Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar Review

Today’s product review takes a look at the Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar package that includes a 5 Watt Amp and instructional DVD. How does this very cheap guitar package hold up versus the competition? Is it a worthwhile beginner guitar or just a cheap toy? Let’s find out…

Review Continued Below…

The Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar is a brand name used for the cheapest guitars sold by Washburn, which is already a low end guitar manufacturer. The guitars have varied over the years in the design and components used as well as in the materials packaged with it. However, throughout the years, the Lyon guitars have been very poor guitars. I don’t see this year’s package being any different.

Let me begin by saying that I’m no guitar snob. I love cheap guitars and I love to fix them up and get them into top playing condition. I’ve been playing guitar and repairing guitars as a hobby for about 30 years. However, for this to be done the foundation of the guitar has to be solid and, unfortunately, the Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitars that I’ve worked on haven’t had a good foundation. I’ve also noticed that the quality control is poor and guitars with significant problems routinely sneak their way into the retail chain. All this spells trouble for the beginning guitarist who just needs a good, cheap, guitar to learn on.

Overall, I do like the basic design of this year’s Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar. A fixed bridge with two humbucking pickups is the basic guitar configuration I recommend electric guitar beginners start with. However, there are better guitar choices that cost just a little more but that will provide the novice guitar player with an instrument they can enjoy for many years. Avoid cheap, poorly constructed, brands like Lyon, Lotus and, above all, the esteban guitar. I’m a big fan of the Ibanez guitars in this price range and some other brands as well so feel free to ask about them in a comment if you want more information.

As for the rest of the Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar package, the 5 watt guitar amp is pretty useless. Cheap amps like this also suffer from poor quality control and have very poor sound quality. I recommend spending at least $150 to get a good modeling amp for the most enjoyable results although there are other options to consider. The package also contains an electronic tuner and instructional DVD. I consider a chromatic electronic tuner essential for the guitar beginner. The DVD, I haven’t seen it so I won’t comment on it but previous year’s video lessons have been OK although there are better guitar lesson DVDs around.

So, the bottom line on the Lyon by Washburn Electric Guitar package is that it’s something to be avoided either for yourself or as a gift for a young, budding, guitar hero wannabe. If an electric guitar is on your Christmas gift list this year, I suggest looking elsewhere.


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Comment by Nicole Price
2008-12-03 09:05:40

How about as a gift to a beginner who will spoil it anyway?

Comment by jfc
2008-12-03 09:18:57

Hi Nicole,

I guess it depends on how serious they are about learning guitar. I think that the Lyon would frustrate most beginners and they would stick it in the back of the closet within a few weeks. A slightly better, but still cheap, guitar and amp combo would be a better platform for learning how to play guitar. But, if they just want to have a guitar in their room to ‘look cool’ then the Lyon will do the trick quite well.

Comment by Nicole Price
2008-12-04 08:10:17

Thank you for the prompt response.

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Comment by Matt Ziesmer
2009-08-04 14:18:19

i have purchased this guitar and it works quite well.

Comment by Paul
2008-12-04 14:02:07

Washburn produce great guitars, but of course they do have their cheap packages also. For a cheap package, I would still go for Fender Squier though.

Comment by jfc
2008-12-04 14:08:13

Hi Paul,

I agree that there are some better Washburn guitars out there.

The Squier line has gotten better in recent years because they were facing tough competition from Yamaha, Ibanez and others who were beating the on quality and features. The Squiers I’ve seen recently compare favorably with similarly priced models from other companies. I still recommend against the cheap amps they put in package deals though.

Comment by electric guitars
2008-12-09 19:23:34

I love Washburn electric guitars but I prefer for Epiphone because it more comfortable with my fingers.

Comment by Jonathan Meager
2009-01-13 10:42:31

I definitely think a Squier would be a good choice like jfc. I have played several Washburn’s and have been most impressed by the acoustics. Some of the electrics are good guitars though. I’d advise having a play first.

Comment by Wastehog
2009-03-24 07:19:17

Washburn make some real top-end guitars, i mean if they where good enough for Dimebag then it’ll do for me. That said i don’t like the lyon but then i dont like any budget guitar. I’m no guitar snob either but just spend £300 and get something that’ll last the course. totally agree with you on the amps though:)

Comment by jfc
2009-03-24 07:39:34

Hi Wastehog,

You’re right, Washburn does make some decent mid-priced guitars plus their flagship line of Dimebag guitars.

Having a good guitar tech setup a guitar can make a huge difference in a cheap guitar as long as the guitar’s construction and parts are basically sound. Since I enjoy working on guitars, I don’t mind buying cheap guitars but for someone who wants it close to right out of the box then spending more makes more sense.

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