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 Post subject: What To Do?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:45 am
Posts: 2
I just recently came into possession of my late grandpa's semi-accoustic electric Electra guitar. It has been sitting in his basement for a long time and the pickups don't work at all though it is in perfect condition. Does anyone have any advice on how to go about getting new pickups or maybe if it is a wiring problem? Should I just take it to a guitar repair shop, or is this something I can order on my own and fix myself? I've been playing guitar for some time though I've never had to do my own work on a level like this before.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: What To Do?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 2:50 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Welcome to the forum, it's unlikely that both of your pickups would have failed, maybe one, but both? I think its more likely that there is a switch or jack issue. Get yourself a Volt/Ohm Meter and start checking for continuity (ohm setting) infinite resistance = bad connection, whereas zero resistance may indicate a short. Many times it is just be a bent/dirty output jack or pickup selector switch. Your pickups should have resistance when meter is attached to different leads. Don't change the pickups unless you have to, in the name of keeping it original. Do you know which model semi you have? We love pics here at the forum, Mike.



P.S. I live in Ann Arbor, PM me if you need more info/help.

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Electra Guitar Videos ===> http://www.youtube.com/user/mjm33mjm?feature=watch


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 Post subject: Re: What To Do?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 3:43 pm 
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I'm not 100% sure on what exact model it is because it doesnt completely match any of the examples on this site, but here are some pictures...

Image
Image

If it is just a bent/dirty output jack or pickup selector switch, is that something I can easily fix on my own?


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 Post subject: Re: What To Do?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2008 6:55 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
I think you have a PCM (Pacific Coast Music) example there, that logo as well as the 'Cross' inlay are the obvious signs, safe to say pre-1975 manufacture, possibly even earlier. Electra was a 'Brand for Hire' in the beginning, by the Mid 70's SLM (St. Louis Music) I believe had Sole Distribution Rights, and tends to coincide with the use of the 'Peacesign' logo, I could be wrong, but it seems to be the case. All of the Models in the Index section of this site are going to be SLM Distributed. PCM documentation is pretty much non existent. On the bright side, your guitar looks pretty clean and straight (original), and the flamed maple top is pretty High-Falutin' for a PCM offering.

Working on a semi hollow is going to be more difficult than a solid body unless there is a sizable access panel in the back. With that 'floating' bridge, you may have a slim line full hollow body there, I can't tell. In any event, you need to get at the output jack (and selector switch, the two most common weak spots...) and find out if they have any connection problems. A lot of times if you just clean (sand or file) the contact area and gently 'bend' the output jack contacts back into place, it will solve a lot of issues. It looks like the selector switch is on its own little mounting plate which helps, pull that out and make sure that the signal path is getting through the switch with your Volt Ohm Meter. It's not going to be a cake walk, but there are things you can try before you spend money getting a tech involved. Best of luck, tell us how things go, Mike.

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Electra Guitar Videos ===> http://www.youtube.com/user/mjm33mjm?feature=watch


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 Post subject: Re: What To Do?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2008 6:13 am 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 9:32 am
Posts: 1024
Location: NYC
I like to try simple things first so after you have checked the jack like Proendorser suggest, you can try using some electrical contact cleaner on the swithces and pots, turning the pots a few times after you hit them with the cleaner. Be careful of the the finish when using the cleaner I have heard it can dmamage a finish. If I were to make a bet I would go for the the pickup switch. Two of my three Electras have had bad ones at on time. This is a fairly simple fix if you can get access. Good luck.


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