I used to buy guitars based on their price tag. An expensive guitar must be a great guitar right? I then realized that amazing tone and playability can come from guitars without the marquee name on the headstock. This leads me to what will undoubtedly be my next major instrument purchase, Washburn‘s HB30.
I’ve long been a fan of the Gibson ES-335, mainly because it was Nick McCabe’s main guitar for the early Verve recordings, but it was also in the arsenal of legends like Chuck Berry, B.B. King and Eric Clapton. It’s also been a large component in the sound of another of my favorite bands, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. However, a new Gibson ES-335 costs $4,000-$7,000 which makes me want to look at it a lot more and play it a lot less.
I’ve played the Gibson ES-335 and the Washburn HB30 is a serious rival at a much lower price. All of the elements are there; thick maple semi-hollow bodied sound, extremely comfortable neck and great diversity in tone. However, the HB30 comes with a $700 price tag making the inevitable scratches and dings that come with regular use a little bit more bearable. Although it may not have the glory or prestige of the Gibson, it is a great workhorse guitar that will sound amazing for many years to come and I can’t wait to use it on the projects I’m currently working on. Stay tuned, demos coming soon!