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 Post subject: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 2:25 pm 
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Members have known about this for a while, but in less than 24 hours the First annual ElectraFest will kick off. This was put together by X189 and myself in an effort to celebrate this innovative Japanese/American brand and reward our small dedicated community of Electra Collectors and Enthusiasts. From Noon to 6:00 pm, Saturdays agenda is:

Meet and Greet
Attendees guitar documenting
'Giveaway' review and inspection
Live Jam (recording?)
Food/Beverages provided!

Sunday will be more of the same:

Effect-a-palouza (recording?)
MPC Getdown
3:00 Giveaway Drawing
3:15 'Couldn't Make it' Drawing
Free-for-All (playing loud, drooling over door prizes, etc.)
Food/Beverages again provided

Just starting this post, will try to update a couple times a day this weekend, and post the winners and what they've chosen from the generous items X189 has donated to this Historical Event!

PM's must be recieved by midnight (EST) tonight to qualify for drawings

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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2009 8:05 pm 
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So, did I get my PM before EST?


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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:01 am 
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... there better be some bloody pix up here pretty soon, fellas!!! :D I hope you're having a ball, guys - sink one for me and especially one for Paul, eh?! :up:

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Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:38 am 
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Here's the site of the Electrafest, my humble livingroom and Studio. This is the lounge where we'll put Pauls offerings through the paces:
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And here's the studio:
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More stuff to follow (be patient Corsair!), wish us luck, Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 7:04 am 
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:up: Thanks for the update and photos. Looks like it is going to be a real success and a blast for all. That is a very nice studio you have and I hope to hear some of the jam time. Thanks again to you for hosting and helping make this first event a reality and thanks to X189 for his help and the great goodies he has provided. My PM should be in the hat for the drawing so I wish all good luck with the drawings. I wish I were there just to drool over all those beauties that will be together in one place at the same time but until then :look: :look: :look: all my eyes will be watching for more photos. SALUTE to you and X189 and ALL THE ELECTRA GANG that made it to the fest. Enjoy and ROCK ON. Thanks Again to all.

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Always give thanks for everyday, It may be your last so Rock On Semper Fi!!


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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 1:46 pm 
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Sweet!! Thanks Mike - enjoy!!! :up:

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Every guitarist I would cross paths with would tell me that I should have a flashy guitar, whatever the latest fashion model was, and I used to say, 'Why? Mine works, doesn't it? It's a piece of wood and six strings, and it works.'

Angus Young


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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Whew... well its been a whirlwind day here, and I apologize that I couldn't post before now, but we just couldn't stop talking all afternoon and it takes me awhile to dig through photos, rename, resize, upload photos and now post them!! First lets take a look at what members brought to the event, first up a gorgeous X720 Outlaw from Redeye:

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Also from Redeye, this cool X310 MPC BlackBeauty:
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Finally from Redeye, another rarity, this (I think PCM) Strat with the seldom seen Computer font logo on the headstock he affectionately calls the 'fishmouth':
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Next up from robotdr is this clean X110 he bought new, and added a 2nd pickup:
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And his Beautiful X189 in Red Sunburst:
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We spent a good deal of time checking out the giveaway drawing offerings, and the surprise jewel was what we affectionately named the 'Burn Victim', X189's hard luck X135GR that has been through the wringer... everyone who picked it up had a hard time putting it down. Redeye shown here used it for about 90 minutes during our jam session:
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In fact Redeye took spins on lots of guitars:
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Here he is grabbing yet another from the wall of fame:
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Here's robotdr playing his super clean X189:
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Had fun jamming with my Brother on Bass, and my Drummer Jeff:
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I'm the ugly guy in back who can't seem to put down my X250, my favorite live guitar as of late. Here's Redeye trying to catch a breather:
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All in all a fun exhausting eventful day for us, made some recordings, don't know how they turned out to be honest, will keep you all posted. Tomorrow JMM is gonna try to make it with his awesome collection of Semi-Hollows and we'll take more 'Group' guitar photos. oh, and there's that drawing thing going on... (wink wink) Have a feeling that the 'burn victim' is going to go EARLY!

Cheers, Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 11:04 pm 
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Wow!!!!

I'm glad y'all like the X135, it is indeed cool.

Cool to see RobotDr's strat, it is indeed a PCM strat and pretty rare. I have a blue-green one that I think is a little older, it has the old Round-E logo in gold on the blue headstock. These were made by Kasuga and released around 82 or 83. Remember when Hondo started putting out strat copies again? Same thing- if you look at catalogs for Mako brand guitars, you'll see a near duplicate of these PCM strats.

Kind of a story there, admittedly I'm guessing here, but I believe this model strat was what caused SLM to drop the Electra name in favor of Westone. I believe it was PCM who first used the name Electra (I have an example of a very early unknown model Electra I'm about to photograph and post about). Since PCM was west coast and SLM was midwest, there didn't seem any competition, especially early on and since PCM never distributed much that we can tell (which is why theyr'e rare). PCM was more like a single music store or maybe a local chain, whereas SLM was a distributor.

Anyway, I'm guessing PCM said to SLM (since their owners were related) 'hey, I'm getting these great Electra guitars from Japan' 'Oh cool, I'll order them too'. And so at first they were both selling the same guitars. SLM made up a catalog that showed a bunch of them and that's how we know the model numbers of the SLM Electras. Well, it was SLM who really torqued off Fender and Gibson- because they moved product, and the Rock N Soul tele copies really were equal or better to what Fender could do now that it was owned by CBS (remember three-screw necks?)

We all know the 'lawsuit' story that never was- basically SLM had the sense and class to say 'Oh, OK, we'll hire our own guitar designer and put out original models'. That's when they hired Tom Presley. the Fender models were all suddenly discontinued and clearanced- Electra strats and teles vanished fast. Gibson held a looser line, mainly since their guitars were such obvious variations of traditional acoustic guitars. That's why they settled on headstock shape even though that's such a trivial detail- it was the only thing that was (for purposes of trademark and patent) really 100% original!

SO anyway, SLM ditched all the Fender and Rick copies from their line, and gradually phased out other obvious shapes like the Vee and Explorer. Obviously a single cutaway is a generic shape- but notice that the evolved into the odd 1 1/2 cutaway like the endorser which was genuinely original. The Outlaws were obviously original, but they weren't exactly popular (it takes a special breed...).

Tom also designed a new guitar which we know as the Electra Phoenix. Although it was a double cutaway and so you could say it was related to a strat (well, OK, let's be honest- a Phoenix body is a strat body with the horns trimmed down. right? I really wonder if some Phoenix weren't actually strat bodies that had been made but then mothballed when the lawsuit scandal hit. Frankly, I think this was Matsumoku's doing, Tom's original drawings are more elongated. Anyway, the Phoenix evolved into what is generally recognized as a new style- a double cutaway with humbuckers and other pickups and a divebomb trem. Ibanez of course picked up on this and made a huge impact.

So back to PCM. From the models I can see, PCM started selling fender and gibson copies again in the early 80's. Kasuga was the first japanese maker to begin moving production to Korea, and the earliest of these models were shaky- pickup and bridges all their own weird dimensions, really cheesy- it's these which make people say beware of PCM Electras. But as we know, the Koreans did learn to make really good guitars, although they also continued making shoddy ones. At first these had the old Round-E Electra logo, but at a certain point they seemed to have switched to the weird 'computer' font. (which throws people off, because that font was really cool in the 60's and early 70's but by the 80's it was corny and out of style. But have a look at a Mako catalog and you'll see the same font.

Anyway, with all that said, here's my theory: I think when PCM started using the Electra name again to sell strats, SLM realized they were at risk. I can imagine if a guitar branded Electra were found to be legally a counterfeit, they'd be hard pressed to prove for certain they weren't the ones who sold it! And they were the ones who'd been slapped on the nose with a newpaper about this just a few years before. Not wanting to lose the credibility they'd won with the Electra name, they transitioned at first to Electra Westone and then to jsut Westone- because if they changed the name outright, there's a chance some music stores wouldn't pick up the 'new line' even though it was Phoenixes branded as Spectrums.

But that name was probably a mistake. Westone was a name Matsumoku used for their own line of guitars, rather different in character to Electras, think of a cross between an Endorser and an Aria Pro. Some are superb! Starting in mid 84 MAtsumoku started selling Spectrums in their european market. (previously there had been guitars called Westone Spectrum I, II, and II, unrelated to the Phoenix-derived SLM Westones) They shared catalog materials with SLM, so you have to think they had some sort of deal together. Magazine articles of the time describe the Matsumoku plant as booming, big stacks of Spectrums being assembled (Phoenix bodies, yes). My guess is SLM was (rightly) afraid they wouldn't be able to control Matsumoku's use of the brand and their ability to simply make whatever they wanted without telling SLM. Clearly in 86 the plug was pulled. The closing of Matsumoku right after this could hardly have been a coincidence, even if there was supposed to have been a fire- of suddenly unsold guitar bodies, i"m thinking.

Yah, that's my long story. But anyway, great to see the (what I call) thorn-headstock PCM Electra strat! How does it play? I'd really like to see a photo of the pickup rout and wiring on the pickguard, to compare it with mine!

And tell RobotDr he's in luck- since he's the keeper of this rare guitar, I'm going to send him (sometime later) a matching red PCM bass with the same font. (mcbrat gave it to me- and no, it's not a hugely great bass) It would be cool to keep the two of them together. (ok, but don't let RobotDR duck out of the drawing, this is for later)

OK guys, carry on, good on y'all!


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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:48 am 
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I've also noticed that a number of older Harmony instruments carry the thorn headstock.
I think there is a good chance they were made in the same factory.

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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:31 am 
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It's getting interesting guys. Bad news is that JMM can't make it, would love to have taken some pictures with 20+ Electras in it... But this means that only 3 of the plethora of instruments X189 donated will be spoken for, which means that the second 'couldn't make it' people (which weren't really that many) are going to have some tough decisions to make! There will undoubtedly be a couple of playable instruments and some great projects left. I estimate that you will have a 45% chance of getting something dudes.

How it will work is I will contact the first draw-er and give him a list of what's available, he picks and then I'll contact 2nd draw-er, and so on. Everyone's going to have tough decisions, that 12 string is something else, the futura project is something I've been drooling over for two days now, and again, it looks like one of the top three will still be available (hmmm, no mention of the outlaw?). I'll post winners and results of today as time allows. Cross your fingers gentlemen, Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:56 am 
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White Futuras are really cool. The buttercream white finish really has to be seen. Here's an intact one just to give you something to think about:

Image


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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:19 pm 
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OK, pictures to come, but a quick update of the choices made by attendees at the ElectraFest... and some of them aren't the obvious picks:

Redeye won the first draw, and he chose (drum roll please) the Burn Victim X135GR, which was just a really cool guitar, all the ElectraFest participants loved it.

Proendorser won 2nd pick, and I went for the Outlaw Project, which has some issues and hopefully isn't too big a project for me, I just couldn't pass it up.

Robot_Dr took his time, he played both the remaining complete guitars for a good 10 more minutes and decided on the Westone Spectrum DX (X140BK) with dive bomb vibrato in basically Excellent shape.

so, what does that mean...? Well, the 2nd chance drawing still includes that beautiful X135NA that X189 called his Grand Prize!! Along with a bunch of other stuff including the 12 string and Futura Project (awesome axe... all it needs is a neck plate and four neck screws from what we could see). Will post those winners soon too... this is great, Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Awesome!


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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:16 pm 
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:hyper: Well it certainly looks as if a great time was had by everyone that attended. I am truely sorry that I missed a great jam time and fest. Congrats to all the winners thus far and good luck to all of us second chance entries. Thanks for posting the photos so that those of us that did not make it could still feel like we were there. Looking fwd to hearing the jam sessions. A HUGE THANKS again to the host Pro Endorser and to X189 player for the goodies and all the time and effort they put into make this a reality. GREAT WORK GUYS!!!!!!
I will be looking fwd to our next Electra Fest and hope I will be able to attend. Thanks Mortarman120gang11c aka Arthur W. Herin SEMPER FI !!!!!!!! :hyper:

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Always give thanks for everyday, It may be your last so Rock On Semper Fi!!


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 Post subject: Re: ElectraFest 2009
PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2009 2:51 pm 
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This is for Paul, firstly, it's actually Redeye who has the PCM strat, and here is your requested route photo, looks like they could put either a single or humbucker in bridge position:

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As well as this one of the back of the headstock, you may recognize the serial number sticker and tuners as being associated with certain manufacturers:

Image

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