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Washburn HB35 
semi hollow electric guitar

HB35 Washburn guitar

The Washburn HB35 semi hollow electric guitar. With Split block neck inlays, gold hardware and pickups, the HB 35 looks as good as it sounds. This maple hollowbody also features a sycamore top. A must have for the hollowbody player... offering ultimate sustain, warm tones, and a solid inner-block body construction.

Body

  • Double cutaway semi-acoustic body
  • Pressed curve plain maple top
  • Pressed curve plain maple sides & back

Neck/Fingerboard

  • Neck scale 24 3/4" 628mm
  • 22 Frets
  • Joined at 19th fret
  • Maple neck material
  • ABS IVI.5/B0.5/IV0.5/B0.5/IV0.5 neck binding
  • Fingerboard radius 320mm
  • Rosewood fingerboard
  • Standard (2.7mm) fretwire

Finish

  • Color/clear/buffed gloss top
  • Color/clear/buffed gloss neck

Hardware

  • Gold tune-o-matic bridge
  • Gold stop bar tailpiece
  • 621 with 1702 humbucker (gold) neck pickup
  • 622 with 1702 humbucker (gold) bridge pickup
  • 3 way DPDT switch
  • Amber bell type control knob
  • Gold Grover tuning machine
  • Dean Markley strings

Price/Color

  • Case GC71
  • Colors Available N, WR

Natural

 

Wine Red

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HB35 N.

 

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The gear in review

By Douglas Baldwin

Legends of Semi-Hollow

In 1958, Gibson brought the ES-335 into the world in response to jazz players whose hollow-bodies git-boxes howled with feedback. Looking very much like a traditional thinline hollow body, the 335 had a center block of maple that cut feedback while it added a sweet sustain to the guitar's hollow-bodied punch, This semi-hollow design has spawned a far-flung family of subtle, genetic variations, such as Gibson's ES-345, -347, -350 and -355 models, Epiphone's Sheraton, Casino and Riviera guitars and a slew of close relatives and out-and-out clones by virtually every guitar maker in existence. Looks are certainly a big part of the semi-hollow guitar's appeal. It has all the earmarks of legitimate luthiery: an arched top, a set neck, even an f-hole or two. The big, lower bout feels like a traditional acoustic instrument under the arm of the player. Yet, that center block moves the sound away from warm and plunky jazz tones and right into solid-body territory. Think of it as a sexy little Les Paul in a fat jazz dress, and you're pretty much on the mark. The models we rounded up for review share a number of common characteristics. Scale lengths are all 24.75 inches on necks set into maple-ply bodies, head- stocks are all symmetrical with three-to-a-side tuners and nut widths are all 1.6875 inches. In addition, all of our review models feature dual humbuckers, dual volume and tone controls and three-way pickup selectors.

Washburn HB-35

Washburn puts just enough spin on the HB-35 ($l,l99.90) to make it both a strong contender for the 335 customer and a viable alternative to 335 clonedom. The body's cut-aways are a shade wider and less like the "mouse ears" of standard 335s, and the extra handroom really does provide greater access to the upper frets. The body is covered front, sides and back with deliciously tight-flamed sycamore (a close relative of maple) in a pale golden yellow natural finish (tobacco sunburst and wine red finishes are also available). The rosewood fingerboard, ornamented with variations on split block inlays, has an open grain which is sealed, leaving a surface that's attractive and silky smooth. The gold hardware (including Grover tuners and a Tune-o-matic bridge) is an appropriately regal touch, making the Washburn the most handsomely appointed guitar of the batch.

The attention to detail extends to the workmanship and playability, too. The neck is a solid-maple affair, with a wide, mildly V-shaped contour. A scarf joint at the headstock is added for strength. The frets are medium-tall and somewhat triangular, and the sides of the fingerboard are slightly rounded for a friendly "played-in" feel.

The setup, with .011-.049 strings, including a wound G, was perhaps the best of all the guitars straight out of the case. The action was boldly low, yet free of buzzes, and the heavier strings and triangular frets contributed to a firm and precise feel.

Clean amp settings unveiled a somewhat dark neck pickup and a refreshingly open bridge pickup that country players will love. The pickups work well as a pair, but 1 suspect a pickup swap would add some fresh air to the neck position.

On the other hand, the pickup combination made perfect sense when sent
through overdriven amp settings. The bridge pickup growled on command, the neck pickup had a smoky jazz tone that cleaned up well. The combo position retained its identity even as high-volume leads sent the responsive top into resonant feedback.

THE BOTTOM LINE
Looks great, feels great, sounds great. You could cover a lot of gigs on this axe. If it sold for close to two grand, I'd call it a great guitar. At a list price of $1,199.90, it's a bargain to boot.

 

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