FEATURING QUALITY WOODS SUCH
as a solid Alaskan Sitka spruce top, laminated
Tamo ash back and sides, and a
mahogany neck, the WD30SCE aims to
catch the attention of players who want
an affordable, gig-worthy dreadnought
guitar with a cutaway and electronics.
With its wooden rosette and full binding
on the body and neck, the WD30SCE
has an upscale look that’s enhanced by
the flared headstock with its inlaid pearl
“tulip” emblem on an overlay of rosewood.
The workmanship on this guitar
is impressive. The neck-to-body joint is
clean and tight, the binding is free of
glitches, and there’s no evidence of filler
anywhere in the wood or around the
inlays. A small amount of excess glue is
visible on the interior, but the braces are
nicely shaped and sanded, and the joints
are tight. The frets are properly crowned
and lightly polished, though a few of their
tips could stand some extra trimming and
The gold-plated tuners bring the
strings easily up to pitch and with no
snags from the nut slots. The intonation
is tuneful enough, but the low action initially
created a lot of string buzz across
the entire fretboard. A twist of the trussrod
with the supplied hex wrench was all
it took to solve the buzzing problem. Nice
to know you can compensate for climateinduced
changes in string action so easily.
With the strings now riding a touch
higher off the fretboard, the WD30SCE
played easily and sounded crisp, full, and
very well balanced. For such a low-cost guitar,
we were surprised by its tonefulness.
There’s lots of sparkle in the highs, complemented
by a sweet midrange and a tight,
articulate low end. The dreadnought-sized
body kicks out plenty of volume, too.
The Fishman 50IT preamp/pickup system
is an excellent match for the WD30SCE.
Although its Volume pot was a little scratchy,
the preamp’s EQ controls are well voiced
and effective for dialing in good-sounding
amplified tones. You can strum the guitar
hard without incurring harsh piezo timbres,
and the notch control is very useful for subduing
a pesky feedback frequency so you can
play louder without howls. The Phase switch
can also be activated if feedback persists.
The 50IT system includes an easy-to-use
tuner, a low-battery LED, and a swing-out
holder on the rear side of the control panel
for quick changes of the 9-volt battery.
All considered, the WD30SCE is a lot of
guitar for the money, and a great choice for
anyone on a tight budget who needs a hip
sounding flat-top for gigs or recording.
PRICE $676 retail/$379 street
NUTWIDTH 1 11/16"
TUNERS Gold die-cast
BODY Laminated ash
TOP Sitka spruce
BRIDGE Rosewood w/
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN China
ELECTRONICS Fishman 501T
CONTROLS Volume, Bass, Middle,
Treble, Notch, Brilliance;
Phase and Tuner buttons
WEIGHT 4.9 lbs
KUDOS Very balanced sounding.
Quality woods and
CONCERNS Slight hump in the fretboard
where it joins