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The Electra Guitar Page

Friday, October 24, 2008, 09:04 AM - Models

Set neck Les Paul Junior copy; red mahogany body and neck, silver hardware with black pickguard, pearloid tuners. Dual P-90 pickups, Rhythm/Treble switch, VVTT controls.

This remarkable specimen is the only known example of this model, which does not appear in any known catalog. It is also the only known example of an Electra guitar to be made with P-90 pickups.

The detail of the brown paper still glued to the control cavity ciover, as well as the general fit and finish of the instrument, are in every way identical to details of various models of Crown guitar, a brand known to have been distributed by Hoshino and made by Fuji Gen Gakke.

Although this is a rare Electra model, if we look at other brands we see similar copies of this model sold under other brands such as Greco. At the time any US distributor could simply order up any model and have whatever brand name and logo inlaid in pearl on the headstock.

One possible explanation for this undocumented model is that it could have been ordered not by SLM, but by PCM, who distributed in much smaller quantities. If SLM had sold this guitar it seems likely that it would show up in a catalog, or another example would appear.

This example appears in 'as found' confdition, with missing bridge hardware and graffiti scratched into the top. It previously had a large silver belt buckle glued to the front, which came off without damage to the guitar. The remaining glob of silicone caulk glue is still coming off, very slowly.

Saturday, February 16, 2008, 10:59 AM - Models
Like the X630 bass and X130 guitar, two series exist. All are bolt neck double cutaway with ash body, maple neck, chrome hardware, brass hardtail bridge with two double coil pickups with 3-way selector, active EQ circuit.

The early (1981-2) seris had a black pickguard, brass nut, brass knobs.

X640N (natural)

X640S (stained)

X640B (black)

X640W (white

The later (1983+) series had pickups installed flush into the body with no pickguard, and black knurled speed knobs.

X630NA (natural)

The lucky bass player has five different finish versions of this active EQ model, compared to the guitarist's one for the X150. The X640W might be one of the rarest of all Electra Phoenix, at present we have no image of one and only the catalog's mention of its existence.

From the 1981 pricelist:

Saturday, February 16, 2008, 10:43 AM - Models
Like the X135 guitar, two different series of the X630 exist. All are bolt neck double cutaway with ash body, maple neck, chrome hardware, brass nut, brass hardtail bridge, one double coil pickup.

The early 1981-2 series has a black pickguard and brass knobs.

X630N (natural)

X630S (stained)

X630B (black)

X630W (white)

The later (1983+) series has the pickup set flush in the body with no pickguard and knurled black speed knobs, like the rest of the Phoenix models.

X630NA (natural)

X630JB (jet black)

From the 1981 pricelist:

Saturday, February 16, 2008, 09:11 AM - Models
Set neck natural maple body with carved oak leaves on top, 'Tree of Life' inlay on maple fretboard, silver hardware and double Magnaflux humbuckers, stop tailpiece.

From the 1977 catalog:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 08:00 PM - Models
Set neck double cutaway with maple body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, black hardware, graphite nut and Bendmaster FT two-post bridge, locking nut, two humbuckers, one single-coil pickup with three pull-switch knobs (V-T-T) for coil tap, fat (center on) and phase; and 3-way selector switch.

X199CR (H-S-H)(Candy Red/black stripe)

X199SS (H-S-H)(Silverstone/black stripe)

X199W (H-S-H)(white)

X199BL (H-S-H)(black)

The Spectrum FX carried on as flagship model under the new naming system. Still set neck, it carried like the LX an updated Bendmaster FT bridge that added fine tuners to a slim cast body plate, and a matching locking nut. This system is indeed bulletproof, Iíve shipped tuned locked FXís across the country and stored them for months in varying humidity and theyíve stayed dead in tune.

Dive-bombed with abandon, they return effortlessly in tune, and if thatís what you need, they do it. Beyond this, they play wonderfully and sound fantastic. They truly are the best of a great line of guitars, and deserve to be preserved and enjoyed.

Ironically, the FX was the only model to carry a flat black stripe along the center of the body. Although it looked sleek, it also resembled a neck-through guitar, which it is not, and upon looking more closely some people respond as though it were a phony, rather than the good guitar that it is. An unfortunate styling note, perhaps, but not a reason to scratch off the black paint as some owners did. Years later the original paint looks really good, both intact and with moderate wear, as the flat black is an ideal surface for the beautiful patina of handling even without serious abuse.

In 1986 a new neck joint was used, lacking the step of the previous joint, which resembled similar neck joints of other Electras. The new joint was deeply countoured, allowed unprecedented access to upper frets, and it was in most respects the same neck joint offered as a new feature in Matsumokuís own Westones in 1983 in the UK and abroad.

As far as I have seen, all fours colors are listed as though all were available, but it appears that red and bronze (Silverstone) were available in the US with the old neck joint in 85, and white and black with the same neck joint were available at the same time only in the UK and abroad. In 1986, the neck joints changed and the colors switched- black and white on in the US with the new joints and red and gold the same way abroad.

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The Electra Guitar Page