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Author Topic: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten  (Read 4779 times)

Offline 7enderbender

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Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« on: November 24, 2013, 04:17:44 PM »
Hello Everyone,

I'm new here and have been lurking around for a little while. I still have a 1992 N2 that I bought back in the day and recently repaired the guitar (some issues with the trem posts) and have started playing it again. And that got me thinking that I always wanted the comparable version of the N4. I remember those as well from the time when they first came out. I always liked the sound and how basic and functional they are.

I know there are a lot of different models out there and I've done the reading on the original Davies models vs. everything that came after, etc.

I'm open minded when it comes to guitars, not a collector or vintage guy. I tweak things as I need them. What I'd be looking for in a N4 the more solid feel and make as well as the better tonal spectrum compared to my N2, especially for open chords with distortion (like I get from my quality Les Paul and Strat, etc).

Otherwise I'm not a stickler about "original specs" or anything. That being said: What I find off-putting about the more recent N4s is the Buzz Feiten setup. I'm not interested in that since my other guitars don't have that either and I'm not willing to mess around with different tuner settings etc.

Few questions:

a) would it make sense to look for a 91 Davies and what's the current price range on those?

b) Is there a reliable way to block the trem on those for down-only and do they take a D-Tuna? I wouldn't want to mess with it so that it would lose the value for the folks who are more of original-state collectors than I am?

c) If a and b are not feasible I'd look for a good used modern version of it. Can the Buzz Feiten be reversed/removed to match my other guitars? If so how does that work exactly? My guess is I'd need a new nut fitted...


Thanks everyone. Great site. Refreshing to see the interest in guitars that are not going along with the "vintage" hype.


p.s.: I prefer fatter necks over thinner ones if that makes sense in this context. The one on my N2 is actually rather round and certainly nothing like on my old Charvel or stuff like that. Not quite LP territory, but wider instead.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2013, 04:21:41 PM by 7enderbender »

Offline danielsan73

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2013, 10:54:13 AM »
 I don't know when the Buzz Feiten system was first introduced to the N4, but the older standard N4s do tend to have a fatter neck than the more recent 2.0 spec models. If you're thinking of a davies be careful as there are some people claiming to have a davies just to try and put the price up, theres one on e-bay UK now that is clearly not genuine! A Schaller bolt on device can be used to block the trem, and then you can use a D=Tuna without the need for routing. Not sure the nut can be just changed, as it does not have the overhang that a BF retrofit has, it is a Floyd nut that is a fraction closer to 1st fret and so the actual position of the nut would have to be slightly changed!
2011 N4 Korina 2.0, 1992 Alder N2, EA20SNB, Idol WIDLXSPLTD, 2007 N61,  Ibanez RG230, Ibanez Artcore AWD72ATF, Ovation Celebrity, Cort Bass, Vantage Acoustic Bass.

Offline danielsan73

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2013, 11:33:30 AM »
 Just checked the N4 on e-bay UK again, and they've put more pictures up. The guitar claiming to be a Davies has a 2002 serial number and has gone up from £830 to £1350!
2011 N4 Korina 2.0, 1992 Alder N2, EA20SNB, Idol WIDLXSPLTD, 2007 N61,  Ibanez RG230, Ibanez Artcore AWD72ATF, Ovation Celebrity, Cort Bass, Vantage Acoustic Bass.

Offline 7enderbender

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2013, 04:24:31 PM »
Thanks! That helps a lot. So the revised question turns out to be: when did they introduce the Buzz Feiten system on the standard alder body N4? Looks like I'd want one from the time between the early Davies models and the introduction of the BF tuning. Probably anything mid-90s or so?

And if I'm not mistaken I should be able to find a nice copy for $1000-$1500 from what I've seen so far?

Offline skeesik

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2013, 04:49:59 PM »
Thanks! That helps a lot. So the revised question turns out to be: when did they introduce the Buzz Feiten system on the standard alder body N4? Looks like I'd want one from the time between the early Davies models and the introduction of the BF tuning. Probably anything mid-90s or so?

And if I'm not mistaken I should be able to find a nice copy for $1000-$1500 from what I've seen so far?

You will still be able to tune the guitar with any tuner on the market even if the guitar has BF.  You will only need a special tuner for intonation....otherwise, the good old ear drum works nicely (assuming you have decent pitch).  But, how often will you intonate your guitar?  Unless you like to try a lot of different strings or bridges.

I had thought that the BF was introduced to Washburn during the mid 90's.  That when I recall seeing all the marketing on the system.  And, fwiw, it is a pretty slick, transparent "system"  You're intonation will be correct wherever your fingers are on the fretboard!

Also, blocking the trem for dive-only on nearly all N4s is a snap.  I have a '91, '93 & '09 and have blocked them all at some point in their life.  Additionally, a d-tuna fits nicely on the OFR as well as the Schaller licensed "Floyds"  I have not tried it on a Kahler trem which is most commonly found on the Davies era N4s.  If you go ahead and get and N4 that has the BF on it, I would not go through the pain and cost of having it "removed".  If you haven't played one yet, play one.  They're nice....and I have never had any issues intonating by ear.  I firmly believe a special tuner is not needed for intonation and definitely not needed for normal tuning.

Good luck in your search.  They're fantastic guitars!
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Offline 7enderbender

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 01:06:14 PM »
Thanks! That helps a lot. So the revised question turns out to be: when did they introduce the Buzz Feiten system on the standard alder body N4? Looks like I'd want one from the time between the early Davies models and the introduction of the BF tuning. Probably anything mid-90s or so?

And if I'm not mistaken I should be able to find a nice copy for $1000-$1500 from what I've seen so far?

You will still be able to tune the guitar with any tuner on the market even if the guitar has BF.  You will only need a special tuner for intonation....otherwise, the good old ear drum works nicely (assuming you have decent pitch).  But, how often will you intonate your guitar?  Unless you like to try a lot of different strings or bridges.

I had thought that the BF was introduced to Washburn during the mid 90's.  That when I recall seeing all the marketing on the system.  And, fwiw, it is a pretty slick, transparent "system"  You're intonation will be correct wherever your fingers are on the fretboard!

Also, blocking the trem for dive-only on nearly all N4s is a snap.  I have a '91, '93 & '09 and have blocked them all at some point in their life.  Additionally, a d-tuna fits nicely on the OFR as well as the Schaller licensed "Floyds"  I have not tried it on a Kahler trem which is most commonly found on the Davies era N4s.  If you go ahead and get and N4 that has the BF on it, I would not go through the pain and cost of having it "removed".  If you haven't played one yet, play one.  They're nice....and I have never had any issues intonating by ear.  I firmly believe a special tuner is not needed for intonation and definitely not needed for normal tuning.

Good luck in your search.  They're fantastic guitars!


Thanks for the insight again. I did some more reading and I think I'd really rather avoid the BF system.

http://www.buzzfeiten.com/howitworks/tuningwtbfts.htm

According to that there are special modes for tuning and I really don't like the the suggested way of tuning. I'd like to keep it simple - and make sure that I'm in tune with other guitars and basses. I get that this system is beneficial for people who play a lot with keyboard players and for certain styles of music. To my ear the demos that Buzz puts out himself sound wrong somehow.

So I'm still wondering:

1. Other than the sticker on the back what is the easiest method to identify N4s with the BF nut?
2. When exactly was it introduced?
3. Has anyone ever removed it on the newer models?

Offline skeesik

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 02:55:44 PM »
Thanks! That helps a lot. So the revised question turns out to be: when did they introduce the Buzz Feiten system on the standard alder body N4? Looks like I'd want one from the time between the early Davies models and the introduction of the BF tuning. Probably anything mid-90s or so?

And if I'm not mistaken I should be able to find a nice copy for $1000-$1500 from what I've seen so far?

You will still be able to tune the guitar with any tuner on the market even if the guitar has BF.  You will only need a special tuner for intonation....otherwise, the good old ear drum works nicely (assuming you have decent pitch).  But, how often will you intonate your guitar?  Unless you like to try a lot of different strings or bridges.

I had thought that the BF was introduced to Washburn during the mid 90's.  That when I recall seeing all the marketing on the system.  And, fwiw, it is a pretty slick, transparent "system"  You're intonation will be correct wherever your fingers are on the fretboard!

Also, blocking the trem for dive-only on nearly all N4s is a snap.  I have a '91, '93 & '09 and have blocked them all at some point in their life.  Additionally, a d-tuna fits nicely on the OFR as well as the Schaller licensed "Floyds"  I have not tried it on a Kahler trem which is most commonly found on the Davies era N4s.  If you go ahead and get and N4 that has the BF on it, I would not go through the pain and cost of having it "removed".  If you haven't played one yet, play one.  They're nice....and I have never had any issues intonating by ear.  I firmly believe a special tuner is not needed for intonation and definitely not needed for normal tuning.

Good luck in your search.  They're fantastic guitars!


Thanks for the insight again. I did some more reading and I think I'd really rather avoid the BF system.

http://www.buzzfeiten.com/howitworks/tuningwtbfts.htm

According to that there are special modes for tuning and I really don't like the the suggested way of tuning. I'd like to keep it simple - and make sure that I'm in tune with other guitars and basses. I get that this system is beneficial for people who play a lot with keyboard players and for certain styles of music. To my ear the demos that Buzz puts out himself sound wrong somehow.

So I'm still wondering:

1. Other than the sticker on the back what is the easiest method to identify N4s with the BF nut?
2. When exactly was it introduced?
3. Has anyone ever removed it on the newer models?

At the risk of sounding like I'm really pushing the BF system, I'll say this anyway:  I've been playing my '09 N4 live since the day I bought her new.  I have never had any tuning issues with the guitar by itself, nor with it matching tonally with other basses, guitars or keys.  I've played with several dozen other musicians (blues, rock, jazz, :gasp: country-ish) during this time period and have never had any complaints about my tuning....not even any dirty looks : )  I don't use the suggested method of tuning the BF.  I don't know what it is!  I tune it like I tune every other guitar. 

But, take it for what it's worth.  I'm just one guy whom you've never met nor heard.  I guess I'm trying to save you the potential hassle of trying to find a BF-less N4....
*skee

Offline 7enderbender

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 06:57:53 PM »
Thanks! That helps a lot. So the revised question turns out to be: when did they introduce the Buzz Feiten system on the standard alder body N4? Looks like I'd want one from the time between the early Davies models and the introduction of the BF tuning. Probably anything mid-90s or so?

And if I'm not mistaken I should be able to find a nice copy for $1000-$1500 from what I've seen so far?

You will still be able to tune the guitar with any tuner on the market even if the guitar has BF.  You will only need a special tuner for intonation....otherwise, the good old ear drum works nicely (assuming you have decent pitch).  But, how often will you intonate your guitar?  Unless you like to try a lot of different strings or bridges.

I had thought that the BF was introduced to Washburn during the mid 90's.  That when I recall seeing all the marketing on the system.  And, fwiw, it is a pretty slick, transparent "system"  You're intonation will be correct wherever your fingers are on the fretboard!

Also, blocking the trem for dive-only on nearly all N4s is a snap.  I have a '91, '93 & '09 and have blocked them all at some point in their life.  Additionally, a d-tuna fits nicely on the OFR as well as the Schaller licensed "Floyds"  I have not tried it on a Kahler trem which is most commonly found on the Davies era N4s.  If you go ahead and get and N4 that has the BF on it, I would not go through the pain and cost of having it "removed".  If you haven't played one yet, play one.  They're nice....and I have never had any issues intonating by ear.  I firmly believe a special tuner is not needed for intonation and definitely not needed for normal tuning.

Good luck in your search.  They're fantastic guitars!


Thanks for the insight again. I did some more reading and I think I'd really rather avoid the BF system.

http://www.buzzfeiten.com/howitworks/tuningwtbfts.htm

According to that there are special modes for tuning and I really don't like the the suggested way of tuning. I'd like to keep it simple - and make sure that I'm in tune with other guitars and basses. I get that this system is beneficial for people who play a lot with keyboard players and for certain styles of music. To my ear the demos that Buzz puts out himself sound wrong somehow.

So I'm still wondering:

1. Other than the sticker on the back what is the easiest method to identify N4s with the BF nut?
2. When exactly was it introduced?
3. Has anyone ever removed it on the newer models?

At the risk of sounding like I'm really pushing the BF system, I'll say this anyway:  I've been playing my '09 N4 live since the day I bought her new.  I have never had any tuning issues with the guitar by itself, nor with it matching tonally with other basses, guitars or keys.  I've played with several dozen other musicians (blues, rock, jazz, :gasp: country-ish) during this time period and have never had any complaints about my tuning....not even any dirty looks : )  I don't use the suggested method of tuning the BF.  I don't know what it is!  I tune it like I tune every other guitar. 

But, take it for what it's worth.  I'm just one guy whom you've never met nor heard.  I guess I'm trying to save you the potential hassle of trying to find a BF-less N4....

And that's very much appreciated. I guess I'll have to find a place that has some and try it out (or anything else with BF setup for that matter).

Offline Gunghogringo

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Re: Looking for N4 with no Buzz Feiten
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2013, 01:21:03 AM »
I have 5 N4s, and I have no idea about any special tuning, I into are and tune just like my other guitars and they sound great! I never felt the need to learn any special tunings or intonations
Washburn 2008 N3/n4 , Washburn USA Custom N4 sapele with aged copper hardware, Washburn N4 Alder and maple board  , Washburn N4 Swamp Ash 2.0, Washburn N61,Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II, ESP George Lynch SKull and Snakes , Mesa Boogie Stiletto Ace in Emerald Green Tolex And tan grill