REVIEW: The Washburn N4 Signature Guitar

The Washburn N4 Signature Guitar

The Washburn guitar company started making guitars in 1883 in Chicago. The factory would later be involved with Delta Blues as a result of an influx of African Americans to the area in the 1920s. Washburn makes electric guitars, acoustic guitars, electric basses, acoustic basses, banjos, mandolins, travel guitars, and amplifiers.


The Washburn N4 Signature Guitar is a collaborative design between Nuno Bettencourt (lead guitarist of Extreme) and Seattle-based luthier Stephen Davies. The N4 is only available via special order, so you will probably not find this baby hanging in the average guitar shop. Luckily I found the Washburn N4 at the Guitar Center – Hollywood, as it happened to be on hold. They were nice enough to let me try it out… I hope the future owner doesn’t mind.

The Washburn N4 is a spectacular piece of shred weaponry. The natural wood grain of the body added a unique tone to the guitar. I can foresee how with time and moisture, the tone will change again. The N4 is a rich warm sounding machine that at times, reminded me of a Les Paul in tone. The Seymour Duncan and Bill Lawrence pickups scream rock and roll. The Buzz Feiten tuning system kept this epic axe in tune throughout my entire session. I kind of fell in love with the N4, being that I only had to tune it once. All in all, this is one of the best signature models I have ever played. Two thumbs up!


  • Alder body material
  • Maple neck
  • 22- jumbo frets
  • ebony fingerboard
  • Seymour Duncan ’59 neck pickup
  • L500 Bill Lawrence bridge pickup
  • 1-volume and 3-way switch controls
  • Buzz Feiten tuning system
  • Floyd Rose tremolo
  • GC11 case


After a comprehensive session with the Washburn N4 Signature Guitar, I found absolutely nothing wrong with it. This is one of the greatest guitars I have had the pleasure of playing. The amazing tone and sheer magnitude of face melting volume that comes out of this guitar really blew my mind. Yes it’s expensive, but this guitar is worth every penny. Normally I don’t recommend signature models, but every once is a while there is an exception. The Washburn N4 is that exception. It’s a great axe with all the goodies that you could ever want. The string action is perfect! The neck is both grippy and fast. The balance of speed and grip allow for a wider range of styles you are able to play through the N4. Definitely another great American guitar.

Pros: Bill Lawrence pickup. Buzz Feiten tuning system. Floyd Rose tremolo. Great tone. Comes with case. Comfortable. Fast neck.

Cons: Only 22 frets.

MSRP – $2,249.99

Till next week, thanks for reading and keep on shredding!

Nick Arrietta is a staff writer at SMG. Nick is a professional Music teacher from California and has been playing the Guitar for 24 years. Along with teaching music he is a touring guitarist, studio musician and songwriter. Email:

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