Good old Washburn. Since 1883, we’ve been handing the boys from Chicago our shrapnel in exchange for their killer electric guitars, and we don’t remember the last time they let us down. Business as usual?
Washburn describes the HB30 as a “workhorse”, a term that sounds derogatory but really means that this semi-acoustic is for gigging, not hanging on the wall. Granted, it wouldn’t look bad in a displaycase - with the all-maple doublecut body looking suitably vintage beneath a lick of tobacco sunburst - but we were more interested to see what we got from those 621 and 623 humbuckers when we played.
As the first semi of the round-up, the HB30’s body reminded us just how damn wide these models get. It’s not the kind of shape that lends itself to shred. The good news is that the maple body is light and thin enough to offer welcome control for midtempo rock and blues. Despite a Les Paul-ish scale, we didn’t find bends easy, but a comfortable board and great access meant moving pentatonic boxes was smooth and easy.