Build Quality:4.8 out of 5 stars
Hardware:4.7 out of 5 stars
Sound:4.7 out of 5 stars
Value:4.8 out of 5 stars
Average:4.8 out of 5 stars

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Pros:

  • Beautiful appearance
  • Affordable
  • Great sound

Cons:

  • Might get muddy if you strum it heavily

Whether you’ve played a guitar all your life or you’ve never even touched it, it’s still quite hard to open up your heart to something new and start experimenting with different models. Be it a bass guitar or a resonator, it seems difficult to take a risk and leap forward. For some reason, we’re rarely willing to step out of our comfort zones and explore something that is scary. But our experience has shown us that such risks pay off – once you get to the point where you can play freely, there’s nothing sweeter than the satisfaction you feel in that moment. Today we’re going to talk about an entry-level resonator which is more affordable than you might think. Washburn R15RCE will convince you to pursue your dreams and learn playing resonators at a professional level. Let’s begin so that you can see what the whole fuss is about!

Build

Washburn R15RCE is a wooden resonator with a lot to offer. Not only is it extremely affordable, but it also offers quite a few interesting features to work with. This bad boy has a mahogany construction, be it the top, back or sides. Quarter sawn Sitka spruce bracing completes the body and defines the sound of the resonator. But more importantly, we have a single cone in the middle, which is responsible for creating all those detailed qualities that we love so much about these guitars. Unlike iron models, R15RCE benefits hugely from its wooden parts and you can feel that extra layer of goodness in every bit of it. I have to mention that this fella belongs to the Americana series and features tobacco sunburst finish, a single F-hole and a cutaway on the body. Such a design enables you to play without any limitations and access all the parts of the guitar equally.

As you’ve probably noticed, this puppy is all about mahogany. The neck is made from mahogany as well (I guess Washburn has a special relationship with this wood). The fretboard features 20 frets and dot inlays that will help you navigate easily while playing. The scale length is 24 ¾ inches, putting this model alongside its siblings. Just by looking at the construction, we can assume that R15RCE is a quality product regardless of its affordability.

Hardware

The hardware is a tad bit more interesting. R15RCE has a maple bridge with an ebony tip and features a spider type. This means that the sound will be more spread-out, delivering a more open tone. The nut is made from ABS and measures 1 11/16 inches. In other words, if it weren’t for a thicker U-shaped neck, you’d find yourself touching the strings you didn’t want to (those with smaller hands won’t have this problem).

We’re talking about an acoustic-electric model, so it’s important to explore the electronics. We have a single-coil neck pickup and two knobs. These chrome controls make it possible to modify the volume and tone and produce a refined output. Chrome die-cast tuners are the final part of the hardware. They, too, do their job flawlessly.

Sound

Washburn R15RCE knows how to inspire you to play. Its sound isn’t flawless and might not even be suitable for everyone, but its tone has the distinctiveness we all look for in our instruments. This bad boy has a punchy, expressive sound – spider bridge adds an extra touch of character, while the pickup balances out the whole thing. You’ll hear a lot of low-midrange here. This resonator is quite sensitive and responds better to the subtle touches. It’s one of those models that you shouldn’t get overboard with. If you do, you might end up muddying up the whole sound and ruining your precious performance. Be gentle, listen to everything it attempts to tell you and you’ll easily find your soul within its body.

Conclusion

To summarize everything mentioned above, Washburn R15RCE is definitely one of the best resonators in its price range. Its solid construction is combined with a beautiful sound that you’ll fall for right away. Just like all the guitars out there, it’s not perfect, yet its flaws aren’t serious enough to be deal-breakers. Give it a chance, explore its sonic features, and simply, enjoy! Good luck! 

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