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Author Topic: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups  (Read 4767 times)

Offline Ewan

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Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« on: September 09, 2014, 08:19:15 AM »
Hi everyone  :)
I've got an Indonesian made N2, serial no is: 08111140
Bridge pickup is a Bill Lawrence USA, neck pickup (I'm guessing) is a Washburn.
One knob.
Licenced washburn floyd bridge, which I have blocked off as I prefer hardtail.
Grover 18-1 machines.
"Buzz Feiten" (whatever that means) logo on back of headstock.
No varnish, natural wood finish, slightly aged on the body though I would have preferred them to leave that alone - I think making guitars look like they've been played when they're new is very silly.

The guitar plays great, truly awesome action and feel, nice wide flat rosewood fretboard.

My only problem is the sound - it seems a bit dull and lifeless to me. Lacking top end and note definition/separation. Very surprised about that - I had a Tokai strat with OBL rails in it back in 1987, and it was amazing, all my muso mates were in love with it (until it got nicked), so I have nuff respect for the Bill Lawrence brand.  Nuno's guitars always sound fat, obviously they are made of different woods etc to the cheaper N2s. Maybe there's a problem with my pot?

So my questions are:
What wood is my body made from? I thought Poplar, but the Washburn site suggests Basswood for current N2s.
Is the wood particularly dull?
What should the Bridge p/u sound like? (ie: is it supposed to be like a PAF, or a DiMarzio, or Duncan SH-5 etc?)
Has anyone here had similar problems?
Are there any electric mods I might consider?

Perhaps I'm just not used to these humbuckers - my fave sounding guitar is my cheapo Squier Strat with Duncan Little '59 / duckbucker / duckbucker - it sounds WAY better than the N2 and cuts through the band/mix with ease. But I also have a LP with EMG 81s, a Variax 700 which I use mostly on the strat / LP / LP special (P90) / tele / and 335 models, a 1980s active Charvel 4, all of them sound significantly brighter and clearer than the N2.

I love the playability of the N2, and I don't want to replace the P/Us only to find it wasn't a problem with them in the first place.
Any info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Offline Jem Y

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2014, 02:52:08 AM »
Yup, I am having the same problem too. I just got my N24FNMK and it sounds soooo brittle. Like there is no life in the pickups. Like something is not wired correctly. Action is also a little high for my liking. Well, not a little but HIGH. I was informed that the body is made out of agathis. At first I thought that is the problem. But after reading your post, it might as well be the pick up (which I refute as well because I have heard many good reviews about the BL pups).

I believe N2s comes with basswood body while the N2 Tattoo are made from mahogany. Basswood are a popular wood and used in high end Ibanezs like the JS series. I have a JS24P and it sounds brilliant in that guitar.

I might go the change pick up route but is holding on to the originals first to see what I can do to change things. Coz' it is such a beautiful guitar and I am a Nuno fan, it will be waste to give up on this guitar.

Btw, what pics did you post bro? They are wayyyy too big.
« Last Edit: September 12, 2014, 03:11:31 AM by Jem Y »

Offline cmac84

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2014, 02:40:18 PM »
Why are your locking nuts loose?
Dean Dime Razorback (V255)
Charvel DS1-FR
Chandler Custom Build
Charvel Model 3
ESP-LTD Eclipse
Washburn KC-70, KC90, KC-Prototype (mystery git)
Washburn X11 (modded)
Warwick Corvette
1965 Harmony HB series
Yamaha RXD

Ibanez T4120 Head
Fender HM412 Cab

Taye Drums

Offline Ewan

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2014, 01:34:39 PM »
Jem Y : The pictures are straight from my phone. No idea why they are so huge.
I think I may try a real Bill Lawrence, from Bill Lawrence, not "Bill Lawrence USA". I have read that they are superior...

Cmac84 : The locking nuts are loose because I don't use the trem. So I just do them up finger tight to stop them rattling and make it easier to change strings without the need for an allen key.

Offline Jem Y

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2014, 12:59:05 AM »
Hi Ewan,

Do you mean the 'Wilde' Bill Lawrence? I don't have experience with BLs but to save time and money, I will go ahead with pickups I am familiar with. I might put in DimArzio Tone Zones and Air Nortons in there. One other member in ghere has adviced to look at the pots.

These Washburns are great guitars aren't they? After a few adjustments, they feel really great!! Too bad the sound is a off from 'what we are used to'.

Offline cmac84

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #5 on: September 15, 2014, 07:01:28 AM »
I would put SD Blackouts in it, since using them I'll never use another pickup again.
Dean Dime Razorback (V255)
Charvel DS1-FR
Chandler Custom Build
Charvel Model 3
ESP-LTD Eclipse
Washburn KC-70, KC90, KC-Prototype (mystery git)
Washburn X11 (modded)
Warwick Corvette
1965 Harmony HB series
Yamaha RXD

Ibanez T4120 Head
Fender HM412 Cab

Taye Drums

Offline Jem Y

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 11:49:22 PM »
cmac, how would you describe the sound output from the Blackpouts? Bass, mid, high?

Offline cmac84

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2014, 12:45:27 PM »
How would I describe them? Perfectly clear and balanced in every way you can imagine.

I play in 3 bands, my gigging guitar is a Charvel with SD Blackouts. I play through a Beckemer head into a Traynor 1x14 + 1x14 and a daisy chained Beckememer 1x12 (eminence speaker). I know, I have a strange setup but none the less I've driven it through my mates Blackstars and Oranges including my old JCM800 and standard Marshalls, 5150s and JC120s

The Beckemer will be unknown to you but is essentially the same as a JC120.

Anyways, one day I can play very layered and effects ridden shoegaze (6-7 loops of heavily effected guitar) with clear mids and piercing highs, the next day I could have it set up to be in Drop B playing death metal/grindcore and the lows are so growling they shake the walls as hard as the bass guitar.

They truly are the most incredible pickups in the world, nobody believes me until they play them. Even the 81-85 emg addicts and the Gibson P90 addicts pick up my guitar and are literally blown away. I would say they are the most versatile pickup there is right now anywhere in the world, it's just that they are unfortunately associated to Heavy metal because of the clarity they deliver when dropping down to very very very low tunings.

You have to play them to believe them.... I'm never going back :)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2014, 12:49:24 PM by cmac84 »
Dean Dime Razorback (V255)
Charvel DS1-FR
Chandler Custom Build
Charvel Model 3
ESP-LTD Eclipse
Washburn KC-70, KC90, KC-Prototype (mystery git)
Washburn X11 (modded)
Warwick Corvette
1965 Harmony HB series
Yamaha RXD

Ibanez T4120 Head
Fender HM412 Cab

Taye Drums

Offline Jem Y

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #8 on: November 02, 2014, 11:54:17 PM »
Cmac, thanks for your suggestions. SD Blackouts are soo hard to find here. I will hold on to that thought and get them once they are available.

In the meantime, the guys at DiMarzio (much more readily available in this country) adviced me to get the DM Gravity Storm and Liquifire, which I already have on order. Hope it will change the sound of the guitar dramatically. WIll let you know.

Ewan, how is it going with your N24? Any improvements/mods you made?

Offline Sudman

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Re: Any info on my N2 much appreciated - especially pickups
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2014, 08:47:19 PM »
I believe your guitar is an agathis body which is harsh and brittle sounding. You may need to swop pick ups to get the tone you want...