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Author Topic: Japanese N4  (Read 7708 times)

Offline sylkscreen

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Japanese N4
« on: March 08, 2011, 11:02:30 AM »
Hi all,

New to the forum. I just got myself a swamp ash N4 and have been trying to find out more about it. Can someone help and tell me if this is a Jap or US N4?

Visual inspection shows:-
1. No made in USA stamp.
2. Has a 9406XXX serial on both headstock and electronics cavity.
3. Can't access truss rod w/o neck or PU removal.
4. Lock nuts on neck are top mounted.
5. Floyd is a Washburn made in Germany by Schaller (which seems like the old cheaper FR II with the hardened steel inserts)

Links to photos here-
http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2008-7/1315784/2153089

I have not removed the neck to inspect the joint. The neck fit on this guitar is near perfect with no gaps and absolutely smooth. So I'm trying not to remove the neck at all.

Is this Jap? The guitar plays and sounds as good as any US N4 I've tried. I've only just found out after getting the guitar that there was such a thing as a Japanese version.

Help appreciated. Thanks.

-K
 

Offline darreno27

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Japanese N4
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2011, 12:53:18 PM »
Yeah it's probably a MIJ version.  I'm not positive, but the tight truss rod access is one sign...supposedly.  No USA stamp as well.  Sometimes the MIJ serials were inside the SEC joint.

Offline the_high_number

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Japanese N4
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2011, 01:58:17 PM »
Didn't the MIJs have the Davies rolled SEC??
 

Offline JoseI

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Japanese N4
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2011, 02:11:27 PM »
you are right darreno27, but I have seen the truss rod access in the photos... look at the first photo, between the 4th and 5th string
My '91 Davies has the same serial number stamped in the neck and inside the SEC joint
that no made in USA stamp is suspicious but.... ther were made N4's in Japan in 1994????
great guitar anyway. Look close those frets. Is it a one piece body??

N2 '91-N2 '93-N3 custom-N4 Davies-N61-P290-D56
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 02:14:22 PM by JoseI »
2xN2 '91-N2 '93-N3 custom-N4 Davies-N61-P290-D56-WM24-WT24V-Davies Tele and more Washburns...

Offline darreno27

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Japanese N4
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2011, 06:01:48 PM »
I thought they made the Japan N4s in the mid-90s.  I heard they also have the Davies' roll and not flat (this one is flat).  I don't know - I guess it could go both ways.  Everything is from speculation and no facts with this type of thing, so it is tough to make anything certain.  Every time we think this = that, another deviation comes about and derails previous notions.  I would like to know exactly how long MIJ were made, and if the early 90s versions are different from the mid-90s versions....if they indeed made them that long.

Offline sylkscreen

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Japanese N4
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2011, 06:20:09 PM »
Thanks for all the input so far. I've been researching this for a few days now and I absolutely agree with darreno27 - everytime I think I've come to a conclusion, something comes along and derails it. Exactly when were MIJ ones made?

I'm in contact with the original owner and he said was bought direct from a US washburn dealer. I also have that warranty paper and BFTS pamplet that came with it. So far, other than Made in USA not being stamped, it seems to points toward a US N4.

JoseI,

The body is 2 piece. Its just so well put together you cannot see the seam from the front and back face of the body. The only sign its 2 piece is at the strap button where the grains meet like //\\\\.

Couple more queries... I know the current tuners on N4 are grover vintage style. When did Washburn use Washburn tuners like the ones on mine? Also the floyd rose, when did they use the Washburn / Made in Germany by Schaller FRs?

Maybe this N4 was one of those short transition period ones... I dunno.

K
 

Offline JoseI

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Japanese N4
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2011, 12:48:37 PM »
we need japanese forum members!!!!

N2 '91-N2 '93-N3 custom-N4 Davies-N61-P290-D56
2xN2 '91-N2 '93-N3 custom-N4 Davies-N61-P290-D56-WM24-WT24V-Davies Tele and more Washburns...

Offline sylkscreen

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« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2011, 11:39:32 PM »
Ok... after a couple more days of searching the web and comparing photos, I am half convinced now that my N4 is US made. I've come across several images of circa 1994/1995 N4 that look exactly the same with Washburn tuners, Washburn/Schaller FRs, top mounted FR locking nut. Except I could never see clearly whether the other N4s have got the Made in USA stamped on. Some have got the handmade in USA decal on the SEC joint but mine does not.

Its still somewhat non conclusive, but at least the guitar is good. :) LOL!!!

K

 

Offline sylkscreen

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Japanese N4
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2011, 01:07:32 AM »
I've checked the Washburn spec archive for 1994 guitars and my N4 matches exactly what is spec:-
1. SEC joint,
2. Gotoh tuners - mine says Washburn but I'm pretty sure they are actually made by Gotoh based on the design,
3. Schaller FR.

So its just an oddball that has no MIUSA stamped. Next time the strings are out I will remove the neck joint and see if anything is printed there.

K
 

Offline patpend

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Japanese N4
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2011, 08:47:56 AM »
It is 100% US made N4 for below reasons.

1)  MIJ N4 did not offer Ash body.  Only Alder and Padauk
2)  No Rolled SEC fin
3)  Truss rod access slot (MIJ do not have at all.  You need to remove the neck to access to truss rod)

I have noticed the early US made N4 (91, 92, 93, 94) do not have Made In USA stamp behind the headstock.  I think they started from 95.

Cheers!
 

Offline sylkscreen

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Japanese N4
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2011, 10:04:57 AM »
That's what I've concluded as well. My truss rod slot is there but just not even clearance to shove the truss allen wrench it. It just needs about 1mm more to clear. I've noticed some N4s have a similar undersized truss slot as mine. At least this leaves the option of adjustments with only the PU removed which I much prefer.

At least now we know a little bit more about MIJ and MIUSA differences. Case closed I guess.
 

Offline tobleronetwo

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Japanese N4
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2011, 05:45:53 AM »
Swamp Ash models did not come out until '95, this must be a pre-production or custom model, nice.