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The planet might be in economic freefall, but we’ll be OK as long as Washburn keeps cranking out the Idol Series. We’ve seen that doublecut body a squillion times, but this is the only Idol to feature P-90s.
There is a distinctly classic vibe resounding from the WI66PROG, which combines a mahogany body and set neck with the traditional pairing of a 24-carat carved top and double soapbars. That said, it ain’t 1952 anymore, and those P-90s aren’t all they seem. In fact, they’re ‘stacked’ humbuckers to eliminate noise, and can be split with the push-pull tone controls to achieve the characteristic biting tone of the P-90s.
If he wasn’t dead, Johnny Thunders would argue that P-90s belong in pint-sized pocket-rockets that you throw around the stage. The WI66PROG isn’t like that at all. It’s heavy and cumbersome, with a fat neck and a bend-friendly board that means you often start playing like Jimmy Page. That’s not a bad thing, but as Clash fans, we couldn’t help craving a bit more snot-rag attitude.
The hum of old-school P-90s is frustrating, and while these stacked soapies solve that problem, there’s an argument that they don’t bite like regulars.
The clean tone is smooth and classy, well suited to vintage licks with a little gain, but you have to split the coils and hit it hard to get a sneer (even then, it’s a little polite). That’ll turn some players on and others off. Hit the dealer to see which camp you’re in.
Pros: Price, physical feel, versatile tone.
Cons: Other axes have more ’tude.