Nuno Bettencourt is the guitarist for the long time band Extreme. Extreme had some hits the 80s and are still going today. Since the early 90s Nuno has played Washburn guitars exclusively. A unique part of Nunos guitar is the neck joint. Nuno hooked up with a luthier named Stephen Davies to design the guitar. Together they designed a guitar with a very cool neck joint. The neck joint is ideally suited for neck through guitars but for Nuno and the ease of repairability they made this guitar a bolt on. The guitar has a maple neck with a ebony fretboard with 22 jumbo frets. The neck is bolted to an swamp ash body. The N4 has a Bill Lawrence 500XL in the bridge and a Seymour Duncan 59 in the neck. Early models had Kahler tremolo units but later ones and the current ones have Floyd Rose systems. It has a single volume knob and 3 way switch.
The flat fretboard lets you have a super low action and that makes it very easy to play. The extended cutaway lets you play all the way up the neck. With the guitar only having 22 frets every one of them is very easy to reach. The volume knob is kind of in a strange spot. It is not easy to do volume swells with it if you are used to the a Fender or Jackson volume knob placement. The pickup slector is also out of the way. New N4's have the Buzz Feiten tuning system which is a mod on the nut which helps make the inotation of the guitar as close to perfect as you can get without changing the frets.
With the 500XL and the alder body this guitar really cuts through. Coming from the 80s when everyone was using huge rack setups people needed brighter guitars as to not get lost in the signal. The Duncan 59 is very smooth in the neck to go with the bitey 500Xl. Its pretty unusual for a company to put pickups from two different companies in the same guitar. This shows Washburn really wanted to get the sound as authentic as possible to what Nuno gets.
There are cheaper and more expensive versions of the Nuno sig guitar but the N4 is the original. The cheaper ones dont have all the features and the more expensive ones may have a fancier wood but they wont necessarily sound any better. There is a reason most guitars are made from the same few woods. This is one of the few signature guitars that doesnt have the players name plastered all over it. If you are looking for a good playing solid guitar that comes with good pickups from the factory the N4 is a good option.
This guitar is Korean manufacturing (under license). The vibrato is floating, floyd kind, the key comprises 24 boxes, I guess it is rosewood. I do not know what the wood used for the neck and body.
The shaft is threaded through an interesting system to facilitate access to the highs.
This guitar has two humbuckers and split-coupled to a 3-position selector, and a knob of volume (push / pull to split).
On the model I bought, there is a Bill Lawrence in the bridge position and a micro Wasburn in the neck position.
The neck is thin, super nice and fast enough, the guitar as a whole is quite small, it has a good mouth, light enough, and is very well thought out ergonomics standard. The shape stratoïdale proven long ago, either for getting started as access to acute ...
The head is reverse biased, the look, I'd say it's rather more, then you have to like what. However, not being accustomed to this type of head, I find it a bit difficult to give, although with this type of vibrato, the strings once blocked, is given with fine tuners instead of the easel.
Brief explanation of the mechanics, they are accurate and robust, good quality.
Its level is not bad and super versatile, micro washburn is a bit messy, almost unusable is overdriven, but clean / crunch, it is not bad, especially in split fashion. The Bill Lawrence did when his real little miracles! Very punchy is fairly accurate, this microphone a little garish double-clear sound and is exploitable. In overdrive, it is in his chosen field!
When the intermediate position, clear sound, it sounds like a telecaster!
I use this guitar for several years, I have other guitars and I never tire of this Washburn.
And I've had all kinds of guitars in all price ranges, and this one fits very well level quality / price ratio, both in look (shape, finish ...) that sound, or manufacturing, very honorable, but no frills.
I got this guitar in a secondhand Trocante, she seems to have lived well, but withstands the test of time. I had it for about € 200 and that price, I think it's a bargain.
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vince_lebowski's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
Made in the USA 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) and Triamp MkI 1997 (6L6) coupled to baffle H & K Triamp TC412 Original (100 W Celestion ® greenbacks).
the main feature of the N4 vintage sound is very rugged 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 .. .