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Whoa, Nele: Extreme’s Nuno Bettencourt collaborates with Washburn on signature T-style with six-way pickup switching

(Image credit: Washburn)

We’ve always been big fans of the Nuno Bettencourt’s signature Washburn N4. Now, after decades of exclusively playing that design Bettencourt and Washburn have collaborated on a new electric guitar model, the T-style Nele.

The new custom-built, US-made model is available in standard and deluxe versions and features a single-cut natural-grain swamp ash body with extended cutaway, Seymour Duncan Vintage Stack neck pickups and Bill Lawrence L-250 bridge pickups.

(Image credit: Washburn)

Particularly cool is the newly-designed six-way 'Freeway Ultra' switch, which allows players to select from the neck pickup, bridge pickup, bridge and neck, both pickups in series and in phase, both pickups in series and out of phase or both pickups parallel and out of phase.

Additional features include a maple neck, 22-fret birdseye maple fretboard and acrylic inlay on the Standard version, while the Deluxe sports a birdseye maple neck, 22-fret ebony fretboard and pearloid inlay, and adds a figured maple cap on the swamp ash body.

(Image credit: Washburn)

Said Bettencourt, “I’m excited about the new Nele and its multitude of tones. In addition to taking a traditional approach with single coils, the six-position switch opens up new creative possibilities and gives me more granular tone control.

“Washburn has been with me through thick and thin, and fans will hear this guitar on the new Extreme album.”

The Nele Standard is offered for $3,600, while the Deluxe is available for $4,370.

For more information, head to Washburn (opens in new tab).

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Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.