Washburn N4 pickup dilemma - Page 2 - Jemsite
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post #16 of 19 (permalink) Old 05-27-2011, 02:28 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Adelaide
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Re: Washburn N4 pickup dilemma

Originally Posted by metalguy View Post
It has a grain similar to mahogany, however, one thing that caught my eye was a spot on the Stephens cutaway that looked blonde, like it was stained and someone missed a spot.

Anyways, besides looks, the guitar from top to bottom was a disappointment. Its felt cheap like an indo guitar. The "ebony" fretboard looked like rosewood. The guitar was never setup out of Boogie Street, and pinch harmonics were non existent. Pretty sad for $1700. I had it refretted with stainless wire which mildly improved playability, but the tone sucked. Im pretty good with wiring and pots etc, and I can assure you its not wiring. Any ways the guitar is in Ct and Im in Fl. I told him to try a Tone Zone.

Can someone educate me on the difference between the L500 and a Bill and Becky?
Doing some more research they also used different kinds of Padauk; the Indian variety looking a bit blonder and lighter as well as Swamp Ash etc. . The African Padauk ones had a both neck and body made from the same.

Based on the pickups you have already put in I would probably suggest to your friend to try and identify exactly which model and the tonewood. Maybe e-mail Washburn with the S/No.


The really noticeable visual characteristic of the African Padauk is the pores of the wood. They are very open and easily visible.
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post #17 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 12:35 PM
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Re: Washburn N4 pickup dilemma

Originally Posted by metalguy View Post
Can someone educate me on the difference between the L500 and a Bill and Becky?

Bill and Becky is just what people call the genuine pickup. There is a lot of confusion about the naming. Bill Lawrence is the main guy behind the design, and his wife (who does most of the work on the site and phones) is named Becky. Their actual site is here http://wildepickups.com/ .

The L500 or L500XL is what both companies, Bill Lawrence USA and Wilde USA, call their pickups. For whatever reason, the Bill and Becky models tend to sound better to most people. They're both in the same ball park (both companies) though. Bill Lawrence USA was founded by an ex partner of Bill Lawrence, and there has been plenty of drama about who owned the name, etc.. Wilde USA is the genuine company.

There's confusion about what models certain artists use as well. Originally there was a pickup called the L500 that was popular with some artists. Then another artist asked for the same pickup to be made with less output. So the existing higher output model was renamed the L500XL and the *new* lower output model was given the designation L500. So at one point the L500XL *was* the L500, but now the L500 is its own pickup and the L500XL is the older version. You may hear/read people say "well so and so actually used this or that model, not this.." this is where most of that confusion lies.

Also, leading to some confusion is that certain guitars from Washburn have shipped with both the Bill Lawrence USA and Wilde USA models installed, since I mentioned they're close tonally and look more or less the same. The Bill & Becky (Wilde USA) people have had trouble keeping up with demand at times so manufacturers and artists have used the other source. They're a very small operation. If you phone them you will likely get Becky directly.
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post #18 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-10-2011, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Re: Washburn N4 pickup dilemma

You'll always get a sharper high end out of a stained guitar where the wood can breathe freely compared to one with a big thick gloopy finish that dulls the edges of the tone. Maybe that's what you're hearing.
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post #19 of 19 (permalink) Old 04-26-2019, 08:57 AM
Join Date: Apr 2019
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Re: Washburn N4 pickup dilemma

Metalguy- did you ever figure out a solution? I have an N4 that plays beautifully, but sounds like tinny crap too! I figured a pickup change was all it needed, but not so sure after reading this post...
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