The metal shredder is extremely well catered for these days. Washburn has never been a stranger to this demographic, and the Parallaxe range has been designed with such players in mind.
The company boasts that each Parallaxe guitar is the 'perfect shred machine' and possesses the features 'that most demanding rock/metal players have requested for years in their guitars'. Those features include high-output pickups, Floyd Rose vibrato, Buzz Feiten tuning system, and on this model, 29 frets.
"We set about exploring sonic areas that, until now, were the domain of pre-pubescent choirboys"
The PXS comes in a satin black finish with a demonically dark ebony 'board - its appearance is undeniably metal. The whopping complement of frets is a little daunting at first, and while many of us aren't averse to a spot of shredding, we can't say we've often aimed past the 24th fret only to be disappointed at a lack of fretwire.
That said, there is a market for excess frets (as fans of Mattias IA Eklundh would attest), and the large lower cutaway and body shaping provide comfortable and practical access.
Out of the box, we were a little disappointed to find that the guitar came set up with a higher action than most speed-orientated players would normally accommodate, but after tweaking the setup to a shred-friendly low action, we set about exploring sonic areas that, until now, were the domain of pre-pubescent choirboys.
Although we would have liked a slightly flatter radius to truly burn up the fingerboard, the sleek satin-finished neck is a joy to play and enables quick movement up and down the neck.
When playing past the 24th fret, a certain amount of accuracy or incredibly skinny fingers are required to fit in the tiny space between those huge jumbo frets, and we can't help but think that the guitar would have benefitted from a longer scale length.
Elsewhere, the eternally reliable early-edition Floyd Rose features a spring silencer system, a simple but ingenious idea that banishes unwanted spring noise by inserting a piece of rubber into the centre of each spring.
The Duncan Distortion bridge humbucker is a good fit, packing a powerful punch and comfortably covering any metal style. Due to the number of frets, the neck pickup is positioned near to where you'd expect to find a middle pickup, so loses some of the warm neck characteristics.