Washburn doesn’t typically come to mind when discussing bass guitars, and that’s really a shame. While basses aren’t a large focus of their product line, the Washburn Taurus T24 is certainly a worthy candidate for any discerning bass player’s axe arsenal.
Featuring a distinctive shape, the body on the Taurus T24 is constructed from mahogany, which is used by countless guitar and bass manufacturers. As well, it should be, as it has an excellent reputation for being a top-shelf tonewood. The shape is a little unusual at first glance, but the oversized upper horn adds balance, and it does grow on you after a while.
Mahogany has other characteristics that some players desire when it comes to instrument design, and one of them is its strength. It’s used in conjunction with maple (in a multi-ply laminate construction process) to create a neck that is incredibly strong while enhancing tone. You’ll also find a true ebony fretboard (with traditional dot inlays) that give the 24 frets a good place to call home.
For a bass guitar in the sub-$1,000 range, we’d say that the hardware choices here are pretty solid.
The electronics package is fairly standard, with two Washburn ‘J’ style pickups that are controlled with individual volume and tone controls for each. There aren’t any active electronics on the Taurus, but what you get is responsive enough for you to dial in what you need.
One neat thing about the tuning machines is that they are angled back slightly towards the player. It’s a minor detail, for sure, but it does make things a little more convenient when you’re tuning up. Let’s face it – bass guitars with a 34” scale length are pretty long! The bridge is fixed, but it does have adjustable saddles to get the intonation just right.
Washburn does have a case for the Taurus, but unfortunately, they don’t throw it in with the purchase price. That’s always a shame…in our view, it’s always a good thing when a manufacturer gives you the tools you need to keep your investment safe, regardless of what you paid.
The use of mahogany for the body, the maple, and mahogany neck construction (neck-thru, by the way), and the Washburn ‘J’ pickups give you a bass guitar that certainly delivers in the tone department. Even without an active EQ section, you can get sounds ranging from rich, smooth, and warm to bright and snappy without breaking a sweat.
Regarding how well it plays, you may be completely satisfied with the factory setup coming right out of the box. We’ve seen other instruments where a trip to a luthier or a good tech is almost mandatory, but not with the Taurus T24. The neck is incredibly fast, and that dreaded fret buzz isn’t all that evident.
Good bass guitars do not have to cost a lot of money in order to be…well…good. The Washburn Taurus T24 is an excellent example of a decidedly low-frills instrument that lets you get down to doing what we all do best – make beautiful music for the masses.