Washburn P3 and DLX Guitars

For all the progress made in guitar design, one thing has remained essentially the same: try as you might, you can never get the damned things in perfect condition. If an open E chord sounds great, is likely to be allowed to sound less clear. Blame it on Pythagoras. Back around 500 BC, Greek philosopher and mathematician developed a formula, though imperfect, adjust the strings. His formula was popular – so popular that it is still used today. That is why the guitar is based on the design, which is about 2500 years.

Time for change? One man thinks so. This man Buzz Feiten and studio musician, a veteran of such acts, performances, like Bette Midler and Stevie Wonder. Buzz suffers from problems common to many players: the guitar has never sounded quite right, no matter how many times you have configured it, and the optimal tone. After watching the grand piano setting the scene, he became jealous sound of the instrument in perfect harmony, regardless of key, chord voicings and a player’s position. He was so tired of the sour notes, made him “tuned” guitar, which he re-evaluation of the entire configuration of total guitar.

The result was the Feiten system configuration, its revolutionary system settings, which offers a real improvement compared to the one used by guitarists throughout the ages. Feiten work took years, but the result is an instrument that sounds in unison through the most difficult chords bar. His system was a breakthrough for the old six-string, but still, many players remain skeptical. That is, while players such as Vai and Van Halen used the F-word.

Feiten system can be applied to any thing from acoustic to electric guitar to bass and classical guitars, and with only minor modifications. Unfortunately, the implementation of the system was more complicated: luthiers need for training and extensive system Feiten knowledge to make the adjustment successfully. Since only a handful of people know how to perform an operation, it is unlikely that you can enjoy the benefits. Of course, if your name was Satriani.

Now came the turn of the common people, and the big guys to award this month goes to help Washburn, whose unshakable faith in the system led to the creation of each of his guitars Feiten specs USA. One of the main supporters of the Feiten was Larry English, gifted wizard Chicago Washburn Custom Shop. English was introduced into the system in January 1997 NAMM show and was a fanatic Feiten convert so far.

“The use of this system is that the bar seems to be in harmony throughout,” says English. “No matter what the chord structure you use, all the notes in this structure may be, too. You can play the forbidden E, is prohibited, and all notes will sound right together. You can play some of these triads, which usually have a problem, not Play sour note. “And, perhaps, not surprising that the system Feiten, he finally lets the guitar and keyboards, to remain in harmony with one another through any number of key changes. “This is a very specific advantages and significant changes,” says English, and who could disagree? Feiten system allows you to spend less time tuning and more time to play. And because it’s much better method of intonation, it is more liberal than the standard system, if your line is a little out of tune. Or, as English neatly sums up: “It’s really great stuff.”

Washburn-apparently agrees. Once the company found the system Feiten, they took it very seriously, very quickly: Washburn signed a licensing agreement in January ’98 after the English spent a year on research systems, construction professionals prototyepes and play them.

English, and then checked his guitar with a review of the retailers, suppliers and customers in 61 locations in eight geographical regions of the United States. Fluent in English, “That was huge, but the fact that 77 percent of respondents believed that there were problems with the intonation of guitars in general. I think that about 89 percent of people can hear the difference with the new guitar.” If Washburn had no doubt Feiten, learn how to effectively eliminate them. “Number one was to let people know that this problem, and it seemed ridiculous to me that the guitar produces a buried his head in the sand,” says English. “I’ve been in business for over 30 years, and the main complaint I heard at that time was very consistent,” My guitar out of tune plays well, sounds good, here below, but it’s not the tone of the above. The 12th fret. Can I fix it? ”

In fact, the problem is not unique to the guitar, keyboards, were also suffering, until they were healed through the tempered scale by the end of the 1500s. Tempered correction method that made the piano sound more pleasant and melodic. At that time, were equal tempered piano, and this meant that they were installed in accordance with a rigid mathematical formula. As Larry points out, “Mathematically, Pythagoras was 100 percent correct. He nailed it!” Unfortunately, in the real world, the differences in string gauge, tension and step means that the precise language of mathematics does not always sound very good. To exit the options that you can make certain allowances set Gremlins and produce sweeter sound.

Guitars are still equal tempered, and it was the turn Buzz, so that math. “Guitar, being a popular tool for all these years, it was not paid much attention,” explains English. “Bach and Mozart, Hadyn did not play guitar! Now he’s finally caught up. The consumer requires a guitar to be in harmony with itself.”

To illustrate the improved performance of their system, Washburn have sent us two of his American Custom Guitar Shop, which provides technical Feiten. Guitar themselves beautiful “Princess” design, which were seen in the deft hands of Nuno Bettencourt and others. Borrowing heavily from traditional designs, and P3 and DLX models are linked, carved top mahogany bodies with a glued-in mahogany neck. Each has 22 frets and two humbucking pickups, courtesy of Seymour Duncan.

P3 less striking and more subtle of the duo, a sort of “junior” to “custom” DLX. The original shape of the body is still arched on top, but stripped-down guitar and rock ‘n’ ready to vibration, not related to the neck, dot markers and master volume and tone controls. Washburn made a choice in favor of the individual sensors to look for a black by mixing the block on the bridge with a zebra Duncan in the neck, which adds to the workhorse of the form. Traditional taste continues Tune-O-Matic style bridge, sealed tuners, all in chrome. It is processed in a relatively small body, which makes thin P3 weight.

For comparison, DLX is a sumo wrestler, a real piece of wood. The body is further enhanced with a sophisticated, bookmatched flame maple top, and this sultry piece of wood looks positively sexy cherry blast trying on. “The higher price is reflected in a number of exquisite destination, such as the neck binding, novel inserts tear, fine tuners on the tailpiece, roller saddles and locking machineheads. This is not the most aesthetically tuners from them, but commendable job stabilizing the slippery lines. Twin humbuckers Duncan is considered a separate volume and tone controls that offer more tonal variation on P3 electronics.

Both guitars have different neck profile, P3 be comfortably full with a substantial, but appear calm. DLX, it seems a little less neck and the same player-friendly as the guitar is reminiscent of some sought-after Gibson. Where Washburn evaluation of large bonus points on the neck heel, which was badly dressed back at an angle that makes the upper register trills absolute breeze.

Plugged in, these puppies do not disappoint either. P3 has a great tone wood, with a thrilling growl when pressed. Both pickups are very dynamic and happy times from the range on the ancient form of net jangles on the swings. DLX is an absolute monster, with the sumo tone to match his girth. This thing is Les Paul, without breaking a sweat, cleans grease, screeching metal hit ‘N’. The neck pickup is sweet and vocals, and the bridge unit simply rocks. Buzz magic touch to the side, as these guitars should carefully check if the breed is your bag.

Back to the history and mystery Thingy Feiten. Visually there is not much to see, as the system only requires that the nut moves the neck wards a few millimeters, the saddle is adjusted and the intonation set in accordance with the procedure in the Feiten. To check the results, we pitted two Washburns against Les Paul, who resent the settings and old Charvel, which is best intonation of any guitar in my secret gearvault. All the guitars were fresh and the lines were determined by setting E on each line, as suggested by Larry English, using quality electronic tuner. The test power was 50 watts tube combo Carvin Belair.

I must admit that the earth did not move when I first tried the guitar Feiten system. However, as I had changed between them and the instrumentation, I found I was spending less time with my loyal minions, and more time with Washburn in my hands. The inherent good practice DLX and P3 to the side, there are more musical in their sound. They just sound more right.

Taking it to the next level, I dug out the old riffs, which I refused, because they sounded lousy. Reefs are widely used chords are grouped closely to high office, and any two do not sound in unison (though technically they should be) or any note or puree is called sour. To check on the guitar, they still sounded lumpy, but they sounded better Washburns. In fact, if you can squeeze your fingers in the Barre at the 16th fret, Washburns will continue to pursue their own preferences. Influence of thin for a normal game, but it really sounds good, and good overall tone inspires you to play.

Of course, the system Feiten it is much harder concept to sell than something like a pickup, and according to Larry English took very little persuasion to convince employees Washburn, the idea was worth turning everything upside down for. Nevertheless, the result of an invisible adjustments really seems to improve the performance of the guitar and brings a subtle sound quality that can not pickup. Rumor has it that once you get intimate with the system Feiten, standard guitar just will not cut it anymore. I must admit that my old number one began to sound a bit lifeless after a long weekend with Washburn twins.

Washburn used the system on all their guitars, and some of United States imports its models as well. “It sounds great on electric guitar, but it also sounds great on bass. Stu Hamm said his signature Fender bass up to nine cents off at the first fret. With this system, he nailed. It sounds phenomenal on acoustic guitars. Classical and steel strung acoustic is also different, but in those cases, the bridge has to be adjusted, or a saddle should be set up differently, and the slot changes. This is a different process for each type of instrument and the formulas used are also different, “says English. Therefore, no matter what style of guitar you play, if Buzz does it for you, Washburn has a guitar to suit your needs.

It’s just a suspicion of an invisible black magic, which promises so much. Not being blessed with the ears of Eric Johnson, I’m not even sure that I did not notice the difference. But there is one. This may not be as obvious as an ornament or Floyd Rose bucker of death “, but effective changes to the guitar sound better. It may be subtle, but it will make these chords sound good, and make them sound good everywhere in the neck. All that makes my playing sound better, gets serious attention. It also does not hurt that we are talking about such large-board guitar, and P3 and DLX “It’s unbelievable,” said English. “This will greatly improve our tools. I’ve never met an experienced player who has not always been suppressed. I’ve seen people in tears. “He warns that your reaction may be a little less restrained.