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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 11:22 am 
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Location: Northwest Louisiana
Hello--I'm testing it out as my friend wants to sell it or trade it. I've been doing research on it to see what I can find. What I have learned is by the SN 4042039 it is April 1984. This was before Magnaflux UBC pickups so it has the standard balanced humbuckers 10.87K/5.48K. Color is Pearl Burst. I've downloaded several documents from the Electra site and figured out the switching. Everything is working good.

I would like more info on the humbuckers and single coil pickups. Are they alnico or Ceramic?? Platefire


Last edited by platefire on Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 4:25 pm 
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Sounds nice!

Those are ceramic magnet pickups.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 5:22 pm 
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8) You will find that that model has superb playability and tonal configurations. Great Players. Grab it and enjoy it. If you like to play at full volume you may want to wax the pickups. Enjoy :up:

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 12, 2014 8:40 pm 
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Thanks for the reply s! I figured the PU were ceramic but must say they sound pretty good to my ears--a little bright but I guess that could be managed on the amp and it does have tone controls:>) You know what I like about the appearance? The Pearl burst don't look like wood but it looks a big slab of Marble. How cool it that for class? I'm also liking the fact with the switching capability and appearance just makes it different in a good kind of way from my other guitars. This is no one trick pony. When I first started playing on it, it seemed the strings were dragging on the frets for bends but after I played it a while I no longer notice that. Makes me wonder if this guitar has been played at all in years. Very clean! I'm also impressed with the stability of the whammy bar. Observing the intonation with a clip on tuner after doing dives is coming back to pitch very well. very truly this thing is growing on me every time I play it. With 14 guitars already, I can't increase the count so I wondering which one I would be willing to give up for a trade--decisions decisions! Thanks Again, Platefire


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 17, 2014 7:20 am 
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Location: Northwest Louisiana
Well I've got a Peavey Predator with fender case that I do like very much but I think I will offer it as a trade and see where it goes. I really do like my Predator but this Electra is so off the wall different in a good kind of way, I think I would be willing to sacrifice my Predator. Platefire


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 11, 2014 1:45 am 
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Do it! Did you do it?


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 17, 2014 10:27 pm 
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Well I did it today. Traded my Peavey Predator with fender case for the Spectrum X189 that was in a Peavey T-60 case(fits good). I will take pictures first chance I get and post them. First thing I did was clean and wax it. Got to jamming on it tonight and got to noticing it was a little too bright all the way around. I adjusted all three pickups down and the mellowed it out and sweetened it up a lot better. Playing it through an Allen Accomplice, it sounds pretty nice. Platefire


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:49 pm 
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Got a question. Why is the info on a X189 so limited? Seems all the info on Spectrum LX(bolt on neck) skips from X185 to X198 and somehow X189 gets left out. I would like to know more about the pickups--what was their model#. I do know they were balanced and not UBC. I measured the resistance, the single coil taps are exactly half the 10K+ Ohms.

In jamming around on it I was found two major issues; the pickups was too bright and I had a ground hum. I backed off on the PU height and that did the trick on the bright harshness and sweetened them up nicely. On the ground problem I started doing continuity checks with my multimeter on grounding and found no ground continuity between bridge and control cavity electronics. Got to pulling on the ground wire on the tremolo claw and found it was broken off inside the hole from trem cavity to control cavity. Don't know what the deal is, but could not get the ground to solder to back of pot---must be aluminum of something different? Had to ground on some shielding in cavity. Now the thing is playing nicely! I like it. Platefire


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 10:33 pm 
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They are MMK 45s with the middle being like a single coil from an MMK45 pair. They can sound bright like you said, but they were designed to be balanced lows to highs, not so much with a big midrange hump that a lot of high-powered humbuckers tend to have. Arias, Vantages, and some other guitars made by Matsumoku used these pickups, and they come in Cream, and Zebra (black and cream) colors and different poles too - some like a dimarzio, and some like a PAF. They have a good deal of output, but not so much as a Dimarzio Super Distortion or anything like that. A "middle" output pickup, although for the time they would have been considered "hot" pickups we have a lot hotter today. Great pickups. They can be microphonic sometimes, so if they are excessively so you have have your pickups potted so you can turn up the gain. But if they don't squeal I prefer to leave them alone.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 11:02 pm 
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Hay Thorny

Thanks so much for the information. I see we have a history on the MMK's on the forum I'll need to read. These PU's I have are uncovered and has got the hex/Allen wrench pole pieces. I was really amazed at what a difference in harshness backing off the pickups made. They are so sweet sounding now. So far I haven't had any problem with microphonics. The action is close and nice. The Bendmaster Trem comes back in tune very well. All and all seems like a very stable guitar. Thanks, Platefire


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 6:06 am 
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I like mine a lot. The only change I made to mine was potting (waxing) the pickups because mine squealed. I would not pot them if they didn't need it. The only other thing I did to mine was put on locking tuners. The locking keys helped only a little. The regular keys were really good too - I just happen to like locking keys. The guitars are terrific stock. Mine stays in tune well and all the sounds available make this one of the most versatile guitars made. Talking to Tom Presley like we did this summer you realize the thought and care that went into the design. It is amazing the quality you get for such a low cost. And these were made in Japan by Matsumoku too. They should cost 3x as much. But we can keep that our secret :-)

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 7:57 am 
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Thorny wrote:
I like mine a lot. The only change I made to mine was potting (waxing) the pickups because mine squealed. The only other thing I did to mine was put on locking tuners. I would not pot them if they didn't need it. The locking keys helped only a little. The regular keys were really good too. The guitars are terrific stock. Mine stays in tune well and all the sounds available make this one of the most versatile guitars made. Talking to Tom Presley like we did this summer you realize the thought and care that went into the design. It is amazing the quality you get for such a low cost. And these were made in Japan by matsumoku too. They should cost 3x as much. But we can keep that our secret :-)

Talking to Tom Presley this summer he also said that not all Phoenix shaped guitars were made by Matsumoku, he said if Matsumoku was filled with production, some were made at the Yamaha factory with parts supplied by Matsumoku.

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 8:31 am 
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Try scruff sanding the back of the pot. It was common for pots to have a plating that was not friendly to solder.

We await pictures :D


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 10:49 am 
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I guess I'm going to haf to plead for help :huh: I've tried to follow the instructions to download and link pictures but something not working right. I just had to give it up! Things I did:

1-Followed the link to the download page and logged in as electralover/Guitar and that got me in.
2-I clicked on the download link that allowed me to download my pictures.
3-After I downloaded all 7 pixs and pushed the upload button.
4-It took me to an instruction page of how to link your pixs on a post.
5-this is where I get lost. I could see no files exhibited that indicated my files had been uploaded or where they were at?
6-I did try to copy the line address and re-name it like the instructions said but nothing on the post when I used the "image button" an added my address in the middle???

On soldering the ground wire, I did sand the top of the DPDT switch that is part of the pot until it was shinny. The solder would not stick no way no how. When I seen that wasn't going to work, I found another easier place to grab ground. I would have rather soldered to the pot/switch but it's working fine with what I got or I solved my hum problem.

You were speaking of replacing tuning keys!!!! one or two of my keys has some slack in it. Couple of things I am wondering: Is there a source of obtaining used vintage keys in good shape here? Also are there any current production keys that can be had that would fit just the same as existing using the same screw holes? In other words exact replacements?

It's cool that Tom P is still around that you can talk to him. How old is he now? I guess there is no way knowing if your guitar was made at the Matsumoku plant for sure. I know mine weighs 8 3/4 pounds that is way in LP territory. I did some research on the old factory's history/operations and Man! they wore a lot of guitar hats over the years. I like the fact that my X189 Spectrum Electra/Westone was their first attempt at their own design without being a copy of something else. Makes it kind of special! Platefire

Thanks so much, I appreciate your help! Platefire

BTW-I have an Aria TA-50 335 copy I bought used. It has no serial number, no country of origin (china I would guess). Done a lot of research on the internet but found very little. Any good info on this would be appreciated. I've had it several years and would guess it was manufactured around 2003 to 2006.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2014 12:00 pm 
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Some pots are stubborn to get the solder to stick, but usually if you cleaned it of as others suggest it frequently is the iron just not being hot enough, a 35w-50w one should be hot enough to quickly melt the solder, but it may not stick until the back of the pot also is near the same temperature (won't stick if the pot is cold). Also, flux can be used to prep the surfact too, and it will stick then.

As far as uploading pictures, I recommend that you use a free photo upload service such as photobucket.

- You upload your photo there, and click on it
- use the 2nd option on the right (Direct) to copy the link to your clip board
- Then when you are back to your message here where you want to put your pic in a message click the "Img" box.
- Then you get "img" and "/img" in brackets.
- You place your cursor in between the two and then press the <ctrl> and <V> keys together to paste the picture link in between the img statements.

I have not looked at the image posting info in a long time, so maybe it needs updated.

That should do it.

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