Nuno Bettencourt is in my top three guitars players of all time. He has a swing and swagger to his guitar playing that is not only melodic but catchy as well. He has a great rhythm hand and lead all in one. His solos are perfectly crafted and special each time. Many solos from people can be pointless or seem just like some guitar Olympics. His though fast at times has a point to make and carefully thought out.
This guitar highlights his playing style and really gives him the tone that is required to go along with his playing style. This guitar is made to look old right out of the factory. he has continued to play his original N4 and if you have ever see it it looks like it has been rode hard and put up wet. Washburn has done the work for you on this guitar.
This guitar feels good right out of the box. It has a thin neck profile and makes it very easy and convenient to play. You can relax a little more and be able to slide up and down the neck with ease.
At the bottom of the neck it have a routed neck joint that allows you to reach the higher frets. If you have played a fender Stratocaster then you know that at times it is hard to reach the 20th fret because of the neck heel. Washburn has eliminated the awkwardness of playing in that register by carving out the backside for easy fret access.
At new these guitars come at around $2250, which not a bad price for a custom shop guitar. Even though it is Washburn and Not fender or Gibson the custom shop build on these guitars is excellent.
I would recommend any Nuno Bettencourt fan to own one of these guitars. They are very fun to play and sound great. The body shape is slightly smaller than a Fender Stratocaster. it has a similar shape but slightly smaller in profile.
Built in the USA Custom Shop
Aged solid alder body
22 fret maple neck w/ebony fingerboard
Bridge pickup: L500 Bill Lawrence®
Neck pickup: Seymour Duncan® '59
3 way switch
Floyd Rose Bridge
Schaller Floyd Rose licensed tremolo
Stephens extended cutaway 5-bolt neck joint
R2 chrome locking nut
Spanish Luthier's headstock joint
Grover® 18:1 gear ratio tuners
14" pitch-angled reverse headstock
Buzz Feiten Tuning System™
This is easily one of the most comfortable guitars to have ever been made!
The body is smaller than a strat but very comfortable with the forearm and stomach contours, the stephen's extended cutaway is a dream. Probably the only bolt on configuration that exists to this day that actually feels like a neck through! No fret can be inaccessable!
The sound is where it becomes subjective, which I will further explain.
The schaller floyd is also very stable and high quality of course since it's an original! Works great! Though of course, you have to know how to use such a bridge in order to appreciate it. Otherwise it's just a headache.
The only other structural beef I have is probably the neck profile, although there haven't been many complains about it, it's very flat and wide, to some it may be too flat or too wide, so again either one has to get used to it, or decide to play another guitar!
Ok so here is the worst part. The stock pickups are quality pickups that deliver two extremely different sounds. Of course this is a signature model, hence nuno's pickup configuration is installed, which is NOT favored by most guitar players aka yours truly.
I didn't get this guitar because it had nuno's name on it and I didn't get it because I liked his tone either. Actually I can care less about his guitar tone, I don't find anything significantly good about it and thus the pickups to me are not my preferred choice.
The neck pickup is the duncan 59 which I like by itself. It's great, thick and brings back the thick low-mids that you'd get from a carved top les paul in a strat body with a trem. Distorted it's very thick and smooth too, very PAF-esque.
The bridge is a stewmac bill lawrence 500XL pickup. It's super hot, and super fizzy and super bright and super grainy. There are no cleans to talk about with this bridge pickup, it's super shreddy in that sense of tone. I can see this pickup suiting quite well for a downtuned electric guitar player, someone who needs some super tight tones for heavy riffage on thicker strings, but in standard, with an alder body guitar and ebony board you get the brightest and most shrill sounds humanly possible!!
Is this good for some people? of course! is it good for me? Hell no. It's not versatile, not one bit. It's a one trick pony shrill pickup and is not delightful sounding in the least, it's very sterile to me. I immediately had to change the pickups in order to get a more balanced and versatile sound. Which took some work as well since the bridge pickup route is routed only for the lawrence pickup which is not a standard-sized humbucker, so for those who are interested but are thinking of a pickup change, prepare yourself for some routing!!
Overall it's a great guitar in terms of build quality and playability. The sound is the only problem which may turn others off. And since this review is based on the guitar in STOCK condition, I can't review it as a 9 or whatnot.
If you're a super strat lover and floyd user, this is a perfect guitar. The reverse headstock is also very unique and looks cool!
However, for the price, one would expect no real NEED to change pickups. And again, this is nuno's signature, so what suits him may not and most likely will not, suit you.
Did you find this review helpful?yesno
undbitter's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
US manufacturing and purchased in the USA !! (See explanation usa purchase on the merits of global opinion)
Alder aged vintage
Floyd Rose Coren (Washburn do them but coren FRO)
Mapple handle with key bne
Micro Seymour Duncan 59 neck
Micro Bill Lawrence Bridge
1 volume knob
1 slecteur three positions
(Dcoupe for ergonomic access to acute)
The handle is not pleasant, it is well,
Ease of game
The interface is excellent for all qualitsdj cited, the dcoupe for access to desti- nations most recently boxes.
It is easy to get a good sound.
It suits the style of music for which it is made, not really for jazz ...
But we can do even when blues, rock, and "Nuno Bettencourt", you will understand me.
Then the sound is very limited.
I think they are good, but customization trots in my head.
I find it sometimes sounds a little "hail," he lacks a little cozy, well may be you will not understand, but hard to explain, it is far from the roundness of Gibson sounds, and it is not very s close to the Fender sound.
Ok, sounds a N4 N4,
That's good, is can be very good, but for me, a little reflection amrite to improve a.
I use it for 1 an.J'ai other models every style of music his shovel! voil my motto. I have 4 guitars, all diffrentes. See trs diffrentes.
The only complaint is the sound of origin, can improve, just put a slecteur 5 positions.
THE VALUE FOR MONEY IS HYPER BAD IF YOU BUY the A PARIS, I wanted to but I could not buy PARIS, too expensive! this guitar 1990 euros is too expensive, really expensive. The price quality ratio becomes a DISASTER when we aperoit Washburn made savings by Balanant accessories we second class, unlike what Washburn prtend and described, it is indeed a trmolo Pink Floyd, but not the original, means that it is the Asian pink floyd is mean!
I had a 40% tariff infrieur in buying direct in the USA! Without cheating person not especially customs, but seek error ct importers do not impact the falling dollar and PARISIENS dealers who do not care about our mouth by putting the full balloches.
N4 is certainly a bone guitar, but not luxurious guitar, do not dconner this day in October 2009, this guitar must not exceed nine 1600 euros FranceI, this price l ok it is justified! Voili voil what is said!
N4 annoys me as indeed increasingly guitars prtendument Amricaines whose components are less slectionn this pace will take a much Cort, at least they do not cheat, it is marked made in Korea!
For all these petty Washburn, I dclasse my N4 and obtien a 5!
Did you find this review helpful?yesno
vince_lebowski's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Made in the United States in the Washburn Custom Shop in Boston
exact replica of the N4 Nuno Bettencourt used by
2006 model under the hand of Nuno back (No. 0,601,006, the sixth model produced in January 2006)
Aged solid alder body
mechanical fittings aged
maple neck with ebony fingerboard 22 frets
Bill Lawrence L500 bridge pickup ®
neck pickup Seymour Duncan ® '59
A 3-position selector, 1 volume
Floyd Rose ® Original tremolo license
junction sleeve / body Stephens ® extended cutaway 5-vis license
head / neck adverse Luthier
inverted head 14 "
Grover ® 18:1
Buzz Feiten Tuning System ™
The game is very instinctive and not disconcerting at first tests of this instrument.
The neck is very smooth, very flat and the ebony fingerboard is perfect, very easy to play. Access to acute is really great with the cutting Stephens ® extended cutaway. This guitar is very light and very good ergonomics. The different sounds are fairly easy to obtain, the settings is very limited (no tone control direct, a single switch). Attention, despite appearances, this guitar is very versatile.
This guitar is perfect for my style of music (Hard Rock), but is very versatile for all styles when they rule according to his amp.
I play with an amp Hughes & Kettner Triamp MkII ® (EL34) coupled to a baffle Marshall ® 1960TV (100 W Celestion ® greenbacks) or Triamp MkI 1997 (6L6) coupled to baffle H & K Triamp TC412 period (100 W Celestion ® greenbacks).
the main feature of the N4 relics remain sound very cut and very incisive.
The sounds are clear examples: highly crystalline for three different positions.
The distorted sounds are amazing: very consistent and impressive power in the gain. There is no supersaturation even when the gain of the amp is cranked ...
Pickup position (Bill Lawrence), the attack is very straightforward, powerful and full of harmonics. The sound is rich and incisive. In his clear, the game is very crystalline and slamming. In full, the presence is breathtaking (the harmonics very present) and the grain easily adjustable with the volume.
The bridge position is very interesting with the grain of a rare (very low with medium plus), approximating a Gibson pickups mounted with Burstbucker II and III (bridge). In this case, saturation is very ample typical vintage, with a nice grain very incisive. The clean sound is also very interesting, with a balance bass / treble, full of harmonics.
Position neck pickup (Seymour Duncan), sound more serious and mellow is very interesting. This position allows clear sound further but with enough of an attack in the treble when you press his game in full, this position is very interesting with lots of round (but a lot of presence) and a more linear and less cutting than for the other two positions.
Its versatility is achieved by adjusting the settings of the volume knob, to vary the tone (and saturation), plus the volume (gain pickups are very high output).
I use it for a year now and my pleasure to play does not go away, quite the contrary ...
I have nothing but positives to point out about this guitar.
I tried many different guitars to date but that N4 is one of those I was most impressed by its quality of finish (even aged), exacerbated by its playability, and especially by his very powerful but very clear even at a very high gain. We must not forget his versatility (although there appear to be) and originality of sound that knows how to stand out from all the guitars that you can try today.
I also have a Washburn N2 Nuno Bettencourt Signature Model for over 8 years and N4 relics is really exceptional and incomparable next.
The price / quality ratio may be its weak point, but having an instrument "signature model" with a flawless finish and such a level of quality is also its price ...
Today, this choice I would do without hesitation.
mounting a push-pull switch for using the single coil pickups in the configuration of the 3 positions (bridge, bridge and neck) and have 6 different sounds at your fingertips.
The position taken by the less powerful but much more aggressive, responsible for acute, recalling the sound of guitars of the 60s.
The most interesting in this configuration is the very aggressive distorted sounds, ideal for his type even more vintage! In this case, please push the gain higher than in normal position, you will take the quintessential single coil screaming as it should.
Be careful, do not hesitate to invest in a push-pull high bill (for my part I had a gibson custom part) because those are far from cheap to live up with this guitar. I paid the price by trying to save a few euros and I had to buy another, do not make moral economy candle-end, it is not worth the trouble ...
the push-pull Cheap bring a breath unpleasant and slightly distort the sound of the N4 in the normal position. It's barely noticeable but really a shame to lose the high quality of the sound of this guitar is a piece of goldsmith.
Assembly and welding are also very important to maintain a perfect sound like the original. Do not do anything if you do not know it, there are a lot of work in terms of re-wiring and soldering especially in the mass, it is essential to know what you are doing and why you are doing .. .