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PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:36 am 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Well there are still deals to be had out there. I picked up this Olive Green X165 Phoenix on eBay for $62 plus shipping last week. Auction stated that there was only a hum when plugged in and the pictures were less than flattering, but it looked pretty much all there and I took a chance that it wasn't a total basket case and bid with the expectation that I would be sniped at the last second. No other bids were received and I won this green elephant which showed up Thursday morning. Here is a picture I lifted from the auction, showing the bridge and it's neglected state:

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I opened up the control cavity to find two ground straps missing and a huge glob of solder shorting pins on the phase switch. Once I took care of those things I plugged it in and found that the controls were functioning properly and removed the rusted strings to start the cleaning process. I applied two coats of linseed oil to the fretboard, totally disassembled the bridge to clean the saddles and generally just wipe down the thing. Pulled the pickups out and the original MMK45's were there, in fact, everything is original. No missing plate covers or modifications, only things missing are the Pickup selector top, one tone knob and a couple back plate screws, all of which are easy finds.

After putting on a new set of strings I found that the truss rod had been tightened, giving the neck a back bow, which is probably why the guitar was moth balled in the first place. The bridge saddles were set about as high as they would go to try to make it playable. This is why players shouldn't mess with the truss rod if they don't know what they're doing! I had to loosen the truss rod three quarter turns before the neck had the proper relief, lowered the saddles and was pretty surprised to find no buzzing or dead spots on the fretboard, Bonus!

I sprayed out the selector switch and it started working reliably then. The X165 is one of the few Phoenix's that has a separate volume for each pickup, in fact the electronics are identical to the X935 Endorsers, with coil-cut and phase switches built into the tone pots. I plugged it into one of my Mesa's and ended up flailing on it for about 90 minutes. I just eyeballed the intonation and it turned out to be pretty darn close as I checked it with my tuner on the twelfth fret harmonics. Stays in tune well, although I don't use the vintage vibrato, which helps! Here's the weekend warrior afterwards:

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It won't win any beauty contests, but it plays great and I like the familiar Endorser controls it has. I still prefer the shorter scale guitars these days, but couldn't stop myself from trying to revive this neglected war horse. So keep an eye out, there are still deals to be had in the Electra world. Cheers, Mike.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:34 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:06 am
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Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
Good one, Mike - I loves me a Phoenix and I'd like one of these with the 4 control pots! 62 bucks is a steal - people pay that for teeny weeny parts, eh and you've got a fully paid up rock machine!

The selector switch tip; that's one of the flat topped, straight sided ones, yes? Do you have a supplier for those?? I've been making my own with varying degrees of success.... :D

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:32 am 
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Location: Amarillo, Texas USA
Ditto - good one MJM! I know you will play it well - :up:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 8:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:10 pm
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Location: Tifton, Ga USA
8) Nice save on a cool phoenix.
:up:

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 11:37 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:52 am
Posts: 1924
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Thanks guys, getting plenty of play time here, but that could be due to it having the newest strings on it! Everything works fine on this beast, the tuners, adjustment screws all move freely, electronics all work, just a really pleasant surprise.

Turns out this is a slightly different color than my Graphite X190 s/s/h Phoenix when they're side by side. I thought it was just one shade, that I called both Olive Green or Graphite. Arthur, you own a few Phoenix's, can you verify that there are two different colors? I suppose it could be one has yellowed over the years, and that's what I think usually causes slight differences in colors on older guitars, but these two finishes seem distinct from each other. Cheers, Mike.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 5:59 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 9:32 am
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Location: NYC
Nice save on a cool axe


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 11, 2011 1:19 pm
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Location: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Great save Mike! :D What a steal.

The pics dont' show up, can you try another method to show them?

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