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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2014 10:24 am 
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Location: Southern Indiana
Hey just got a spectrum FX in from a fellow forum mate and Thank You BTW.

Here are some observations regarding the pickups. These always threw me off in the sense that they have one coil that looks like a BAR and the other looks like a standard MMK 45. Some have implied they might be unbalanced coils in these. Well, nearest I can tell this guitar has regular MMK45s in it with a metal cover of the poles to look like a bar magnet. Same with the single coil in the middle. They apprear to be about 5.5K per coil and aroudn 11K for both - Putting it squarely in MMK45 range like my similar X198 models and a Westone LX model I have. So my verdict (although I have not removed the pickups to look behind them) - these are MMK45s - the same darned pickups. That is not a bad thing at all, but they are NOT unbalanced significantly and I don't think the "bar" magnet or pole is a real thing. Others that have dissected these can tell me. This is the first one I have had and I have not taken it apart.

BTW the guitar is coming a long. It was a nice guitar to start with, but I adjusted the truss rod and made the neck a lot flatter (had a little too much bow in my opinion), did a little nut filing as some strings were a little high, and pickup adjusting (moved them up closer to the strings) and it plays a lot better. I also did normal stuff, clean pots, tighten nuts on pots and adjust the bridge and tension, oiled fretboard, and restrung. I put a 6MM floyd rose bar on it from Guitar Fetish online and it fits and looks and works perfectly. Now I have got the switchmaster knobs coming in from the nice dude on the westone site, and it will be good to go save maybe minor tweaking. I am excited. A very nice guitar!

Nope it ain't perfect or very close, but it is in fairly original condition (given its age). I'd certainly say it is "better than most" of them out there.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:49 pm 
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Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
What year is it? I have an '86 with the scooped heel. Great guitar.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2014 3:31 pm 
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Location: Southern Indiana
serial number begins with a 5, so 85? Also has a scooped heel (very NICE).

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:20 am 
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Yes, that's and '85 then. They are monster guitars. Built like a tank with great feel and tone. Congrats on getting one, they're rare birds. Did you post pics yet?

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 6:12 am 
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not yet, wanting to get my switchmaster knobs in and on it first. They are on the way. :D

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 1:53 pm 
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Here you go, with the new knobs that just arrived MINUTES ago - Thanks Tiburcio for the switchmaster repros!

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:47 pm 
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Now I know which forum member you got that from. Looks great with the switch master knobs. He does a real good job on them and the price was very reasonable.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 2:50 pm 
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Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
Very nice!

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 7:51 pm 
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
8) Great job and it looks great. :up:

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:11 pm 
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Great looking guitar, luckily it didnt require much work, all I did with my last Electra purchase was a custom sunburst top refinish.


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2014 7:17 am 
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Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Looks just like mine!

Hope you're loving it. These are tone monsters.

If you're a heavy trem user, consider swapping the Benmaster FT bridge with a Gotoh floyd like I installed on my Dynasty. Improved better sound and response. And you don't need to alter anything. :D So you can return it to stock at anytime.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:32 pm 
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That is an excellent suggestion. Right now I am keeping it stock, but I may try that. I could do it with my Spectrum LX I have if I don't sell it. The stock bridges on these series (the bendmaster and bendmaster FT) stay in tune pretty well. Does the Gotoh/Floyd give it a heavier trem feel? Floyds always seem to be much heavier handed to me than the floating strat sized trems. Right now don't have the funds to mess with it, but this is an excellent suggestion that I will tuck away to use later.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 11:07 pm 
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45's for sure, Thorny; the bar thing is just a cover and the received wisdom from the whole UBC debacle is that there are no true UBCs out there that we've seen, but some of the lower end Spectrums had faux-UBCs that are just weak, and aren't truly unbalanced between the coils anyway. Most of the blokes with 'em on the Westone forum swap 'em out but I quite like mine - in a Spectrum ST from 1987 - and once you've put FX on the signal you wouldn't know what the hell is in there anyway, eh!!

The FT bridge is quite a good one for expansive wang bar stuff - I swing on mine like billy-o with no great dramas, but that said, I'm not gigging it so maybe if you were to gig it, replacing it may be a fairly good idea, and be advised, the little string ball claws on the FT need to be treated with respect else they break one of the wee arms off when re-stringing... you really don't want that; they are an orphan bridge and the parts to fix 'em even more so!! Though somewhere around here I have a replacement part number from Wammi World...

Aren't those knobs 'the bomb'?! I had some made in body colours for two of my Spectrums - they look super cool!!

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 6:00 am 
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I have a pair of those UBCs (the first generation with the metal backs - I heard there was a second gen that had plastic backs) from an ST I had for a while. I wound up pulling them and putting in some heavier pickups in it and sold it. But I did put an alnico 8 magnet in the bridge UBC, and it worked nicely there. It beefed it up somewhat giving it more output but still matched well with the stock clear sounding neck pickup. And clarity like that sounds good in the stock neck position - it is warm but clear. I have that modified UBC set sitting here in a box and the guitar is gone. It was kind of a rough guitar (actually fairly typical, played hard and not taken care of), and I traded it for something - I don't remember which. The trem felt rather stiff on it too, something I didn't like. Now the pulled UBC bridge pickup is somewhat more like an Ibanez super 70s (low windings, but alnico 8 power) in the bridge, which isn't a bad thing. I have not found a taker for them when I tried to sell them, so I will probably eventually find a use for them. They are a lot better than they were. They are fairly uncommon, but that does not always translate into valuable - not in this case.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 10, 2014 9:49 am 
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I have a UBC that I got off e-bay. The seller said it came from a, Electra. One coil came it at around 6.5 the other around 5 if I remember correctly. It sounds good in the guitar I put it in. No additional noice that I can hear.


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