Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
#3068891 11/06/20 05:20 AM
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
Hello, all... I hope you are well and doing good where able. smile

I am hoping for assistance with a guitar I picked up in a thrift store.

It's a Westone, or, at least, some of it was... Maybe a Phoenix, or, maybe a Spectrum.

A quick assessment during cleaning found vintage Invader and Hi-A pickups, gold-plated Schaller tuners ("Made in W. Germany") and a Kahler Spyder vibrato.
Also, a non-Westone neck with a penciled date on the end that reads "10-2-91" and an Explorer-type peghead- I thought it could be a Charvel or Jackson neck, but the truss cover screw holes don't match...
There's a Westone neckplate, too, but no serial number info, as that would be on the original peghead.
It also came with an old Charvel case that's missing some latches.
It looks like this- [img]https://www.talkbass.com/attachments/20201105_210757-jpg.4043208/[/img]

Last edited by wraub; 11/06/20 05:29 AM. Reason: pic issues


I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




GP Island
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
That looks like a fun thrasher!
Quality components. I'd have to play it to say much but it looks cool. Hi-A is great stuff too.

I don't remember which particular pointy headstock that is but I've seen it before. There's a lot of cool stuff around if one keeps an eye open.
I went on the "tour" today, nada. It happens so I keep looking!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,807
Likes: 19
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,807
Likes: 19
Definitely the body of a Westone Spectrum LX; but some "generic" replacement neck. The shape of that headstock looks vaguely familiar but can't place it.

With the pick-up selector switch missing, is only the bridge humbucker in the circuit? When you plug it in, tap on the middle pick-up and see if it makes any sound.

Westone's were pretty decent (possibly Matsumoka factory? Similar to Aria?) so hopefully you can rehabilitate this back into a functional axe.


"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)
NEW band Old band
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,333
Likes: 94
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 4,333
Likes: 94
I'm thinking Jackson or Charvel for that headstock? The Charvel case could very well be coincidental, I'm not convinced that's a Charvel body.

Last edited by Winston Psmith; 11/06/20 03:21 PM.

"Monsters are real, and Ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win." Stephen King

http://www.novparolo.com
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
The body is definitely a Westone, no doubts there...

The pickup selector switch is there, but the tip is broken off. The switch still functions, though, and both pickups make sound. smile The Invader is typically loud, the Hi-A is quieter, as expected, but it's a lot quieter, so that needs checking, and all the knobs make crackling noises when turned.
The whole thing needs a serious cleaning, which it will get this weekend.

Still debating keeping it, or flipping it, or parting it out. Leaning towards keeping, but... wink



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
@ Wraub, Sorry I can't help with the ID. Let us know how it sounds plugged in, how it feels, if it works and the price? If you like it, then it's a keeper and worth fixing up. Congrats on the score! thu

Ps. Thanks for the update, I posted this about the same time as you just posted your last post...sounds good so far, so keep us posted LOL! cool

Last edited by Larryz; 11/06/20 03:47 PM. Reason: ps.

Take care, Larryz
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Originally Posted by wraub
The body is definitely a Westone, no doubts there...

The pickup selector switch is there, but the tip is broken off. The switch still functions, though, and both pickups make sound. smile The Invader is typically loud, the Hi-A is quieter, as expected, but it's a lot quieter, so that needs checking, and all the knobs make crackling noises when turned.
The whole thing needs a serious cleaning, which it will get this weekend.

Still debating keeping it, or flipping it, or parting it out. Leaning towards keeping, but... wink

The Hi-A was made to blend well with stock Strat pickups, it is inherently pretty low output.
The Invader is Duncan's highest output passive pickup with lots of winds and massive magnets.

Some things you can try to even out the volume. Raise the height of the Hi-A so it doesn't touch the strings when they are fretted at the 22nd fret but as close as possible without interfering. I would also consider putting it in the neck position, which will make it louder still since the strings vibrate with a wider arc at that point.

Lower the Invader way down until it balances. If it's still too loud you could rewire it in parallel, that will make a brighter tone with less volume but still humbucking. Or you could remove the EAD string pole pieces on the coil closest to the neck and the GBE pole pieces on the coil nearest the bridge. That will change the tone too, thin it out a bit but also reduce volume. You could even do both of those things, probably sound almost like a single coil then but still hum-cancelling. Those mods are very easy to undo without any change to the pickup.

Of course either or both pickups could simply be swapped out.

My last thrift store guitar was an Ibanez Gio Mikro. It was covered in stickers and has had a bit of a beating but is sound and whole. I took advantage of the short scale and fully adjustable bridge to make it into a Nashville tuned guitar that has correct intonation all the way up the neck - photo attached.

Attached Images
IMG_2390.JPG

There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
Well, it's on the bench now, and... the neck is stamped "Jackson" at the heel.



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Originally Posted by wraub
Well, it's on the bench now, and... the neck is stamped "Jackson" at the heel.

There you go. If it plays well leave it. If you like it keep it. If not, somebody will.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
More from the bench... The wiring is a mess of mini pots and the thinnest wires I've seen in a guitar, and no capacitors at all.
I am likely to replace it all.

I am considering moving the Invader to my hardtail Strat, which has a Duncan Designed Invader in it, which is cream colored. That pickup would go to this guitar, with the Hi-A in the middle (or neck) and, possibly, a P-90 in the available spot. Still considering possibilities. I also may remove the Kahler and fill the routed areas, or just reinstall the Kahler and block it.

Suggestions are welcomed. smile



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Pickup swaps are fun, no harm to either instrument. I approve of gutting crappy wiring and replacing it with better quality. Simple is best, a good quality switch for pickup selection, a good volume pot, a tone pot if you use one and a Switchcraft jack. Soapbar P-90 may not fit the humbucker routes, would not be too difficult to enlarge the pickup route. I think Duncan and others make a P-90-ish pickup in a humbucker form factor too.

Center pickup is an add-on? Or is the 3 way switch on the upper bout not factory? I do like being able to get the bridge/neck combination, if you add a pickup maybe keep that switch for a 3 way setup and add a volume control or on/off switch for the center pickup.

Kahler Spyder is just about the only decent thing Kahler ever made, their other whammy bars will suck the tone out of anything. It might be easiest to block it if you like the Floyd tone (bright, even and LOTS of sustain. You may want to replace the nut with a bone one if you are planning on removing the string locks up at the nut. Or you could lock the strings and use the fine tuners on the bridge.

I LOVE "screwdriver guitars"!!! So much easier to make changes.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
This is the info I could find on the original Westone wiring-

Pickups: H/S/H (Magnaflux II / Magnaflux IV / Magnaflux II)
3 way switch for neck and bridge humbuckers
Master volume (Push-pull switch for coil tap)
Tone 1 (Push-pull switch to activate the centre pickup)
Tone 2 (Push-pull switch to adjust phase on the bridge pickup)
All pots are 500K with DPDT switches
The tone capacitors are 0.022 microfarad Mylar

All of this is gone, of course. I'm thinking more and more about moving the Hi-A to the neck position, and going with just two pickups.

Also, I'm leaning towards blocking or removing the Kahler as I would likely never use it, and it makes string changes an effort greater than I want to endure.

Last edited by wraub; 11/07/20 02:23 AM.


I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Originally Posted by wraub
This is the info I could find on the original Westone wiring-

Pickups: H/S/H (Magnaflux II / Magnaflux IV / Magnaflux II)
3 way switch for neck and bridge humbuckers
Master volume (Push-pull switch for coil tap)
Tone 1 (Push-pull switch to activate the centre pickup)
Tone 2 (Push-pull switch to adjust phase on the bridge pickup)
All pots are 500K with DPDT switches
The tone capacitors are 0.022 microfarad Mylar

All of this is gone, of course. I'm thinking more and more about moving the Hi-A to the neck position, and going with just two pickups.

Also, I'm leaning towards blocking or removing the Kahler as I would likely never use it, and it makes string changes an effort greater than I want to endure.

I like the 2 pickup idea. I never seem to use a middle pickup at all. And I LOVE the sound of the neck and bridge together, you can get a nice range of tones just by changing your picking position with both pickups on. I don't use switches much and knobs almost never - I just want to play, not fiddle about with adjustments. I adjust my volume and tone with my pick, it's faster.

I hear ya on the Kahler, I'm building a Floyd equipped guitar but it will be for studio work only. Live you MUST have 2 guitars because a string will break and then you are hosed. I usually just bring one guitar, hardtail and I can play with a broken string until the end of the set. It almost never happens anyway. I have locking tuners on my stage guitars so it's really fast to put a string on and get it stretched out.

If you block it you'll still have to lock the strings in place. You can run them through the tuners and cut the ball ends off behind the tuners so it's not more work there but it is more work at the bridge.
Problem is the route for the Kahler won't match up with a stock Strat bridge. Maybe you could cut a piece of plywood to cover up that area, paint it black and mount a tune-o-matic bridge on it and a stop tailpiece into the body behind the Kahler route? I dunno, it's a thought anyway.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
The plan, as of now-

Hi-A at the neck, Invader at the bridge, 3-way toggle (neck, both, bridge) with master tone, individual volumes, and a coil tap for the Invader.

I just have to figure out how to do it. grin

Still debating blocking the Kahler, or removing it and filling the area for a new bridge.



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Originally Posted by wraub
The plan, as of now-

Hi-A at the neck, Invader at the bridge, 3-way toggle (neck, both, bridge) with master tone, individual volumes, and a coil tap for the Invader.

I just have to figure out how to do it. grin

Still debating blocking the Kahler, or removing it and filling the area for a new bridge.

Check the Duncan website for a wiring diagram for the Invader and wiring diagrams for guitar electronics. You may want to check the Hi-A site if the pickup has multiple wires, it could have some nifty tricks available as well.

Instead of a coil tap, consider a series/parallel switch. That will thin out the Invader and reduce the volume considerably but it will still be humbucking and fuller sounding than a coil tap. If you do tap a coil, have it switch the coil nearest the bridge off. The coil nearest the neck will have a bit fuller tone.

Try blocking the Kahler first since that is really easy. If that works for you then you're done. If not, you'll have to go deeper. Always start with simple solutions and escalate if needed. Laziness and efficiency are often interchangeable!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
Anyone here have any experience with these?

humbucker control pot



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Originally Posted by wraub
Anyone here have any experience with these?

humbucker control pot

Never tried one but it has some similarities to the circuit in the Peavey T-60 guitars, where the tone pot also dropped on coil out.
This newer widget looks more versatile though.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
I strung it up, because I had the crazy idea that I should see if I like how it plays before I spend money on how it sounds.

The neck feels good on the back, but the string spacing is a little tight for me.This could be rectified somewhat with a new nut and bridge, but that's work and money. Too bad, because the whole guitar is light and well balanced, and it has a nice resonant sound unplugged, and the neck feels nice, just tight.

I believe I am going to sell it off, or, possibly part it out. I'll keep the Hi-A, and, maybe the Invader.

Thanks, all.



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Best to find out early!

I can't play a narrow neck comfortably either, I'm 6'3" with large hands. Warmonth 1 3/4" is good, 1 7/8" is even better, "super-wide" for some players but we are all different.
I tolerate my Ibanez GIO Mikro for Nashville tuned stuff, action is super low. I'd get rid of it if I wanted standard tuning.

Slap some other pickups in there and put it up on craigslist - on to the next!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
I think I'll list it first as is... Even without the pickups, there's a lot of good stuff there, and I paid so little a profit is almost guaranteed. smile



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Originally Posted by wraub
I think I'll list it first as is... Even without the pickups, there's a lot of good stuff there, and I paid so little a profit is almost guaranteed. smile

Nothing wrong with taking the easy way out!!!!

Gotta love surfing the thrift stores!
I do it all the time. Sometimes you just fall right into it, I got my Roland Cube 40gx in nearly new condition for $40 at a thrift store. Great amp, played a LOT of gigs with it and hopefully more to come. Score!!!!


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
Originally Posted by wraub
More from the bench... The wiring is a mess of mini pots and the thinnest wires I've seen in a guitar, and no capacitors at all.
I am likely to replace it all.


Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Pickup swaps are fun, no harm to either instrument. I approve of gutting crappy wiring and replacing it with better quality.

.

Sorry it didn't work out Wraub! Making a profit with a fast turnover with no more time, work, costs, etc., is always a good way to go. Especially if you don't care for the neck and feel...

On another note: I noticed in your discussions with Kuru that you both spoke about crappy/thin wiring. I just completed a project with my tech and we ran into a problem with the ground wire being so thin. At first we thought it was a faulty new pickup until we found the problem. The ground wire was so thin that it was breaking inside its outside insulation which could not be seen. I'm wondering why guitar makers (especially overseas) use such cheap and thin wiring? Is it just to save money on wiring or is there some kind of resistance or other benefit? cool


Take care, Larryz
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
My guess would be that thinner wire means less material costs, and using the thinnest capable wire saves money over thousands of guitars produced. I also would opine that, as many guitar makers know that many guitar users will change the pickups and wiring anyway, using better stuff makes even less sense when looking at end costs.



Originally Posted by Larryz
Originally Posted by wraub
More from the bench... The wiring is a mess of mini pots and the thinnest wires I've seen in a guitar, and no capacitors at all.
I am likely to replace it all.


Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Pickup swaps are fun, no harm to either instrument. I approve of gutting crappy wiring and replacing it with better quality.

.

Sorry it didn't work out Wraub! Making a profit with a fast turnover with no more time, work, costs, etc., is always a good way to go. Especially if you don't care for the neck and feel...

On another note: I noticed in your discussions with Kuru that you both spoke about crappy/thin wiring. I just completed a project with my tech and we ran into a problem with the ground wire being so thin. At first we thought it was a faulty new pickup until we found the problem. The ground wire was so thin that it was breaking inside its outside insulation which could not be seen. I'm wondering why guitar makers (especially overseas) use such cheap and thin wiring? Is it just to save money on wiring or is there some kind of resistance or other benefit? cool



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




1 member likes this: Larryz
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
+1 Wraub yeahthat thu


Take care, Larryz
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
Until (if) it sells, I decided to have another go at it. I blocked the Kahler, and got the action as low as I could. It is not as low as I would like, and it is still very, very playable and quite resonant. smile

I think when the Kahler was added, it raised the action, which would explain the shims I found in the neck pocket... another reason to replace the Kahler with something smaller that would provide a lower action.

Even if I don't wire it up, I think it could be a solid beater and writing guitar.
If I keep it I guess it's not the worst thing I could do with it. grin



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
Leaving it as is and getting some use out of it might be a good idea while you are trying to sell and advertise it. If it doesn't sell, then you could tinker more and change the nut and bridge and get rid of the neck spacers. Not sure, but in the picture it looks like the 1st strings is leaving the fretboard where the neck joins the body? If so, the neck might not be aligned? Anyway, good luck with it... cool


Take care, Larryz
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
Good eye. wink

The neck was, indeed, misaligned. I remedied that when I pulled and replaced the neck.
It's a very light guitar for having a maple body, it very much feels like it'd be a good guitar to gig with... someday.

Again, no worries if I keep it, it was not expensive. Looks like I picked the right time to quit drinking. grin



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




1 member likes this: Larryz
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
wraub Offline OP
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2002
Posts: 5,218
Likes: 4
So, after some more time with it, I have decided that it's a keeper. smile

The neck may be the most comfortable feeling guitar neck I have ever played, and the guitar is amazingly resonant- loud, in fact. And it doesn't even have pickups in it. grin

I have tested both pickups, and after an interesting and unknown to me Invader-related issue that the Seymour Duncan people let me know of, I have confirmed that both work fine. smile

So, I have a single coil and a humbucker, and a guitar with 3 pots and a 3 way switch that all need replacing. This means possibilities...

Suggestions for wiring this guitar up?



I'm a lot more like I am now than I was when I got here.




Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 3,632
Likes: 326
Cool that you dig it!

Hard to say because we are all different.
Me? I really like simple. And I dislike knobs and switches. Probably a 3 way switch and Volume down in the middle spot. The other two holes would be filled with black lag bolts (plain rounded ends). If the jack is on the side and I found the position a bit unwieldy I might be tempted to put the jack in the bottom hole and leave the current jack hole empty.
A Switchcraft jack. Done.

The most complex wiring setup I would even consider would be Hi-A in the neck position, Invader in the Bridge. 3 way switch Neck-Both-Bridge.
I'd set the height of the neck pickup and adjust the bridge pickup down so it was just a bit louder but not much. A series/parallel switch for the Invader in the upper volume control hole, Volume and Tone in the lower 2 holes.

If I was using a series/parallel on the Invader I'd probably set the height so the volume of the parallel position matched the volume of the neck pickup, then going to series would be like a boost/thickness setting.

There are lots of options. I've been tempted lately to just wire the neck pickup to the output jack and call it good.

So I might not be the best person to ask right now!!! Cheers, Kuru


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,917
Likes: 112
Wraub, I like having a volume control for each pickup so I would run: a Switchcraft 3way, 1st volume pot 250k for the neck single coil, 2nd volume pot 500k for the bridge humbucker, 3rd master tone pot 500k with an orange drop 22uf cap. 3 new knobs. It's easier when you run two humbuckers or two single coils to determine caps, pots, wiring, etc. for blending so check into the pot and cap values as mine maybe off a little. But that's the general idea two volumes and a master tone...maybe you could rout out a slanted Strat output jack for the body and get rid of the scratch and the flat jack if there is room and the body is thick enough? cool

ps. Oh yeah, glad you like the feel of the neck and have decided it's a keeper... thu

Last edited by Larryz; 11/15/20 04:26 PM. Reason: ps.

Take care, Larryz
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5