I’ve written about my red and brown Gibson ES-346, and I’ve written about one of my my old Valley Arts guitars, so it’s only appropriate to write about my old custom built Washburn Strat, that has been my main guitar for more than a decade!
I’ve used this guitar on tons of sessions, and on every TV-show I’ve done for more than ten years. But even though I can be quite nerdy about guitars, there are several things I don’t know about this one – for instance the model designation.
I got it around ’97 or so … I had been playing and endorsing Valley Arts guitars for several years at the time, but had also been flirting with other brands in the mid-nineties. So when I was asked to endorse Washburn I started our relationship by turning down their offer. I thought it would be untrustworthy to move from the Valleys to another brand and then shortly after, move to a new brand – Washburn. But I agreed to play Washburn guitars for a show at a guitar exhibition – like a one night only deal.
My contact person a the danish Washburn distributor asked me about my Valleys, and why I liked them so much. After I described my Valleys in details, he told me that they would bring a guitar for the convention that I would definitely fall in love with. And they did – when I had played it for a couple of minutes it felt sooooo natural. And I didn’t play another guitar for many years after that – unless I was forced to … like a session with an acoustic guitar or something of the sort 🙂
And why did I fall in love with this Washburn Strat?
Well … It has a nice mixture of everything – a mahogany body with a full round tone – a maple top with a crispy attack. It has a Floyd Rose tremolo system and I got a tremsetter for the tremolo installed after a while. The neck is a slim and fast bird eyes maple neck, with a nice smooth fretboard (I actually don’t know what sort of wood it’s made of?!).
With the pickups I installed later, it covers almost everything – at least together with my rack-setup (with the programmable preamp). Therefore it has been with me all over the world for years. Every time I am doing more all-round gigs, I’ll bring that. It’s only if I’m just doing the more jazzy stuff, I now prefer my ES-346’s, but they are not as versatile as the Washburn.
A note on the pickups. They’re all Seymour Duncan – Jeff Beck in the bridge position and 2 “stacked” single coils STK-S2 in the other slots. I can’t remember why I chose the STK-S2’s, but it was interesting to see that when I played with Richard Smith some time ago, he brought his “all-round” guitar with him – and he also had the same single coils.
Here’s a link to a tv-show I did several years ago, where I am using this guitar for a song with Chaka Khan.
I’m out … want to practice a bit, what about you?
All the very best