Washburn N4 Relics
Washburn N4 Relics

N4 Relics, STC-Shaped Guitar from Washburn.

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nickname009 06/03/2011

Washburn N4 Relics : nickname009's user review


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Built in the USA Custom Shop
Aged solid alder body
Aged hardware
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.