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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:03 am 
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I am moving this thread from the "for sale" thread to here, because as it progressed it was about the repair and restoration since it was no longer for sale.

Here is a brief background. This arrived without hardware or pickups installed. I was shipped most of the parts, and it guitar has its flaws, but all were disclosed in detail by the seller. So I knew what I was getting. Here is the rundown:
1) Guitar has had the neck reglued at one time. Seller was a bit concerned that the action could not be adjusted quite as low as he wanted. This caused me concern with the neck position. But looking at it now, you'd really not know it was ever re-glued. I decided to try a different route.
2) I had an original electra bridge from another guitar, and compared it to the replacement the guy sent me, and the replacement was a bit taller than the Electra tuneomatic. So I put on the electra bridge.
3) I also noticed a MM or so could be gained as well if I could mount the bushings flush to the body rather than sitting on top of the hole. My friend has some nice tools I don't have and recently did something similar, so I went to his house Friday and he was kind enough to help me. We used his Schatten knob and post puller (VERY COOL tool by the way). The bushings lifted out quickly and without damage.
4) By a combination of using a drill, a belt sander, and a drill press, and a hardened cutting blade, we rough sanded off the edge "lip" of the bushings. The end result is darn near perfect I think, it is now mounted flush with the body. We inserted a tiny bit of wood glue on one of the bushings as one was still quite tight, and the other was not as tight. And we wiped away the excess. Here is a pick of it a day later, and if I didn't tell you, you'd never know. Plus it won't be able to be seen at all unless you remove the bridge and posts.
5) We "slightly" shaved a tiny bit (less than a MM) off the underside of the treble post adjustment to allow it to go slightly lower, since the treble side frequently needs to go lower. If you look very closely you can see it in the picture. We did not do anything to the bridge, other than I took a flat file to the underneath where the posts make contact because there was a little bit of pitting - just to smooth it out.

Here is the pic:
Image

Now that I have looked at this carefully, this may have had a trapeze tailpiece at one time and had been converted to a stop - that might explain the bushings not being flush on that, and extra holes at the strap button area. That should not pose a problem though. I prefer a stop tail anyway. That might also explain why when I see this style headstock on an Elvin Bishop I seem to see a trapeze tailpiece on it.

I ordered new pots for it, some push pulls. I have some Epiphone ones here (regular large size import, 500Ks, not pushpulls) that I converted to 50s style wiring. I might install those before I get the push/pulls in. I should probably be patient and wait and do it at once. I have the stock pickups that have been potted, I can install those. I also have some Sheptones coming in, I could wait and install those as well. Haven't decided.

Either way, I should at least string it up now and see how it does to make sure they bridge adjustment/neck issue is resolved. I ordered black speed style knobs like the originals for it. I found some old pointer washers for it. I could wire it all up with the Epi Electronics and original pickups. If I get too impatient I might. I have a few other projects I am working on at the moment too.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 7:14 am 
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Nicely done.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:01 pm 
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That looks good. I bet your bridge issue is solved. Decided on pups and wiring yet? I really like the pickups in mine - can't say how they'd compare with Sheps, but they do seem well matched to the guitar.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:58 am 
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The stock pickups usually are pretty good. I had them on my maple pro and had one in the neck of the original elvin bishop I had a long time ago (it had a duncan custom in the bridge as I recall). I believe I potted them because they were a bit microphonic too. These have already been potted. The only real parts I have in are the "pointer" washers for the volume and tone controls, and I found some old vintage ones here.

Haven't decided fully yet on the pickups. The sheptones are on order but are not in yet. The push/pulls I also ordered as well as correct style plain old black speed knobs, they are not in yet. So the new parts are not in, so the only choice I would have are the old parts and epi pots I have now (these parts are comparable to the originals).

I am doing some pickup swaps on other guitars too.

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PostPosted: Sat Nov 16, 2013 6:35 pm 
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good work
glad it's shaping up for you!


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:27 pm 
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Holy junk Batman! Everything works! I finally got my Sheptone pickups in - these are the BK set, which are basically excellent quality boutique high-end PAF reproductions. Wiring 335s are a PITA! It took me a couple of hours to fish everything through the pickup hole. I didn't think it wall would work the first time (usually I mess something up, and after several attempts getting everything in the right place, messing up, and pulling it out and starting again. In between I would drop lock washers or things in the guitar body and have to manipulate them out. But after getting everything through the holes, and getting them tightened down, and in place - it all worked correctly.

I strung it up, adjusted the pickups and string height (it can go way lower than it needs to go, and can also go way higher - plenty of adjustment!). I put 10s on it. I didn't even have to flip or move the 3 way switch (it was oriented correctly). I can't play loudly or REALLY try it out - way too late. But it seems rather LOUD too (acoustically). The tuners (grover rotomatics) don't seem as smooth as they should - will want to lubricate them. Will let it settle a bit, then see if I need to adjust again, maybe truss rod (although right now seems fine), and then adjust intonation. But WOW!

I still have a few cosmetic things to do - and put the strap button on it. But it looks pretty dog gone fine really. I expect it to be rock solid. I'd kind of like to do the bushings for the tailpiece a little bit deeper or to trim them off, they stick up a little off the top, but it isn't ridiculous. I could leave it alone. I am nit-picky.

So I mostly replaced the hardware, replaced the electronics, put in sheptones, did a bit of a fret level and recrown, and polish. New premium hardshell case (Gator case, but looks like the brown era Gibson's with the pink blanket). Guitar fits in super snugly.

Image

I also wound up putting a set of Sheptone Bluesky pickups in the Endorser (Double Cream so looks original). These again, are PAFs - but I think the blue skys have Alnico 4 magnets in them. I wired them up exactly as the originals were wired (push/pulls for single coil and phase). It sounds really good too. I - of course - boxed the original Cream MMK pickups for the Endorser so I can put it back to original if I ever want to.

I need some play time with both. They are KILLER pickups. But nothing takes the place of thrashing on them for a while to see how they work out in these particular guitars. I expect they will be fantastic.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 5:44 am 
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Looks pretty sweet Thorny!


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 6:01 am 
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That is a sweet looking body on that one Thorny. Hope it sounds as good as it looks!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2013 8:04 am 
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The bad iphone picture does hide a number of dings and ills - lots of chips and dings. Also, there are a couple of holes under the pickguard and a mark that looks like it might have been from a pickguard screw digging in. All holes were slightly enlarged so probably had US pots in it before at some time. Some pretty good dings were able to be "touched up" and turned out for the most part pretty well.

But all in all, I am very pleased. Hopefully will get an opportunity to play it and tweak it a bit over the holidays. I still have a little less than buying one in good condition in this if you don't count my time - really pretty close though. Actually really close to the cost of one already in good shape, but I have a brand new case and expensive sheptone boutique pickups in it now. It really deserved a case, but I didn't have to do the added expense of the pickups. But, I really like those pickups. If you count my time, well, you CAN'T count my time. I still need to address a few cosmetic issues. I was waiting on my pickups ordered to arrive, so that is mainly what took so long. Most will have some cosmetic issues - it is to be expected on a 35 yr old guitar. I have a few holes where the bottom strap button goes to plug and touch up - I am relatively certain this had a trapeze style tailpiece originally because of the holes there and the style of head stock (everyone with this style head stock I have seen had a trapeze tailpiece).

I really enjoy fixing a good electra up. I think it is as good as most of them out there even if not totally original any longer.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 5:05 am 
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Thorny wrote:
I really enjoy fixing a good electra up. I think it is as good as most of them out there even if not totally original any longer.

In the end - that's what really counts. Totally stock original in good shape is getting harder to come by and if you're keeping it yourself as a player - well I say do what you think is best. I know you have and will keep the pups that came on it. I think those Sheps will be a really nice replacement and probably an upgrade (even though I really like the stocks). Keep the updates coming!


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:52 am 
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Thanks for the kind words.

And just as a quick follow up - I played it a little last night. I pulled it out the case, and it was very nearly in tune - so close that I could have easily done it putting it in its case or attribute it to string stretch (new set of strings after all) or imperfect tuning from the night before (used the tuner in my head, so it was not as accurate as the impartial one with the battery). So - most importantly - it seems to be structurally rock solid. The seller said it was but it is always good to confirm it (great seller, he was absolutely spot on honest about everything). I really appreciate that.

One of my buddies locally is already trying to talk me out of it (the one that assisted me with the bridge posts). He said that he should have talked me out of it before I put all of my repairs into it. Funny thing is, I traded off a really nice Korean Epiphone Dot - with Sheptones - to him earlier and so that was the reason I was in the market for a 335 guitar in the first place when this one appeared. He likes his, but he said something to the effect that he really likes the idea the Electra does not have Gibson, Epiphone, or Ibanez on the headstock. I did comment that the electra has a cool peace sign on the logo. His comment was most people judge you in 5 seconds when they see those labels, but that it isn't that way with Electras. Well, maybe most people - but the people here certainly judge you positively!

It is a good one.

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 18, 2013 6:59 am 
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Good job!

I know you will enjoy it.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:38 am 
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I'm very happy it worked out for you. I certainly wanted to be completely upfront about everything, glad I was pretty thorough in describing it's flaws.
Great work by the way, it looks great.

I figured the action could get a little better with a correct bridge, the flat bottom tune o matic just didn't work. I'm pretty sure most of the damage was on it when my dad bought it, it mostly stayed in the case as far as I remember when I was a kid. I started using it in the late 90's but being a teenager it didn't work for heavy rock very well (feedback), I put it back in the case and it sat until a few years ago.

I've come a long way in making pickups since the one I sent you (one of my first), if you or anyone you know is looking for cheaper alternatives just send me an email or a message. I've got some videos on youtube too.

I'll keep checking back periodically to see if you make any more changes, but looks great.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:12 am 
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YOu have a website? I really like the 70s dp100 i have even though its about 12.5 it sounds great. Looking for another to replace the 498 in my 310 want to go zebra for the the original covered neck zebra bridge/.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 10:50 am 
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Back on the Elvin, I re-read Tom Presley's information that was posted on the Westone Page over the holidays. I noticed he specifically mentions having used Terada (or Kasuga, actually I forget which of the two makers) and having an early problem with neck joints coming unglued (neck joint failures). This corresponds with that timeline. So they evidently had a problem with some failures from a manufacturer, that they either remedied or changed manufacturers. This was a known issue. It has been repaired effectively and correctly. That does not really affect the value at all since we are talking about gluing a joint, and not structural damage or changes.

The cosmetic stuff affects it, pickups, a few hardware items replaced. None of this is really a show stopper. You did an excellent and correct job on gluing the neck. The correct style replacement bridge may have worked on its own but we slightly recessed the bridge bushing for an extra MM of depth. It worked out. All is well.

I can't help but be delighted. But have been so busy with different things, and new Electra/Westone projects should be arriving within the week (X195 and Westone Spectrum FX), as well as a DiPinto Galaxy 4. I traded some items and flipped the items, then used the funds for these projects. Unfortunately, one of the items I shipped was damaged slightly in shipping, so I have that to deal with. It will wind up costing me but what are you going to do? I am going to treat people like I expect to be treated, and if it costs me it costs me.

Happy new year everyone!

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