Re: Washburn N4 vintage
'It is only worth what people are willing to pay for it'. It is such a cliche but it is so true. With some guitars (in fact I would go so far as to say most) you can't ever expect to get your money back. Guitars and guitarist come and go in and out of fashion. Obtaining a desireable / collectable instrument as an 'pure' investment is a combination of well researched, unemotional and non biased buying. And some very good luck - like any investment. It takes the love out of the instrument and puts the love aspect more in the realm of the financial reward.
By the sounds of it you bought the N4 out of love for the guitarist and the the guitar so based on this you could only expect that luck is going to have a stronger influence on you getting your money back from what you originally paid.
It seems to me that so many guitar companies are trying to create a collectable market out there, but it always seems that the guitars that become truly collectable are the happy mistakes or the quirky little customs that are parts guitars made by the guitarists themselves. Whenever the guitar companies try to replicate that guitar and sell it, usually at a very significant premium (N4, Evo or Blackie to name a few). They sell well initially but they never seem to get the returns long term. The N4 would fit in this basket. Coupled with Nuno's relatively reduced shred profile, as many have mentioned, it is not unreasonable that this is keeping the prices for this model on the low side. That and they are relatively easy to obtain.