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It’s easy to take the Washburn Idol for granted. This singlecut design has been so all-pervasive in the post-millennium that us grizzled gear-hounds are practically numb to it… until we play one and are reminded why it’s so damn popular.
From our opening strum, the WIN-PRO started prising the gold medal from its rivals’ fingers. By the time our final note faded, we were ready to take it home.
Where’s the £340 gone? Well, the raw materials are dynamite (mahogany body and neck plus maple cap equals a ‘proper’ Les Paul configuration) and they’ve been put together with flair and minimal fuss.
The neck is cool and just what you want as a singlecut fanatic: it doesn’t try to chase the shred dollar, but is perfect for wide vibrato, expressive bends and fast rock/ blues soloing.
Duncan humbuckers can be seen as the poor relation of ‘real’ Seymour Duncan units, but they don’t sound it here, turning in smooth, mellow, almost jazzy clean tones that have sonic weight but never turn soupy. The filth is quality, too: punchy and characterful, and gig-changingly great when you select the bridge, dial up some reverb and evoke the spirit of Gary Moore.
The WIN-PRO gets ticks in all the boxes: big name on the headstock, small price on the tag, bags of feel and buckets of tone. Luthiers take note. This is how you make a budget singlecut fly.