Dynasty XV2 Restoration

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Post by Bootymuncha on Sat Feb 01, 2020 3:30 am

Hello all,

I am about to purchase a project Dynasty XV2 I found on eBay. Long story short, it seems to be in great condition but has no hardware. I have been doing research on these forums about using a modern Floyd-style trem instead of looking for an original Bendmaster trem. It looks like the ones recommended here are the Gotoh 1996T and the GFS Fastloader, per the threads linked below:

forum(dot)westoneguitars(dot)net/t2360-possible-ft-bridge-replacement?
forum(dot)westoneguitars(dot)net/t4534-dynasty-project

I contacted the seller and after going back and forth talking about mounting a Floyd since the post spacing is the same, I visited this forum and learned of the intonation problem with this replacement. This was his response after I informed him of it:

"Wow, so I've never considered this (...) I just assumed (the Floyd) would work since the posts aligned with the Floyd base. So here's what I did - I measured a 25.5" scale Jackson with a Floyd from nut to tremolo post (center hole) and I got 25". That same measurement on the Dynasty is 25.25", meaning the posts are 1/4" further from the nut on the Dynasty. 1/4" is a lot to compensate for by way of saddle adjustment alone. It's possible that a heel shim/saddle adjustment combination could make up that 1/4" difference but I can't say for sure. I've seen photos of Dynasties with Floyds but I've never played one, so I can't comment on how they might intonate. That's a bummer, I'll need to figure it out. My last resort would be a return to the Bendmaster, they really were pretty bad tremolos."

I still have a chance to back out as of the time of this post but am pretty much set on buying this guitar. I love my Electra Dynasty so much, I just have to get my hands on another one, and I love the idea of throwing modern hardware and custom pickups on this thing. I am a bit worried about finding a trem to properly fit it, but I have confidence that with the knowledge and expertise on this forum I will be able to overcome any obstacles that arise.

So, my question for you all is this: What is so different about the Original Floyd vs the Gotoh 1996T vs the GFS Fastloader Trem when all are licensed Floyd Rose designs? Why is it that even though all three are essentially "Drop-in" replacements for the original Bendmaster, only the original Floyd Rose requires a neck pocket shim in order to achieve proper intonation? Is it that the Floyd saddles simply can't come forward enough to acheive the proper scale? And that the other two have designs that allow for more forward adjustment? This is all I can think of but they look so similar in specs and design. And of course, please let me know if anything I've said in this post raises a red flag.

I'll be updating this thread with pictures as soon as my account is able to post them, as well as any additional progress and issues I run into along the way. Thanks in advance for any help anyone is able to offer!   Drink Beer
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Post by knicelyr on Tue Feb 04, 2020 2:36 pm

I think I had been looking at that one.

The case is for a different electra guitar.

White with red stripes with nothing but the electronic pots?

I did a recent restore using the goth trem and it works fine.  I followed TheChad's advice.

http://www.westoneguitars.net/fixme/restorations-modifications/1985-dynasty-gotoh-bridge-replacement/

https://westone.forumotion.com/t6664-another-dynasty-project

re: https://westone.forumotion.com/t4534-dynasty-project
I took the new thicker studs and retreaded them to the same size as the bendmaster ones. That way I didn't have to remove the old ones and make bigger holes.
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Post by Bootymuncha on Wed Feb 05, 2020 2:40 pm

knicelyr wrote:I think I had been looking at that one.

The case is for a different electra guitar.

White with red stripes with nothing but the electronic pots?

I did a recent restore using the goth trem and it works fine.  I followed TheChad's advice.

(links removed)

I took the new thicker studs and retreaded them to the same size as the bendmaster ones. That way I didn't have to remove the old ones and make bigger holes.

That's the one! Yeah man, sorry if I took a potential buy off of your hands. I've been wanting a project guitar, and another Mat, saw that thing and couldn't resist. Trust me, if all goes according to plan I will be slamming out riff after gnarly riff on this guitar, bringing to the world a sonic onslaught of vintage Japanese proportions.

Wow, your last restoration went extremely well! The paintjob you did is absolutely awesome. I can tell you've been at this for a bit longer than myself. I almost feel bad for taking it away from you... More motivation for me to take extra care and do this right. Thank you for sharing those links, I'm definitely going to follow the recommendations you gave and do plenty of homework. I'm probably going to try mounting it without additional routing as TheChad did, but if I find that I don't have enough room to use the trem the way I want, it's good to know re-routing for the Gotoh is a feasible option. I don't think I'd feel comfortable doing something like that myself, but I have a couple of friends who are very talented luthiers that should be able to help me out.

It's awesome the way you are fabricating parts for these Westones! Sound techniques and real quality work. I am definitely interested in obtaining some knobs and a string lock from you for this project, as it looks as though you may be the man to go to for these things moving forward! I'm going to go all-chrome for this build, I think it will match the white/red paint job quite well.
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Post by knicelyr on Thu Feb 06, 2020 11:07 am

You just save me money is all Smile
I'm happy to help out in any way I can.

I found that I did need to route out the area. If you like I can send you the jig I used, It goes over the tremolo screws with a collar router bit.

I also routed the area for the tone block much bigger, however I had a big custom tone block made. I can find the details for that if you like.

I think you are doing the right thing and keeping the paint, it looked like it was in really good shape.  I did notice that the belt strap seemed to be located differently -- to the side of the neck plate.

I used some locking tuners on one of mine, at time in hopes that I would not need a string lock, because I couldn't find one.  With that said, I still do like the locking tuners.

I would be happy to help you with the string lock and knobs or anything else along the way.  I found some original MMK pickups for another project and worked out how to modify them for the center tapping and phase shifting.  Long story but one of the ones I had was "fixed" incorrectly.  I put it all together and nothing worked!  THAT was a BAD day!

However you could use any humbucker and do the same center tapping and phase shifting on them.

Are you going to change out the electronics?  

If so I found some good ones on amazon, however the push pull was backwards so I had to account for that in the wiring.

On my last one I leveled the frets and crowned them along with doing some extensive repair at the nut and some repair to the fret-board where it was chipped.  I just did the same for a friends Strat.  I would definitely suggest that especially if you are going for low action.  Also that neck was really bowed so I was able to fix that with the help of a fret-board straight edge. It's a notched level tool that takes the frets out of the picture.

Pictures as you go!!
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Post by Bootymuncha on Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:15 am

Guitar arrived today!  cheers As soon as I'm able I'll post all kinds of pictures. It's in great shape. Neck appears to be very straight, will have to see how it behaves with strings on it but upon first inspection it looks quite promising. Just a couple of dings on the back, but my biggest complaint is the neckplate - it's not the original one for this guitar. Oh well, I'll either source another one or deal with it, it fits so as long as I can play the damn thing it's not a major issue. The case should work fine with a couple of minor modifications.

Not sure if I'm going to swap out the electronics. I'll at the very least throw a new output jack in there, I never have issues with Switchcraft jacks. Howerver for the push-pulls and switch, if they still work fine I may just leave them in there. Usually nothing a little contact cleaner won't fix. I work at a music store so getting a good deal on pots, switch and output jack shouldn't be a problem if I do need to replace it all.

That sucks to hear about your MMKs. The ones in my Electra are very unique, they're incredibly detailed and microphonic. Is that standard for these pickups and guitars? As for the project, I actually met a guy recently who's local and makes his own line of hand-wound pickups. He mentioned that he might have some spares lying around I could throw into a guitar, so if I can get free or discounted pickups from him that will definitely be the first thing I try! If not that, probably a JB or Super Distortion in the bridge and a Jazz or something like that for the neck. For the middle pickup, I will likely be putting something very hot in there, possibly a double-stacked single coil like a Hot Rails. I find the original MMK single coil in my Electra Dynasty is a bit weak compared to the humbuckers, and seems to get lost in the mix without adding much when activated, especially under high-gain applications. Thoughts, experiences?

If locking tuners and a well-cut nut are a good enough solution without the stringlock, that might be the easiest way to go. I still may not mind trying out the stringlock first, as the nut seems to be cut at a pretty steep angle to accommodate the behind-the-nut lock. Either way, I think going all-chrome on the hardware for this build is the way to go. Black is great and all, but I think chrome will really pop on the cream finish and go perfect with the red racing stripe/biker aesthetic. So if you do send me some re-fab parts, no need to anondize it black!

As for the the trem re-routing - If it comes down to that I will definitely take you up on the off to use that jig, that's very generous of you. Let's be honest, I'm probably going to want to go crazy with this Gotoh so having the extra routing space will likely come in handy. How do you feel the bigger sustain block affects your tone? Noticeable sustain increase? Brighter? Fuller? Different EQ spike?  I ask because I've never replaced a block on a floating trem before. I usually go for string-through guitars but I just can't put my other Dynasty down, hence the purchase of this one. geek
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Post by Barry on Fri Feb 07, 2020 12:16 pm

Bootymuncha wrote:... Black is great and all, but I think chrome will really pop on the cream finish...
Thumb Up That was my thinking too when I restored this originally black APII Urchin:

Dynasty XV2 Restoration Urchin12

Dynasty XV2 Restoration Urchin11

Dynasty XV2 Restoration Urchin10

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Post by corsair on Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:32 pm

The MMK range of pickups are, by fairly general consensus, pretty bloody good; the MMK45 being -we think!! - Matsumokus take on tne DiMarzio Super Distortion and thus fairly high gain. My experience is that they can get a little muddy at high volume and rolling off the volume on the guitar and bumping up the gain at the amp will serve very well, giving a muscular, meaty sound, while still having plenty of definition. YMMV, of course!

I find the Bendmaster bridges to be pretty robust pieces of kit that, once you understand how they work and what their limitations are, do the job they were designed to do very well indeed! That said, I'm not a huge user of the wiggle stick and certainly don't do huge bends especially not up-bends! Those who don't like them are much more aggressive players than I who do use the bar for extreme Van Halen-esque acrobatics.

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Post by corsair on Fri Feb 07, 2020 1:46 pm

Sustain blocks. I know that, in theory, a bigger block a lá a Callahan item will increase a electric guitars' sustain, but I suspect the reality is that on-stage, with all kinds if FX engaged and all kinds of extraneous on stage and off stage noise, any increase in sustain will be well and truly lost!
Neck through guitars are another puzzle; I have two such - one is a Vantage VA 900 with a tune-o-matic bridge and a stoptail; this guitar served me well through 25+ years of gigs and is just a beautiful instrument with a neck that goes on forever! We all know the theory of neck throughs, right; that having the strings attached to the same piece of wood is beneficial beyond words?? Well, my second neck-through is another Vantage, an X-99 Avenger... equipped with a floating bridge! There is a hole in that guitar to allow the bridge to work, thus the only point of contact that the strings have with the bridge end of that piece of wood is via 4 screws; the bridge posts and the spring claw screws in the cavity!! Does that not invalidate the theory?? I don't know but, once again, I suspect that that sort of sustain is only apparent in a very quiet environment, or a laboratory!

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