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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:49 am 
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I am restoring what appears to be a variant of a Vantage 38 TD X. Tom P said it could be a prototype or a non-production model. The closest thing is the model I have listed, very similar, same color, different switching mainly. It is a really nice guitar that I got at the ElectraFest this year (Thanks). The guitar is exceptionally nice overall - only a few small issues. One is a sheared off fine tuner. The bridge looks a lot like a bendmaster FT model. The fine tuner is notable in that it is much longer than most fine tuners. I have scoured ebay and online and have found similar ones in chrome it appears from either Jackson, Charvel or BC Rich japanese guitars from that era. I found a whole beatup Bendmaster FT that someone wants a $100 for - gee - can't do that just for just a fine tuner. Most of the guitars that use these are not really that highly priced to begin with, so $100 seems a bit steep. Anyone have a black one of these or know of a source at a price that isn't insane. It is missing a trem bar, but I can get a good floyd rose black 6MM replacement arm and it will fit (have done that before) and it will look right too.

I won't loose sleep over this, but it sure would be nice to have all of them working. I am going to have to drill out the sheered off FT now as there is nothing to grab onto. I can take a chance on a chrome one and just paint it I suppose too. But hey, maybe someone here has a black FT already. Looks like this.

Image

Image

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:16 am 
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I have some but I *think* they're shorter, I'll check and get back to you tomorrow.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:44 am 
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Most are ...

Thanks for checking

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:51 pm 
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Yep.... got a couple like that; either the same or very similar. Got 'em in England years back and apparently off a Hohner superstrat.
Let me find them and I'll take a photo to show you...

If they're any good, one's yours!!

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:30 pm 
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Wow - this would be the second time you pulled me out of the fire if you have it.

BTW - sent you an electrafest care package with some swag - it will take a while to get there. Hey, if you have that and a locking nut, send both and I'd happily pay you. You have everything it seems. This guitar is NICE, but this particular one is HEAVY. Tom said it was a prototype. Don't know anything about the pickups - appears to be the same as the 38TD X - different pickup rings, different switching. I will post a pic of that too. Heck might be able to make this 100% right. And if not, well I tried.

Image

I only put one screw in it to position it in the right place. I have the shell of it, and the screws to mount it, but don't have the allen screws and locks. The locks appear to be underneath and lock by being pull from the top. It is not the westone type I am familiar with the triangular locks (at least I don't think so).

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:04 pm 
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:hyper: Glad to see she is in the right hands and getting the attention she deserves. It is a very nice playing guitar. :up:

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 22, 2014 5:15 pm 
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OK... sent a couple of pix of the f/ts that I have via email.... let me know!

That string lock looks awfully like a Kahler...

http://www.wammiworld.com/p5513.php

... though your one, I suspect will be an in-house Vantage design, like the bridge on the post-Matsumoku Avenger X-99 that was briefly in my care. Mind you; the Kahler one I'm thinking about has the strings pass through it between the top and the threaded locking pieces. You then tighten the Allen bolts which pulls the locking piece up against the top rail, trapping the strings.... just like you're describing. The bolts in Bendmaster gear are all either 4 or 6mm fine; not sure what the Kahler ones are; I suspect they're Imperial!

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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: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:08 am 
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Is the Kahler flat on the bottom? Or is it curved? This one is curved.

I wonder if the right course of action is to find some kahler locks then try to adapt them to this frame?

Kahler lock parts might be easier to find used. I will also check with my buds that do a lot of guitar repair, like Drew (some of you all met at electrafest) or Dave Bryant (the guy that sold me the dynasty cheap so we could fix it up for electrafest). They might have something too. Worse comes to worse, I can just keep it unlocked. But I really like to have things functional. Don't want to spend an arm and a leg either - this is probably worth more to me than most people as it is - it is a pretty cool guitar!

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 6:18 am 
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Hey Thorny, mine are too short. :down: So it won't work for you.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:17 am 
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The one that Mr. Stokes has is 99% likely the right one. He sent a picture to me - the threaded section is about 18-19mm long, and about 4-5mm wide. The "wheel" portion is approximately 15mm at widest point, and the "tread" is perpendicular, not a "cross-hatch" design like most thumb wheels. It's a long one.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:12 pm 
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The actual locking pieces would be dead easy to make if the Kahler ones aren't right, I reckon. Make an aluminium pattern piece and then make a few out of mild steel, or whatever lights your candle!

http://www.wammiworld.com/p9535.php

... they've got the countersunk screws as well...

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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: Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:28 pm 
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Stokes is sending the fine tuner, I ordered a kahler replacement string clamp and intend to make those bolts and clamps work with this frame (looks almost the same). It comes with a allen wrench too. Also ordered a 6mm floyd rose style black bar for the tremolo - these work perfectly in bendmaster FTs and this appears to be cloned off of one. Now I will try to figure out the wire broken off inside and re-position the switches correctly. Will report back progress when parts start to arrive.

Thx!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 4:20 am 
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Post a photo of the guitar!

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 25, 2014 5:43 am 
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all torn apart right now! bridge and nut removed, have repositioned switches to the correct position now, but need to resolder a broken wire (pretty sure know where it goes by other wiring).

I hope the switches actually work when I get them wired! Might be difficult or impossible to locate exact switches if they are needed. They probably are not. I will know soon enough. Actually nice metallic gray and in very good condition, mainly just one ding on the edge of the fretboard that I might be able to do something with later. Right now - waiting for the parts to arrive and will rewire. I shot deoxit into everything and took the bridge apart in preparation for drilling out the broken saddle. One string fine tuner "lever" was bent slightly underneath, but I think I have that taken care of now. I have never taken one of these apart. Really rather ingenious bridge design.

Here is the carcass right now. Looks a lot better completely put together. As far as the string locks, I ordered the allparts kahler replacement because it was a lot cheaper than ordering the clamps and the screws themselves. I am hoping I can tweak the parts from the kahler to work in the stock string lock. If I cannot, well, I will have a complete Kahler type that could be mounted. It is just the holes probably won't match and the profile of the bottom of the lock on the Vantage lock is made to match the contour of the neck on the vantage. In other words, the stock one will fit and look a lot better - maybe perform better as well (height might be different).

Not sure if I will try to fill or "steam" the ding on the edge of the fretboard. Haven't done much "steaming" but I am told it works very well. Might be worth a shot. Not a chip so much as a ding or compression.

Here you go.

Image

I am continuing this thread in the restoration section, since it has shifted more toward a restoration rather than looking for parts.

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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 7:32 am 
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Following up - the fine tuner arrived from down under and it works perfectly - thanks Corsair!

Also, got a kahler lock in, and decided not to use it. It will go into my parts bin. Instead I put on GFS locking tuners that match the look of the gotohs except have a sperzel style lock mechanism on the back. despite the low height of the shafts on the keys, without a lock I am getting a little of a sitar effect on the small E string - and I think I have traced it to a lack of angle at the nut - so I have ordered a set of roller string trees (cheap ones from ebay) and will at least use on those two smallest strings to provide more of a string angle behind the nut.

I floated the bridge, got some pretty loud spring noise from behind the bridge when using it or even plucking some notes. I wound up getting some spongy foam material (probably can as a base is a pickup box or something) and cut strips and fed them through the strings. This deadened the spring noise greatly - so is good now.

I think it is finished now - unless I decide to change pickups or something. I think today it is Hum/single in the bridge, but think the neck and middle pickups are tapped singles because they don't hum cancel and are wired slightly differently (would make sense if they are tapped singles instead of humbuckers). There is a line of pickups called CALIG (Califormia Guitars) that are made for them by Artec. If any one has tried these CALIG pickups, please let me know what you thought of them. Artec makes them in Korea for GFS, Giovanni, Dragonfire, and others - and OEMs for lots of Korean-made guitars. I have had GFS, Giovanni and Artec branded pickups in the past and they have been pretty good. The selection under the GALIG name looks pretty good and varied, and the price certainly is right - so I may give them a try. The unique wiring in this guitar can make for some interesting combinations, such as two strat sized humbuckers and a traditional bridge humbucker - that each could be full power down, off in the middle, and single coil mode in the up position. That would make for a very versatile guitar. I just hope they would have a good single coil tone too if I did that configuration. I don't know.

I have a lot of time and if I change all the pickups out I'll have a decent amount of money in the guitar. This stuff makes it play a lot better but it won't increase the value (it will do the opposite actually as a collector does not want any modifications). Sometimes I have trouble knowing when to stop. The only guitars I have today that have the stock pickups in them are my DiPinto, Epi and several of my Electras. All my gibsons, fenders, Ibanez, and most epis (and some electras) have changed pickups. So before deciding to change any more I'll have to weigh this stuff. But also, where are you going to get so much fun for such a low price? It still is a bargain if it gets played at all. But at this point in time, I have a have a fine tuner, a bar for the bridge, a string lock (I didn't wind up using), locking keys and a string retainer - and the rest is mostly time and effort. It is a great guitar. Here it is, still missing the fine tuner and string lock (too lazy to take another pic - this is a pretty good pic).

Image

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