The Washburn Vintage Series are inspired by old guitars that the company crafted between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The all-solid body R319SWKK is part of this line up, featuring modern reliable guitar building technology and materials, combined with old school finish and aesthetics.
Established in 1883, Washburn is one of the oldest music instrument brands in the market today, and as such they have the experience and know-how to actually build vintage inspired instruments, including parlor guitars. The R319SWKK showcases what they are capable off, featuring period-correct measurements paired with genuine looking aged satin finish and distressed hardware.
This parlor guitar starts off with a solid spruce top, a popular wood choice for many guitar players and manufacturers alike because of its projection and sustain properties. This top is then supported by quarter sawn scalloped sitka spruce bracing which many builders use for its improved structural strength without compromising sonic qualities.
The back and sides are crafted from solid trembesi, which is a cost-effective alternative to mahogany. It is described as having a similar appearance and tone with the popular mahogany wood, albeit with a bit more stiffness for a more pronounced lower-mid frequencies. This further emphasizes the mid-range gnarl that is expected of small parlor guitar body shapes, resulting in true to form blues box tones.
Playability is an important factor in giving this instrument its old school vibe, this is the reason why Washburn stuck with vintage specs that include having a 24.75″ scale length, 16″ radius, and 1.98″ nut width. The neck is crafted from mahogany and is carved into a v neck shape. It is topped by an ebony fingerboard that matches the ebony bridge, and has a total of 18 frets. It joins the body at the 12th fret with a dovetail neck joint, and features a slotted headstock that completes the guitar’s vintage vibe.
As expected, Washburn employed modern building techniques when producing this guitar, which makes it as reliable as other modern acoustics, while still retaining the look, feel and tone of vintage instruments. Speaking of old school look, the instrument is wrapped in an aged satin finish, paired with aged hardware, which gives this instrument a museum worthy appearance.
The Washburn R319SWKK Parlor is currently retailing for just under $600, and depending on your location, it may come with a nifty carrying case.