I can't find any comparison of neck profiles, which always seems to be a Number One (or Two) consideration for players who adore Ibanez, & somewhat further down for Washburn fans.

(In my herd, I've got half-round & shallow-D & classic C & soft V; no compound radius but quite a range of fingerboard curves... & truth to tell, if a guitar's properly set up, that stuff don't matter to me -- some guitars are born shredders, some destined for chunky metal chording, some for the blues. Most of the hype about such minutia is IMNSHO nothing but idle ****ery.)

If you already own one of each, then mod the better of the two. My gut says resale on the Ibanez would be a little easier, & you'd probably make more from selling the Ibanez pickups than the Washburn's.

If you own one & don't want to spend the cash to do a side-by-side, then mod the one you've got.

If you own neither, then I don't want to steer you wrong, as ANY given guitar might be a treasure or a turd. You won't have even a hint until you have it in your hands. Like, a $150 RG with messed-up trem versus the same model for $400 with a professional setup -- which one is a bargain?
Title: Re: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: cahumb on May 02, 2015, 06:53:52 PM
Thanks for the awesome response!
Well I'm sorry for not being very informative, I like to play everything, recently I've been getting into jazz fusion, but still I like to use 0.11 strings.
I'm looking forward to modding a non-pro X-40, the one with the headhunter pickups, having a maple sounds interesting to me!
I want to mod it into a guitar a guitar as versatile as possible, so having a floyd and 24 frets certainly helps!
Is the X-40 the better choice?
Title: Re: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: Tony Raven on May 02, 2015, 08:48:58 PM
I used to think the h-s-h config was bollocks. Then I watched the DVD of The Aristocrats, & the way Guthrie Govan uses the five-way switch totally leapt out at me, tune after tune. I'll never be HALF so good, but I've moderated my former stance. :D

But I remain significantly ambivalent about 24 frets. Sure, it's handy once in a great while to have a full two octaves on one string... but, really, I use those notes more when I'm learning/composing, & often wind up changing the key or the position, or both.

And even with a super-deep cutaway & relief, how often does ANY of us work up that high on the lower strings? The freshest roundwound heavy E will still go all dubby above fret ~15.

As a direct consequence of those 24 frets, the "sweet spot" is gone. That's what we used to call the placement of the neck humbucking pickup on a 21-fret guitar, as (to some ears, anyway) notes played in (roughly) the lowest ten frets achieve maximum richness when the pickup is Right There. The effect might be minimized with a single-coil pickup.

(Well, okay, with the change in pickup placement,  the sweet spot isn't GONE gone, but you'd have to play higher in order to find it on a 24-fret guitar. By doing so, you're sacrificing the tonal complexity the strings have when closest to open. This works against the shifted sweet spot, & the resultant diminishing returns mostly cancel each other. The actuality beats the logic.)

In the end, there's lots of factors that affect whether this is even a teensy problem for any given player -- picking style, genre, & so on. In my case, I gave up long ago on creating an all-in-one guitar; even coil splits no longer fascinate me, because it's just easier to pick up a Strat!

As for Ibanez vs. Washburn... well, I've liked them both since 1978 & 1980 respectively. I've nothing at all against Ibanez, but I own seven Washies (+ a Lyon). I'd have to cop to a likely bias somewhere along the line.

I haven't owned a Rose since the late '80s, & mainly recall it was a PITA to set up! (Once properly adjusted, is was pretty cool.) The Schaller Rose is to the "licensed" Rose much like a Wilkinson/Gotoh VS100 is to a Wilkinson VS50: it's made with more precision from better materials, & worth more in the marketplace. While I wouldn't whine if offered a deal on an X40 -- the maple body cannot be any heavier than a classic Les Paul, & offers the potential for non-common tonal characteristics -- should there also be an X40PRO for the same price point (possibly a little higher), I'd take the Pro.
Title: Re: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: cmac84 on May 04, 2015, 02:34:42 PM
As an RG player (heavily heavily modded), it sits about 12 guitars in front of any of my electric Washburns for stage use and I've used it on a few recordings... such a fast neck.

I love the build of most of my "electric" washys, but the pickups are bad and the blocks in the floyds are terrible. IMHO if I was buying a washy for gigging I would look for an old KC100 or assume I would have to mod whatever I'm buying with new pickups and a new block......

Also, I really hate buying electrics with less than 24 frets, I'm so used to my style of transitions when jamming leads that I die without it. However, not a big issue to other players.
Title: Re: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: cahumb on May 05, 2015, 07:45:52 PM
So you would say the floyd on a 2002-2005 non pro X-40 isn's worth it? I plan on swapping out the pickups but not sure about the floyd!
Title: Re: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: Tony Raven on May 08, 2015, 08:55:51 PM
It's not that "licensed" Rose bridges are terrible, or even any worse than "original" -- whatever THAT word means when it comes up. I've heard, though, that those made by Gotoh are very good, & those from Schaller (like the X40PRO) even better.

A guitar that's sold with a "licensed Floyd Rose" system will pretty much NEVER tell you exactly WHAT parts of the system they kept to original spec, & what parts they changed. Here's a few of the designs called "Floyd Rose." (
Title: Re: Washburn X-40 vs Ibanez RG?
Post by: cmac84 on May 13, 2015, 08:39:16 PM
Most of the blocks on the licensed Floyds are crap. if the Floyd says 02000 on it then just walk on by.

Tungsten blocks > everything else. However every single Washburn I've EVER owned has had a crap Zinc block in it (which, well, sucks).

IMO I'm not hating on washburn, but if you're looking for a really fast neck I would go with the RG.

Here is pictures of my modded RG

(Paul Chandler Custom Neck 24.5 short scale, Charvel Machine Heads, Original Floyd with Tungsten Block). This is behind my Dean V255 and ESP Eclipse for gigs.

( (