Saturday, February 16, 2008, 05:59 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, 05:43 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, 04:11 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, 03:00 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, I’ve shipped tuned locked FX’s across the country and stored them for months in varying humidity and they’ve stayed dead in tune.


Dive-bombed with abandon, they return effortlessly in tune, and if that’s 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 Matsumoku’s 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.





Wednesday, January 23, 2008, 02:54 PM - Models



Set neck double cutaway with maple body, maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, black hardware, graphite nut and Bendmaster two-post bridge, 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)

X199BL (H-S-H)(Blue Burst)


In 1984 the X199 appeared as the new flagship of the line, replacing the X149 and X150. Alice Cooper had told us we were all clones, and laminated wood tones and brass hardtail mellowness had to go in favor of candy apple red and black hardware. The X199 was all of that, and not only was its set neck smoothly integrated into its body, its Phoenix lines had been massaged and smoothed. Every X199 feels like it’s had personal attention- today we’d call it ‘custom shop’ treatment and the intention was clear- show a premium model to attract attention and build reputation for quality, and then sell them the cheaper model which is still good quality but oh such a value.


The X199 also had a new generation of MMK45’s that are a noticeable difference from the already excellent MMK45’s. Beyond saying they sound better, they have more dynamic range, more headroom, and a richer tone in-between. Whatever Tom and his buddies had done in the latest generation of pickups, it was good mojo, and all the flagship models got them, including also the Dimension IV and Monark when they appeared.





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