Washburn N4 Padouk ('90s)
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Washburn N4 Padouk ('90s)

N4 Padouk ('90s), Chitarra Corpo tipo Stratocaster from Washburn.

content in English
Audiofanzine FR 07/12/2008

Washburn N4 Padouk ('90s) : Recensione di Audiofanzine FR (content in English)

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(Originally written by Endrix/translated from Audiofanzine FR)
Guitar made in the USA

22 frets

Made of padouk (very heavy exotic wood)

Bill Lawrence 500 pickup in the bridge

Seymour Duncan 59 pickup in the neck

Floyd Rose tremolo

Stephens extended cutaway shape for an easy access to the upper frets

Stratocaster-like shape but a bit smaller and apparently longer.

The padouk is a very interesting wood. It's dense and provides the sound an extra something in my opinion. It also reinforces the guitar at the Floyd Rose fixing points compared to alder or other less dense woods.

The padouk really adds something to the N4 and it changes the playing feel dramatically.

UTILIZATION

The neck feels pleasant. It has an ebony fingerboard with 22 jumbo frets, perfect for slides.

Access to the upper frets is perfect thanks to the Stephens extended cutaway.

The guitar is as ergonomic as a Stratocaster.

But it's heavy because of the padouk.

The neck pickup produces a nice clean sound with present mids (typical jazz tone). The round sound of the N4 is surprising for this type of guitar.

The middle toggle switch position isn't very interesting compared to a Stratocaster. The padouk provides a nice clean sound for the neck pickup but not for the pickup combination, which lacks high frequencies. However the sound is still alright.

But the middle position is very good in distortion mode.

As a summary, it's possible to get good sounds but don't forget it's the Bettencourt signature model, so it was conceived for hard rock and it is not a versatile instrument.

SOUNDS

When I first got it it was perfect for my music but I sold it two years ago because I didn't play it anymore.

This guitar has a very powerful sound.

I played only hard rock, even if the clean sound was nice with the neck humbucker (but I do prefer a real Gibson or Fender Stratocaster).

There was no sound I didn't like, but this guitar was clearly conceived for a particular music style. It has a strong personality so try it out before buying it. Don't buy it just for the sake of it!

OVERALL OPINION

I like most of all the distortion sound. Once again this guitar has a powerful sound.

The value for money isn't a relevant parameter for such a guitar. It's a basic guitar. When I see people selling their N4s at very high prices I find it totally out of place. It's just not serious, especially if you consider that it's not a guitar that gets better with age, like a Gibson.

The value for money is much better for a new N4 than a secondhand one.

I wouldn't buy it again now because the electric guitar market has changed a lot and you can find plenty of instruments with a better value for money. I think the N4 is not trendy anymore (and Bettencourt's comeback with Extreme is not what I'd call a success).

I recommend you to buy this guitar new because the N4 doesn't get better with age and it doesn't have the sturdiness of the best US and Japanese guitars. The secondhand price is completely absurd because the current manufacturing quality is better than it used to be. And nowadays you can find a lot of very good guitar for half the money. In the N4 price range I would rather choose an ESP, which is a wonderful Japanese product (body-through neck, ebony fingerboard, splittable pickups, etc.)