At the tail end of the last millennium, Washburn introduced the Idol, a single-cut electric guitar that looks like a slimmed-down Les Paul with a flatter body. The company is now presenting two new models ahead of Summer NAMM 2018.
Washburn Idol 2018
This version is called the Idol WIT16 VSK-D, with Seymour Duncan single coils in the style of a Telecaster, just with a fatter design and a larger ‘rear’ than a regular Tele. The pickguard is enlarged somewhat while a “Burled Maple” top, finished in vintage sunburst, is fitted to an ash body. The maple neck has an ebony fingerboard. The guitar has matching gold hardware throughout. I have to say that, personally, I find it ugly as sin, but you may love it!
Next up is the Idol WI26 MRK-D. This is the “normal” model, meaning that it’s closer to the original 1999 versions. It’s finished in Metallic Red Copper and fitted with two humbuckers, again by Seymour Duncan: a USA 59 and a Custom 5.
The Idol WI26 MRK-D is a mahogany body, so no fancy maple top. The mahogany neck has an ebony fingerboard. I find this design a bit easier on the eye, looking like a Les Paul/SG variant. But for me, this one isn’t exactly a looker, either.
Too little, too late?
I love Washburn guitars. I owned an old Falcon (an amazing guitar and possibly a classic?) back in the early ’80s and have had the odd N4 in my time. But I find these Idol models a bit bland and unfortunately a little overpriced as well. On the plus side, they have Seymour Duncan pickups and both guitars use the Buzz Feiten tuning system. I just find the designs a little lacklustre and drab.
You may love them, but they don’t do anything for me, I’m afraid. Sorry, Washburn, but you need to do something a bit more exciting if you want to stand out from the crowd in 2018…
RRP – USD 1426