Washburn’s long legacy of building guitars place them in a good position to recreate vintage instruments. Ofcourse they put this advantage to good use with a good number of parlor guitars, including the WP55NS, which is based on actual designs that Washburn used over a century ago.
This particular model features old school looks while sporting exotic koa tonewoods for its body, which gives this parlor guitar a brighter appearance that would easily standout among others. What’s interesting about the WP55NS is its use of an all-koa body, instead of going for the usual spruce top + koa back and sides configuration. Well the top is supported by quarter sawn scalloped sitka spruce bracings, but the use of koa for the top, back and sides changes the instrument’s acoustic tone substantially.
This means that the guitar does not only look different, it will also sound different than your regular run-off-the-mill configuration parlor. Since koa is described as having a sound that sits between maple and mahogany, I’d expect this guitar to have more midrange emphasis that will complement the boxy sound expected from a parlor guitar.
The neck is crafted from mahogany and topped by a 20-fret rosewood fingerboard. It joins the body at the 12th fret following old parlor guitar designs, and it has a shorter scale length of 24.75″, and a nut width of 1.73″. What I love about Washburn parlor guitars is their excellent implementation of slotted headstocks, which in this case complements the vintage appeal really well. Unlike old vintage specimens, this old looking guitar feature modern guitar building improvements, including having a 2-way adjustable truss rod.
The bridge is also crafted from rosewood to match the fingerboard, while the other side of the strings are kept in place by gold open gear tuners, which complement the bright orange color scheme of the guitar’s koa body.
And while other manufacturers tend to skimp on cosmetics at the lower price ranges, Washburn is known for going all-out, as exemplified by the elegant looking abalone rosette around the soundhole. Other aesthetic touch ups include 1890’s style fingerboard and headstock inlays, as well as body and neck binding.
The Washburn WP55NS is currently retailing for just under $600. You can visit Washburn for further details.