[Review] Washburn HB-36 Vintage

First I read the name of this guitar, and I was suspicious. Washburn HB-36 Vintage… I don’t like the word vintage used to describe a brand new guitar ! Then I unboxed it, checked it and I played the guitar and I liked it a lot.

The Washburn HB-36 is not just another relic vintage-ish marketing bullcrap… The vintage part of its name is probably a reference to its uncluttered design : the varnish is very thin, the brown color reminds me of an old barrel, and the control knobs and tuning pegs are made of wood. I really dig this design that is indeed made to give the guitar a vintage touch but in a good way (i.e. not a poorly made relic thingy).

As for the sound, I like the versatility of the Washburn 623 neck humbucker. It goes from a warm jazzy tone with the volume down to a crunchier tone with the volume up. It is perfect to play blues or rock music. I was a bit disappointed by the Washburn 621 bridge humbucker. I think this guitar deserves a punchier bridge humbucker.

However, I still think this is a great guitar that worths the 619€ (somewhere around $800). The Washburn HB-36 Vintage is an excellent alternative to a ES-335 guitar. Unlike many similar guitars in this price range, the Washburn doesn’t give that toy-ish feel. I think that the thin varnish has a lot to do with this… You can feel the wood which is not always the case with many other budget ES like guitars.

I have to admit that I wanted to keep that Washburn… I didn’t (I couldn’t to be more accurate), and I regret it !

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