Washburn D10S Review | An Unbiased Look

A look at the Washburn Acoustic Entry-Level Guitar

Among beginner acoustic guitars, the Washburn D10S stands out as a consistent favorite among guitarists.

Perhaps much of this has to do with the price tag, which at around $250 is an excellent deal, but I believe most of its popularity is due to the loud, clear sound that it produces.

If you’re in the market for a beginner guitar or if you want to add a nice acoustic guitar to your arsenal without breaking the bank, hopefully you’ll find this Washburn D10S review and accompanying video below to be incredibly useful to you.

Review of the WD10S

The Washburn guitar logoOne of the distinguishing factors of a Washburn guitar is the fact that it is a U.S. company based out of Chicago, IL that has been around since the late 1800’s. In other words, they have a strong history of making great guitars.

While the WD10S is one of their entry-level models, it boasts great quality and a sound that surprised me when I first picked it up.

The Materials

While much of the good sound can be attributed to Washburn’s manufacturing process, they also use some great material with the Washburn WD10S. For starters, the solid Sitka Spruce top is a huge plus. Most guitars that sport a solid top start at $400 and above (for examples, see the Seagull S6 or the Big Baby Taylor guitars).

The Mahogany back and sides compliment the solid top, which add warmth to the usually bright spruce. Finally, as is customary for most guitars like this, Washburn produced the neck with rosewood.

Washburn uses a bone nut (instead of cheaper synthetic material) and chrome die-cast tuners, so overall it’s a solid-built guitar.

The Look of the D10S

For the most part, I would describe the Washburn WD10S as a no-frills, professional-looking guitar. The dreadnaught body is standard as are the pearl dot inlays.

I’m a big fan of the custom wood rosette, which you don’t see very often with acoustic guitars. It kinda makes it look like a classical guitar that sounds like an acoustic guitar.

If you’re looking for something flashy, the WD10S might not be the right fit for you.  But don’t let the the guitar fool you – it looks nice up close.

A close look at the Washburn WD10S

The Sound of the D10S

The primary reason that the Washburn D10S has become so popular over the past decade is that it consistently produces a loud, clear acoustic sound.

Usually this is one of the characteristics of an entry-level guitar that suffers most in the sub-$300 category. Even beginner guitarist need a guitar that is going to project well and sound at least half-way decent.

The bright, crisp sound is balanced out by warm undertones that make the Washburn D10S an excellent value.

Washburn D10S Review Summary

The Washburn D10S has over a decade’s worth of history and very satisfied guitarists.  That should put your mind at ease quite a bit as you’re considering your purchase.

The price is an excellent value for an entry-level guitar and the solid Sitka Spruce top is a huge plus. This is probably one of the lowest prices I’ve ever seen a solid-top acoustic guitar.

In summary, if your budget is limited or if you just want a guitar to learn on, you won’t be disappointed with the Washburn D10S. It is an excellent acoustic guitar.

16 thoughts on “Washburn D10S Review | An Unbiased Look

  1. I liked your article for the most part. Iwas hoping to find a description of how to read the model numbers including the N that’s at the end of mine:
    (D10S-N). I guess I will have to look it up on the Washburn site…sigh

      1. In addition to previous reply. I guess that D stands for Dreadnought shape, 10 is the model number, and S means solid top.

    1. The N stands for natural, meaning a natural wood finish mine says qsb meaning Quilted Sun Burst and the K is Maple wood is all those letters mean. You have an authentic D10

  2. After 13 or 14 years, my D10S has held up beautifully and sounds twice as good as it did when I got it. One benefit of mass-production – I was lucky to find one with excellent bearclaw figure in the soundboard, but it’s all the same to a factory in China 🙂

      1. I bought mine in December 2015 and so far I NEVER had to retune it. It holds the tone very well unlike some cheap guitars. I noticed that this guitar also slowly increases in price rather than decreases after checking on eBay.

  3. Washburn won’t answer any e-mails. But if you go to washburn sights it will explain how to tell what year by the amount of serial numbers usually the first two letters are the year. I think i ran into a webs site that said how to tell what years wasburn guitar serial numbers. THe ds 1o is a wonderful guitar- the best selling guitar in the world for acoustics in the early 2000’s I picked up the d10sdl==deluxe and it sounded better than any of the new guitars i played and they were two to dfour times the price of the used one I bought . Great tone! And I have been only playing guitar seriously for four months-goofing around off and on for 20 years but whn I really started to listen I saw a guitar thatr was superior to many others. People say because it is chinese it is no good- baloney- if you pay for it the chinese make top quality- you have to remember these are american parts shipped top china-weaver tuners, rosewood and mahogoney made by american companies in china, I own two washburns and they are absolutely top quality guitars. I would love to p[ick up the other straight models d10s to compliment m y deluxe – once you get hooked on guitars they are like shotguns and beautiful women and fine wine-you can’t live without them!

    1. I have the compliment to your washburn, it is the regular d10s. It is in absolutely mint condition. It plays and sounds even better than it looks. I wouldn’t have dreamed of selling it, but with age and arthritis setting in, I am afraid I’ve only been playing the more forgiving electric with a much thinner neck. If you make a reasonable offer, I would consider selling it to you as you seem to appreciate this fine instrument. It would also come with a really nice freedom hard case made by skb. I live in nh. If you are close by I could let you try it out, I’m sure you’d love it as much as I have!

      1. Hi William. I have been looking for a D10s for awhile so when i saw your post i figured id take a chance to see if you still have the guitar and would still like a nice new home for it.

        Ron F.

  4. I’ve been playing guitar for 10+ years and feel like this review really undermines the performance of the guitar. I’ve picked up 5+ Washburn d-10/d10-s from Florida to Illinois to Arizona and their consistency and quality is phenomenal. The bright and powerful tone of this guitar makes it a must have. This guitar is great for beginners for the price but is much more than a beginners guitar. It’s action and neck profile really gives this guitar incredible play-ability. I recommend the Washburn d-10 to everyone. The value of this guitar is just unmatched by anything in its price range.

  5. Purchased this guitar back in 2004. It has served me well for 14 years and still looks, plays and sounds as the day I took it home. It may be many years before I would even think using anything else. Since the day I picked it up, strummed a few cords for the first time I have yet to hear any guitar match the sound made by the D10S. Even my friends Martin that is supposed to be of higher quality and price can stand next to it in sound. Washburn has made a gem!

  6. I bought my Washburn D10S online from SAMASH
    in Tampa, FL with a nice hard case for 399.99 in 2006.
    Plus: beautiful guitar, nice hard case.
    Negative: won’t stay in tune. one tuning key will turn and not tighten string before it will catch to tighten? sound has never been good, even after changing out saddle, bridge pins, nut, and numerous sets strings.
    Very unhappy. I will never buy another WASHBURN.

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