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Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom

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Post by Westone Mon Oct 25, 2021 5:57 am

We would be remiss if we didn't mention that Tom Presley (pictured below left) the most important Designer for Westone, turned 72 yesterday! 
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TOM!

Speaking of 72, Tom announced that he's taking questions in case he's not with us in the future.  Please will you post any questions you have for Tom here in this thread?  

Around 2014, Tom's 15 year non-disclosure agreement with Westone expired so we are now so fortunate to hear behind the scenes details:

https://jackbaruth.com/?p=1617&amp=1


Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom Electr10
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Post by Barry Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:04 am

Hello again Tom, happy to see you back!

The last time you were here you gave us a lot of valuable info, most of which I compiled and posted to our website. Like it or not you're immortalized there now! Razz

One of the items we chatted about was the confirmation of the Westone (and other Mats) serial numbers. We have our own interpretation which is posted on the front page of the website and it seems to be valid.

At the time, you did not have a comprehensive answer but mentioned that you had some information filed away which you would have a look for and get back to us. You never did.

Are you in a position now to give us some clarity about the serials? It's a small thing but it would be very much appreciated if we could get confirmation or correction.

Many thanks.

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Post by Westone Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:21 am

By the way Arthur Herin has announced an upcoming 2022 SLM-Fest in the USA to include Westone owners! 😀

This is a get-together following in the success of Electra Fest 2011, 2013, 2014 (With Tom Presley) and 2015.


Last edited by Westone on Wed Oct 27, 2021 11:44 am; edited 3 times in total
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Post by Barry Mon Oct 25, 2021 11:53 am

Please will you post any questions you have for Tom here in this thread? 

I realize that Bryant, I was simply following your request!
The question is obviously for Tom. Rolling Eyes

Do you or do you not want questions for him?

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Post by Westone Tue Oct 26, 2021 9:58 am

Barry wrote:
Please will you post any questions you have for Tom here in this thread? 

The question is for Tom. Rolling Eyes
Dear @Barry, following is Tom Presley's answer:
--------------------------------------
"Hi Barry,  the serial number chart that is on Westonguitars.net is the only valid reference that lists most of the Matsumoku and even Fuji numbers.  I apologize for not validating the info previously.  As you know, there are still many questions and no clear answers surrounding custom runs, matching neck to body numbers etc.  At one time Akira via SLM and I had several hundred serialized necks from the 80s that ended up on Korean bodies for prototypes or limited production much later.  

BTW, I’m limiting my Facebook time as there are already so many guitar forums and many cross over brands.  You were very respectful of my time and I thank you for that!"
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Post by Barry Tue Oct 26, 2021 4:27 pm

Thanks for that.

Keiran,
perhaps a small addendum (confirmation) would be a good idea on the website. Nice to have this info validated for the Mats builds at least.

Also the tie in with Fuji is interesting eh? Thinking

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Post by NeilH Wed Oct 27, 2021 12:01 am

Happy birthday Tom!

Most of my questions involve the headless models, and I'll start with a question that's been in my mind for 30 years... What happened to the black prototype Rail guitar?

I have a magazine ad for the Rail bass from the 80s, but it's only called X800, and the rails look to be 5 or 6 cm longer. Prototype or mockup?


Was a Quantum guitar considered?

I built my own Rail guitar (it's my avatar) inspired by the black prototype that appeared in the magazines, but modeled after the production bass. I'm thinking that a Quantum guitar would be cool, too.

Neil
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Post by Westone Wed Oct 27, 2021 8:55 am

NeilH wrote:What happened to the black prototype Rail guitar?

I have a magazine ad for the Rail bass from the 80s, but it's only called X800, and the rails look to be 5 or 6 cm longer. Prototype or mockup?
Was a Quantum guitar considered?

I built my own Rail guitar (it's my avatar) inspired by the black prototype that appeared in the magazines, but modeled after the production bass. I'm thinking that a Quantum guitar would be cool, too.

Neil
Here's the reply from distinguished SLM Designer Tom Presley:
-----------------------

"The Rail bass and concept was Toshi’s in Matsumoto. I played around either rails to reduce the resonance - foam but after all it was said the resonance added to the character. I think Toshi had the guitar after NAMM. I didn’t consider a Quantum guitar but it wouldn’t surprise me if Owa-San had a production proto."
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Post by gittarasaurus Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:21 pm

I wonder why the every Quantum bass has the same serial number, and why it doesn't conform to the style of all the other Matsumoku Westone serial numbers
Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom 00-h4rYz82ScDKmXss5jj8Qgc6phI1Pj6QvbkXh9nuQH-63AAue8O9wVgRxNjI9sdbG?cn=THISLIFE&res=large&ts=1566499989
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Post by Barry Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:06 pm

Bryant
All of a sudden the Facebook link above is requiring me to login. What happened to Public Access?

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Post by Westone Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:18 pm

Barry wrote:Bryant
All of a sudden the Facebook link above is requiring me to login. What happened to Public Access?

Weird but you're correct Barry, when I use my quick link to get to the forum: www.ElectraGuitars.com it also is making me login.

Please do an experiment for me Barry & click the link to our Facebook Channel that's in my Twitter Description (it's unnecessary to login to Twitter):
https://twitter.com/Westone_Guitars
That one is working for me without making me login.  
-----------
Also @Barry, here's an interview from the Facebook page in case you want it on this Forum:
-----------
SLM Fans,

Here is an interview with a V.I.P., retired Products Manager of SLM's Ampeg brand, Tony Moscal!  Tony worked with Tom Presley & was immortalized in the attached picture below as he met all the super-stars and signed the highly coveted FarmAid Westone guitar.

1) What was it like meeting all those stars in the FarmAid signing?
-----
TONY: "It was really amazing meeting with willie Nelson who gave us a signed letter to show to everybody and anybody that we were legit and they should help sign the guitars to raise money."
-----
2) Do you feel immortalized by being a signer on that highly sought-after FarmAid guitar?
------
TONY: "No but I feel privileged to have been at one of the first big concert humanity events. No one will ever forget the first farm aid or live aid."
------
3) What was Tom Presley like to work for?
-----
TONY: "Tom Presley is a genius and one of the best people in the industry making products with true benefits for consumers."
-----
4) What was it like working for Ampeg?
-----
TONY: "I love my time at slm bringing ampeg back from the dead (bankruptcy).
Clearly the entire young SLM team including sales, marketing, advertising and especially engineering and USA manufacturing didn’t realize we were rebuilding a brand and product line that quickly became the market share leader for decades to come!"
-----
5) What was your favorite Ampeg guitar and amp?
-----
TONY: "As we were developing the “Diamond Blue “ reissue series, I had Jerry Proctor make an awesome custom one-of-a-kind dual cut guitar that kind of became a Mr. Potato guitar. We changed pickups, Trem systems and other mods as we tried out amps for artists and ourselves.
Favorite amp by far was the original SVT-HD slm production run.
Unheard of for SLM to incorporate so many firsts in our manufacturing processes!!!
All tube original technology but a critical eye to manufacture, testing, redesign that made those 500 limited pieces the best hand made/line made tube amps ever built!
Kudos and thanks to Gene Kornblum, John Karpowicz and the entire SLME and SLM crew of that heyday!"
----
Thank you for your time & everything you did for SLM Tony!

Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom 20211010


Last edited by Westone on Thu Oct 28, 2021 8:55 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Post by Purge Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:46 pm

gittarasaurus wrote:I wonder why the every Quantum bass has the same serial number, and why it doesn't conform to the style of all the other Matsumoku Westone serial numbers
Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom 00-h4rYz82ScDKmXss5jj8Qgc6phI1Pj6QvbkXh9nuQH-63AAue8O9wVgRxNjI9sdbG?cn=THISLIFE&res=large&ts=1566499989
`i think I've mentioned this before... it's not s serial number. I once had a Rail and Quantum with the same number. Previously they used 6 digit numbers, but since the headless basses had less space at the end of the neck they could only fit five using the same tooling. I think it's actually a date- September (The 009) 1984 (the 84). 84009 seems to just mean September 1984, which I think is when they first came out.
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Post by Westone Thu Oct 28, 2021 5:50 pm

Purge wrote:
gittarasaurus wrote:I wonder why the every Quantum bass has the same serial number, and why it doesn't conform to the style of all the other Matsumoku Westone serial numbers
Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom 00-h4rYz82ScDKmXss5jj8Qgc6phI1Pj6QvbkXh9nuQH-63AAue8O9wVgRxNjI9sdbG?cn=THISLIFE&res=large&ts=1566499989


I think I've mentioned this before... it's not s serial number. I once had a Rail and Quantum with the same number. Previously they used 6 digit numbers, but since the headless basses had less space at the end of the neck they could only fit five using the same tooling. I think it's actually a date- September (The 009) 1984 (the 84). 84009 seems to just mean September 1984, which I think is when they first came out.

Thank you Purge! 🙏 
You educated me.

Tom Presley's answer was that only Akira would know for sure the answer and he doesn't know where to find him.


Last edited by DreamRaven on Mon Nov 01, 2021 3:05 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Purge's request for using their avatar name, and nothing else.)
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Post by NeilH Fri Oct 29, 2021 1:10 am

gittarasaurus wrote:I wonder why the every Quantum bass has the same serial number, and why it doesn't conform to the style of all the other Matsumoku Westone serial numbers
Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom 00-h4rYz82ScDKmXss5jj8Qgc6phI1Pj6QvbkXh9nuQH-63AAue8O9wVgRxNjI9sdbG?cn=THISLIFE&res=large&ts=1566499989
Of my 3 Rails and 3 Quantums, 3 still have serial numbers that are still readable, and they all have 6 digits (1985 & 1986).

Neil
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Post by EWH Fri Oct 29, 2021 3:46 am

Purge wrote:
gittarasaurus wrote:I wonder why the every Quantum bass has the same serial number, and why it doesn't conform to the style of all the other Matsumoku Westone serial numbers
Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom 00-h4rYz82ScDKmXss5jj8Qgc6phI1Pj6QvbkXh9nuQH-63AAue8O9wVgRxNjI9sdbG?cn=THISLIFE&res=large&ts=1566499989
`i think I've mentioned this before... it's not s serial number. I once had a Rail and Quantum with the same number. Previously they used 6 digit numbers, but since the headless basses had less space at the end of the neck they could only fit five using the same tooling. I think it's actually a date- September (The 009) 1984 (the 84). 84009 seems to just mean September 1984, which I think is when they first came out.


Hi Purge... Very Happy

May I ask what you (and/or anyone else in the know) would make of this number in the back of my Quantum...?

Thanks in advance and have a great weekend everyone...!
Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom 20211016
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Post by Purge Fri Oct 29, 2021 6:21 am

I made a mistake, they used 7 digit numbers, the first headless basses had 5 , later ones had 6. My Super Headless has a 6 digit one starting with 509. They seem to be following the 7 digit format with the first 3 being a date, which would make yours April 1985. 84009 is the only number I've seen that was used on more than one instrument.
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Post by Barry Fri Oct 29, 2021 11:18 am

Bryant, re: post #11
Your Twitter links works OK, but that doesn't answer the question about Facebook.

I've never been involved with FB but on the occasions I did visit your page it was clearly marked as Public.

I'm assuming that there is a setting which governs that status which you should have access to as Admin, am I wrong?

If you cannot remedy this, it makes the concept of inter-connectivity and easy access broken. Not everyone is on FB eh?

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Post by Westone Fri Oct 29, 2021 12:44 pm

Barry wrote:Bryant, re: post #11
Your Twitter links works OK, but that doesn't answer the question about Facebook.

I've never been involved with FB but on the occasions I did visit your page it was clearly marked as "Public."

I'm assuming that there is a setting which governs that status which you should have access to as Admin, am I wrong?

Dear Barry,
You're right that there is a setting to make a Facebook group public or private.  

Take a look at the picture below and you'll see it still says "Public Group" on the middle left side.

This Facebook Group will always stay "Public" but there's more to it.  For me, when I first go to the Twitter link & then click on the link in the Twitter bio for that Facebook Group, it allows me to see the Facebook Group without logging in.

Maybe try this detailed link to tell me if it allows you to see it without logging in:
https://facebook.com/groups/westone.electra/

Unfortunately when I type in www.ElectraGuitars.com it doesn't allow me to see the Facebook group before logging in.

So there's a mystery element that sometimes Facebook let's you view the page, & sometimes it forces you to login.

@DreamRaven or anyone, can you add any enlightenment to why the Facebook Group sometimes is viewable without logging in & sometimes not?
Happy Birthday Tom Presley & Post Your Questions for Tom Screen24
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Post by Purge Fri Oct 29, 2021 4:48 pm

I have a question for Tom - why did the Westone brand disappear in the early 90s?
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Post by Westone Fri Oct 29, 2021 5:30 pm

Purge wrote:I have a question for Tom - why did the Westone brand disappear in the early 90s?

Dear David, 
Here's Tom Presley responding to Dana Sutcliffe's accusation that St. Louis Music dropping "Westone" in 1991 was a "stupid" move: 
-----------------

"I’m Tom but I’m not famous!  Yes I designed a bunch of Electra, Westone and Alvarez instruments along with a bunch of very talented guys. Yes, I worked with Dana.  He is a great designer and I’d consider him a pal from the past.  Some statements in [Dana's] post are incorrect though.  Bernard’s son, Gene was the driving force at SLM and the decision to move to Alvarez was due to SLM not owning the Westone name outright.  It was shared by a distributor in Europe.  Also Alvarez represented about 10 times the revenue of Westone. It was a financial decision that some were pleased with and others, not so much."

- Tom Presley
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Post by Purge Fri Oct 29, 2021 5:54 pm

My name on this forum is Purge, please use it and nothing else.
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Post by EWH Sat Oct 30, 2021 7:16 am

Purge wrote:I made a mistake, they used 7 digit numbers, the first headless basses had 5 , later ones had 6. My Super Headless has a 6 digit one starting with 509. They seem to be following the 7 digit format with the first 3 being a date, which would make yours April 1985. 84009 is the only number I've seen that was used on more than one instrument.

Thank you... Very Happy
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Post by Barry Sat Oct 30, 2021 1:40 pm

Bryant, Re: post #18


Nope. Facebook still requires a login.

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Post by Barry Sat Oct 30, 2021 11:32 pm

Just for giggles I tried the Facebook link again just now, and. . .
It worked!

No idea why. Facebook is just weird.  Face Palm

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Post by Westone Sat Oct 30, 2021 11:41 pm

Barry wrote:Just for giggles I tried the Facebook link again just now, and. . .
It worked!  No idea why. Facebook is just weird.  Face Palm

Yup, it's hit or miss for me every time I tested & no clue why it works sometimes but not other times.

Maybe ask the wife to log in on your phone & Stay logged in.
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Post by Westbone Wed Nov 03, 2021 2:48 pm

Question for Tom Presley,

Did you have any input into pre 1984 design on Westone guitars.

i.e. Prestige models, Thunder II's etc?
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Post by gittarasaurus Fri Nov 05, 2021 3:51 am

...a few of questions about the business side of SLM/Westone.

-how were westone guitars distributed in the usa before SLM had control of the trademark, which i guess is around 1983. about how many local musical instrument stores around the usa sold westone guitars before then (i bought a thunder 2A new in late 1982 from a music store in Wheaton, MD. i picked out a thunder 1 from a  >catalog< and they told me they had to place the order and it would be made in japan and delivered in a few months. i ended up with a thunder 2A somebody else ordered and decided not to buy, lucky me!)

-any idea how many guitars per month were produced under the westone label (like maybe yrs 80-90)

-what drove production of particular models and numbers made, was it specific production targets, or orders requested from distributors or something else

-with the introduction of newer models, was production of earlier models not available- like if i wanted to order a thunder or prestige guitar in 1988 and i lived in the usa

-were there many special orders requested/accommodated, such as lefties, or fretless bass guitars, or special paint jobs/finishes
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