Washburn USA Custom Shop X81 Face Eraser (Jon Donais Signature)
I've owned 2 USA Washburn Custom Shop Dime guitars and 1 high quality Washburn Korean ST-Pro in the past. This guitar blows them all away. Its just a joy to play. From the way the frets feel while bending and shredding to the beautifully comfortable mahogany C-neck profile, its just an amazing soloist that I wish was still in production. It has some serious body mass (thickness) that makes for some amazing balls to the walls tone that can be heard both acoustically and plugged in (loud & clear). Mine is a few years old but is still lookin brand new, I can't help but want to play it all day, after owning this Axe I will never go back to a lacquered guitar, the natural oil finish really brings out the beauty in the top, body & neck, some thing about the oil finish makes it addicting to want to touch and play.
Jon Donais from Shadows Fall was rocking these as his Signature Model before Washburn dropped his contract. Jon Donais now has an unbelievably expensive as hell version of the X81 with ESP now. The Original USA Washburn Custom Shop x81 Face Eraser sold for $2000 at the most after tax and was top notch quality all around. Can you believe ESP has the balls to charge a whopping $4000 for their version?! to see the ESP version--> Click Here. I actually bought this guitar blind from the states with out ever playing one before. I didn't buy this guitar because its a Jon Donais signature model, I personally am not a huge fan of Shadows Fall but I am a huge fan of USA Washburn. Part of what I love about this model is that you wont find Jon's name on it anywhere.
Its a true shame this guitar is no longer in production, I would kill for a Floyd-ed version. This is by far the nicest shredder Axe I've ever played and owned, its much more of a tone/shred machine than my ESP Horizon FR-II. The ESP horizon is an amazing guitar, before it arrived I would have never guessed it would be a better match for me than the Horizon by any means. I was blown away by how the Face Eraser played when I got it.
I bought it used and she arrived almost mint except for one thing, she has a slight twist in her neck. I thought at first the twist was causing the intonation issues it was having but after trimming the springs behind some of it's saddles I was able to get her intonated (thank god). Even with its slight twist in her neck she still plays great, no buzzing or issues adjusting the truss rod at all. The twist doesn't effect its playability or feel what so ever. I still have her with very low action and she still sounds and plays amazing, like I said "she plays better than my mint 2010 ESP Horizon in my opinion", its an incredible thing. I only have its Reliability at 3 because of the slight twist in her neck (Which isn't really a problem at all in this case).
She sounds and looks beautiful, it's Tung oil finish feels great, you really get the feeling your holding a nice piece of wood in your hands with this kind of finish. Its Flame maple top looks absolutely amazing in person.
I don't know its exact neck dimensions, all I can tell you is that its a C-neck and its nice and thick but not too thick, but definitely thicker than an ESP thin-U neck. After playing my Face Eraser like crazy since I got it I can tell you one thing, I'll be lucky to find another neck profile that fits my hands so perfectly.
Can't believe Washburn killed these off, I know Jon got kicked off his Washy contract but these still should have stayed as a standard USA series. I heard a rumor recently that if requested it may be possible in this next coming year to have a Face Eraser one or two-off built. I was glad to hear they still have the FE cad programs.
I'm already saving up for one, I'm crazy addicted to my FE, never have I owned a guitar that I truly look forward to playing this much. I gotta get one built with a OFR, SD Blackouts and a 3-piece (3 ply) Mahogany neck. I may take a year or two to truly be able to afford another USA but I wont give up til its built.
The idea of this guitar not being available in the Custom Shop ever again saddens me, it would be a true loss. The X81's beautifully comfortable neck profile and body shape combined with that good lookin familiar head stock makes it a true Washburn Gem that should NOT go extinct like so many others.
Made a Video With my Washburn USA Face Eraser & the ESP Horizon FR-II. No playing, just a guitar show.
This video doesn't do either one of these guitars justice, blame it on a crappy digital camera.
Video link--> Dailymotion - My Washburn USA X81 Face Eraser & ESP Standard Horizon FR-II - a Music video
Washburn X81 Face Eraser Specs:
-Made in the USA Custom Shop
-Black body, neck and headstock binding
-Flame maple top on Body and Head Stock
-Set mahogany neck
-Single volume control
-ABM hard-tail bridge
-String thru body
-All Black hardware
-EMG 81 neck pick up
-EMG 85 bridge pick up
-Buzz Feiten Tuning System
-Tung Oil Finish on entire guitar