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 Post subject: Interesting Mods
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:52 am 

Joined: Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:07 pm
Posts: 3
Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Have any of you made any interesting mods to your Electras that you liked?

"Loyalty to petrified opinion never broke a chain or freed a human soul." ~Mark Twain

 Post subject: Re: Interesting Mods
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:05 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
I always replace what's broken. Just like any other guitar, they are made to be played. Yeah, I collect them too, and for collectors the perfect specimen with no changes is always worth more. But when I find them they usually have something wrong with them after all most have been played, frequently a LOT. So I replace whatever needs to be replaced to make it functional again. I usually try to replace it with a part that "is in the right spirit" meaning similar to the original, looks like the original, something like that. But I change things like pickups and tuning keys, bridges, to things that will perform better for me if I feel I need to. If it is a valuable instrument, I keep the original parts to restore it later.

I changed my new SG to look more like an old one. And I did the same to my LP (well, the guy before me did, and I left it alone). And my Washburn A20 reissue, I made some changes to make it more like the original than it was as a stock reissue. I put different dimarzios in that one that were closer to the Washburn Powersound pickups in the late 70s A20. I just insisted on getting the right notched gold knobs for it too, and destroyed the cheap push/pulls used on it. I have a harmonic designs bridge pickup and a replacement bridge, as well as a replacement set of grover rotomatic keys on my X330. In all fairness, it had a bad bridge pickup and the bridge suffered from locked up saddles and some of them missing (not too uncommon on the electra tuneomatic). I felt the grovers were a bit better quality than the stock keys at that time too. But the ones on it were pretty worn. I changed knobs too, to amber bell shaped knobs. That guitar rocks. If the guitar was supposed to have a brass nut on it, I would usually put one back onto it that was nearly identical.

I bought some carcasses of guitars and put whatever makes sense that I have that is again, "close to the spirit" to what was there. My Leslie West was a carcass that had been ran over from what I could tell prior to me getting it. I put in PRS SE pickups I had laying around here (dual black coil humbuckers that were slightly hotter than a PAF, and looks somewhat similar to the pickups that it had in there originally - but definitely not the same), I put in a bridge, and probably the tailpiece (don't recall if that one is original or not) - again, that guitar really is GREAT. I have put boutique Sheptone pickups in my endorser (but I boxed the original MMKs that were in it to restore it should I ever sell it). The rest of the guitar is stock to my knowledge. I did do some minor finish touch up on it. My Elvin Bishop also has another different set of Sheptones in it. About half of the Electras/Westones I have are stock or really close to it. I put locking tuners on some of them because I like locking tuners. GFS makes a nice set that looks right on the Westones and Electras with black inline gotohs with the schaller shaped button. It looks original at first glance but the back has the wheel to lock the key on it - but it all bolts up without mods. Sometimes I removed the string lock if I am putting on those keys and am missing parts anyway. Missing knobs? I put something that looks good or looks right. I found some nice notched speed knobs like Electra phoenix and some other models used. I have an X310 that was a carcass, but I put all new hardware on it and two import gold covered PAF-types in it. They are pretty decent generic gold pickups, but they are not bad. But again, I didn't have much choice on that one. I have replaced many switches and put replacement MPC sockets in one as well.

I have a couple new electras too - from 2013 and 2014. I have modded them both some, mainly changing pickups. I really love the twangbanger in the bridge and two Alnico II single coils in the new phoenix (I thought the stock pickups were too hot for my personal tastes), and the I am going to try a set of WCRs (a Godwood and a Darkburst) in the 2013 Omega. Right now I have a duncan JB in the bridge position in that guitar. I have replaced the broken stock bridge on a couple phoenix and pointy era Electra black strat style bridges with black Wilkinson US Spaced bridges - they fit perfectly and looks correct, and likely performed even better. The plates on those bridges are brittle and will crack and break. The wilkinsons would be hard to detect they look so normal. But they had a push in tremolo bar instead of the threaded type. Since i have several hum, single, hum models from the phoenix era, I may mod one to have dimarzios and/or duncans - just to have some variety to play. But my nicer ones are staying stock.

But you know, my Gibsons are ALL modded in some way, as are ALL of my Fenders, Deans, Schecters, Epiphones, Ibanezes, Washburn, and more. I have a DiPinto that is stock except for the knobs on the tuning keys crumbled and I had to replace them. So it is almost stock. But about half of my electras are stock, so that speaks a lot to their quality.

If you have a nice instrument, keep the original parts you replace, in case you want to sell it again it is worth more stock to just about everyone on this forum.


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