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 Post subject: New member, Old guitar
PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 7:02 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:53 am
Posts: 3
Hey everyone, I signed up literally 5 minutes ago to try to glean some knowledge from the folks here. I have an electra x270 I bought off of a guy in college for $25 (thats right $25) it has never really worked well but when I bought it if you only used one pick up and held the cord a certain way it would work. It was always my hope to restore it because it is a cool little guitar that was much lighter than my old kawai I used at the time. Well I threw the thing in a case and put it in the attic when I moved out of college and now am finally getting back to it. Thanks to this site I was finally able to identify the model and am now looking to get started on making it work. I no longer think I will totally resotre it as it is pretty rough shape with some major dings on the face of the body missing all knobs and all the switch tips are broken off. Also missing a screw for one bridge saddle.

So my first question is whether there are places that spare parts for these bad boys can be found (namely the saddle screw and spring) as I'd rather replace parts to get it working than buy whole components. I am pretty sure I'll have to replace the cord receptacle, but everything else may just be loose wires.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
Welcome to the forums. I would suspect all it needs is a little TLC and some minor cleaning and work. I would check all the pots and solder joints and see if there are any cracks in the solder joints. This can sometime happen when a guitar is stored over long periods of time especially if there are changes in temp and humidity etc. The switches and controls most likely will need a good cleaning and may be OK. The parts are available out there sometimes on ebay and such but you may also find some via a forum member here. Best of luck and please share some photos with us. we always like to see another Electra model revived and enjoyed again. :up:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 6:35 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:53 am
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Well last night I pulled the back plates and checked solder connections, the nice thing is it looks all original, no mess, no new solder, the circut board is still stacked on the paper. No loose solder on the jack but it was pretty loose in the cavity, so I tightened everything up, and it sounds pretty good. There is a little crackling when the plucg is rotated in the jack, but I'm not sure if that is normal or not for these old guitars. Worst case I would think is to replace the jack. Also noticed that when I have the selector switch in the up position (I assume this is the pup selector switch) the sound is very gritty, almost as if distortion is being added. Is this a sign of a bad pickup, or maybe it just needs some cleaning. Next step is to clean the pots, then I am going to search for a bridge or at least an intonation screw. I'll work on getting some pics tonight and will try to post tomorrow.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 8:36 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:47 am
Posts: 1291
Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
For those scratchy pots -

Try some Caig Deoxit from Radio Shack - see this previous post -

http://www.rivercityamps.com/electraforum/viewtopic.php?f=26&t=6035

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:07 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
A good cleaning ot the switches and pots with that stuff works miracles. :up:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 1:30 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Welcome aboard mb, the X270 had all the deluxe features of the slab bodied line, the all brass bridge is usually only seen on the top of the line Japanese axes. Here is my X270 that I sold last year to another Forum member:

Image

Here are a couple of shots of the stock innards, on the X270 the circuit board is mounted to the wood in the control cavity, on its brother the X250, the circuit board is mounted to the aluminum control cover:
Image
Image

The 12-pin mini switch is the Active on/off, and my condolences if you have to replace it. Mine was busted off in the 'On' position, and I never bothered replacing it. The other two switches are your basic dpdt six pin variety. Here is a great picture, almost looks like its out of a Catalog, All six slab bodied variants on my couch:

Image

Top row X250, X260, X260n Bottom Row X270, X280, X290

You should try to keep the original output Jack if possible, a good cleaning with Deoxit should help, and if a cord was really yanked on, you may have to gently bend the contacts back into place. The active (and MPC guitars for that matter) are like stomp boxes, if they're plugged in, the batteries are draining. Many people have had issues with battery life after changing the output jack, probably trying to retro fit a mono jack, or just wiring it up wrong.

mbauer013 wrote:
Also noticed that when I have the selector switch in the up position (I assume this is the pup selector switch) the sound is very gritty, almost as if distortion is being added. Is this a sign of a bad pickup, or maybe it just needs some cleaning.

You should be able to tap on each pickup while using the 3 way selector switch to determine which position is which pickup, (if the guitar has been really been beat up, maybe the switch got rotated around). There's a chance one of your pickups has failed over the years, but I would suspect the selector switch (deoxit again) is more likely the culprit. The MMK pickups were very closely matched output-wise, which means the neck pickup can sound much louder depending on the height of the pickups. I usually end up setting the neck pickup very low, to compensate for the output, it also helps with magnetic string pull there near all the 2nd octave harmonics.

Best of luck, and do post some before and after shots, we love to see them brought back from the undead, Mike.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 6:45 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:53 am
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Thanks for the tips! Deoxit is on order so as soon as it arrives I plan on working a little on all of the pots and switches. The jack isn't too bad so I think I can live with it. If I keep the cable in a cord keeper attached to the strap it eliminates movement and therefore any crackling.
It is the active switch that has a broken tip, however I can move it with my finger nail so I may just leave it rather than try to source a replacement. Sorry no pictures today, its my son's birthday so I was up last night baking a cake and wrapping gifts, no time for tinkering.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 10, 2013 2:16 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jun 17, 2010 1:50 pm
Posts: 1569
Location: New Jersey
I;ve owned all the slabs excepy an X260N and a couple have needed saddles. I tried a few aftermarket saddles and they were never correct. I know I ended up going with a new bridge on at least one of those guitars. I may have an old bridge still - If i do, I'll check the saddles and post back. I think in general it's tough to find correct saddles for most Electra's - maybe someone else has had better luck and will chime in. The X270 was possibly my favorite Electra configuration and I still kick myself for selling the one I had. Powered EQ was great IMO.


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