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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:03 am 
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I've learned a lot on this forum, so I reckon it's time to share my Electra story!

After a long hiatus, I started gigging with a surf/punk band about a year ago. Unfortunately, I got too stressed out bringing my Les Paul Traditional into the cramped clubs and practice spaces. I needed a guitar I could bump into a mic stand and not have a fainting spell over -- but something interesting I'd still be proud to play. My criteria: vintage MIJ, Strat or Tele-style, under $150. 

Soon enough, I fixated on an Electra 2275 on craigslist-Austin. I broke my rule about buying guitars you can't touch and had it shipped to Maine.

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Not pretty in the photo -- much worse in person. The crackle finish rubbed off on my fingers, and it played like a worn out piece of furniture. The neck was crooked. The angle was wrong. Two neck screw holes were stripped. The nut was new, but cut too deep. The bottom strings sounded like "thunk". When the output jack stopped cutting out, the pickups howled. Undeterred, I broke it down.

Even from here, you can see the neck pocket filled with crackle and a giant shim...

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The pickup codes date to August, 1973...

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I was surprised to see 1M pots...

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The bridge and trem were way out of adjustment, but otherwise OK...

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Someone replaced the original tuners with Grovers, which was fine by me...

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A little lacquer thinner revealed a beautiful three-color burst...

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I'd planned to refinish the body, but I loved the story it told now. A natural relic!

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I potted the pickups with paraffin and beeswax...  

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I resoldered the grounds and installed a new jack. Lightly shaving the pickguard around the pocket allowed me to straighten the neck. I replaced the shim and fixed the screw holes with toothpicks and wood glue. The nut just needed a little Super Glue and baking soda. After a setup and a new set of 10's, the difference was incredible.

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The action is nice and low, and it frets as easily as any guitar I've owned. It holds intonation well, and even stays in tune with heavy trem use. (I'm more of a wiggler than a dive-bomber, but I wiggle a lot...) The pickups are extra bright --  almost like a Telecaster, with plenty of twang and harmonics. Perfect for cutting through in a loud club. 

It also looks great under the lights...

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This "rescue" was especially satisfying, and I'm pleased with the tone and resilience of my first Electra. In fact, I use it almost exclusively at practice and gigs -- over 100 hours of live playing time so far, and no problems yet. I can't wait to pick up a Tele-style companion!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:32 am 
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Location: NYC
Nice story and nice job.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:32 am 
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Location: Saint Louis
Great story, excellent documentation, and nice guitar. Thanks for sharing.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:07 am 
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Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
Great job - and great story;

Looks to be a player.

Thanks for the post.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:25 am 
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Location: Oxford, MI
I remember seeing that crackle finish on C L. I'm glad it was revived so well. Welcome to the forum and thanks for your story.

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"My guitar wants to kill your Mama" - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:44 pm 
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
Welcome to the electra Forums and thanks for letting us in on that great story and ressurection. I always like to see any Electra put back into action again and also played live. I also gig my electras and it is always a pleasure to introduce any Electra models to the younger generation and musicians as they all want to know where I got mine at. That one turned out to be a beauty so enjoy it. Congrats on the work and the electra. :up:

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Always give thanks for everyday, It may be your last so Rock On Semper Fi!!


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 pm
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Location: New Jersey
Nice job. I'm surprised at 1M pots - very unusual for single coils. If it cuts through the mix at 1M it would have to be super extra ultra painfully bright at 500k or the standard single coil 250k - wow! It's great that lacquer thinner took off the crapple. Just curious - did it really need a neck shim after it was all cleaned up? I've yet to come across an Electra that needed a shim.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:53 pm 
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Location: Tenn.
Great job and welcome aboard. Those teles are out there, just keep an eye out and maybe an ear.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:00 pm 
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Jead - it was close. After tossing the original shim (1mm thick), I went back and forth between a strip of 32-lb bond and nothing. At the time, it seemed better with the paper shim. Now you've got me thinking I should try again...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:22 am 
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mortarman - you're right about that. I've gigged plenty of Gibsons and Fenders, but the Electra starts more conversations than all of them combined.

I figure I can always buy a player, but it's not the same as finding a hundred-dollar broken bird, nursing it to health, and releasing it back to the wild. It kind of restores the natural order. (Plus, this one sits well with my '73 Ford Maverick...)


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:27 am 
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slmguy - I peruse the Interwebs, but I haven't seen a tele-style with the same logo treatment on the headstock. (I get hung up on stuff like that.) Were these ever made?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 8:58 am 
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DOQ wrote:
slmguy - I peruse the Interwebs, but I haven't seen a tele-style with the same logo treatment on the headstock. (I get hung up on stuff like that.) Were these ever made?

The model index list that McBrat has made up shows the following Tele-style models with the Gibson style Mother Of Pearl Script logo: 2238WC, 2253W, 2255WC and 2270C. Mick should have pictures of all of those that he has saved over the years.

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"This is the way that pop ends, Not with a BANG but with a box set whose fourth disc you never get around to playing” - Simon Reynolds

"My guitar wants to kill your Mama" - Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:59 am 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Sweeeet Resurrection!! Congrats, and thanks for sharing. If you're looking for a Tele, be patient and wait for a 2270 thinline (semi hollow) model (regardless of the logo). They are best-balanced and most nicely appointed 'Rock n Soul' model in my humble opinion. And they're pretty easy on the eyes too:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 8:11 am 
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That is a thing of beauty. Point well taken!


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:21 pm 
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
:hyper: Yep the tele models are awesome for certain even with humbuckers like this model.
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Image :hyper: :hyper: A thing of beauty and quality.

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Always give thanks for everyday, It may be your last so Rock On Semper Fi!!


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