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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 2:57 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 12:08 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Columbus, OH
Hi All,

Been a fan of the site for a long time an have owned many Electra's (mostly 80's). I finally got a forum account and have been chomping at the bit to get help on this one.

Here's what happened...

I had an older motorcycle in the garage and was about to have back surgery again (just had it last week). The bike needed a bit of work that I wasn't going to be in any shape to do, but we needed the space in the garage, bike had to go. I decided to put a feeler out on CL and see if I could trade for a guitar(s) of similar value.

After a few offers, I got one for a 70's Electra Les Paul, a mint 2008 LTD H-500 and some cash. The pictures of the Electra left me wondering what it was. Researched for a few days but found nothing like it. I'll post some pics here and see if any of you can help me make heads or tails of it.

Pics (some are 3+MB)
http://www.fennerfam.com/pics/guitars/E ... es%20Paul/

After I start getting some ideas, I'll tell you what my guesses were...

Andy

_________________
-Andy
-----
1970's Electra Les Paul
'83 Electra Westone x185
'84 Electra Westone x195 with Kahler Flyer (first guitar ever)
'84 Electra Westone Dynasty
'84 Electra Westone x195
2x 1990's Crate Electra
'90 Westone Villain with Modulus Graphite Neck


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 3:51 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Welcome to the forum. Since it is a set neck, it can't be a 'Super Rock' (2245). The only LP's with set neck that SLM made were the Omegas (X220), and they would have had the Peace Sign logo...

There is something not quite right about the openbook headstock, and the paint has a very wide outer band of color (most SLM's had a fairly skinny outer band of the sunburst). If I were a betting man, I'd say it's a PCM distributed model, which according to X189 almost no literature or advertising material has been found, so that is hard to substantiate.

It's a tough call, there are always those elusive prototype or one-off theories, but with that logo and being a set neck, I'd say PCM. Is it on the West Coast? The PCM's are more common there. Did you take the trade or are you still on the fence? Tell us what guitars you've had in the past, and the ones you held on to! Cheers, Mike.


P.S. Too bad there aren't any complete photos of the back of the headstock. Any serial number or other identifying marks there?

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Electra Guitar Videos ===> http://www.youtube.com/user/mjm33mjm?feature=watch


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 4:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 12:08 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Columbus, OH
Wow, thanks for the quick reply. I did go through with the trade. This thing plays REAL nice. I once owned a Gibson 72 LP Standard and this just kills it. The electronics box needs a little solder work, but it sounds great. There a couple cosmetic issues here and there that need cleaned up and a spot on the underside of the fretboard where the binding broke and has been repaired.

I live in Columbus, OH and I got it from a guy in Gallipolis, OH (near WVA) who knew absolutely nothing about it. I'm pretty sure I got the better end of the deal.

I'm not too familiar with the PCM models and had only recently gotten into trying to find out more about them. Quality better/worse? Cheaper/more expensive? From Matsumoku? Did I read that they were brothers?

I have it here, although I'm not allowed to play it until I heal, but I can get pics of it if any parts will help identify it. I dont have one of the entire back of the headstock, but there is nothing there. The only lettering I've found is the logo and "JB" written in marker ib the bottom of the neck pickup. From some of the pictures I can see that the back is solid with a cap of maple? Is it possibly chambered?

Anyway, let me know what I can provide and I'm open to any insght. Thanks!

_________________
-Andy
-----
1970's Electra Les Paul
'83 Electra Westone x185
'84 Electra Westone x195 with Kahler Flyer (first guitar ever)
'84 Electra Westone Dynasty
'84 Electra Westone x195
2x 1990's Crate Electra
'90 Westone Villain with Modulus Graphite Neck


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PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
Posts: 3015
Location: Tifton, Ga USA
:love: That is a nice looking guitar and looks all original. I am guessing and concurr with Mike that is most likely a very early PCM model not made by Uncle Matt but maybe by Fujen as they also manufactured many of the early SLM and PCM Electra models. Most were bolt on with the exception of the Omega models but this may be an early trial version with the set neck. The set neck quality is very good in most all models early and late.My only other guess would be that someone liked the Omega models but ordered it setup like a Les Paul as some did come with 3 way switches. It is a very nice guitar and I think you did very well as it also has a nice HSC also. Congratulations and welcome to the Forums :up:

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


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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2010 7:29 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 12:08 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Columbus, OH
Thanks for the insight mortarman. The debate between PCM and SLM has me a little flummoxed as I don't have much concrete info on the PCM stuff. Is there any kind of reference of factual info for them? Were they around before SLM? When you say a very early PCM, is that late 60's or early 70's? Someone at mylespaul.cxx thinks it's definitely a Matsumoku because of the logo style.

Any thoughts on the 'JB' marking on the pickup? Did PCM use decent electronics from the factory? Likely not a Duncan but I guess you never know. I also am wondering about the tuners and if that logo could give anything away?

As a closing thought for this evening. I may have to end up getting rid of this guitar an a couple others if anyone is interested and can help come up with a fair value. It would go a long way to covering the remnants of the surgery bills....

_________________
-Andy
-----
1970's Electra Les Paul
'83 Electra Westone x185
'84 Electra Westone x195 with Kahler Flyer (first guitar ever)
'84 Electra Westone Dynasty
'84 Electra Westone x195
2x 1990's Crate Electra
'90 Westone Villain with Modulus Graphite Neck


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 5:04 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Andy, sorry to hear about your back surgery, and hope that it will only get better, even worse is the doctors orders not to play your guitar, hasn't he ever heard of Musical Therapy?

I don't consider myself an authority, but there are more than a few threads on here about the history of the Electra name, and that if memory serves, PCM predates the SLM Electra distribution, even though SLM has been in business since 1922, and there are a couple of references that the two 'houses' are related somehow.

Before about 1975 both SLM and PCM offerings seem to vary in consistency, which is to say that either brand was capable of supplying great instruments, and some not-so-great items. Many variables, but the condensed version is that they were dealing with multiple suppliers, who in turn had multiple manufacturers. You often hear Matsumoku referred in hushed and reverent tones, but most of the Japanese companies were capable of making great guitars, and by design there were few if any tell tale marks left on these guitars to identify their origin, both frustrating and part of the charm of collecting them I suppose. After 1975 SLM became very consistent as far as manufacturers, construction and quality goes from what I can see.

I agree with Mortarman that typically the set neck offerings are a cut above, and would have represented some of their better efforts, although I've got a early 70's 2238 Tele that I'm really smitten with, so there are no absolutes. X189player is infinitely more familiar with construction tendencies, and maybe he could possibly tell you the origin of your guitar, regardless of who distributed it.

I will say that you often see that Logo on BOTH SLM and PCM guitars, but it was usually painted or stenciled on... it looks like it is one continuous pearl inlay on your guitar (you can see the seams between the letters connecting them) and I'm not sure I've ever noted that before... very cool, and more proof that it would have been a higher-end example. I say let the Guitar speak for itself, regardless of pedigree.

I'm sorry to hear you've got to sell some stuff, (show and) tell us what you've got on the block, hopefully it will go to an enthusiast. Still wanting to know what guitars you've had in the past, and what ones you will never get rid of! Best of luck, Mike.


P.S. What kind of Bike did you trade for it?

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Electra Guitar Videos ===> http://www.youtube.com/user/mjm33mjm?feature=watch


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 5:32 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 4:32 pm
Posts: 106
The logo on the tuner is Gotoh-the makers of the "star" tuners used on '70's Ibannez and some Electras....I suspect that the Electra branded tuners used in the late 70's/early 80's were manufactured by Gotoh


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 11:06 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
Posts: 3015
Location: Tifton, Ga USA
SLM and PCM were owned by 2 brothers. One owned SLM(east coast dist) and the other owned PCM(mostly west coast dist). PCM was the first to source from early japanese manufacturers in the late 60's-70's. The first models were hit and miss quality wise and were made from parts from many of the different japanese manufacturers. These early models were mostly the Apollo or early slimline models and were mostly made from laminated plywood. Later after the brother (SLM) began to source from the same japanese manufacturers the quality slightly improved. Eventually SLM settled in with Uncle Matt and the best was to come. The early 70's-about 1976 were mostly bolt on necks with the exception of a few set neck models. After 1976 the headstocks began to change due to some complaints from other manufacturers. I have an early 1971-1972 SG model PCM with the same logo but it is made of metal and glued on the headstock. The SG is made of laminated plywood but sounds nice.. The PCM electronics were mostly the same but sometimes made cheaper depending on the time frame and contracts. PCM tended to go with the lower priced contractor where SLM went for the better quality.This does not mean that PCM quality was poor as the higher end PCM models(aka the set necks etc were the same or better quality as SLM) and were the top of the PCM line. It is really a toss up as they were mostly all good manufacturers as time progressed. This is a very nice model and has the higher end tuners and electronics and is a good find. I am so sorry to hear if your back surgery and it is rough not to be able to play. When I was going through all of my surgeries etc to get me back in one piece again the only thing that kept me sane was my music and family. Hope it works out for the best and you can keep them all. If you decide to part ways then I am certain you can find a good home for them with a forum member. If so please keep me on the standby list as I am a sucker for a good sunburst. Hope this helps and good luck with the docs. :up:

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


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PostPosted: Fri May 07, 2010 12:47 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 12:08 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Columbus, OH
Here's the promised list of current/prior owned guitars. Wasn't sure if you just wanted Electra's, but the list isn't that big so I'l put them all. Current are in red.

1962 Gretsch Clipper
1972 Les Paul Standard (Cherry Sunburst)
1970's Hohner 430LP
1970's Electra Les Paul
1979 Kramer DMZ 2000 (aluminum neck)
1980's Fender Squire II Strat
1983 Electra Westone x185 (Rose Metallic)
1983 Electra Westone x189 (Lipstick Red)
1984 Electra Westone x195 with Kahler Flyer (Blue Burst)
1984 Electra Westone Dynasty (Lipstick Red)
1984 Electra Westone x195 (Blue Burst)
1987 Ibanez RG440 (with custom routing and Seymour Duncan Invader)
1989 Fender HM Strat
1990's Crate Electra (2x both black w/ white)
1990 Westone Villain with Modulus Graphite Neck and EMG Selects
1990's Fender Galaxy
1990's Jackson Performer PS-7 with a PS-3 neck
1990's Rogue Double Neck (6 & 7 String)
1999 Fender Mexican Strat
2000's Rogue LX205 5 String Bass
2000's Fender DG-8
2000 Ibanez RG270 (stripped to bare wood and added Ibanez Hot Grinder's and Short Tracer pickups)
2001 Ibanez SA160 (black with DiMarzio FRED in the bridge)
2002 Dean Boca
2002 Dean Exotica FM
2004 Jackson Dinky Reverse/DKMGT hybrid hardtail
2005 Fender Telecaster Custom FMT HH
2008 ESP LTD H-500


Each one has a pretty good story. I still have access to the Dynasty if I ever want it back (good friend has it). Some I would never buy back, others I never would have got rid of if I hadn't had to.

I would love the x195 and x185 back. I really miss the Ibanez RG440, I saved months for that and bought it when I was in high school. I owned it for years and put TONS of work into it. Selling the '72 Les Paul was the stupidest thing I have ever done (guitar-wise) and I still get junk from a few of my friends after 18 years.

The ones I have pics of so far are here: http://www.fennerfam.com/pics/guitars/

The best story so far is the Tele FMT HH. I'll have to share sometime. Oh, and the bike I traded for the Electra LP and the LTD was a 1986 Yamaha Radian.

_________________
-Andy
-----
1970's Electra Les Paul
'83 Electra Westone x185
'84 Electra Westone x195 with Kahler Flyer (first guitar ever)
'84 Electra Westone Dynasty
'84 Electra Westone x195
2x 1990's Crate Electra
'90 Westone Villain with Modulus Graphite Neck


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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2010 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 12:08 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Columbus, OH
Thanks to all for your info on this guitar, but this and a few others have to hit the block. If anyone is interested, let me know.

www.rivercityamps.com/electraforum/view ... f=7&t=4760

_________________
-Andy
-----
1970's Electra Les Paul
'83 Electra Westone x185
'84 Electra Westone x195 with Kahler Flyer (first guitar ever)
'84 Electra Westone Dynasty
'84 Electra Westone x195
2x 1990's Crate Electra
'90 Westone Villain with Modulus Graphite Neck


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2010 6:22 pm 
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Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
I have 3 Ibanez RG440s in the family, mine is the yellowed-pearl-white color (really IS yellow, but the color resembles an aged white), I gave my daughter a light blue one, and my son a black one. I wish I had a red one, and that would be all the colors if I did. I love the neck on those guitars and the edge trem on top of the strat-like body - and the matching headstock!

You have a PCM electra there, but it has the same veneered plywood hollow top that most of the japanese copies had back then (electras, univoxes, some arias as well). The pickups - I don't know what they are - they are not likely Duncans so I don't know what the JB would mean (unless JB owned the guitar!). Wasn't there a JB Player brand that made pickups in the 80s? But I thought those had their names printed in white on the bobbins. What ohms resistance is it? Duncan JBs are around 16-17K. It would be the wrong pickup to have in the neck. Also, with the colored wires on the other pickup - that isn't a duncan trait. Is that the logo for Gotoh or for Ping on those tuners? It doesn't matter, both were pretty good. It has LP Custom styled binding, inlays, and gold hardware, black trim, but the neck has a rosewood fingerboard (like a standard). The bridge is different than most later SLM Electras. The pots are the cheaper smaller ones unlike an SLM. Still, it looks to be a pretty good guitar. It is really hard to say what it is worth, not as much info on PCM Electras to determine that really. My guess is it was made in the mid to late-70s. It is worth whatever you can get out of it, probably fairly close or slightly more than a super rock, maybe a bit less than a set neck omega. Again though, that isn't set in stone at all. I haven't seen another one just like it. I generally say PCMs are not as good as SLM guitars, but that one is probably one of the better PCMs made - so it is likely similar in price and quality.

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Thorny


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PostPosted: Tue May 11, 2010 3:20 pm 
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Joined: Mon May 03, 2010 12:08 pm
Posts: 32
Location: Columbus, OH
From X189Player
Quote:
Hey, cool guitar.

I'm only an expert by default because I started talking about the early models.

The real expert is Tom Presley, who was SLM's guitar designer. If he comments you'll get an authoritative answer.

At that time (just like China today) you could call up a factory and have any guitar they made (lots of Fender and Gibson copies) with any name you wanted printed on it. SLM was big and tended to order standard models they'd picked out and featured in their printed catalog with model numbers.

PCM was smaller - basically a couple of stores - didn't have catalogs and hell, i bet if the manager wanted to order up a guitar model for himself to be included in the next order he could do so. But both PCM and SLM used the same Electra name and logo, because of the two brothers.

I'd guess it's either a low run or one-off PCM-ordered guitar, or else its a prototype set neck Super Rock sample sent to SLM, Tom has described a few of those. I've also heard that when the Norlin lawsuit hit, there were a whole bunch of open book headstock premium guitars that were basically buried in a warehouse to be trickled out later. Look at the 1975 Electra catalog and you'll see all the headstocks are hidden.

Those are my guesses, Tom may know more (since he was there). Oh, I should have posted this in your thread instead of replying privately, feel free to post this if you think it helps (I have to run out the door so won't get around to it)

_________________
-Andy
-----
1970's Electra Les Paul
'83 Electra Westone x185
'84 Electra Westone x195 with Kahler Flyer (first guitar ever)
'84 Electra Westone Dynasty
'84 Electra Westone x195
2x 1990's Crate Electra
'90 Westone Villain with Modulus Graphite Neck


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 8:57 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:13 pm
Posts: 4
I just picked up a black Crate Electra Standard "Les Paul" for $90.00 can anyone tell me when these were made? where they were made? and maybe who made it? the pickups are hot and it plays pretty well, not sure of the construction, but it's a set neck. any info would be appreciated.
jason


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 11, 2014 11:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
Posts: 3015
Location: Tifton, Ga USA
The Crate Electra models were the last of the line and were mostly produced in China with some Korean models and were manufactured from the late 1990- about 2006 or so. You can find some nice ones and the LP style seem to be the better ones. Great score at that price. Welcome :up:

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


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