Washburn N4 Vintage
Washburn N4 Vintage

N4 Vintage, STC-Shaped Guitar from Washburn in the Nuno Bettencourt series.

tjon901 06/01/2011

Washburn N4 Vintage : tjon901's user review

« Washburns Iconic Nuno sig guitar »

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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.