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1991 Washburn N4 , Nuno signed in 93. No Reserve
Early serial #815, hand-made by Stephen Davies
Item number: 7309380570
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Green Check You have marked this item as "Payment Received" on Mar-30-05.
Buyer's Postal Code: 85008

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Winning bid: US $2,130.00  
Ended: Mar-26-05 18:00:00 PST
Start time: Mar-19-05 18:00:00 PST
History: 34 bids   (US $99.00 starting bid)
Winning bidder: atozvideos ( 83Feedback score is 50 to 99)
Item location: Kings Park, New York
United States
Ships to: United States, Canada, Europe
Shipping costs: Check item description and payment instructions or contact seller for details
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jking123guitar ( 32Feedback score is 10 to 49)About Me
Feedback Score: 32
Positive Feedback: 100%
Member since Dec-10-02 in United States
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Description (revised)

No Reserve Auction!

I am the original owner of this early edition Washburn N4, bought in 1991 from a local shop. I walked in, played it unplugged, and that was all that was needed for me to get the checkbook out.

Serial number is 910815, indicates that this is 815th instrument built in 1991.

The early 91 model N4s (like this one) are recognized today as having the best feel and build quality of the line, probably because they were hand-built by Stephen Davies, the man that built the guitars for Nuno. After the first ones, the Washburn factory took over, and they went through a real rocky period in the mid 90's. Whatever, I paid attention to none of this, I'm a player not a collector. When you play a quality hand-made guitar, you just know, and I can attest to the quality and feel of THIS guitar!

In 1993 I was fortunate to have Nuno Bettencourt sign it on the back of the headstock at an in-store appearance. The signature reads: "Nuno Bettencourt 93".:

To my surprise, he flipped the guitar over a couple times and looked at it closely before signing it. When he was looking at the front of the body he said something like "Hey, you have one of these" or "I thought I had all of these". I'll always regret not asking him what he meant. He didn't do that for the other N4s he signed that day. I always thought it may have been the 1-piece body, because Nuno's original N4 is also 1-piece. A very rare find:

I used this N4 as my primary axe for 4 years. I didn't baby it like a collector, but I take good care of all the instruments I play. Around 95, I started getting into hard tail bridges, detuning and single coils. This N4, while having the best neck of any of my guitars, didn't fit my style anymore. It is the only guitar I have now with a Floyd Rose bridge. I've kept it in the case for 10 years and I've always talked myself out of selling it each time I've considered it.

Most people interested in this guitar are going to know the specs. The most distinctive feature is the Stephen Davies Extended Cutaway neck joint (The joint is "Strong like Bull". no chance of slipping. And it exposes more neck than any other neck joint I've seen.):

Here are some of the other features:

  • 1-piece Alder body. Oil finish, feels great, will get dirty. (Embrace the dirt, it was put there through honest playing! Most people interested in these guitars would not even think of trying to remove the dirt. Some even try to add it artificially. Washburn did and called them "relics" and charged more.)
  • Bill Lawrence USA humbucker pickup (bridge)
  • Seymour Duncan '59 humbucker pickup (neck)
  • 3-way pickup selector
  • Kahler "Floyd Rose licensed" tremolo (most N4s later built by Washburn have the Schaller tremolo. The Kahler is a better tremolo. Nearly identical to the original Floyd Rose, except it uses a threaded tremolo arm that tightens as you screw it in. I liked this feature of the Kahler a lot, and of all the Floyd Roses I owned, from the original to the Ibanez copies with the dreadful plastic "bushings", this one was always my favorite.)
  • 22 fret Maple neck, angled headstock
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Gotoh tuners
  • neck dimensions: 42mm at nut, 51mm at 12th fret.

The only modification to the guitar (besides Nuno's signature) is the volume pot. When I was getting ready for a sale last year, I cleaned it up thoroughly, set it up, intonated it and replaced the scratchy volume pot with a 500k CTS solid shaft pot. The chrome volume knob is still the original.

A word about the frets: They are in great condition! They have never been worked on, and today if you look closely you will see the slightest indentation in a couple of spots under the high strings for the first few frets. Nothing that comes close to effecting playability or action. If you play this guitar regularly, it will still be a long time before these frets need maintenance.

The neck is very straight (depending on the climate you are in, this could change slightly and require a truss rod adjustment. Please, only do this if you know how, or take it to a pro. I will say this though, out of all the guitar necks I own, this one changes the least with the climate, with the possible exception of the PRS wide-fat necks I have.):

As far as body condition, this is a soft wood and the guitar was played, so you are going to find small indentations in the back made by jean buttons. Not even noticable without close inspection. The plastic plate in the back has the characteristic "jean button" swirls. This is hard stuff to photo, this one shows the back the best for what it is (see the bit of blur that happens in the reflection of the trees right in the middle):

This was another attempt to capture the imperfection on the back:

Where the parachute strap rubs against the guitar as you play it, there are scratches (this photo exaggerates it by putting the flash up close and right on the spot. It also makes the finish look lighter than it is in spots):

Here is a little scratch near the jack:

Here are a bunch of random photos (all taken the same day as the ones above). I tried to get a mix of indoor flash, indoor w/o flash and outdoor shots, to give you the best look at the guitar you are going to get (unless you get it home).:

Here is a rundown of what you will be getting along with the N4:

  • The original trem bar (I say this because it is not always in the photos. Its here though)
  • 2 allen wrenches, for the string locking mechanisms on both ends of the guitar.
  • The black wooden hardshell case. "Made in Canada". This is the case that came with the guitar when I bought it. It doesn't say "Washburn" or have any other markings. As I understand it, this is how the first ones were delivered. The case does have a minor defect. One of the walls of the inner compartment that holds picks, strings, etc. can be pulled loose at one end. The staples apparently missed or the wood split. It doesn't effect the protection of the guitar, and only comes loose if you pull on it. The compartment still holds the items that are put in it
  • Black Dimarzio Parachute locking strap. Seen in some of the pictures above. This is my favorite kind of strap and I put one on all of my guitars. (I notice these are the same straps Nuno uses on his N4s).
  • Extreme "III Sides to Every Story" Tab book. This book is in GREAT condition, has all of the pages, including the photos in the middle. I never really used this book, I think somebody gave it to me as a gift. Anyway, I was going through my old boxes and found it. It looks like it has hardly been opened. The binding is perfect. Only some minor imperfections on the cover. I could sell it seperately, probably get $25 or so for it, but since it ties in nicely with this auction, I decided I'll just put it in the case. I have no pictures of it yet, perhaps I'll add a couple later.

Shipping: I will consider accepting bids from Europe and Canada. You must email me first so we can discuss shipping! Any bids placed from overseas without contacting me first will be removed. The buyer will pay exactly the estimate, as calculated by FedEx Ground or Global Express Mail, including the appropriate insurance. I have a box that is a perfect fit, and overall this is going to weigh about 19 lbs. If you want to know an estimate for your territory, just let me know. Generally, expect $25 - $30 for USA FedEx Ground and something like $95 - $100 USD for shipping to UK. Also, I will not undervalue the guitar on any customs form to avoid taxes, so please do not ask.

and Good Luck!

On Mar-22-05 at 14:22:38 PST, seller added the following information:

Here are some photos of the "III Sides" tab book included in this auction:

On Mar-22-05 at 14:30:06 PST, seller added the following information:

Please Note: If paying through PayPal, I will ship to Verified accounts with "Confirmed" addresses only.

On Mar-22-05 at 14:52:05 PST, seller added the following information:

Official PayPal Seal

On Mar-23-05 at 09:28:04 PST, seller added the following information:

I should also mention that I will also arrange a local pick up on Long Island if you wish. It is possible that I will also arrange a meeting around the New York area, depending on the day and distance.

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Will ship to United States, Canada, Europe.

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Exact FedEx Ground or USPS shipping and insurance paid for by the buyer. Will be calculated at the end of the auction. Contact with zip for estimate. If outside the U.S., you must contact me first to discuss shipping.
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