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Washburn B-10 bass

Article from Making Music, February 1987


Look, I'll be honest with you (this is Making Music, after all). It's quite an effort to put down this bass and apply fingers to wordprocessor. I know you want to know about it - but I just want to carry on playing the thing.

The neck is so slim and fast, I sound almost flash. Frets are thin, adding to the illusion of my hands' speedy work, and the sound is bright. First I was worried. Too bright, I thought. Then I began to fiddle with the tone controls, and then I noticed there's a pickup selector. That's my problem with the B10, you see: too much playing and not enough attention to technical matters. Come to think of it, not such a problem.

What about those controls, then? Well there's a volume, natch, right under the front pickup. Well actually it's in the position you might expect to call 'middle', except there's nothing at your normal 'front' position close up to the neck. In fact where the neck joins the body there's a funny sort of sloping down of the neck, as if tiny guitar-dwelling persons wanted a ski-slope from the neck down to the body. As far as I can tell, this slope serves no purpose. It does nothing to aid my slapping or pulling, for example - I thought at first it might be what I've heard referred to as a 'groove slot'. A mystery, I'm afraid. Maybe it's just s'posed to look nice?

Anyway, the controls. There are two active tone knobs under the volume: bass at the front and treble at the back. Plus a three-position selector to pick back, both or front pickup.

Now, another thing you might suspect when you get round to looking at the positioning of the pickups is that some bass would be lacking (no 'front' pickup, as I said). Well you'd be wrong. I must say my favourite sound did employ just the B10's front pickup alone, which I found gave plenty of honk - but with balls, too. Sorry about these technical terms. With the back pickup switched in, naturally the top end improved and admittedly added a sweetness that was useful now and again. To be honest I loved all the noises I squeezed from the B10, and it is without doubt a sonically versatile bass.

Two small criticisms. When I needed to turn a machine head my fingers were inclined to catch adjacent machine heads, which made things a touch awkward. Maybe the droopy headstock makes them too close together? And earth crackles were often evident when I touched the strings (no screening in the control cavity, I noted).


This shows why Japanese guitar makers are getting worried about the Koreans. The B10's sounds are superb, it's easy and encouraging to play, it looks all right and seems well made, and is very attractively priced. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some more playing to do...


PRICE £260
BODY ash/mahogany
NECK maple
PICKUPS two single-coil
CONTROLS vol, active bass, treble, pickup selector

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Publisher: Making Music - Track Record Publishing Ltd, Nexus Media Ltd.

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Making Music - Feb 1987

Gear in this article:

Bass > Washburn > Force ABT B10

Review by Tony Bacon

Previous article in this issue:

> Albums

Next article in this issue:

> Demology

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