The 12+ Year Old Lyon by Washburn Strat

Headstock of Lyon by Washburn electric Strat style guitar

Howdy again! Today I want to talk a bit about my Lyon by Washburn Strat. A little bit of history about it, and some opinions about this guitar!

So without further ado, here is a picture! Isn't it great?

History of the Guitar

If you read my welcome post, you probably recall I got gifted a guitar in high school from my parents That is precisely this guitar.

In high school, over 10 years ago, I had the desire to start learning how to play the instrument because I wanted to impress people. I kind of wanted to learn how to play music too, but looking back, the goal was 100% to impress people.

You see guitar hero had come out not long before, and I had a lot of fun with that game. I had classmates who were better at it than me and saw they got impressive attention for being good at that game. I tried to get better, but I just couldn't break the barrier to get beyond the hard difficulty. Luckily, I also just had fun with the game, so it wasn't just to impress people with the game.

Eventually, though, I decided if I was good enough at guitar hero, surely I could also be good at real guitar. So when I got this Strat-style guitar, I was shown just how wrong I was.

I never really took lessons with this guitar, so it didn't take long to just give up. That meant eventually this guitar sat in a closet just sitting and waiting for me. But, I never wanted to get rid of it. Through 7 moves to different housing, I kept it with me. In its bag. In the closet, lol.

However, in 2021, I took it out of the closet and started toying with it. Again, no real training, however, I started to look up what it took to ensure my guitar was set up properly.

I learned with this guitar how to adjust the Truss rod. How to restring the guitar. A bit about how to intonate the guitar, but I could still use practice on this. And I also learned about action height and how to raise/lower it.

All this tinkering on the guitar slowly made me realize how it felt to play a good guitar, and I realized for so long this guitar was not properly set up. Getting things set up, it started to click and my motivation grew.

I'm still not great, and I'm still trying to work my way through Justin Guitar, but if I didn't have this guitar to tinker with, I never would have renewed my interest in music.

I'm excited to see where this guitar takes me. I don't think it's the best, but I don't see myself getting rid of it anytime soon. At least, not until I'm good enough to identify how this guitar limits my ability. But I'm not there yet!

Detailed Review

It's important as you read my review that I know I'm reviewing an aged guitar that wasn't properly stored or maintained. I also recognize that I'm no expert with guitars, so this is a very amateur review. But, I still want to share my opinions with other newcomers, as well as to reread myself at a future date.

The Headstock

The headstock works, I'll give it that! No major complaints with the shape or size, it's a fairly traditional Strat Style headstock, so it seems good to me.

However, the tuners leave something to be desired. They're fairly loose, which I could probably fix up. But I find myself needing to retune my guitar fairly frequently, and I'm thinking the tuners are the cause.  

The nut seems to be plastic, with not a ton of slippage. So I think it's good, but I don't have any experience with other nuts. So again, it gets the job done.

The Neck & Frets

This is where the guitar starts to look a bit bad compared to my other guitar experiences. The frets seem well-spaced, but they aren't a very consistent height. If I keep the action on my guitar at a medium height, I don't notice much of a problem. But if I lower it, I get a lot more fret-buzz than I would expect.

The edges on the frets are pretty well-rounded, so I never really worry about scratching up my hands when trying to play.

The neck itself edges are pretty rounded too, which isn't a huge problem for grabbing the guitar. But on the low-E string, I'm constantly accidentally pushing it over the edge and causing it to fall off the frets and sit on the side of the neck. I don't have this problem with any other guitar. It's pretty annoying.

Otherwise, the color of the neck is attractive, and the neck is pretty smooth to slide my hand against. I'm never nervous about getting splinters, and my hand slides up and down the neck smoothly without being slippery.

The Body & Electronics

A strat-style body is always great! I love the look and it feels good to hold both while sitting and standing. Having a 5-way pickup switch is also great for some interesting sounds!

However, having a floating bridge to support a whammy bar, while neat, is unnecessary to me. To be honest, I don't know where my whammy bar even is. I'm not positive, but I'm thinking the floating bridge also contributes to constantly needing to re-tune this guitar. But, it still works, so it's not trash.

As for the pickups, I understand that they're single-coil pickups. And I can use the 5-way switch to either play with the neck pickup, neck & middle, middle pickup, middle & bridge, or just the bridge pickup. Which gives me a lot of flexibility on what kind of sound I want to make. Beyond that, I don't really know much more about the pickups to give them a quality review. However, I must admit, my Squier Telecaster has much better-sounding pickups to my ears. I'll give that one a review sometime in the future too.

Overall Opinion

Overall, this guitar was a pretty good beginner guitar for its age. I wouldn't gift it to someone who knew what they wanted. But, I'm glad I kept this guitar through all the years to continue to learn with. Its been a great help both in learning how to play, and learning how to maintain/modify a guitar.

I probably wouldn't buy this guitar again, but I'm not looking to get rid of it anytime soon. Maybe it can be something I keep until my kid grows up and he might want to play with it too. We'll see!

Thanks for reading about my Lyon by Washburn Strat-Style guitar. If you have any questions feel free to ask!