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We had to look up ‘vindication’ in the office dictionary; it means justification. Let’s hope that Washburn can justify the £679 outlay that stands between you and this box-fresh silver bullet.
Rather than pretend the Vindicator is an option for jazzmen, Washburn admits this is "specifically aimed at the shredder" and has armed it with the hardware to survive in the metal bear pit. It’s mahogany all the way for the curvaceous ‘V’ body and two-octave set neck, while the combo of an official Floyd Rose and active EMG humbuckers puts it at a tangible advantage.
The Vindicator’s curved bout looks unorthodox, but it has negligible impact on the performance, with the WV40 offering the kind of access and roaring speed that everyone hopes for when they pick up a V.
It’s all about the gymnastics. Active humbuckers’ tendency to distort means they aren’t perfect for every scenario, but as we’ve established, the Vindicator is a shred tool and for that application you’ll find nothing better.
At the neck, there’s a depth and muscle that makes the competition (even the DiMarzio-loaded models) sound thin, while the bridge sizzles when you tear through an alternate-picked solo. We’d take one of the others to a photoshoot, but tone is where it’s at, and there’s no arguing with the Vindicator on that score.
Pros: Plays fast, sounds enormous.
Cons: Expensive, looks.