The Electra Forums

Guitar Talk about Electra and other vintage imported guitars
Home
Index of Models
The Electra Forums
PM Inbox
It is currently Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:19 pm

All times are UTC - 8 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 10:34 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
I just started to restore a MPC guitar, and I was replacing the switches because the old ones had the "bat" of the switch missing. While I was looking in I decided to clean all the pots with Caig Deoxit. I also removed the knobs and was going to tighten the nuts on the volume, tone, and MPC pots.

I ran into this before so I thought it is worth mentioning. The Volume and Tone pots are supposed to be 500K. These were factory, previous owners didn't touch them, you could tell. These were 50K. I measured to make sure, sure enough, measuring between the two outside terminals on the pots measured close to 50K. They were in there from the factory that way! It is an easy mistake to make. A part supplier accidentally sends a part that is one digit off it looks right. The company assembles the guitar, you turn the knobs and casually it works - volume goes up and down and tone will function. So it is easy to miss. Who knows how many went out this way by mistake and were not caught. Most people in a music store or band wouldn't know there was something wrong either, just that this particular guitar didn't sound that great.

I have ran into this on newer guitars too and although not really common I have seen it several times and it is something EASILY overlooked! This would make the guitar sound awful. It would be dark, muted, muddy sounding. I didn't even play this guitar prior to working on it. I just tore into it. I bet it sounded pretty shoddy - at least compared to what it should have sounded like. Not faulting the person I got it from, they'd not think to look.

It bit me in the past. I had a high end Peavey Generation, it was a super expensive US made guitar with premium hardware, neck through or deep set (no heel). It was made to compete with PRSs and originally was the same price range (early 90s). They didn't sell well so after they were a year or two old and still on the shelves the blew them out the doors at a fraction of the price. I picked up one. It was made extremely well, but it just didn't sound good. I thought this thing sounds dull and lifeless, must be the peavey pickups. I put dimarzios, duncans, all kinds of stuff in it. It never sounded good. I finally measured the pots. They were 50K, not 500K! So after wasting several sets of pickups I put in 500K pots and the guitar sounded killer. That what the problem was all the time. Not the guitar, not the pickups, it was the pots all along.
Image
So if your electra doesn't sound like it should (or any other guitar for any matter) make sure the pots have the right values. It could save you some time and money. General rule of thumb is humbucker guitars generally have 500K pots (usually audio, some vintage Gibsons had 300K in them), single coils generally have 250K pots in them. There can be some variation as well. But it is a good place to start.

Anybody need any vintage Electra 50K pots? They might be OK if you wanted them for EMGs or something.

_________________
Thorny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 11:19 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
Posts: 3015
Location: Tifton, Ga USA
Thanks for the info Thorny, guess I will be busy for awhile maybe if I start checking now I can get done ........................someday. great info Thanks for posting. :up: :up: :up: :up:

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:43 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
Not everyone has THAT many to check!

I'd only worry about it if you have one that sounds a little dull or dead sounding. This would do that. If it sounds fine it likely is fine. So don't sweat it. If it sounds like poo and you don't know why, don't forget to check this while you have it open before you go swapping out other parts to try to fix possibly the wrong thing.

_________________
Thorny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 7:37 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
What Model MPC are you working on... looks like possibly a X120 Leslie West..? (yeah I know I'm reaching from just looking at the control cavity!)

Hats off to Thorny for helping me to verify that the pots in my '75 X910 Explorer are in fact 50k, so this is not an uncommon mistake they made. I only have four MPC's so I'll take a peek at those others when I get the chance.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:44 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
I wish it were a leslie west, and good guess, but is a vulcan with the same finish.

_________________
Thorny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 8:57 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:19 pm
Posts: 673
Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
What a great post Thorny, thanks for sharing that!

_________________
"GREAT Googiley moogilie Jack...jumpin jehosephat, hot dang and all".
- jdwhealton


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:26 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
This weekend I finally took the time to open up all my MPC's and check the markings on the volume/tone pots. The Outlaw, Leslie West and X810 Semi all have pots marked 504072 (vol) and 504042 (tone), here's a picture of the Outlaws control cavity:

Image

The reading on my meter varied between 500 and 600 ohms on the three guitars. I'm almost certain the Leslie West had a Super Charger kit installed because the tone knob has sticker residue and it sports the 4 resistors on the MPC toggle switches, yet the code on the pots are the same as listed above.

The X910 Derringer has (the incorrect) 50Kohm pots installed, and I'm pretty sure it came from the factory that way. The result is a darker sound which lacks that high end. I had noticed this especially after replacing the Bridge pickup, which I thought was going to be brighter sounding than it turned out to be... but didn't put two and two together until this post from Thorny. Thanks man, for pointing it out.

Lastly, I bought a MPC wiring harness last year to fix a frozen (150K ohm) MPC pot on my Outlaw, and I dug it out this weekend, it has the 50K ohm pots for the Volume/Tone positions too!

So out of the five MPC's I own and have put on the meter, two had the incorrect pots installed in them. It's not enough of a sample size to make any meaningful statistics from, but it's one of those things you need to look out for now that we know better, especially if you find yourself adjusting your amps tone controls when you strap on your MPC. Cheers, Mike.

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


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:47 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 4:58 am
Posts: 925
Location: Southern Indiana
Thanks. I am glad it helped some people not make the same mistakes I did in the past or to not keep making them. It is obvious but not something people expect so they overlook it, over and over again. I sure did the first time (and that was with another brand of guitar too - so electra was not the only ones that this has happened to before).

_________________
Thorny


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Apr 22, 2013 3:00 pm 
Offline

Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:53 pm
Posts: 85
Location: Middle Tennessee
Really valuable information! Thanks for posting it...

_________________
"... can't seem to hit that Bb right."


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 9 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 8 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
cron
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
Fatal: Not able to open ./cache/data_global.php