Washburn Woodline 10 Series WLO12SE review

  • £329
  • $369

The curious case of the little guitar that thinks it's an orchestra

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Our Verdict

The WLO12SE is a beautifully realised reminder that you should take the time to narrow your search and find a playing experience and tone that suits your needs perfectly.

For

  • Perfect for singer-songwriters. Great price.

Against

  • Neck isn't the prettiest.
Buying options

The new Washburn Woodline 10 Series is a range of affordable but well-appointed guitars based on the vintage Martin OM body style.

Our WLO12SE model's spec kicks off with a solid mahogany top and laminate mahogany back and sides, protected by a flawless gloss finish and pimped with black binding and light pinstriping.

The slim C profile neck is mahogany, too – this time with a sleek satin feel – and its rosewood 'board is home to 20 thin frets. A set of die-cast machineheads and a well-cut top nut do their bit to keep the WLO12SE tuning in check.

The neck is the only place we can see evidence of budget price. It's made from three pieces of timber, with a separate heel and a scarf joint connecting the headstock to the rest of the neck.

It's not as pretty as a one-piece job, but this guitar is only £329, and this construction method does provide a robust neck, which is good news for tuning stability and strength.

Handling the WLO12SE is a joy, you can noodle away for hours.

Plugged in fun comes from a Fishman 301T preamp, which has volume, bass, treble and phase controls – plus a built-in tuner with an on/off button and LED display.

The volume knob is bigger than the others, and is rubberised, making it easy to find and grip in a dark environment. The phase button, meanwhile, helps dial out any annoying feedback.

The WLO12SE's spec is spiffing, but it doesn't answer the question of why you would want an all-mahogany orchestra-bodied guitar over, say, a regular spruce-topped dreadnought.

Well, despite its sub-dreadnought dimensions, the WLO12SE pumps out an impressive amount of sound when strummed hard. Then there's the tone.

While a dreadnought generally offers a solid blend of bass, mid and treble, the orchestra is more about the sparkling highs and tight bottom-end.

Figure in the inherent brightness of an all-mahogany construction, and you're rewarded with a guitar that's perfect for fingerstyle players and self-accompanying singer-songwriters.

Handling the WLO12SE is a joy. The action is low – something that will appeal to electric players looking for a stress-free transition to an acoustic.

The frets are beautifully finished, and the slim neck allows you to noodle away for hours without cramping up.

As expected, the Fishman provides a good representation of the guitar's acoustic qualities through an amp, and we like the wide tone-tweaking potential of the bass and treble controls.

The electro-acoustic market is so swamped these days, it can be tempting to just grab the first decent dread you see and scuttle off home.

The WLO12SE is a beautifully realised reminder that you should take the time to narrow your search and find a playing experience and tone that suits your needs perfectly.

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Tech Specs

Left Handed Model AvailableNo
Neck MaterialMahogany
No. of Frets20
Scale Length (Inches)25.5
Scale Length (mm)648