DB-30BK close front.JPG

Washburn DB-30 prototype bass

5/5, 5 from 1 review
Passive electronics. Only 16 made and were bought up by Butler Music on eBay. Some occasionally appear used for sale. Excellent construction. A loud
DB-30BK close front.JPG

Recent Reviews

  1. MEKer
    2009 Washburn DB-30 Proto-type (passive)
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Nov 7, 2015
    Build Quality:
    • + Great construction, suitable for any genre, a truly amazing availability of tones, well balanced, very tight neck pocket, that I was able to get one , to me, is a PRO!
    • - Maybe a tiny bit of jeweler's filing on a few fret edges for those who are really persnickety. Other than that I cannot list a "con" on this bass. Simply a solid, good bass all'round.
    There were 16 made, evidently all samples for Washburn to see if they wanted to "mass market" them. For some reason Washburn declined. MISTAKE! GREAT BASS! According to the guy at Butler Music who bought them all, they were to be retailing around $800. Advertised as Made in China---Nope, Made in Indonesia. Oh, it came with a PERFECT set-up (and a very nice, stiff padded Washburn bag)! Surprised me.
    BTW, I like very low action--this is low as heck and no buzz anywhere.
    There were a few natural matte bodied DB-30's in the batch, but they were gone so only the black was left. I'd have really liked to get that NM (Natural Matte) coloration or NK(as they call it....?) .

    Neck: Bolt on maple neck, without a laquer/polyurethane finish. Feels smooth as silk. Tight neck socket.

    Body: Black body flawless paint job (very glossy). Light weight around 8.5 lbs.

    Frets: tiny bit of bite on the edges. Not enough to bother me tho. Perhaps a jeweler file smoothing would make it 100% instead of the 99% it is. 22 frets.

    Fretboard: Maple, dark gray dots a bit larger than I am used to but that's just fine.
    All pots, tuners solid and clean working.
    Perfect balancing bass.

    POTS: advertised as Vol, Tone, Blend. is VVT: VOL (neck), VOL (bridge) and TONE which also adds a pre-amp type of db boost. I played and fiddled with it and it really does that.

    TONES: here is where it really shines.
    The Eden P/J pickups (I had heard they were cheapo POS's) are very, very nice.

    NECK PUP solo--very smooth P bass sounding with fingers. Very "attack mode" P bass sounding with pick.

    BRIDGE PUP solo---more middle to high mids availablle yet with that definite jazz, almost farty tone if you want. Again, smooth jazzy with fingers and a sharper jazz tone with pick

    BOTH PUPS---can be ANY, literally ANY combo of the solos above. I mean you can have FUN listening to the variations.
    Also note that when you play fingers at the neck, you can get a soft to an almost muted P bass sound but with presence. Play fingers at bridge and get the softer farty jazz sound or a rounder definitely jazz tone. Both together and solo, the pickups are VERY responsive to finger technique/attack in plucking out different tones.
    Play with a pick and I must say you do not get quite the array of softer jazz or round tones but a pretty consistent and firm bite in your tone that will definitely stand out. Great rock tones there pick-wise.
    The Tone pot simply bulls in and almost cannot be defined with precision (hah! a pun) other than to say it really can make wonderful choices available. Plus what sounds like a db increase (how do explain that?). I know it is not a Blend because it operates and tones things on each pup separately.

    I have spent a lot of words on the tone capabilities of this bass because that is what really blows me away about this DB-30. I hate to admit it but it has more tonal capabilities than my Washburn SB-40's or even my Force 40 BBR. Now you cannot beat those 2 basses for construction (Matsumoko for gawd's sake) and everything else that is wonderful---but in a tone war I honestly think they stand a chance of losing. DiMarzio's are nice pups but these Edens surprised the heck out of me.

    This is a simple looking bass. I got it for $200 plus shipping under $40. I got it cheap as Butler Music wanted to move them and had picked them up cheap from Washburn's closet somewhere where they had been sitting since 2009. But I would take and play it anywhere anytime with any rock idol you would care to mention. I have not been impressed like this with a bass in a long time. Wow---I scored.
    Price Paid:
    $200 plus shipping under $40 (remember I also got a FREE $65 gig bag with it!!)

Bass Details

  1. No. of Frets:
    Scale Length:
    No. of Strings:
    Body Material:
    alder or ash which Washburn usually uses
    Neck Material:
    Body Finish:
    Nut Width:
    1.5"/4 cm
    Fingerboard Material:
    custom Washburn, 3.5" wide
    Deluxe high output David Eden P (at neck) & J (at bridge) pickups
    Other Hardware:
    Washburn's Buzz Feiten tuning system, Grover tuners ,
    EQ / Controls:
    Vol/Vol/Tone (not Blend as ad said)
    The build sheet says the original list price for this was to be $939.90 so the street price would have been about $749.00.
    Other Specs:
    1. Passive bass
    2. nut appears to be graphite or hard, black plastic
    3. "DB" in the DB-30 name means "Deluxe Bass"

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