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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 1:51 am 
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So I had a nice email with Tom at SLM who graciously helped clear up the identity of my gold Electra Phoenix.

It appears that the first run of H-S-H Phoenixes was the X185, which appears on Electraman's site in Rose Metallic.
http://www.herons.ca/electra/x185.html

Tom said there was also a champagne color which I think may have been my gold Phoenix.
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It's interesting that the next run of H-S-H Phoenixes, the X189, was nearly the same guitar, but instead of the metallics and richer colors of the X185's, the X189's offered more modern new wave anti-colors like red and black and white.
http://www.herons.ca/electra/x189.html
Then we get into the transitional Electra Westone, which I would like to have a number for. Electraman's page shows the X195, an S-H-S guitar. I have a red burst Electra Westone, but it's an H-S-H, is it an X195 or X189?

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I'm taking the model numbers to be specific about pickup and control configurations. By 1985 they had switched over to using the Westone name. The venerable X135 H-H reappeared as the standard-level Spectrum ST, yet the X140 which had been an S-S-S guitar reappeared under that number as the Spectrum DX, which was now H-H like the ST but with a better trem bridge.

At this point (85) there seems to be a standard of pickup configurations in low, medium, and high priced models: a single pickup in the X125, twin humbuckers in the ST and DX, and H-S-H for the best guitars, including not only the ST,LX, and FX, but also the exotic bodies like the Monark, Dynasty, and Dimension IV.

The X188 ST was H-S-H with painted necks and fretboards, blue red or black. The X198 LX was H-S-H very much equivalent to the X185 and X189, though with the Bendmaster bridge. (which is a great bridge, by the way- add a spring in the back to hold it tight against the body and it will sustain like crazy and stay in tune. rig it full-floating and results vary from great to fair, depending on the particular guitar and how carefully you set it up and maintain it.)

The premium Spectrum FX X199 was all the above with a set neck. It's funny how they're painted to look like a neck-through, which they're not.
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I know the Westone site says they're neck through, but not so, they have the characteristic low heel like otherset neck Electras- great resonance and the pickups are exceptional and different from other Spectrums. The body is also considerably more sculpted and smoothed, something that's really hard to see in pictures until you pick it up in person. However, the 84 Candy Red X199 shown on Electraman's page does indeed seem to be sculpted and smoothed in just the same way- you can see it most clearly in the shape of the upper cutaway horn.
http://www.herons.ca/electra/x199.html

Apparently it was a premium Phoenix in 84. I'd sure like to see one.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:27 pm 
Those gold and sunburst finishes are very cool. What kind of bridge is on the gold one?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2004 7:50 pm 
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It's an aftermarket Floyd Rose of some kind.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:02 am
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Location: California
From exchange between jb and x189player

Hello x189player
I have a black on black X189 h/s/h in what looks to be a metallic graphite color.
Oddly it has a graphite neck (so says previous owner) with a rosewood finger board.

Trying to figure out what the middle pot does.
I can't hear any difference in the sound when pulled.
It does work as tone control for the neck. Probably disabled.

I love the feel of it. The pickup options are amazing.

Quote:
From: X189player
Subject: Re: Electra Phoenix x189

Hiya JB,
black X189's are rare! (wish I had one! no I don't I have enough already :)

the middle pull switch turns on the middle single-coil pickup- a.k.a. it's the 'fat switch'. you can hear the difference a little bit with only one other pickup selected, not so much with both. the middle pup is not tied to the tone controls, so you might hear it a bit more when the tone is turned way down.

what the middle pup is really good for is for the phase reverse with the bridge pup. select the bridge pup only, then if you pull the phase knob (bottom tone knob) there should be no difference since there's only the one pup. but if you pull out the middle knob, the middle pup gives the bridge pup something to be out of phase with- you'll get a nice quack sound, even more if you coil tap it (pull the volume knob out). to be honest, I find one of the most useful combinations to be all three knobs out- then the selecter switch goes between out of phase bridge and middle and in phase neck and middle.

btw, everybody mistakes the Phoenix necks for graphite, but I'm pretty sure they're all maple- the weird satin finish black paint makes them look like graphite though.
cheers,
Paul


Paul
As I tried some of the settings you mentioned I noticed nothing happening with that middle control for the single.
So I got my lil screwdriver and started tapping on the poles. Nothing. It is completely dead in all settings.

I am getting so many sounds that I never would have thought the single coil was dead.
I can't belive this thing is capable of getting more sounds.

At least I know what to do now. I have to open the control cover to check out the wiring.
A clue was that the middle knob does not click like the other knobs when pulled out.
I'll give it a shot of WD40 to begin with then go from there.

Thanks for all the great info. jb

X
You are right. It is a maple not graphite neck.

I had to uncork the truss rod cover to do some adjusting.
And while there I scratched some paint off only to find wood.
The paint really does fool the eye into looking like graphite.

Right now I'm trying to figure out why the single coil is not working.
I tested it out of the circuit and I'm getting 6k ohms which seems
about right. It looks like it might be a bad center push pull pot.
It doesn't click when pulled like the other 2 do.

Thanks, jb
Quote:
From: X189player
Subject: Re: Electra Phoenix x189
sounds like you've found the problem! stew-mac has those push-pull pots for under 10$ or so.
dual-function pots


That is the one exactly. I thought I would have trouble finding it.
Do you know what value I should get? I'm guessing 500K-ohm like a LP uses because of the hummers.
Thanks, jb

Quote:
From: X189player
Subject: Re: Electra Phoenix x189

i don't know for sure.

500K is the usual wisdom for humbuckers but i today learned that 500K is used by gibson because of the dual volume controls on parallel wired pups- amounting to 250K total, which is apprently as low as you can safely go without loading the pups.

i would look carefully at the old pot, usually they shoud have an ohms rating printed on the side. i'd match the original.



Quote:
From: X189player
Subject: Re: Electra Phoenix x189
ok, i'm learning more. for tone knobs, 500K is better because it allows you to use a larger cap value and therefore get more tone muting effect. I'm pretty sure Phoenixes use 500K for everything
.

X
I removed the bad push pull pot on the X189 and the value was a 500k ohm.
Thanks for that link to a replacement. Pics coming soon.


Last edited by jbyear1 on Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2004 9:57 pm 
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Cool!


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 9:39 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2002 6:02 am
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Location: California
Pulled this one out of the "forgotten projects" box. Glad I did.

Image
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Until the new center push/pull pot arrives, I wired it so the single is always on which gives it the fat strat sound.
http://www.geocities.com/jbyear1/Guitars


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