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 Post subject: Restoring a Betts model
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2015 7:34 am 
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Location: Southern Indiana
I picked up a Betts model at the Indianapolis guitar show. It is in great cosmetic condition but the MPC wiring has been removed. So I am looking to restore this back to health. I will be looking for some parts, namely the MPC stuff and the black switch tip - but that is for another section. My question is to be certain I have the wiring right. I have not had a Betts model before.

Is the first front switch a black mini-toggle (and the triangular shaped bat), and is that a humbucking/single switch for both pickups? Or is that a phase?
Are the next two the same style switch but only silver? Those are the MPCs?

So if that is right,
1) both pickups would route to that switch (one each side) then the outputs each go to the 3 way, then route back to the master volume and tone / MPC section.

Or if it is phase
2) it could route pickups to 3 way, to phase sw, to master vol/tone/mpc.

The next question, is do I steal the MPC and other parts out another of my MPC guitars to put into the Betts to restore it? I hate ruining a perfectly good guitar, but this is a Betts and there can't be too many of these. They must be fairly rare.

I have not had the pickups out yet but I think they are stock. The guitar seems in surprisingly good condition and well taken care of, with only the wiring converted to a more standard LP like configuration.

Oh yeah, I just missed those guts on ebay - a whole MPC guitars worth and modules. But it did go fairly high. There is a switch on there now, but I am not paying $35 for a plastic switch tip! I am too cheap. I'd steal one off one of my phoenixes before I'd do that (but I really hate doing that). Ebay prices are NUTS right now. But for the most part, I don't see any of the overpriced stuff selling at these prices if you check the "sold" items.

Oh there was a very nice elvin bishop model at the show that didn't sell, but the guy wanted too much for it. But it WAS in very nice condition. I saw 4 electras there as I recall. Got to go.

Thanks.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 11:13 am 
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I still have a whole bunch of the blue connectors like I used on my outlaw restore way back when. and some battery connectors. PM me your address and I'll send to you...

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2015 7:20 pm 
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Thanks man, done! and thanks again.

I may have a line on some of the other parts - I'll have to buy them to know for sure.

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PostPosted: Tue May 05, 2015 6:56 am 
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Got the parts in already and it combined with what I had and have been able to find are just what the doctor ordered. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This project now has the parts and so is on its way. I have the sockets and switches, and 150K pots. I have to figure out how to mount the sockets, wire it all, and so forth.

This one must have MMKs in it - the pickups both measure around 11K or so. That and some other subtle differences (slightly different shape, small changes from other vulcans, metal back panels, smaller headstock inlay, MPC cavity may be a little different as well) lends me to believe that this guitar was made by Matsumoku, not Terada or Kasuga. This also does not have a brass nut on it, but the plastic one matches everything and looks original. I could be totally wrong and they just could have used some MMK parts on a redesigned vulcan but my opinion is it is different enough that it was probably a different manufacturer - Matsumoku.

Hey, can someone answer on the first black switch under the volume and tone control? Is that a single coil switch for both humbuckers? If it is, I will know how to wire it. Pickups, to single coil switch, to pickup selector switch, to volume/tone/MPC. I want to do it right.

I still have some minor parts that I ordered, screws, things like that to come in. I am almost finished with the 940 I have in. It will have a MMK45 in the bridge to go with the gotoh (or whatever the maker was) stock pickup in the neck. I am glad I didn't have to gut this to fix the Betts. The more I looked at it, the more I wanted to restore it. Functionally, it is pretty well there. I have to slightly tweak the MMK pickup to fit (it had a duncan design in the bridge when I got it), the legs are such that it sort of rubs the cavity. So it will have a hotter MMK bridge PU and a nice vintage neck PU - probably a great combination. And they look the same so it will look right. Overall the condition on the finish on that one is a little rough around the edges but pretty good, but it does have some long finish cracks across the top - they really don't look bad - sort of looks spalted up close and blends in from a few feet away. I have a newer tuneomatic and tailpiece on it. The rest it stock or correct replacements. I need to finish it and get it done.

This is awesome - a lot of work ahead but I can't wait.

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PostPosted: Tue May 12, 2015 4:34 pm 
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I am pretty well done with this save a bit more testing a tweaking. So far in my preliminary testing I have it working right, but I confess I haven't fired up the MPC yet. I finally have all the switching right and seems to be working. I had to redo part of it, but I think I just had a bad solder joint (yeah, it happens to me too).

But I found another issue - this color is really hard to photograph! It seems that my iphone shows the "burst" part of it as much more brown rather than the grey charcoal kind of color it really is. When I try to show the burst, it looks brown in the pictures. When I try to adjust the pictures, it messes up other things - which wind up not looking right. But I will just wind up showing you I am ending up with, noting the guitar looks almost black inside, outside you can see more of the grey, but it turns out rather brown in the photo. You will just have to take my word for it.

This guitar is largely original, just had to replace the MPC portion of it. I had some of the parts, but very much thanks to mcbrat for the "care" package of just what I needed! I wound up shaving down a regular plastic three way switch knob to look more like an electra/westone style switch tip. I ordered a pair of metal black ones that looked a lot like the real deal, but they probably are on a slow boat "from" China, so I may get them before the 4th of July or something. This one I spent stupid amount of time on it, working it with a dremel, then hand filing, sanding, then polishing with plastic polish - and even filling with superglue and repeating (it actually flattened out and started to cave in as it created a hole, so some reconstruction was in order). It looks a lot better than previous attempts. I replaced a few rusty screws, but they didn't look right so I put the rusty ones back on :D

But most or all of the main stuff is original, pickups seem to be (both about 11K range, one with a grey covering, one with a brown covering - I think the bridge). It is possible the chrome hardware was changed, not sure, but the block underneath the bridge is chromed and does not look like brass - someone mentioned this was supposed to be that way (only one I have had, so you might be right). The keys are original. I don't know but this has a plastic nut and not a brass one, I am assuming it was made that way as it looks like it belongs there. Right now I have the action very low on it, maybe too low. I will have to tweak the pickups, someone had really adjusted the poles around. Oh, these pickups have been potted, not by me, but by someone before me. I mention that because I put the allen wrench into a pole to adjust it (the one I had was a bit small) and it came out with some wax on it. That is OK with me. Some of these really needed to be potted because sometimes they would squeal like a pig. All in all, this is a FANTASTIC guitar - reminding me a LOT of my endorser, rather than either of my other vulcans. I'll need to test the MPCs, but I took my time wiring them. They should be right.

Here are the early pics - again, it really looks more grey than brown - take my word for it. And indoors it really almost looks black.

Picture in the shade:
Image

Picture in the light:
Image

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2015 6:20 am 
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Very nice indeed.


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PostPosted: Sat May 16, 2015 9:17 am 
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Good job. I can see the burst. If you can make an entry in the model section with photos and info that would be great.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 29, 2017 6:21 pm 
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I finally got this all working properly. I had to replace the missing MPC sockets. The ones I had were right but had two rows of contacts - an upper and lower. Originals had on set of contacts that did both upper and lower contacts. But I wired the wrong ones. Add to that the fact I had the in and out swapped on one of the sockets. So I messed up, and never got back to it for years. :-? Now it is all good! This turned out to be such a nice guitar. :D

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 30, 2017 12:52 am 
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That's the body shape and colour I really quite like; nice instrument, John!!

Send it to me for extensive testing..... :D

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 6:54 pm 
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Got the blonde working too this weekend - yaaaaay :D

So here are some of the Electras and Westones. Don't have the lady or the Elvin Bishop, or a redburst phoenix in there. Just isn't enough wall!

Image

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:03 am 
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Excellent wall!!!!!! All great axes -

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:12 am 
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Nice 8) :up:

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:57 pm 
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That 935cs is gorgeous! (who am I kidding... they are all gorgeous!)


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 04, 2017 4:50 pm 
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Thank you! I wanted that guitar ever since I first saw it. I told a forum member "If you ever want to sell that let me know" - and luckily a year or two later he did! He had three X-935cs models, one was his favorite player, one looked like new, and then there was this one - the nicest top ever. And so now he has two. This one I have to think was a show guitar, or maybe made especially for someone. It is just speculation, but the figured wood on this guitar is amazing. Even the mahogany on the back of the guitar is flamed. I have only seen two tops anything like this - this one, and another that someone put a kahler on. So thank you again for selling it to me! Awesome guitar! I just had to have it.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 11:07 am 
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Looks quite different from mine, my Betts is almost greenish!

Image


And my X935 looks a lot like yours! Though the back isn't flamed... I think that Mike also has one with a flamed back, right?

Image

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