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 Post subject: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Fri Apr 11, 2008 5:49 am 
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Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
Have been wanting to ask this for quite some time; finally got around to posting;

What is the difference between some of the pickups on Electra guitars such as the X220 Omega and X340;

On the X220 each individual string pickup on the top row of the bridge pickup is square;

On the X340 MPC models each string pickup on the top row of bridge pickup is round;

Is this just a difference in design cosmetically or are they actually different pickup models on each guitar model;

I have been noticing this for years and thinking either that these were different pickup models, or that the square design came first and then the round design on later SLM guitars; and not knowing which;

Would someone try to clear this up for me?

Thanks,
RCSBlues :oops:

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 24, 2008 12:08 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA
I don't know if this will clear anything up, but I've owned at least a half-dozen Super-Magnaflux bearing Electras (Omegas and MPCs), some with the square slugs and some with the round slugs, and they all sounded about the same. Also, I know that I had a couple sets out at once one time and they read almost identically on the old ohmeter.

That's all I've got. Hope it helps!

M


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:41 am 
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More information than I had a moment ago;

Must only be a cosmetic difference.

Thanks for your response,
RCSBlues :oops:

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2008 1:24 pm 
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Maybe my ear'ss shot or something but the pickups I had in my Omega sounded shoddy and I used to never care about pick ups that much until I heard the difference between my Ultima and Omega, the Omega was very muddy no real character it almost sounded the same no matter what position. Now the Ultima I played last night through my little univox tube and darn that thing sounded great I didn't have it overdriven just real clean and man fantastic, rich high deep low and just enough mid. I was suprised hoe much bottom end came through that little 8 inch speaker. Also I put new PU's in my Omega and got rid of all the stuff and made it a LP setup and it came to life. I would consider putting the 5 way back but at this rate it sounds so much better why bother.


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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2008 9:15 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
I just did some work on my X189 I got from Paul (THANKS Paul!)

The guitar and pickups sound good, but the pickups would squeal like a pig (actually more like a sure SM57 facing a PA speaker) if I put any gain on the river city lunchbox amp. I *finally* got around to potting the darned pickups. Here is what I found!

The bridge and neck pickups are MMK models marked "45" - and both are about 12K if you measure the resistance of the windings on a meter. The windings appeared the same for both pickups. The bridge pickup had an extra wire on it to allow the phase to be flipped - other than that they may be the same pickup in the neck and bridge. The middle pickup is about 6K - and is likely just a single coil from the same winding as used on the "45" humbucker. The potting fixed it. The pickups now sound GREAT, but now I can use them too without fears of rediculous microphonic screeching. Yeah! These babies sound great.

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And look at the wiring for these... for those that don't think Electra made innovative guitars compare this to your Gibson!

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And Paul, this is a killer guitar. Every tone just about under the sun. And for your information - I put a carvin SD22 pickup I had in the bridge for a very short while. While I liked the fact the 22 poles lined up a little better to the strings than the standard 12 poles of the MMK in the bridge position, the tone of the pickup was HARSH. It is NOT the pickup for this guitar! I put the potted MMK 45 back in and it rocks! Not too hot, not weak, not harsh. And by lowering the neck pickup slightly the balance is very nice between pickups. I think maybe a good duncan (maybe a TB spaced JB in the bridge, 59 or Jazz neck, and a flat vintage single in the middle) set might sound nice - this sounds fantastic with the stock pickups after they have been potted. Anyone with these pickups needs to know this before they go swapping them out.

Oh yeah, and the plates covering the back of this guitar are made of metal - not plastic! Good stuff.

Thorny

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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:45 pm 
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yep, they're awesome. the weak part to my ears is the single coil- If I were replacing pickups I'd replace that with a much more generic strat single so I could 'stratify' it by pulling out the middle knob.

This model (the X189, also the X185, and the Spectrum LX and FX, and the pointy Dynasty and DIm IV and Monark) really represent the high-water-mark of Tom Presley's design work- his development of this H-S-H wiring dates back to the 60's, when it was completely exotic.

Considering how inexpensive these guitars are today, it's a miracle- I really do recommend every Electra lover pick up at least one Phoenix, you won't regret it.


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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:52 pm 
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Location: Southern Indiana
I fully agree!

I looked at the westone parts sight - and they are sold out. But is there a source for saddles for this bridge or a replacement bridge? I really am not at that point yet, but I do need to do something with my high E string saddle - it has a bit of that "sitar" action going on and that drives me NUTS. I probably can try to polish that saddle a bit (or even groove it) to remedy the situation. It is not bad mind you, it is just I let certain things drive me crazy. Just like how I am tuned to certain amp noises, I am also tuned to certain guitar noises that most other people don't seem to notice.

This all is rather remarkable too since I probably have hearing damage from how loud I like to crank tube amps up. I particularly enjoy the reverb effect from all the acoustic guitars on my buddies store's walls when you crank an amp loud enough to make the whole wall of acoustics ring in sympathetic vibrations after you stop playing your last note. You have to hear it! :hyper: What is truly sad is I am totally serious. Just ask my friend Dave that owns Six Strings Down in Plainfield, IN! :rofl:

Back to the subject though, we need to see if someone like graphtech will make replacements for us! There are enough of these out there between the Electras and the Westones (anyone else use these bridges or pieces?). It may be that one of the myriad of other saddles they make will work well in this application (any of the oddball off center strat saddles for instance?). It might be good to compile our knowledge of parts and offer some Electra replacement parts that can be accessed off the website, or refer people to adequate replacements like we have been doing for some of the parts today. We are running out of spares, and it seems a shame to steal parts from multiple guitars to restore one. Lack of available parts encourages this.

Hmmm, I just don't know. Even some MMK pickups might be worth cloning (or suitable replacements recommended). I am pretty well impressed by the "MMK 45".

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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:50 pm 
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Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
I agree with all of the above!! The Westone Spares site is opening again today but those saddles were 'new-old' stock; I got 3 of 'em when he was open the first time and count myself very lucky to have done so!! The bridge on my X195 has a badly munted front (bevelled)edge and whilst I am going to try and either a) fix it (unlikely as it is not going to be easily weldable!), or b) build another out of a solid steel billet, in the meantime I'm going to whack a Wilkinson 5+1 in the hole! The measurements are near enough as makes no difference and I want to PLAY this thing, eh!!!

I do know that a fellow Westone forum member has a Tek-glide II bridge (did Electra use the T-GII? Think Spectrum GT...)for sale and if anyone's keen then I'll PM him... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 6:23 pm 
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Posts: 18
Hey everybody! I just got the new issue of Guitar Player Magazine, and Seymour Duncan has a new Active Pickup out. That got my attention, so I browsed over to their website, and was poking around at all the different pickups. I came across another passive pickup that had button head screws in place of the standard "set screws" that can be found in many electras and are in my X185. SOOO, I was curious to ask (before I jumped in and messed something up)

#1) Would a larger button head screw improve the output of a pickup?

#2) Could I remove the setscrew out of a pickup and replace it with a button head with out ruining/destroying the P/up?

Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 7:13 am 
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Posts: 18
hello.

what type of pots did you replace the Electra guts with? I have a X220 and want to change it to a classic Les Paul. Should the pots be the longer style or shorter style?

thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Wed Aug 27, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Location: Southern Indiana
I think electras are shorter style, but to be certain just take a digital picture of what is there, then remove and measure yours. That will tell you. But NOT a long shafted pot like some of the Les Pauls take.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 5:55 pm 
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The middle pickup on my x185 is dead -- any suggestions on a good single coil i can replace it with and where i can get one? I keep seeing strat single coils, but they have the kind of V-shaped lip on one side so they won't fit into the slot pickup slot, which is straight.

Also, before i replace the pickup, how should i test the pot to make sure that isn't actually the problem?

Thanks. 8)


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 Post subject: Re: Electra Pickups
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2016 6:14 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
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Location: Southern Indiana
I have seen the real deal 4 sale on eBay

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