Educate me on Washburn N4

Discussion in 'Beginners/FAQ' started by Simic, May 15, 2016.

  1. Simic

    Simic SS.org Regular

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    Hey!

    I got offered a Washburn N4 in a trade but the thing is I have no clue about these guitars so I was hoping if someone who knows their Washburn stuff could let me know if this is a legit N4, how it plays (if anyone has owned one) and how much these go for nowadays on the used market :)

    Here are the pics:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/103796102234653350631/WASHBURNN4


    Thanks!
     
  2. MajorTom

    MajorTom Supreme Being

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    They are very nice guitars, in my view they are perhaps the best guitar to date that Washburn have produced, they are very very nice to play, their necks have a very nice feel to them, the design of the bolt on system for the neck is simply a work of art. To me the N4,N7 and the N8 represent the pinnacle of Washburn guitars, and in my opinion they haven't to date released a guitar that has been equal to in terms of quality, features and design to the N4,N7, and N8 yet alone one that has surpassed those three models.

    I have no idea what you are trading in order to be offered this, but one thing I would strongly suggest that you do, and from the photos I can't help you here, is to make sure that it is a 'real made in America' one and not a 'copy' - Washburn themselves tried to pass off quite a lot of N4's that they made in their Japanese factory as being made in America by Stephen Davies due to the popularity of the model, there is a easy way to tell and to check for this, however the required photo is not among the ones in the link you posted, there are no photos of the guitar without the neck on it, nor is the photo of the back of the headstock clear enough for me to read.

    See this link here, about Washburn trying to pass off made in Japan N4's as made in America N4's and a brief, and not very good or in depth way to tell them apart, it's the paragraph right after 'Asian Production' and before 'Special N3-like custom production', there is a photo of a neck from a N4 with it's red serial number visible just after the part I am talking about, and am suggesting you read and pay particular attention to:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washburn_N4

    This is a guitar that you really want to do your home work on and make sure you get a proper one, and not get burned with a copy, which I have seen happy many many times with this guitar, I've seen a lot of very very good guitar shops and dealers get burned with this model because they didn't do their home work on them and check the guitar over properly and with a fine tooth comb, and just took the seller's word for it's authenticity - I'm not saying that all sellers are out to scam people some sellers may not know that they themselves have a copy and where scammed by Washburn in the first place and genuinely think that they have a legitimate Authentic made in the U.S.A N4.Sorry if it sounds like I'm weeing on your chips, I'm honestly just letting you know that these are one of the most faked guitars about, and that even their manufacturer produced fakes, so it really is in your best interest to do all that you can to educate yourself about them, and how to tell the original made in America ones from the copies, and the ones made in Asia.They are very good guitars, and are worth every penny that they sell for, especially if they are in great or good original condition, that neck joint is honestly a work of pure engineering genius, and a work of art.

    One thing that I will say and don't take this as gospel, it is nothing more than the quick first views and opinion of a guy who primarily collects Gibson's and has a rather limited experience with the Nuno Bettencourt Washburn series of guitars, this photo:

    [​IMG]

    As well as this photo:

    [​IMG]

    Specifically the way that there is no 'S' in front of the name 'Stephen' and the fact that it still has the line under where the 'S' should be, makes it look as if the 'S' wasn't worn away, to me it looks like that there was never an 'S' there in the first place, because if it was worn away the line under where the missing 'S' was would be worn away too. Not to mention that it doesn't have 'Handmade in U,S.A.' above the 'Stephen's Extended Cutaway' stamped text with the missing 'S' - see this photo for what I mean:


    [​IMG]

    These two things make me suspect it is not an original made in the U.S.A one, however like I said, I'm no expert on these guitars, nor am I an expert on Washburn guitars, this is just my first quick thoughts off the top of my head, and that if it was me trading for this guitar, that I should make sure that I do my homework on them and learn everything I need to know about how to spot a real made in the U.S.A. one from a non made in the U.S.A copy, so that I don't end up getting burned like a lot of people and very reputable shops have been with this model of Washburn before I even considered taking it in trade. Remember I could be wrong and it is indeed an original made in the U.S.A. N4, keep that in mind as well.
     
  3. Rawkmann

    Rawkmann SS.org Regular

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    We had a Washburn dealer in my area around 2007-08 and I got pretty familiar with the N series, they even lent me the N4 Vintage model for a while. I've played the N4, N4 Vintage, and the very rarely seen N5 and N6 models, and they were all just jaw droppingly beautiful and well made guitars. I'm a PRS man these days but the USA Nuno guitars would probably be my go to if I ever fall out of the PRS club. The necks just feel soooooo nice, and as mentioned previously the Stephens Cutaway is absolutely genius. Hell just talking about my experiences in this thread is making me want to scour the internet for a good deal on a Nuno for myself lol.
     
  4. Elwood

    Elwood SS.org Regular

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    I've read the N4 has quite a small body and if you are a big guy it can look very small. How have owners got on with them - is smaller better.
     
  5. OmegaSlayer

    OmegaSlayer SS.org Regular

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    Mentioning the guitar for which you've been offered the trade can help.
    Because it can make you think a bit.
    If you have been offered an N4 for a € 1000 guitar...it's sure that something is off.
     
  6. MajorTom

    MajorTom Supreme Being

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    Rabea Massaad, the lead guitarist from Dorje, the band Rob Chapman of Chapman Guitars formed, before Rabea got his signature Chapman guitar, used a Washburn N4, if you look on youtube, I think it's either on Rabes's channel, Rob's Channel or Dorje's channel, but there is a sort of video diary of them - Dorje, recording their first E.P. and Rabea Massaad, who by no means is a small person, is seen playing Washburn N4 for the recording of their first E.P.

    There is not much difference in size between an N4 and a fender Strat, I'm 6'3'' and it doesn't look like I'm playing a child's guitar when I play one.
     
  7. Elwood

    Elwood SS.org Regular

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    Thanks Madtom, I see what you mean. The guitar doesn't look small. I think the headstock just makes it appear that way in some of the photos
     
  8. yellowv

    yellowv Turd Ferguson Contributor

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    It's legit. The letters on the Stephens logo regularly fall off. They are tiny and there is no finish over them. The hard case is not original. They are fantastic guitars. IMO the best barebones workhorse guitars you can get. My N7 is probably the best guitar I have ever played and I have owned a lot of high end stuff. The N4's are small bodied guitars if that matters to you. I'm not a small guy and it wouldn't bother me. Nuno is a tiny dude. My N7 is about normal super Strat size. The N4 has a smaller body.
     

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