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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 8:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:49 pm
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
I know this is an Electra forum but being they are Japanese made guitars and a lot of their guitars share a lot of similarities I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the Washburn wing series guitars ? On another forum it was speculated that the pickups were either Maxon, DiMarzio, or Gotoh. Someone had a pickup with Goto on the back.
When I looked at various models of guitars ( Uncle Mat ) a lot of the head stocks looked very much alike.So I was wondering if there might be the same questions concerning Electra's and Westone's
The pickups look to be DiMarzio, hot humbuckers. The kind you see on an HSS strat. Some one replaced the bridge pickup with a JB humbucker. It is black and absolutely ruins the over looks of the guitar.
Any information would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 31, 2014 12:44 pm 
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
Just joined the Westone forum, while reading through the posts I found out I am not the only one who knows nothing about the pickups. I also searched the Matsumoku forum, same results.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:55 am 
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I used to own a pretty nice Falcon, gorgeous Rosewood top, you can see how thick the rosewood is in these pictures with the bridge pickup out. I couldn't get used to the weight and chunky neck, but it was a good experience. Here are two pictures of the pickup I could find:


Image

Image

Tom Presley told us at ElectraFest 2014 if a pickup was a Maxon, it would be marked, that they didn't let any leave house without their logo on the back. The pickups in mine had three height adjustment screws, two on the top and one on the bottom, which I believe is a very Japanese thing to do, but I am not a historian. There were no markings that I can recall on the bottom of the pickups, so I lean towards them being Gotoh, but again I'm not certain. Also in one of the photos you can see a sizable magnet underneath the bobbins but above the plate, something that should help identify the maker.

Some of the 'Wing' series were made by Matsumoku, but I don't know what period or versions those would have been. Best of luck.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 10:40 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:49 pm
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
That is identical to the one I have with the exception that, the pickups are just like standard humbuckers with only two height adjustment screws. Oh well I guess the search continues.
I have a DiMarzio in another guitar but it is terribly hot. I guess I will just have to go with some type of cream colored after market pickup.
Thank you for your reply and the information provided .


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:08 pm 
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Location: Southern Indiana
I vote for gotoh too. Like said above - Maxon generally say maxon on them. If they were dimarzio, they'd say that on the bottom. I wonder how closely they match the pickups in the X-900 series MPC guitars (except those were black and had two mounting holes instead of 3). The output matched them. The ones in the A20 I had looked like dimarzio SDs, but didn't have any markings and the windings were much less hot than a dimarzio - more of a "normal" PAFish wind.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:41 am 
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
Does Gotoh make replacement pickups. These have the two screw adjustment as opposed to three. I just hate to start down the road to switching from pickup to pickup to pickup. In addition to lack of satisfaction it is also the depletion
of funds with brand name prices not to mention shipping.
Being that the guitars are somewhat rare, there are few people that have hands on experience with them. Another kick in the teeth is while these were mid priced instruments the record keeping was really shoddy.
As of late I have steered more towards Epiphone, and Squiers. The quality has come up remarkably in the last decade and the information is abundant. In addition to that, on the forums someone somewhere has tried everything conceivable on one or other of the guitars.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 10:55 am 
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You say it is the typical 2 screw mounting like gibson, dimarzio, duncan and 99% everything else? If so - Are you looking to PLAY it or RESTORE it? If you are looking to PLAY there are several cheap brands of replacement pickups out there that makes some pretty good pickups. I have not tried all of them, but I have tried some of them. Most recently I bought a pickup new off of ebay from a company called California Guitars - but go by the abbreviation CALIG. I am NOT affiliated with them. You can likely find a humbucker you will like from there. Look at their descriptions. They are made by ARTEC - the same company that makes GFS, Dragonfire, Giovanni and many import pickups - I have not found out if they make the G&B pickups that are in the new Electras, or if that is a rival Korean company. Giovanni makes good pickups if you can find them. But I got a pretty good humbucker for $21 from CALIG - and that INCLUDES the shipping! Insane right? They make a decent variety. I have only tried the one so far. Another option is a used name brand pickup - a duncan or dimarzio that is used. You can often get them for half to two-thirds the price vs. new. WE are talking LOW DOLLAR stuff here that is pretty good.

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PostPosted: Wed Sep 10, 2014 9:33 am 
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While some of the wing series were Matsumoku, most were made by Yamaki, I very good builder. They also made guitars under the Daion brand. This may help with your pickup search.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 1:46 pm 
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
I have taken some readings on the potentiometers. Both volume's have 500K printed on them, while the tone only has a 3 stamped on the side, and reads 50K on the ohm meter. I think that may have been the original problem of low volume. One other thing that is strange is that the input of the tone is on the wiper lug and then on the third lug it goes directly to ground.
I have read on this forum that the same problem was discovered on some early Electra's. Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you once again.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 11, 2014 4:39 pm 
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That reminds me! I have seen that happen on a Daion too! :o

So that makes 4 or 5 brand guitars I have seen this "pot mixup" happen - most of them from Japan but even on a US model once. And if I found one or two, you know there are likely VERY many more that never got found.

Make sure you are measuring from out side lug to outside lug (or to ground if one is grounded). If so - swap it out with a good 500K pot - alphas are usually fine and should match up to your knobs. I don't recall if it has a push pull or not, but if not, you can just rewire like a standard Les Paul, or like a 50's Les Paul. You can use the same capacitors if you wish, you probably should at first anyway, as well as original pickups. Fix your problem first. I'd check the value of all the pots, if one is off, could be more. It still could say 500K and possibly be 50K. Man, it is SO EASY to overlook this stuff because usually it is wired all right and everything looks like it should. In my worst first case - I changed pickups in that guitar possibly 3X before I found it had the wrong pots in it. It was an EXPENSIVE guitar too. Nothing sounded good in it despite it being a fantastic guitar. Now we know why. You just did the same thing. I bet it sounds good when you get right value pots in it and wired right.

I should add that it could have been changed out by a bozo too that made the mistake (possibly a long time ago). You can't rule that out, even if bought from a dealer could have been done there and many probably wouldn't tell you.

Another suggestion on the wiring, if one pickup works/sounds great, copy that wiring on the one having the problem. That is the simplest. Your blueprint is right there in the guitar.

VERY FINE GUITAR though. Glad it sounds like you found the problem. Please report back!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 10:37 am 
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
Thank you, This has been a problem from 1979 dating from original purchase. My wife's niece bought it brand new,
it never had full volume. So it was sent to a Bozo who replaced the bridge pickup with a black JB humbucker, not solving the problem.
I have to purchase the pots in town as opposed to mail order. Will report back with or without any progress. I am so glad I remembered the posts about this very problem from so long ago. Thank you.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:06 am 
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Yes, I referenced that old problem at the top of this forum under the subject: EZ FIX for "My Electra MPC sounds dull/needs new pickups"

I ran into my first issue with that about 20 years ago. Then saw it probably a couple more times. Then started noticing when I was collecting more and more MPCs, that there were a few you could not get to sound good. I put it all together and realized we had 50 instead of 500K pots - and this was an ALL STOCK MPC. Since then I have seen it MANY MANY times on MPCs. I had this documentation from SLM for an Electra Super Charger kit and looked over the parts and schematic and realized that it was just a standard wiring (with the exception of two resistors) - so there was nothing Super or Charging about that kit. But it call comes together that many of these must have gotten out in the field before they realized there was a problem. So some on the group agreed that the kit must have been formed to actually correct a problem with some MPCs - this very problem we had seen and described. It is quire common. If your guitar has teh super charger stickers on the volume controls, it probably was corrected with the super charger kit before it was sold by the seller (or possibly if brought back in). The thing is, MANY were not corrected. We find them quite often now we know to look for them. Most techs just don't think to look at that. Being logical, I can see how someone would make that mistake - I changed my own pickups the first time for the same reason - and it just didn't do any good. Most guitar techs don't think things through unfortunately. When they hear hoof beats they only think of horses and never consider zebras. Every once in while a lot of hoof beats may lead you to a zebra!

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 3:07 pm 
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
I checked the guitar tone pots as you suggested they measure 500K when I went to the outside lugs. I continued looking and noticed the inside of the input jack seemed tarnished. I rolled a piece of 400 grit wet and dry and worked it on the inside of the jack. That made a difference in the appearance as I could see both sides while working.
I got good results when plugging the guitar into my amplifier. The guitar has push pull pots to split the pickups. It doesn't work in one position out of the four. I think now it will be either the switch for selecting pickups (Gibson Les Paul type) or one of the push pull pots need cleaning.
At this point I am really considering the amp the original owner was attempting to play through. Also if the Bozo was a friend of someones friend who knew a guy that had a friend who's uncle had a cousin that knew a guy, ect. So I am thinking maybe the person who attempted the repair may have used the same amp during the repair process.
I am going to clean the pots with an unconventional method. After setting for years I am sure the pots are all gummed up. I am going to use Non Chlorinated Brake Cleaner, followed by a drop of 3 in one oil in each.
Thanks again for the advice. Fortunately the problem was not 50K pots, however like you said had that been the case I could have spent hours and hours overlooking something right in plain sight. As it was I had already talked myself into believing that was the problem.


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 4:30 pm 
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Do you have radio shack close by? or close *enough* by? If you do, get some caig deoxit DN5 - they usually carry that, and if not, they should have a house brand of electronics contact cleaner. Brake cleaner could do all sorts of very bad things to parts. I don't advise it. You might be fine, but you may damage something - and that would be very bad to mess that finish up on that guitar! Not saying that it would, but it *might*.

contacts should be cleaned with the proper stuff first, then switched back and forth many times - or pots go back and forth through all the travel - and clean them up. If that does not work on you jacks or switches, if the switch is a gibson type you can get to the contacts on it - see if they are making contact and they can be gently persuaded if needed. That can be tested with a meter too on the switch. You can test the contacts on a push pull switch too.

Test your output after all is cleaned. If that didn't do it, test the leads on the pickup. You should be able to touch the hot and a ground and see the pickup impedance. And you should be able to switch it with the coil push/pull and get about half that impedence. So if it reads around 8K on the full pickup power, it should be about 4K with only one coil. If a coil is bad on the pickup it might read that half value all the time.

Test as close to the component as possible, Then trace out and see where something "falls off" to read a value it probably shouldn't read. If the control cavity is covered in foil or a metalic shielding paint, sometimes a pot can move and touch something and ground out (or partially do so). I have seen so many weird things happen. The push/pulls are probably a double pole, double throw - so may have two rows with three contacts. You measure form the center to the outside contacts - with the pot pushed in you should read continuity between the center and the farthest pole (and not between the center and the nearest pole) - and with it pulled it should be the opposite. Do this for each row (if you have two). That how you test it. make sure it is wired like the other one. Good Luck.

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PostPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:49 pm
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Location: Stranded in Oregon
Hello,
I will do all of the tests you suggested. About the brake cleaner, I read about it on the Peavey T60 forum. I was also skeptical at first, however I used it on an old solid state amp first. It just blasted all of the gunk out in short order.
After that I tested it on a part of the guitar not normally exposed, it had no effect on the finish. It worked very well on the guitar pots as well. I use paper towels to keep it from getting into any areas other than the ones I intend to clean with it. I would not use it on a guitar finished in lacquer, or an oil finish.
Any I made some headway in the last few days. Thank you once again.


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