Firing up both pickups uncovers a basic sound with sturdy,
solid bottom end and plenty of body. There's an audible snarl to the
edge of the note, and although this is fairly subtle, the result gives
just enough aggressive intent to make the Washburn sound serious
instead of polite. This bass also displays a beautifully even response
across and up the neck, and the thinner strings sound ready for proper
bass duties without recourse to radical tweaking of your amp’s EQ. A
robust and even midrange certainly helps, as does a high end that
sounds smooth and musical rather than zingy and brittle.
However, if you've copped the twin tone control layout and are expecting a healthy degree of tonal variation, you'll be disappointed: whether you roll off neck or bridge or both together, you'll find the same sound at each point on the control without even the subtlest of audible difference. It's easy to check this out as the controls are numbered 1-10 and you'll find that cutting back the treble starts to have an audible effect at around 5 on the dial. The Idol's sound simply gets progressively warmer and more bottom-end orientated, retaining just enough definition for real-world use all the way to just before full cut. Full treble cut is less woolly than some and is useful for creating rumbling, space-filling drones.
To access individual pickups, either kill one of the volume controls or simply flick the selector switch. 'Up' solos the Eden at the neck, giving a fat, earthy sound with plenty of bark and growl. The low-mids are much to the fore here, creating a dark vibe that gives the Idol plenty of presence and stature at the low end of the fingerboard while retaining a useful level of substance and bite in the higher registers. Rolling off the tone produces similar results as twin-pickup mode, giving a silkier, more polite response.
Although there's less body and impact from the bridge pickup on its own, the output level is closely comparable. It’s tighter and funkier, with more high-mid emphasis – burpy without sounding squashed or nasal – and although there’s nothing in the way of modern fizz, the top end has a glossy sheen and a snappy attack. Backing off the tone knob is a practical, musical option on this pickup as the slight metallic edge disappears without affecting the bridge position’s intrinsic extra clarity. Roll the tone control back to 5 and you've get a sweet finger-funk sound that's bright and bubbly with enough width to be useful.