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It always interests us that guitars which are, on paper, of a very similar spec can perform so differently - and long may that continue. In a nutshell, the two Strat-inspired guitars give a basic sound that’s full of overtones and rich, trebly harmonics, while the pair of mahogany shapes provide huge tones that are ideal for wall-of-sound rock styles.
We must say that we’ve jammed all four of these guitars together and in pairs, and if your rock or metal combo has a pair of guitarists, you should seriously consider combining either the LTD or Jackson with the Dean or Washburn; what a wonderfully balanced sound you’d have.
We really have to raise our collective hats to Washburn’s WV40V. Not only does it look amazing, it has the best sound by a margin too. And let’s not forget that, for just £689, you get an original Floyd Rose and a shaped gig-bag - value for sure. Okay, so you can’t really play it in a seated position, but you’ll soon forget about that when you plug it in.
The satin black Dean ML really does look great too and, although not as all-powerful as that Washburn, it provides a lovely rich tone alongside a neck that takes the best bits from Dean’s illustrious history.
We’d be hard-pushed to pick the best player between the Jackson and LTD, as both guitars feature very modern necks, the LTD going one step further with its nearly-through construction. The Jacko’s custom shop vibe is further pressed home with our example’s cool Swirl finish, while the MH-401QM’s lovely red hue implies quality and luxury in the same way a red carpet can.
Note too that the Jackson includes a pro-standard hard case for its £819 asking price.
Of course, each guitar represents just a small part of that company’s roster and we’re under no illusion that a guitar fitted with both a double-locking Floyd and a pair of EMGs isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea.
However, ignoring the benefits of such an instrument would be somewhat blinkered. The only thing that’s going to make any guitar from this price point sound substandard, one would argue, resides behind the guitar and in front of the strap. So why not give any of these a go?
Each is perfectly stable and provides its own tonal variance on what are supposed to be one-trick pickups. To be honest, if we could squeeze the Washburn’s magnificent tone out of the Jackson, we could go home very happy bunnies…
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