Purchased new at Ardis Misuc of Mt. Clemens, MI. Paid $735.00 for guitar w/hardshell case. Wanted the sound of a semi-hollow body guitar.
I've read the reviews on this particular instrument series and could'nt believe the accuracy of the decsriptions of those I'd reviewed...all true! Foe the price of this guitar as opposed to purchasing a similar 335 style guitar made by leading manufacturers, this by far is one outstanding buy. The minute you pick one up it feels as if it was made for your hand. The neck has a distinct worn in feeling and the instrument plays like butter. It comes standard with .11 strings and a wound 3rd string. I replaced the strings with a set of LaBella flat wound strings and got the jazz sound I was looking for. The case for this thing is like a bomb shelter! Statndard tuners are 18:1 Govers and all gold hardware.
The neck pick-up is a little weak but again, for the quality of workmanship in this guitar, it's but a small feature to overcome.
I've put this to the test with others whom have purchased and played Gibson's 335 and admit if they were to do it again, they would have purchased the Washburn HB 35. For a guitar under $1,000.00, this thing is put together well.
If you're looking for a hollow-body and don't want to spend a huge sum of cash because of a name, this is the guitar for you. I've switched to use this as my main gigging guitar.
As a lifelong Gibson player who made the switch to a Telecaster a little more than 10 years ago, I had felt for some time the call of the flat, rosewood fretboard. This hit hard when my son picked up an Epiphone Emporer II and I began searching in earnest for an archtop. I had never owned a semi-hollow body and decided that the Epiphone Dot would be sufficient for an alternate, because I never intended to replace the Tele as my main gigging axe. I had the Dot for one day and sent it back. After owning two ES-175's, an SG Standard and an L-5, I couldn't live with the fit, finish and electronics of the Dot.
My eye turned towards an Epiphone Sheraton, but the new guitars were out of my price range and the used ones that I found were beat. It was during that search that I discovered the Washburn semi-hollowbodies, the HB-30 and the HB-35. The HB-30 had better craftsmanship than other guitars in it's price range, and came equipped with the Buzz Feiten tuning system as a standard feature. The translucent red finish on the flame sycamore top makes it a real eye-catcher, too.
I thought my mind was completely made up when I found a brand-new HB-35 for sale by Brian Goff at Bizarre Guitars in Madison, WI. He had a drop-dead gorgeous blond HB-35 that was right at my target price (around $500). I snapped it up and was floored by the deep flame, the flawless binding (everywhere), the bright work, and a really well-designed bridge and tailpiece...not just a Tune-O-Matic clone, but a really well thought out and machined rig (I can't verify this, but I believe it may be manufactured by Schaller. There is a small, swirly "S" on each of the saddles).
Then I plugged it in and....oops! The Korean pickups were not happening for me. The bridge pickup was fine, but the neck pickup was beyond dark. It was awful. You could get a nice range of tone by balancing the two of them, but forget about using the neck pickup on it's own. I immediately replaced them with a set of Schaller Golden 50's (the pickups Trey Anastasio uses in his custom built archtops and that are standard on Heritage archtops), and everything was right with the world. While the guitar was on the bench for the pickup swap, I was really able to appreciate the craftsmanship. The tone block is a solid mahogany 2x6, which gives the guitar remarkable sustain considering it's all-killer, no-filler hollow ES-335 tone.
Beautiful craftsmanship and tone woods (maple, mahogany, sycamore).
Flawless binding and mother of pearl inlays
Excellent machining and plating on the hardware.
Grover heads. Schaller pickup upgrade (pickup replacement is highly recommended).
Tone, tone, tone. Even the HB series are imported, Washburn has remained true to it's Chicago Blues roots and guitar-making history.
After a great deal of research and comparison shopping, I believe this guitar to be the best 335-style entry in the under $1,000 price range (although the list is slightly higher), and I only paid half that amount.
Korean electronics. Sell the pickups on eBay, get some real pickups and pots. The instrument is well-worth the investment. The fit of the case bothered me, too. I ended up using the Canadian SKB plywood/tolex case that I bought for the Dot and tossing the stock Washburn case in the corner pile of misc. guitars and stuff. It's okay, but the Epi case is just better, and I already had it..
The HB35 is a take on the classic Gibson style semi-hollow guitar. In the late 50s Jazz players were getting more into amplification, but they found out that if you put a pickup on your hollowbody guitar you get a lot of feedback if you try to play with any volume or gain. Gibson helped them out by making the semi hollow guitar. There is a block of wood running down the middle of the inside of the guitar and this helps eliminate the feedback you would get with a fully hollow guitar. The Washburn HB35 has a maple body and a maple neck. The neck has 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard. The radius on the fretboard feels to be around 12 inches, the neck has a bit of a v shape going on and is nicely wide. It has two Washburn humbuckers with dual tone and volume controls. It has a 3 way pickup selector on the upper horn.
This guitar comes set up for Jazz. This came from the factory with 11s and a wound G. I do not see many guitars coming stock setup with a wound G string. This may make it hard for some people to play. With the heavy strings you wont be getting all the rock bends you are use to. This guitar is setup for jazzy chord progressions. The Buzz Feiten tuning system Washburn uses means the guitar intonates better than most guitars. This is good when you plan on playing complex jazz chords. If the intonation is off a little bit your chords will sound off. If you are use to jazz guitars the heavy strings will be no problem for you. The strap peg is right behind the heel joint as it is on most guitars like this. This might get in your way if you are playing up above the 20th fret.
The pickups are ultra jazzy. They are pretty dark and may be too dark for some people. When looking at jazz guitars it is important you find one that comes with pickups you like from the factory. Because of their construction it is very difficult to change the pickups and electronics out on these guitars. The neck pickup has a very dark sound and can get muddy in the low end. The bridge pick up is not as dark as the neck. You can get some good twang in the bridge position. This guitar gives a nice woody sound in all the positions due to its design.
These guitars are pretty good value for semi-hollow guitars. These guitars are only around 500 dollars. It has the classic look of a Gibson 335 without the price. If you are looking for a nice and dark jazz guitar the pickups are perfect for you. If you are not looking for a sound this dark you may have to do some EQ'ing or look at another guitar. Or maybe you can find a good luthier. If you want a nice guitar that is setup for straight jazz this is a good option.
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dar-dar's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Korean guitar. Bridge tune-o-matic, microphones Washburn 2 volumes, 2 tones.
Handle very pleasant, even surprisingly pleasant.
A little heavy but well balanced. A super easy access to the treble.
Middle pickups, even if they are correct but that is the weak point in my opinion.
From jazz to rock, she said.
I installed it with Seymour Duncan SH1 and there is total transformation ..
Honestly, it amazes me this guitar. His bold, mild, jazz or rock punchy, it provides serious.
I play on a Tech21 amp trademark60 where I changed the original HP and the sound is rock as I like (this amp really deserves leans).
It takes good agreement.
To do that jazz, it just miss velvety serious. Although I am no expert on the matter
Purchased six months ago, I tried some type models 335 between 400 and 800 euros (Ibanez, Vintage, Washburn other model).
With a flamed maple table is already very beautiful. A little upscale with mechanical, easel and golden microphones.
A finish not perfect but okay. Some minor imperfections visually.
For a new price of 399 euros in parts of France (instead of 650) is 335 to buy a copy if you have a small budget.
Of SH1 is stuck there for about 160 euros and it was a guitar that sounds really. On leaving the store, I just had to tweak the action, the Truss and accuracy. But it was not bad set.
Recently, in rehearsal, she quite impressed his side world.
At current caught in some places to buy with confidence!