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FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Washburn D-100M/TWR and Oscar Schimdt OG21/TM

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Jan 19th, 2018 08:58 AM   Edit   Profile  

EDIT: Oh bleep, I misspelled Schmidt in the title. Can a moderator please fix that?

Warning: Inexpensive all laminate acoustic guitar content. LOL!

This is by no means a complete review of each, more like some general observations. Maybe possibly perhaps somebody somewhere someday will find this useful.

Over the past few months we--me the hack, my wife the actual musician--have somehow wound up with two nearly identical guitars, a Washburn D-100M/TWR (WB), and a Oscar Schmidt, which is a Washburn brand as you probably already knew, OG21/TM (OS).

Both are dreadnaughts with all laminate construction with laminated mahogany tops. The laminate tops have high gloss finishes, which means neither has the distinct 'woody' tone you get from a solid mahogany top with an open pore finish. But they don't sound like a laminate spruce top either; it's hard for me to describe.

Both respond well to hard strumming, and hard picking, as expected given the tops. What surprised me is both sound pretty good with finger picking (my wife's preferred playing style) and light-to-medium strumming.

The WB has a clear edge in aesthetics. The finish is more polished, and the back & sides wood is more attractive, it's matched very closely with the top wood (quarter sawn???). I'd say better than expected for a guitar in this price range (around $200.00 new IF my research is accurate).

The fit & finish are quite decent on the OS. The top is very close to the WB, but the b&s wood is the usual 'murky/dark' plain mahogany, or a wood in the mahogany family.

The OS has a built-in tuner, the Washburn Evertune WT-62, which has no EQ. It uses two AA batteries rather than a 9V. This' a handy feature, but OTOH good quality clip-on tuners are dirt cheap these days. Faux MOP is used in the purfling, the rosette, and the back stripe. Why I'm not sure, perhaps to give the OS a little bling; it does add a little something to the appearance.

The lower bout of the OS is just slighter smaller and slightly shallower than that of the WB. The strange (???) part is the OS has an edge in volume and projection, which isn't to say the WB is lacking in either.

I suppose there could be some differences in construction; I haven't nosed around on the inside with a flashlight and a spot mirror.

Both have binding on the front, back, & the fingerboard. I consider the FB binding a nice touch.

The WB & OS have three piece mahogany necks. I almost wrote two piece for the OS, the cut in the heel is difficult to see.

I can't speak for the original action on either. The WB is pretty much spot on. The OS could stand a bit of lowering (good news is there's some saddle left to work with), but it's certainly acceptable as is.

If I had to choose just one I'd pick the WB for the aesthetics. A string change might also put it up there with the OS is volume & projection, or it might not. Right now it's not so far behind as to make a major difference.

If you're looking for a decent inexpensive
guitar that plays & sounds pretty good, either one would serve you well. And they can be found on the cheap at pawn shops.

(This message was last edited by Tony Salieri at 11:00 AM, Jan 19th, 2018)

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Jan 19th, 2018 09:26 AM   Edit   Profile  

A few thing I left out.

Both were made in China.

The tuners are the usual Grover or Grover-style. The ones on the WB are gold colored. They look good, but over time the gold will eventually wear off. They do the job, at least for now.

The OS came with 'standard' RoadRunner soft hard case. It's a decent case, but didn't come with back-pack straps, which could be an issue if you're on foot and need both hands free.

The WB came with a very sturdy GEM soft hard case (thanks to Peegoo for his help with the GEM brand). Someone unfortunately cut the back-pack straps off of it.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jan 19th, 2018 09:59 AM   Edit   Profile  

Nice review Tony. If you whack the saddle down on the OS, you might lose a bit of the projection and volume on that guitar. A taller bridge on an acoustic typically increases volume. With high end acoustics, the neck is typically reset to lower the action and retain the power of the instrument. This of course is impractical on lesser guitars. I cut them down too. Some of the less expensive acoustic guitars I've seen from these companies are very nice and I think good bang of the buck.

I picked up a cheap Takamine Taiwan G335 dread 12 string Wednesday night. It's a little beat up but I bought it because it sounded so good even with the old worn out strings that were on it. I installed a Fishman Aura with preamp in it last night, set it up and restrung it. The thing is just amazing for a laminate top and sided guitar. Although my Breedlove 12 is a nice guitar and solid wood the Tak blows it to the weeds. I spent more for the Fishman than I have invested in the Tak and the guitar came with a hard case.

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Jan 19th, 2018 11:00 AM   Edit   Profile  

Good tip on the saddle! Chances are we'll leave it be, or it might make for a good project (my first acoustic saddle effort).

My wife has six 12s, five acoustic & one electric, and she tries just about every acoustic one she can. They can be all over the place in sound quality and playability, regardless of materials and price.

Contributing Member

So. Cal. USA

Jan 19th, 2018 12:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

I agree Tony. So true on the 12s. For some reason with even high priced guitars some/most just have no bottom end. My G335 has a lot of grunt. I just stumbled across it. It wasn't a guitar I would have considered until that first strum! It is amazingly lively with a nice bottom end.

I have a Strat clone 12 that I really like. It is a Cozart that I bought on ebay for $137. I had a set of Fender noiseless pickups laying around I dropped in and the thing really chimes.

I have a line on another Takamine 12, an F400 lawsuit model. I'm going to check it out tomorrow if it hasn't yet sold.

Acoustic saddles are easy. A nice sheet of 220 grit laid flat on a countertop and go to town on the bottom edge. Sand the saddle length wise checking your height regularly by re-inserting it into the bridge and use a straight edge from the nut to the saddle to check height. Be sure to keep the bottom edge flat and 90 degrees to the sides. No tilt and no rounding. Saddles are cheap so if you go to far it is no great loss and good experience! How would I know this? Ha!

Every under saddle peizo I install needs to have the saddle cut down the thickness of the transducer. After 50 or so of these over the years I now use a bench top belt sander.


Hawaii, USA

Perfect is the enemy of good enough
Feb 9th, 2018 05:31 PM   Edit   Profile  

I have a 20yr old Washburn D-100 plain jane, straight acoustic, 100 bucks.

It's a very resonant, projective guitar with a solid top and no laminates. Out here, I've played with guys with Taylors,(the seeming Hawaii fav.), Martins, some Gibsons etc., all high end.

My ears could not tell the difference between any of them against my humble guitar, strings might be different, but that would be the extent of difference. 100 bucks and 20 yrs. old sounds just about the same.

My tuners were gold,now going hazy greenish, with a couple of the small bushings at the button gone.

Past that, Washburn seems to fly under the radar with their imports.

Tony Salieri

Houston, Texas

I'm a tone deaf hack.
Feb 21st, 2018 05:52 AM   Edit   Profile  

I've heard a couple of ASW mahog Washburn models that did not sound any better than the D-100M/TWR; they sounded very muffled even with thin finishes.

To be fair, this was over 15 years ago, and they were overbuilt. The weight was "hefty" compared to the ASW offerings offered by various guitar companies these days.

I've always felt that it's more about the player than the guitar. Especially after seeing what Jack Pearson can do with a Squier Bullet.


"...the OS. The top is very close to the WB, but the b&s wood is the usual 'murky/dark' plain mahogany, or a wood in the mahogany family.

I should've written the mahog on the b&s is very plain, and has that horrible dark poop brown finish (which is common on many cheap acoustics).

(This message was last edited by Tony Salieri at 07:59 AM, Feb 21st, 2018)

FDP Forum / FDP Unplugged - Acoustic Instruments / Washburn D-100M/TWR and Oscar Schimdt OG21/TM

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