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Post by KNM on Thu Feb 28, 2019 7:35 am

Hi!

A couple of weeks and by sheer chance I´ve found this beauty on a sales list here in Spain.

westone - My first Westone! 2u7neao

Haven´t seek for a Westone in years and just by chance found this for just 200€ (about 230$) plus shipping.

I´ve been looking for having "The Trevor Rabin Guitar". It is not an X390 but it´s a legit Westone. It has some serious superficial scratches on the back, but is in pretty good shape.

westone - My first Westone! 29nw9i0

More pictures... Serial number is : 6052404

westone - My first Westone! 33ww6tj


Neck and frets are in pretty good shape for an ´86 axe!

westone - My first Westone! 21maet3

westone - My first Westone! 2rnbxq0

And the BendMaster looks also in good condition with almost no rust!

westone - My first Westone! 2lbytly

This guitar drives me absolutely crazy. I must confess : My main motivation for having a Westone Pantera is sort of "mythomania" - as I said, I wanted Trev´s guitar -. It´s the first time I´ve bought a guitar without caring about sound or playability. But when this feline arrived at her new home my mind just... blew away!

First surprise was neck profile. Is chunky! More than I expected. Guitar is also extremely well balanced. Can be hold with the palm of my hand just at the backplate neck. Amazing!

Pickups and electronics. Straight and easy. But the sounds...Holy s#&t! It´s a Time Machine! Sounds pure 80s clean sounds but with warmer and articulated. Push-Pull pot gives an extra flavour. Even got those lovely "Quacky in-positions" from S style guitars from the Big F company. And I can´t explain in words how this guitar put a hook on me. I can´t wait to catch it and play again. My brother feels the same. I was concerned about maple bodies : a friend brought me a guitar a year ago for setting up and was a Fenix ML-20 all maple body and neck with rosewood fingerboard and with Shadow Pickups. That guitar just sound horrible (All a wall of bass giant ball of sound). But this Westone has a fast response, resonates well and sounds beyond as I expected.

I´m so happy to have found this! It was an incredible surprise.

Now, the issues!

Electronics are noisy. I´ll upload pictures I´ve taken from the guts of the guitar. Jack must be replaced. Pot works well but with gain tones if I try to roll off it buzzes. In clean tones also makes the guitar sounds darker,muddy, more bassy with just a bit.

These pickups sounds phenomenal and I want to ask to the wise/experts here what are the sort of equivalence of this set of pickups I could find on actual brands,and if you ask me what I change on this guitar I say that I´ll need a more hot neck pickup (maybe a humbukcer in single format) but with good clean tones for those in-between positions that sounds so lovely. And of course if there´s a better push-pull pot...Anything that keep this guitar so cool but with some minor upgrades who helps to expand her versatility farther.

Thanks to all in advance and sorry for my poor English or if I haven´t posted the pics correctly or whatever. I´m getting older!

Cheers and rock on!

Jaume.
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Post by corsair on Thu Feb 28, 2019 3:23 pm

Hola, Jaume!! Good catch, mate - haven't seen too many X275s about!

Noisy pots just might need a shot of electronic contact cleaner to tidy them up?! Westone hardware was of a pretty good quality, with Switchmaster and Gotoh gear being used extensively.

Pickups are Matsumokus' own house brand and are generally pretty good, as you've found out!

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Post by KNM on Fri Mar 01, 2019 6:14 am

corsair wrote:Hola, Jaume!! Good catch, mate - haven't seen too many X275s about!

Noisy pots just might need a shot of electronic contact cleaner to tidy them up?! Westone hardware was of a pretty good quality, with Switchmaster and Gotoh gear being used extensively.

Pickups are Matsumokus' own house brand and are generally pretty good, as you've found out!

Hi and thank you for answer, corsair!

I´ve used electronic contact cleaner quite generously and still got some buzz here and there. I´m digging more on the guitar and my first gess is the ground wire on the back of the bridge´s claw is not in good shape and make (i don´t know the correct expression) bad contact with the plate. Here you have a pic what will explain it better than me.

westone - My first Westone! 9uyy5g

Here you have more picture about the electric inner parts of the guitar. There´s something quite "disgusting" just near the input jack...

westone - My first Westone! 2bbl2t

Zooming in...

westone - My first Westone! 2hy7zbp

Oh I remember! And this is a pic of the body where the humbucker is located. What will these numbers mean?

westone - My first Westone! 2449liv

And this one from the bridge where there´s this sort of "dampening cloth" that I really don´t know what it does there and what is it´s function...

westone - My first Westone! Qozuwm



Day after day this guitar surprises me more. Just picking and playing a bit and I feel like home. I want to dig more about the pickups and how can I improve what it gives in terms of sound and found what pickups in the actual market can fit on this guitar and sound just like the "Mats" ones!

Hope I´ll find some tips and good advices here!

Cheers!
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Post by Barry on Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:03 pm

Wow, that's a lot of wiring in a small space!
All the solder joints look good to me, but you're right, that ground connection on the tremolo claw needs to be re-done.

Ground Joint on Tremolo Claw
The solder joint itself is solid, but there is too much exposed copper from the claw plate connection to the plastic covering on the wire. There is fraying and obvious corrosion there.

  • desolder the wire
  • cut off the rotten part
  • prepare a new end with minimal exposed copper
  • be sure to tin the end
  • remelt the existing solder and reconnect the wire

That should help a lot to make things quieter.

Padding Behind the Block
That looks like a piece of felt behind the trem block, likely to help cushion it if pulling up on the bar. If the trem is set up properly this shouldn't be needed, but it's not doing anything useful there and I'd remove it.

But, if the intent was to dampen spring noise then it's definitely in the wrong place.

  • loosen the claw
  • remove the springs
  • cut up the felt (or foam rubber) into thin strips
  • push them inside of the springs
  • reassemble springs and reset the tremolo


That Disgusting Brown Stuff
Not sure what that is, but if it is hard, it might be sawdust & glue mixture? I'm guessing that it might be intended to support the jack?? If the jack is loose, it may need some repair work. And be sure to squirt contact cleaner in there too, the jack is often the cause of crackling.

The Numbers in the Pickup Routing
We think that these refer to production assembly and finish information such as neck, colour finish, etc. Nothing to do with the pickups themselves. The serial number will tell you the year of build.

Electronics
If all else fails, the push-pull pot is easily replaced, just be sure the shaft diameter fits the knob. But it would be a miserable job, there's no room in the cavity to work easily.

You've already said you love the pickups, so why change them? It's up to you though, there are thousands out there to chose from. Good luck with that!
Razz

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Post by KNM on Mon Mar 04, 2019 4:55 am

This week I´ll try to fix the ground cable and the cloth thing on the bridge. I´m asking about the pickups because I like it a lot and I got a couple of guitars that I want to replace its pickups with something as accurate as "Matts" pickups with actual manufacturers cathalogues. That´s why I´m asking about impedance, resistence, Ohms or whatever (I´m learning about this) and keep digging on it.

Thanks as always. You all are so kind!

Cheers!
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Post by Westbone on Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:26 am

Put a photo up of the pickup that is in there. Both top and bottom.
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Post by KNM on Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:58 pm

Hi Westbone!

It comes with its original stock pickups. You can see them in pictures below.

Thanks!
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Post by Westbone on Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:09 pm

KNM wrote:Hi Westbone!

It comes with its original stock pickups. You can see them in pictures below.

Thanks!
No pictures !  Where ?

Can't see no nonutin'
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Post by corsair on Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:21 pm

I don't see a photo of the pickup demounted either; there's a pic of the cavity, though!

The reason we ask, Jaume, is that normally, a Pantera X300 will have MMK45 marked pickups, and - from memory - X390/350 are MMK75 equipped so we're wondering what your X275 has....

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Post by KNM on Mon Mar 04, 2019 3:40 pm

It got Magnaflux III neck and middle and Magnaflux I UBC unbalanced coil on the bridge.
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Post by Westbone on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:33 pm

Do you have a photo of the bridge pickup top and bottom?

Would help to determine exactly what you have in there.
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Post by corsair on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:33 pm

So the bridge pickup isn't marked MMK45 on its base? If you have one of tbe UBC pickups, they aren't especially well regarded, particularly when Matsumokus' range of in house pickups were so damn good!

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Post by KNM on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:37 pm

Bridge pickup has a plastic "backplate" and a little B engraved on it. I've got all pics on my PC and I'll upload them tomorrow.
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Post by KNM on Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:40 pm

westone - My first Westone! Img_2011


westone - My first Westone! Img_2010

There!
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Post by Westbone on Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:33 pm

Read this.

Paragraph 3.

http://www.westoneguitars.net/fixme/hardware-repairs/ubc-unbalanced-coils-pickups/

 What you have is not regarded as a good pickup. Certainly wouldn't put them in any other guitars.
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Post by Barry on Mon Mar 04, 2019 8:28 pm

Yeah you have one of the whimpy versions of the "UBC".
If you test it's resistance it will likely show around 6K on full and half that on coil cut. So it's not going to exactly scare the birds out of the trees!

Ideally a MMK45 branded pup would be the best replacement. But almost anything on the market will give you better performance than what you have now.

However, I have found that the single Mats single coil pickups are usually quite good and the only ones I have replaced were on my Concord.

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Post by KNM on Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:06 am

Thank you so much for all this info and links, guys! The guitar also need to be fixed on the upper frets (17,18 & 19) or is a matter of shimer the neck. I'll call my tech and I'll bring her to him. On the worktable I'll ask him to measure all pickups and I'll document all as exhaustive as I can.

Cheers!
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Post by Westbone on Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:08 pm

These are the 'better' pickups that were  standard fitment on the earlier models.

MMK 45
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Post by KNM on Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:54 pm

Thanks for sharing that photo, Westbone. In your opinion, what actual pickup will do the work as close as that MMK45?
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Post by Westbone on Tue Mar 05, 2019 5:46 pm

Tonerider Rocksong

Dimarzio super distortion

The Rocksong is a great all round pickup

If you need/want a MMK45 I have a few.
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Post by KNM on Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:15 pm

Good to know, Westbone! Thank you so much and I'll take for the moment some time playing more, knowing better this beauty and fixing the frets issue first. I'll tell you something if I decide to go for ab MMK45.

Cheers!
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