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PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 9:34 pm 
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Location: Southern Indiana
Yeah - not Electras, but a Westone and an Aria - both Mats from the same era. I figure close enough for rock and roll to bring it up here. I know we have people that frequent here that work on all the Matsumoku lines.

Just picked up a westone spectrum ST, looks a lot like my phoenix but this has only 2 humbuckers, a volume, tone, tone has a push/pull presumably to switch the humbuckers to single (haven't even checked it out to be sure about that). It has chrome hardware, and the pickups are not marked but appear to be original. However, they have philips adjustments in the top, not allen adjustments like the MMKs I am used to. Also it is missing one of the bridge saddles (chrome saddle, not the fine tuning type bridge, but it is a floating bridge). Maybe I will take pics, but most of you probably know what i have here. It needs a chrome bar too. Poor little guy is quite rough, beat to hell, but not in two parts like some of you have recently posted! But that pic is after I spent an hour trying to clean it up! It is missing the plastic covers on the back too. A couple of frets are dinged pretty good too, the rest are in very good shape. I'd like to get it going again cheaply if possible. It won't be worth a lot even if it IS fixed, but I can't stand being close to having it only need a few parts just to give up and part it out.

I don't know where to get a saddle. The pickups are different than my MMKs, so I don't know what they are. I am just confused. heck I will take a picture and post. Are there different grade pickups or models? Anyone recognize these? I just haven't seen these before.

** pics deleted on photobucket acct **

Also, I picked up a Fire Crackle Aria Pro II CT (basically a super strat with the aria floyd licensed bridge). I makes you wanna grow your hair big and crank your metal loud! I got both guitars in a trade deal. This only needs one of the tiny allen screws that locks the bridge saddle and a bar. It is in pretty darned good shape.

** pics deleted on photobucket acct ** Update - I fixed it and sold it!

If anyone has any information please feel free to chime in! Looking for parts to get these back to where they should be (or can be). Share your sources!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:34 am 
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Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
The pickups in the ST are either UBCs or faux UBCs....

http://www.westoneguitars.net/guitars/s ... m-st-x135/

http://www.westoneguitars.net/fixme/har ... s-pickups/

... Mine has the plastic plate underneath...

You're missing the Switchmaster knobs, too! I may have a saddle that will fit if you're interested but I'm not sure about wang bars; I've got one or two, but they're for the Bendmaster bridges. That's not really a floating bridge, eh..... It just has 2 screws instead of 6!!

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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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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 6:44 am 
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I have a metric Strat style bar you can have. Any good hardware store should have the screw for the bridge. They are sometimes called set screws or grub screws. I am with Corsair on the pups. I have a pair from a parted out Spectrum. Nice pups.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 7:37 am 
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Location: Southern Indiana
Yup, you guys are right. Apparently I have the first attempt at making UBC pickups that they describe was a spectacular failure. It is further described as two equal weaker coils (50% – about 3.5k) for each coil, resulting in a standard low output humbucker. They have a resistance between 6.5 to 7k. It also has the plain steel plate on the back and the unusual Philips screw style ends on the pole pieces.

I had never seen this pickup before! But I am more of a recent convert when in comes to post MPC Electras and Westones. Paul is the reason for my conversion into the later phoenix and spectrums (and pointed era) guitars. Hmmm, I own a "spectacular failure." Well it wouldn't be the first time. I'll give them a chance.

Yeah, I will take you up on that saddle. I don't have a clue where to get one otherwise for sure. It seems this guitar will be saved from being parted out. It still is beat to heck, but it deserves to live and thrash again. I will see if I can find the correct size bar - I assume the same for both (except one chrome and one black). If anyone knows the mm size of the bar, I can probably find one. You know, I can measure the ones I already have (doh).

Thanks!

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:41 am 
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
I hope she will be brought back upto par and then she will be a good player or gig guitar that you won't have to worry about putting a scratch or ding in. I was watching the Aria crackle and wanted to pull the trigger on it but I am still in need of moving a few to make more room for my egas. Keep us posted on how those early UBC pickups sound. Arthur aka mortarman120gang11c 8) :up:

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:31 pm 
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The consensus on the Westone boards is that the UBC pickups are not worth a knob of goatshit, and that replacing them is the only real option. My view is that they are actually an OK pickup - they're certainly NOT MMK45s!! - if a little bland sounding, but with a little outboard tweaking of EQ, and the addition of whatever else you colour your sound with, you'd be hard pushed to notice the difference!

The wang bar is a 6mm thread in my Westones, and the one on my ST is different to a strat style.....

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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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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2012 3:14 pm 
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I checked my phoenix and it was a 6MM and it threaded into both the Westone ST and the Aria. I checked and GFS has both styles (a thick black bar like a threaded version of a Floyd that the Aria needs, and a strat-style chrome 6MM with a black handle). Another good thing is they were CHEAP. That is good. They have plastic back covers too, doubt they fit but it won't cost much to find out. I'll see if there is anything else I need as well small while I am at it.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 11:20 am 
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An update on the guitars. On the ST it is much further along but still in progress. I opted to change the magnet in the bridge pickup to an Alinco 8 and that should make the pickup sound rather a lot like an Ibanez Super 70 (low wind humbucker with an Alnico 8 mag). It is hotter and punchier with thicker mids and actually seems to have done a really good job. I did have to flip the magnet around a few times to get it right. The magnet removed I think was alnico 5, but was a little different size than normal (thicker, but had a metal spacer because it was not as wide). I had to remove the two spacers, cut one in half (thickness) and put the new magnet in. First the phase was all out of whack, but now all seems good. The polls nicely match the strings. From a few feet away they look like typical allen poles, but as you all know they are philips.

I have the knobs installed (black knurled) and the frets polished and it is strung (the 5 of the 6 saddles that I have). I have a replacement saddle on the way (THANKS). I also am looking into possibly having a few replacements made - but that will be another story for later. If that looks like something that might happen I will talk to forum members to judge what I should ask for them. It is too early for that right now. They would be expensive for what they are, but would be correct or extremely close. It might save a lot of bridges/guitars from being parted out as I have seen others look for them before, and many people wind up changing their Bendmasters and Tek Glide IIs - and they seem to share the same saddles. I also would like a couple correct knobs, and would possibly look into making those but I understand others have already done this. It wouldn't make sense for me to do it if it is already being done! Those knobs are a nice part of the vibe of the instrument.

The replacement bar I have works great. I took a pair of channel lock pliers and bent it slightly to better fit the guitar since the bar goes into the block slightly tilted up. No big deal. The thing is wired, strung, and just waiting for the one saddle. My experimental back plate was successful (the cheap one I bought fit, although a slightly different size it did not make a difference and covered everything up. The control cover plate I purchased was too small, so I looked and found what appears to be a larger one - one for a Fender bass - that looked more correct in size and shape. I spent $2 or 3 and it is shipping from China. Still is a beat up little beasty. But it will play and sound better than it ever has when I am done with it. I am certain. It will be MOSTLY original too, that is always good (namely change in some of the plastic, screws, a saddle, a pickup magnet, and strap buttons). It is more important that they play as well as possible to me.

Next thought might also be to recreate pickups inspired off the old ones too. If they are reasonable I wonder if anyone would buy them?

More updates to follow.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:39 pm 
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that fire-crackle is cool!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:53 pm 
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I completed the Westone ST now. I wound up trying some pickups similar to GFS bigmouths in it just because I wanted to know what they sound like. Rightly now I am keeping them in there. I still have my modified UBC1 pickups - they bridge now has an alnico 8 mag mod to make it sound like an Ibanez Super 70 pickup (and it does sound like that). But the large poles split better. So I will probably leave them there.

I all works great now. I shimmed the neck slightly to aid in setting it up with a floating trem, and it did. The only real dislike I have is the trem feels a LOT stiffer than my X198 or Spectrum LX models. It works well though. I have three springs on it currently, and like I said it is set up floating so you can slightly pull up on it too. I think it stays in tune a lot better that way and you can do "vibrato" style warbles on the bar instead of it being a "just down" style tremolo. It still is beat up, but it is a hellova player now.

Image

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2013 12:58 pm 
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They're a great working guitar, aren't they?? I'm glad that it wasn't parted out!!

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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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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:06 am 
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That's a great looking guitar Thorny. Glad you like the pups. I'd like to see one of these in a string through body. They never made them that way, but I'd like to make one one day.

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