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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2013 5:13 pm 
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Hi, first post 8) I hope i'm not breaking any rules, but I didn't see any related to selling.
I'm going to be selling my Electra Elvin Bishop model guitar and I was wondering what should I ask and if there is any interest here? (I know you guys aren't pawn brokers, but I can't find em' on ebay, so I have no idea what they go for, i'm not looking to make a killing, just to know what range i'm looking at. I'm sure nobody would be ecstatic about purchasing from a one time poster, but I can send you my ebay info for reference. I am also a long time member of a few other guitar forums I can link you to.

As far as the guitar, it does not have the original tuners or the original bridge or electronics. I do have the original pickups and the original tailpiece (did these come with a stoptail or a trapeze? Mine has a stop tail, not sure if that is the way it came or not..). I replaced the tuners with keystone grovers from the 70's (one is a modern ping tuner, the other 5 are 70's keystone grovers). I modified the pickups to be 4 conductor (I make my own pickups as a hobby).
It has a few dings on the top and the neck began to separate a year or 2 ago at the heel, which was glued and clamped and has re-separated in 1-2 years since glueing. I do not have any upclose pics of the crack repair, but I can take some if there is serious interest.
Its got the open book style headstock, not sure what year that puts it at.
The pickguard came off of another guitar, and is not original obviously.

Here is a few pictures:
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:15 am 
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Whats the asking price?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 7:13 am 
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Ummm..... It has been sold :D

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:41 am 
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So how do you like it John?

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 6:08 pm 
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Nice pick-up Thorny, I'm suitably jealous :up:


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:11 am 
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I thought I replied to this, I had a long message typed. Oh well! I do a shorter one this time.

I didn't intend to get this. But I have been missing that maple pro so long now, and this seems like a possible good opportunity to have a good Elvin Bishop at a decent price if I am willing to do a bit of work. Everyone knows me, I am willing to do the work! I am hoping it does not require work I cannot do myself.

The seller was very honest about some issues with the guitar. It has/had the following issues:
- Neck has been reglued, with a little concern because the seller said they would have liked the bridge to go a little lower than it had travel.
- Pretty well all the hardware had been changed
- There are holes in the top where a pick guard was attached to the arched top of the guitar (three holes instead of one).
- some significant dings/significant fret wear
- wiring, pots, electronics removed. Original pickups have had different covers and 4-conductor wiring added - have been potted as well.

Now that I have it:
- This guitar will never be a show piece, but it still looks pretty darned good. Very plain top for an Elvin, not really any figure in the wood like my maple pro used to have.
- Cool earlier style headstock, I think the first one of these I have had
- The neck joint is solid, glued well, and looks right and normal to me. No significant gap, looks just like a normal stress crack at the joint.
- I have a "real" Electra bridge from a former guitar, it actually sits lower than the replacement bridges. I hope to get enough travel without any mods. If not, may have to reset neck, sink in the bushings, or possibly find a thinner bridge. Some of them in these years had harmonica bridges (I think). I'd rather not have to go there. Right now too early to tell, don't have the strings on it.
- most of the significant mark/flaws on it touched up pretty well. They definitely are not gone, but they are not as glaring as before.
- haven't decided on the electronics yet. I probably should fix the string clearance issue to make certain it plays right before any electronics get put back in.

On the hardware:
- I am going to try the original Electra bridge I have, and might remove and possibly counter sink the bushings if needed (provided I can).
- The supplied tailpiece seems fine to me
- I put on a set of Grover Rotomatics
- Nut looks fine for now

On the neck:
- haven't adjusted the truss rod yet, will do if needed
- have oiled the board, looks nice
- I did a quick crowning and polishing, fairly wide and flat frets, so now have a better crown to them, to do better will have to level and recrown, but they are fairly flat now. Don't want to re-fret if can avoid it.

On the Electronics, I have the following considerations:
- I could put something similar to stock. I have good import pots and standard wiring I can use in it, and could go with original pickujps.
- I will have two sets of EXPENSIVE Sheptone pickups that I ordered a while back that will come in a month or so. Those are unreal fantastic and could go in it.
- I could do push/pulls, and do like an Endorser wiring with one push/pull doing single coil action on both pickups, and another doing phase reversal. I have to order the push pulls (I have some, but they need a slightly longer shaft). I could use the rewired original pickups or one of the Sheptone sets, or ? Sheptones are some of the best PAF pickups out there - yes, they are that good!

I will report back later once I get further along. So much for my "shorter" message!

We shall see what happens. I have several guitars for sale so I can fund some these projects I have already spent money on. I recently bought a nice Epi pro 339, and modded it, so now I will probably sell that (for a loss after modding), and put that money into this one. We shall see.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 12:20 pm 
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Some readers may recall I had a similar neck separation issue that took 2 re-sets. First one I tried without fully detaching the neck (fail) second, full detach sanding gluing etc. Has been stable for a couple years.

I really like the stock pups and standard wiring. Heck, I even like the standard tuners. I see you had a mismatched one there though. Can't go wrong with rotomatics. I abso;utely would try the Electra bridge. I would expect it to handle your travel issue. Not sure but I don't think these guys had harmonica style bridges and I would avoid that if possible.

I'm also selling a bunch of gear to fund an Epi Casino Elitist (natural) I got - Was seriously considering the 339 but really wanted P90's. The 339 seems pretty loaded with nice features at a remarkable price. What's your take on it?


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 1:24 pm 
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The 339 is very nice, it has push/pull pots, has the probuckers (think of them as Epi's version of the Gibson burst buckers), it had the vintage style keys. I put in the planet waves lockable keys, and put in the Tonerider Alnico IVs in it (uncovered zebra) and had to replace one of the the push pulls because removing the knob broke the shaft of the pot. I put real Mother of Pearl dot inlays into it as well. It is a GREAT guitar, very versatile, small body, not quite as acoustic as a 335 (because of the smaller hollow area), but the tone rider A4s have a little bit if liveliness to them. You know, they may even be unpotted. It gives it little bigger more acoustic quality to the pickups. It makes it more lively. I think it is a great guitar. Contact me if you want a deal on mine with the mods, as I likely will replace it with the Elvin once I get it done. Wife was mad before all this, now she is really ticked.

I started wiring up a wiring harness with what I have here now, and I was very unhappy that the full size pots WILL NOT go through the F holes in the Elvin. So it all will have to go through the pickup hole. Pain in the butt! I also am extending the pickups wiring slightly to make that work. Not there yet. Heck, I should just string it up to see how it does with strings on it and worry about the electronics later. I might be doing some different things. I don't know. I get impatient.

I have seen a few have harmonica bridges from this small era, so maybe it was a possibility. Or maybe someone just replaced the bridges. Anyhow, this electra tuneomatic I have now came from the Leslie West I have - and the gotoh style bridge i have on it works great. So I will try it and see what happens. It may be just right! Here is hoping anyway.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 11:32 pm 
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I decided against a 339 mainly because I really can't think it would be a "better" guitar than the Elvin. I do like the smaller body a lot and modern electronics options made it a real contender. In the end P90's and full hollowbody gave the Casino a distinct edge in my book.

I think you'll be very happy with Elvin once it gets sorted out - if there's a weakness at all I'd have to say it's the pots - heck, mine are 30+ years old and work OK - But I would change them out to CTS in a heartbeat if I wanted to wrestle with that install. I might want to try a 1M resistor on the the pots which I think would knock them down to about 350k. I'll waiy until I really have to do it though.

I've heard good things about A4 magnets but have never had a chance to play through any. IIRC Fralin P90's are A4. They are reputed to be a nice fit between A2's and A5's with none of the high harshness. If that's true then I'd see mo reason to pot them anyway.

Back to your Elvin...Shep tones may put the guitar into over the edge crazy good territory - The stock pair is still one of my favorite sets but push/pull coil splitting is a very attractive option. I think I'd do it.

Again IIRC the bridge is an ABR1? Tone Pros makes a nice metric replacement (AVRII I think). It's about $45, it's locking, and the retainer wire is purely cosmetic. I think locking helps coax a bit more sustain out of just about any guitar. Unlike a lot of Gibson's, I can't say I've noticed any Electra bridges collapsing - but I haven'y really had the need to inspect then that closely sinceevery original one I've had seemed fine. Don't know what they're made of but they are substantially heavier than most replacements I've seen. That goes for Electra stopbars as well - solidly made but again, locking would be nice.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:40 am 
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Thanks for the advice.

Yes, I'd say those tonerider A4s sound between a 2 and a 5. Little more brightness and output than an Alinico 2, but not as much as an Alnico 5. They do sound really good in the 339. The Epi Probuckers that came in it were particularly good for Epiphone pickups too. I have a early Xaviere XV700 model that I think was Korean made - back when they were making the "shell" guitars. I have done a ridiculous number of upgrades to it over the years. It had those A4s in that, and swapped them with the Epi pickups. Both of them sound good in the guitars they are in.

I always had standard wiring in my other Elvin and Maple pro when I had them. I had standard pickups in my Maple Pro (but I think I wound up potting them). In my Elvin, man, it has been years since I had that one, but I believe I put a semour duncan custom in the bridge. That was a LONG time ago, early 90s!).

On this one I was attempting standard wiring because that is what I have here now - but I converted it to 50s style wiring. Yesterday I wired extensions on the pickup wiring. It is the large sized pots but they are imports - out of brand new Epi. I did swap out the jack for a switch craft. Odd thing, Epi is using B500Ks (linear) on the volume, and A500Ks(audios) on the tones. This is backwards of what many people use - but it is not a fluke - it is the same way on the 339 Pro. It seems to give you most of your volume quickly, good if you do that Phil Keaggy or EVH volume swell thing, but not a gradual sounding taper. I probably would have cleaned the pots that were there if the originals were still there, but they were removed and not sent with the guitar. I don't have it back together yet. It is a bit harder to install these than I planned initially - they won't fit through the F holes and must be fed through the bridge pickup hole. I didn't remove the original pots so I could not tie a string to each pot and run the strings through the body, then use them to fish in the new ones. But this is proving to be such a PITA that I am not sure if I will procede, or buy all new stuff and try to do it once with exactly what I want (order and wait for it). I suspect I will put in what I have now (as I am impatient) and redo it later if I decide to do so (with better pots, and push pulls). Either way, I should string it up and see how the action does with the original electra bridge in it first. I will do that - hopefully today.

I have two amps to fix and pickups to put in another guitar today, and a Nephew's child's birthday party to go to, and possibly a vintage RC Cola (one of those old bottle type soda machines, from the 60 or 70s) to move. I don't think I am going to get everything accomplished!

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:24 am 
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Thorny wrote:
It is a bit harder to install these than I planned initially - they won't fit through the F holes and must be fed through the bridge pickup hole. I didn't remove the original pots so I could not tie a string to each pot and run the strings through the body, then use them to fish in the new ones. But this is proving to be such a PITA that I am not sure if I will procede, or buy all new stuff and try to do it once with exactly what I want (order and wait for it). I suspect I will put in what I have now (as I am impatient) and redo it later if I decide to do so (with better pots, and push pulls). Either way, I should string it up and see how the action does with the original electra bridge in it first. I will do that - hopefully today.

I have two amps to fix and pickups to put in another guitar today, and a Nephew's child's birthday party to go to, and possibly a vintage RC Cola (one of those old bottle type soda machines, from the 60 or 70s) to move. I don't think I am going to get everything accomplished!



Exactly why i procrastinate on new pots. Stringing makes it easier but its still a PITA. With these semi's It's tough to even get a good squirt of deoxit into the pots. I loosen up the nut and washer and try to drizzle some down the shaft and it does seem to work for awhile but to really clean them I think they have to come out and at that point I'd just replace them.

I've seen plenty of cheaper guitars with all A or B taper pots and it really doesn't bother me. I get used to them either way. In apinch I've used A's for tone pots. I generally just find the tone spot I want and leave it so It's not a problem but slight knob turns can give a pretty pronounced tone change. So, you see, I suffer from a bad case of impatience as well. A little odd because I'm admittedly pretty anal about lots of things - but I WANT RESULTS NOW!!!!

I forget what the 50's wiring does - I know I converted my Vantage FV-575 vee to it though and that guitar worked pretty darn well.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:27 am 
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50s style wiring allows you to retain balanced highs a little better in my opinion, without resorting to a bright cap which can sound "waspy" when you lower your volume. I think the 50s style wiring is easily half of what people hear and like about new pots - the other half is the actual pots and caps.

Yeah, cleaning pots in a 335 is a PITA too. I work on amps, so I have lots of those red deoxit "straws" and so I bend a few with "hooks" in the end. Sometimes you can get into it with a bent or hooked "straw".

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:04 pm 
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I really need to get one of those small dental type inspection mirrors.......


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:34 pm 
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ah, glad everything arrived in one piece.
I think the action was very good on the lower frets, it just got a little high for my taste past the 12th fret that could not be corrected via a bridge or trusrod adjustment. I did not have the original bridge anymore but I figured it was probably a bit lower than the standard tune o matic bridge. I actually started with the idea of shaving down a standard tune o matic bridge for it, to bring it down lower, but my dad and I just decided to sell it and be done with it, if we could.

He was a "pawn shop" guitar tech back in the 60's and 70's so he had all kinds of "cheap" ideas recently on how to fix it, which I prevented him from doing as I knew it would kill it's small value it had left. He was thinking of screwing the neck with a countersunk screw and filling the hole over it, or putting a screw in the neck from inside the neck pickup pocket. I kept it out of his hands to prevent that disaster.

The case that he had with it (not sure if it was the original or not), was so worn that all the "padded carpet" on the inside had worn so thin that the guitar had too much wiggle room in the case, and at some point was laid down flat too quickly causing the beginning of that neck crack. He forced the crack open a bit more and put some titebond in it, just never cleaned it up. I think it would've been better to try and clear out that seperation some more and then glue it, making it so you could've even raised the bridge a bit and the action would've been perfect.

He played very little the last 20-30 years so most of the damage on it was from the previous owner (he bought it around 1980 or so) for about $100 he said, from a pawn shop in south Carolina. Of course every guitar he had before this one was stuff that would be great to have today, L5, Barney Kessel, and I believe he also had an L7 (amongst a few others I can't remember).

The pickups were microphonic and unpotted, I thought the covers I put back on were the original covers, but i'm honestly not 100% as the pickups left my hands for a year or so. I wish I still had the tuners and the bridge, but I think the bridge was thrown away and the tuners I mistakingly sold a few years ago, as at the time I did not like the keystones (hindsight is 20/20), and I think I only got maybe $10 for them...
Sorry the leads are not quite long enough, I knew it would be cutting it short but what little bit I used was all I had left at the time.

Hopefully you can use or pass along the extra humbucker I sent you that I made. It was one of my first attempts at making a humbucker a couple months ago. It's made with 42 double build wire instead of 42 single build (just trying something different), and it's got an a5 mag, I think it was paf range in output, 7.8k.

I actually wired it a few years ago with push/pulls, and it was not easy. Because of the thinner body, it was a very tight fit to get a push pull up through the pot hole.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 29, 2013 7:54 pm 
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I found a case for it on ebay, made a lower offer on an SKB case and the guy took it. But I still have it unwired right now. I am pretty sure I am going to work on it at my friends house. We will pull the original bridge bushings and trim the edge so they can be mounted flush, that will give us even a little bit more adjustment. He has better tools for that kind of thing (a schatten knob/bushing puller). He even has a bolt to fit the bushings already, because he recently did this to another guitar. So I will take my time and do things right the first time.

I want to say I am not complaining - just doing a journal pretty well of what I am doing and thinking. I know you didn't do much or any of this. This guitar will be a great player when I am done with it, but I don't expect it will ever bring top dollar. But it will look a lot better when done, and it will play as well as the very best (even if every part isn't 100% original).

I didn't notice the bottom strap button mounting (piece of plastic and extra holes) so I will probably fill those and try to touch that up - and move the strap button back to where it should be (and remove that piece of plastic). I might clean up the bushings for the tail piece, one is sticking out a little. I have had to stop on it for a while, as I have been working all day and doing amp repairs tonight. It will be the weekend before I do the bushing work.

Thanks again! :D

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