Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Review & Prices

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Review
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  • From Washburn's 2020 Comfort series
  • Made in China
  • 6 strings
  • 23.25"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Koa top
  • Koa back
  • Koa sides
  • Satin Mahogany with 2 way Truss Rod neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: (/)
  • Ebony bridge
  • Acoustic Washburn Comfort Set neck
  • 20 Medium frets
  • 18:1 Gold w/Ebonite Buttons tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 85
Sound 79
Build quality 62
Value for money 80
Overall Score 75
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa
  • Expensive Wood
  • NuBone Nut
  • NuBone Saddle
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Top Brand Pickups
  • No Electronics
  • Laminated Top Wood
  • Laminated Side Wood
  • Laminated Back Wood
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Price Overview

Its average competitor's price is $440, which means that the Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa costs around 14% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all instruments of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in China.

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Your feedback

Not all instruments are created equally. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our users who have played this instrument say. If you've played it before, help others by voting below!

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Is it Easy to Play?

The Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa meets 6 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

New Player Friendliness

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Soft Strings
  • Locking tuners

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa's 23.25" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Scale Length Comparison
Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is a short scale guitar, which is great for new players. It will allow you to press down the strings without hurting your fingers so much, and makes it easier to reach difficult chords. However, this also means that you won't be able to lower the action too much.

Also, short scales give less space for the harmonics to breath, so this ends up making the tone of the guitar sound more 'bassy' than a loger scale where there's more separation between harmonics, which gives the tone more chime.

Neck Profile

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Neck Profile
Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa has a 12" fingerboard radius.

Here's an image comparing this fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa's fretboard radius compared to others

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa has the same radius across the board.

More with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

23.25'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.687'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
25.5'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.732'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
25.3'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.772'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
25.6'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.732'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius
23.9'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
15.748'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Nut Width
Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Nut Width

The Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa has a nut width of 42.8mm (1.687''). This is considered a narrow width for a 6-string guitar. This means that this guitar will have a narrower string separation at the nut, which will affect your fretting hand.

If you are a player with big hands, you might find it difficult to play chords without muting strings. However, this is good for players who have smaller hands, as it will allow them to reach each string more easily at the nut.

Frets

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa Fret Size Comparison
Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa's frets are Medium size. With medium frets, you can feel the fretboard more than with jumbo frets, but it's still easier to press the strings cleanly than with small frets; notes might change their pitch just slightly if you press hard on the fret. Also, if you need to do some fret leveling after years of playing, you'll have some room to sand them down without having to replace them.

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 90
Chord Playability 85
Solo Playability 80
Playability 85

Tone Analysis

The type of wood and even the shape of the body will have a lot of influence in the final tone of an acoustic guitar. Here's we'll talk about what kind of tone you can expect from its specs.

Wood

Koa wood pattern used for guitar building
Koa Top, Back, Sides
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Koa Top, Back and Sides: It's a type of wood native to the Hawaiian Islands, where it's pretty common. Its musical properties make it a great wood for making guitars, but it's especially popular for building Ukuleles.

Mahogany Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

More made with the same wood:

Pickups

This acoustic guitar doesn't come with preamp pickups, so you won't be able to connect it directly to an amplifier. Instead, you'll need to use an external microphone.

Sound Score

Sustain 65
Versatility 80
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 79

Build Quality Analysis

Country of Origin

Knowing where the instrument is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive instruments are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa is made in China. So you can expect lower build quality when compared to others made in Korea, Japan or the United States. Guitars made in this country are meant for mass production, which translates into less attention to detail and quality control. This doesn't mean the product is made poorly at all. Chinese products have a bad reputation since long ago, but they've definitely improved a lot the last few years.

Bridge

Ebony: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure it stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa has a NuBone nut. It's a synthetic nut from the same creators of Ivory TUSQ. It's a hard and self-lubricating material that helps a lot with tuning stability. It produces a brighter tone similar to TUSQ, but it's not as hard.

More with the same nut material:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 61
Features 65
Quality Control 60
Build Quality 62

All Specs

Washburn G-Mini 55 Koa
General
Brand: Washburn
Year: 2020
Configuration:
Strings: 6
Made in: China
Series: Comfort
Colors: Natural
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Type: Hollowbody
Body Material: Koa
Bridge: Ebony
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: 18:1 Gold w/Ebonite Buttons
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Satin Mahogany with 2 way Truss Rod
Decoration: Dot
Scale Size: 23.25"
Shape: Acoustic Washburn Comfort
Frets: 20 Medium
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: NuBone
Nut Width: 42.8mm (1.687'')
Electronics
Switch: 0 Way
Knobs:
Volume Controls: 0
Tone Controls: 0
Bridge Pickup: ( / )

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