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slappy645 09/13/2008

Washburn HB15 : slappy645 のユーザーレビュー (content in English)

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The Washburn HB-15 is an inexpensive version of the classic hollow-body archtop jazz guitar. While Washburn claims a MSRP of over $500, street price new for an HB-15 with case is around $350, with used models as low as $200.

Manufactured in Indonesia, the HB-15 features a laminated mahogany top, back and sides with multi-layer body (WBWBW) binding and single-layer (W) bound F-holes. This body is mated to a set mahogany neck with a rosewood fingerboard and 20 medium-jumbo frets. Strings run from a trapeze tailpiece across a compensated adjustable bridge through a plastic nut to Grover sealed chrome tuners.

Standard electronics could not be simpler: a single floating mini humbucker with a single volume and single tone control mounted on the pickguard.

The fit and finish of the HB-15 are superior quality and rival instruments costing many times as much. The only noticeable problem with the test instrument involves the F-hole binding: it runs just a little sloppy (showing variations in thickness and application) around the tight curves. Otherwise, if you cover the "Washburn" logo on the headstock, this could easily pass as a Loar, Gibson or Eastman instrument.

UTILIZATION

But the two aspects that matter most are playability and sound. In the former case, the HB-15 shines. The neck is comfortable, and the action is excellent.

SOUNDS

As far as sound quality, well, adequate is about the best characterization I can come up with. Acoustically, the HB-15 is actualy quite pleasant, and can contribute admirably to an acoustic ensemble. Unfortunately, the same thing cannot be said about the HB-15 plugged in. If you use a lot of effects, the thin quality of the floating humbucker's output probably won't matter that much: it produces a signal pretty much like any other pickup that can be processed to your heart's delight, even to the point of making it actually sound acceptable.

If, on the other hand, you were hoping for that warm, tone-rich jazz sound straight out of the guitar into your JC-120 or Deluxe Reverb, you will be disappointed. This is the one area where the HB-15 falls down on the job. The addition of a signal "enlivener" such as a Fulltone Fat Boost or Voodoo Lab Sparkle Drive definitely bring this instrument to life.

OVERALL OPINION

But if you don't mind having to play through some kind of preamp to fatten up the sound, youll be hard-pressed to find a better value in an inexpensive jazz box than the Washburn HB-15.