AudioRumble rating 96/100
What We like
Quality sound, passive pickups at their best.
Good value for money.
What We don't like
Low end can become a tad messy if not properly dialed in.
If you are in pursuit of a gorgeous five-string guitar with sound to match those looks that kill, we have a little something in store for you – the Washburn Taurus five-string bass. Sturdy, driven by strong low ends, this instrument is a sight to behold.
The bass comes with a slim and distinctive double-cutaway body shape, with a gorgeous stained finish and a sleek central pattern along the pickups. The design quality is on very high level, and we see it as one of the absolute key factors in the instrument’s top-notch sound.
In terms of ergonomics, this is a light bass by 5-string criteria, and those curves really lock into the player’s body. Additionally, the neck is quite elegant and very playable, reminding us of some of the finest Ibanez models on the market.
Further on up the road, the company did a top-notch job with the frets, with no sharp edges or fret noise whatsoever. Even on the low B string, we haven’t experienced any fret buzz, with factory settings! Therefore, the intonation, action and tension of the bass were very well adjusted by the manufacturer, and for that we give the boys and girls major kudos. In a nutshell, this baby plays like a dream right out of the box.
The bass utilizes a stained mahogany body with a multi laminate through-body maple and mahogany neck. The neck comes with a scale length of 34 inches, along with a classic rosewood fingerboard and a set of 24 frets with white dot inlays. The mahogany body secures a tone that is soft and warm, but still packed with roar and bite. This is the type of wood used by such iconic axes as the Gibson Les Paul Special, so clearly there’s something to it.
Anyhow, let’s check the electronics now. We are looking at a set of two passive J-style single-coil pickups backed up by four control knobs – two for volume and two for tone. When summed up, this locks in plenty of versatility, giving you freedom to dial in exactly how much each of the pickups will be prominent in the sonic output.
Additional notable features include a set of Grover die-cast tuners, a Washburn five-saddle bridge, and classy chrome hardware. Note that the bass comes with an included gig bag and a limited lifetime warranty.
The sonic attack of this instrument is very much driven by low-end frequencies and a strong punch from the middle section. However, the overall audio output is well rounded by bright trebles, resulting in a well-rounded tone. The basses are always somewhat stronger, securing a sturdy foundation to spice up the mix and cover the bass frequencies.
The control knobs allow a solid array of tonal tweaks, primarily allowing you to dial in more middle punch if you want to gain more prominence in the mix.
This is a passive instrument and the pickups aren’t too gain-fueled, meaning that you can expect the thing classic passive models are known for – expressiveness. The pickups are very sensitive to the way you strum, slap of pop the strings, and they really reflect even the most minute changes in your playing style. In our book, this is a great feature both for newbies and seasoned pros, as it brings you closer to the very essence of music and the instrument itself.
We already shared a few words of praises when it comes to playability, so we’ll just point out once again that this is a fairly light instrument that’s quite easy to play. Even if we’re talking about those exhausting three-hour gigs, you should be just fine with this little puppy.
The Taurus brings forth everything we like about passive basses, and that's no mean feat. It is very expressive, resonant, warm, and has a rich low end. The sonic strength is at a high level by passive standards, and the looks are nothing short of gorgeous. This is one of those instruments that just push you to play them for hours.
AudioRumble rating 96/100