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PostPosted: Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:49 pm 
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I received my Vulcan the other day from my seller on ebay. One of the most disappointing things (at least to me) is that this is a glued neck guitar. Even worse, this guitar has a visible seam where the body meets the neck portion of the guitar. I say visible, as this instrument has been "Sharpie-ed".

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All of the little nicks and bumps in the darker portions of the finish have been hidden with a little ink so they don't show up in pictures. Including a rather nasty gash in the back where it looks like it had been dropped. Still the finish and the binding on the front are in good to very good condition. The back of the neck has been nicked up and dinged quite a bit, so I may refinish the neck portion to get rid of the bumps and the ridge in the neck joint. I find it hard to believe that Uncle Matt let it out of the factory this way, It doesn't look like it has been apart or repaired in any way. At least that I can tell.
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The electronics are mostly sound, the neck pickup is loose and wobbly, need to see what it takes to fasten it down, the coax cable to the jack has been spliced, I will probably replace it. The black handled switches for the modules are both bent and one is missing its knob. I got a power over drive module with this and it seems to work. I will send it to thorny to do his magic on it.

The fret board is smooth with no signs of a lot of bending (wood erosion) the inlays are all tight. Now for the best part. The frets have been dressed down and have considerable flats on them. plus they still exhibit the file marks and are not polished at all. The nut has been filed to the point where the action is so low that there is only .020 to .025 clearance to the first fret. If you try to fret a note at say the tenth fret up, you got nothing. So the nut and a fret job is in order. The neck is straight with no twist or bow. There is some but not to bad, pitting in the chrome on the tuners, tail piece and the bridge I may replace the tail piece & bridge, but the tuners are good to go.

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I got this on ebay for $355, so on one hand, this was probably a bit much to pay for an MPC that needs so much work. But on the other hand, I don't mind tinkering and I with a few tools from Stewmac I will try to take on the fret & nut work myself. Plus the case is in good condition and all the latches work.
With a little luck and a little book learning I may end up with something playable! I will post more pictures and update this as I work on this project. It may be a bit before I get started on it, as I am currently refinishing and refretting a vintage SHIRO guitar!


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:58 am 
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Joined: Sun Jul 27, 2008 7:54 am
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Location: Baltimore, MD.
Nice catch, like you said a bit less than the money, but it'll be worth it in the end.
I really like that flame on it, looks good.
Although, can't beleive someone was ignorant as to use a Sharpie rather than simply let it go. A new finish isn't murder to the wallet, usually.
Anyhow, let us know how you get along with this one, keep it updated.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:00 am 
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Very interesting top on that one......Kinda raises another Electra mystery....Why are dont all the Pro endorsers in this color have the flamed maple tops ? for some reason, the Grey one s are not BM flamed....Thats a real nice looking guitar and (IMHO) a steal at the price you got it for


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 11:19 am 
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Dave_g wrote:
Very interesting top on that one......Kinda raises another Electra mystery....

Man, there are so many mysteries. PCM is the biggest, they made up most of the Electra "weirdos".
Either way, resources on Electra as a whole are so relatively little. There could be a warehouse fulll of them that no one's found yet. Who knows, just add to the story.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:32 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
" Even worse, this guitar has a visible seam where the body meets the neck portion of the guitar."

I believe most of the 'scooped' 1.5 cutaway Electras have that finish seam crack, two of my three Endorsers have a seam which can be felt. I too was concerned with my first one, but as I saw that it was common, I haven't lost sleep over it since. It sounds like you are disappointed in the purchase, if the seller mislead you about it's condition you should contact him. I know that I've seen the deluxe case alone go for over $100 on eBay, if that is any consolation.

I wouldn't refinish the guitar unless it is really affecting the playability, as any Vintage Fender owner will tell you, the original paint, even if barely there, will add 50%-100% to the resale value of the instrument, or conversely, a refinished guitar will go for 25%-50% less than what a non-refinished one would sell for. Heck, the new Custom Shop Relic Telecasters are roughly $2000 more than the standard (non relic'd) Reissue... Translation: some players love a beat looking instrument.

As far as your neck goes, thats a tough one. I know that I've seen Brass nut blanks, either on here or on eBay, or many players swear by Bone nuts, which are readily available. A refret is something I would never attempt, I would be afraid of gashing up the fretboard, difficulty compounded by the bound neck on the Vulcans. Maybe you have more confidence, or a luthier that you trust. A good guitar guy may be able to use the truss rod adjustment to get it playable also.

Anyway, I think $355 for a Vulcan with the deluxe case is a good deal, especially when I see POS 70's Gibsons going for $3500. But there will always be a market for the big G, and another sucker down the line willing to pay for the name on the headstock, not the quality or playability or versatility of the Instrument. Electras = best price vs. performance ratio on Earth. Enjoy, Mike.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:03 pm 
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Mate, I reckon that's a stunner - that flame top with the see through black; ooh, tasty! It doesn't look like anything too major to be done to it either, so that's all good - I know we're all looking for the mint 25+ year old guitar but the reality is for me I'll take what I can get down here, anyway!! :D

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Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:00 pm 
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The Sharpie work is just an easy way to hide little bumps and bruises so they won't show up on camera. I am not really disappointed in the guitar, after I opened the box, and got the case out of the seemingly endless quantities of packing peanuts. I paused for a moment to remind myself of just what may lay within the unopened case. I took a deep breath and unlatched the top. My post was just an honest assessment of what I found. Like someone pointed out, after almost 30 years, it could have seen much more abuse than it has. After all, it did come out of a pawn shop, so the previous player had used, abused and given up on it. I have found when buying guitars on ebay, when the photographs are from a bit of a distance, they are hiding something.

The first thing I think I'm going to do is get the electronics squared away. I looked a bit on Allparts and stewmac for matching black toggle switches, but did not find a close match to OEM. Anybody have a source for those please LMK. :D I have a second MPC coming for it, to go with the Overdrive, so we will see if the second slot is wired and works. (assuming that the module is good as well)

Thanks to all who took the time to send warm replies to my post!
bill


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:17 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 12, 2008 6:31 pm
Posts: 64
I think I was watching this one also. Really nice looking at the photos. I especially love the abalone postion markers. MPCs are always going for a premium on Ebay. I see them regularly going for $600-$700 or at least this is their asking price. Seems like the complexity of these guitars adds to the risk and the cost of getting it into a playable condition. From what I hear, they live up to the hype but I think I would rather have an Omega (MPC sans the electronic modules) but they get rather pricey as well!


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