My Old N4

I kind-of been in a blogging mood lately, and I think I may write some posts about some of the previous guitars I’ve owned over the years. Anyway, I’ve had N4s on my brain for the past year so this seems appropriate.

Look at that one piece body!!

Back in 2004 I picked up a “new-old stock” N4 from a music store via Ebay. It was built in ’97 and had a swamp-ash body. The body was a gorgeous cut of wood and I loved the figuring on the back of the neck. It was a hot guitar.

This was the main Ebay auction photo from when I purchased it. The color was WAY off!
I ended up selling this on Ebay in ’07 or ’08. This was one of the main photos from when I sold it.
Stunning grain pattern. I love ash guitars. I also find that a small piece of foam keeps the springs from making noise. I know they make noiseless ones, but this always works well for me.
I replaced the original Bill Lawrence L500 w/ a Bill & Becky L500L. I also added a push-pull pot and Dimarzio strap.
Life was simpler when these were my main guitars.

So why did I sell it?

Good question. I’m actually at the point where I regret parting with most of the guitars I’ve sold over the years. I guess I’m more sentimental about instruments than I should be. As much as I loved this guitar there were some issues.

  1. Tuning: Floyd Rose bridges tend to be controversial these days. In general, players either love or hate them. When they work well life is great, and unfortunately, the opposite is also true. A big part of the OFR is to help w/ tuning stability, and for some reason this guitar would not hold tune! I took it to several luthiers and they basically said everything was fine, but no matter what I tried I couldn’t gig with the guitar because of tuning issues. At the time I talked myself into this being some kind of neck stability issue, but in hind sight, I really think it was an issue w/ the springs or knife edges on the bridge. I really should have just replaced the bridge on the guitar. I bet that would have solved the problem.
  2. Body size: This wasn’t necessarily a deal breaker, but the N4 body is pretty small and I don’t find it as comfortable as a regular strat.
  3. Hardshell case!? Ok, I know I just lost credibility as a guitarist, but I’m an unapologetic gig bag guy! Too many gigs where I had to walk pretty far distances and a shoulder strap goes a long way. Which is caused by the…..
  4. Tilt-back headstock:¬†Again, I know this is silly, but I just prefer the regular strat-style headstock. It’s much stronger and doesn’t make me nervous placing into my amazing Levy’s gig bag.

So, it was 90% the tuning issue that made this guitar sit in it’s case all the time. Hind sight makes me sad I parted with it, but I did put the money toward some of my Warmoth projects. Those have all proved to be priceless work horses so I’m grateful they turned out the way they did.

……so long live the N4; I’m an idiot for selling mine!



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