Nuno Bettencourt N4 custom build

Local musician Lee has built himself this replica Nuno Bettencourt N4 custom guitar.

I asked him a few questions:
Q What experience have you had of building guitars before this one?
I’ve always loved to build stuff and always loved a challenge. I’m a huge Eddie Van Halen fan and about 3 years ago I ordered a Charvel body and a Strat neck from the USA and built myself an EVH Charvel, and then used it as my main gigging guitar. I loved the whole build process, and I learned a lot about guitars i.e wiring, pickups, tremolos, and how to really set a guitar up so you can get the best out of it..

Q Why build a replica of this particular guitar? 
I love Nuno Bettencourt, and have always loved his N4.. love the tone he gets.. love his funky rhythm style..and lead tapping arpeggios.. My good friend and fellow band mate from the Molotov Dragons Micky Luv came to my place with an old beat up N2 he bought off ebay, so I completely pulled it apart, stripped it down and built it back up, wired in a new pickup – it played and looked lush.. so I decided I would definitely get myself an N4… and at first was going to buy an N4 relic. But I really love maple fret boards and the Relic has a rosewood fret board.. and I had seen on ebay a shop in the USA that was selling an original Washburn N4 body.. an overstock and unfinished so I just decided to bid and won it for £30.. Then I kind of put it to one side as I didn’t have a neck.. then I was also looking on ebay.. theres a shop in the USA called Funky Munky Music and I think they are one of the biggest Washburn retailers and have a close friendship with Washburn and buy in Washburn neck cores and add various types of fretboards to them..for custom builds etc.. and they were selling a birdseye maple neck.. so I snapped it up. So I then had a fantastic original Alder body and a beautiful neck and the pair fit together perfectly. I then, over about 6months, slowly bought all the parts and put the guitar together.. with all top quality parts exactly the same spec as Nuno’s – Original Floyd, Bill Lawrence and Seymour duncan pickups..
 

Q Will the guitar be gigged?

A Yes.. Definitely!! its my main guitar at the moment.. I’ve just been really unwell for about 8 months and haven’t gigged for a while.. so now I’m on the mend and getting stronger etc., I have big plans to set up another band.. with Micky Luv. This guitar is going to be a workhorse.. and will be gigged soon.. watch this space..

Q Did you experience any particular problems while putting this guitar together?

Yes.. the wiring.. my original Bill Lawrence USA L500 pickup was second hand off ebay..and the wire was far to short so i had to extend it.. and I’m not great with a soldering iron.. but took my time and sorted it in the end.. and I’m actually much better at understanding electronics and far better at soldering..

Q Any plans to build any more guitars – and if so what?

Yes.. Another N4.. going to order the body in a week or so.. and take it from there.. i love these guitars… really love them!

(More pictures after the jump) 
 

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One response to “Nuno Bettencourt N4 custom build

  1. hi, I saw and n4 body on ebay and was planning to get it. the issue is the neck. i prefer maple but can do with a starndard one. do u know how much they cost, maple and standard? thanks! love your n4 😀

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