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Advice Needed re: Westone XA1630 Genesis II

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Post by Ryan3000 Fri Dec 03, 2021 8:16 pm

Hi all,

I’m new to the site and in need of advice. I’ve been interested in getting a Westone guitar for a while now, and one just came up locally. It’s a bit rough in spots, but I think it looks like most of it is there, although I’m no expert on this model. He says he has the wrench even though it’s not pictured. He was originally asking $300, but I talked him down to $100. I’m supposed to pick it up on Monday, but I thought I’d check with those who have more experience and a better eye for this before I do something I’ll regret. I’m not averse to working on guitars, but I’ve never had anything like this tremolo system before, and I’m admittedly kind of scared that it will be a pain in the butt. Anyway, hopefully these photos will show up and you can let me know if I should proceed with confidence or turn around and don’t look back. 

Thanks in advance!
Ryan
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Post by Ryan3000 Fri Dec 03, 2021 8:31 pm

Not sure what’s going wrong. When I paste the imageshack link foe the photos, an error message appears saying the URL is incomplete.
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Post by gittarasaurus Fri Dec 03, 2021 9:53 pm

the website will not let you post photos when you are a new member until 7 days or something like that. helps prevent spam and such...

my 2 cents;
for $100 you would be getting an amazing deal no matter the condition of the guitar. get the guitar and you will not regret it. the Genesis 2 model is an excellent guitar with many unique Westone qualities.

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Post by Ryan3000 Fri Dec 03, 2021 10:51 pm

Yes, after reading through some other threads I saw mention of the “no photos for 7 days rule.” Thanks so much for your advice. It’s pretty much the way I feel about it, so it’s nice to hear somebody else back it up. My initial hesitation had to do with the lock nut which looks non-original and it appears that somebody drilled two holes in the back of the neck just beneath the headstock I guess to mount the replacement. Aside from that and the missing back cover, the bridge looks to be complete with trem arm and the pickups look original, too, although I’ll have no idea about the electronics inside until I get it home. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts, I’m really looking forward to my first Westone (and second Matsumoku)!
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Post by Barry Sat Dec 04, 2021 8:35 pm

Two words: GET IT! Laughing

Lots of help here if you run into problems. Meantime have a look at our website for more info, if you haven't already: LINK

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Post by Ryan3000 Sat Dec 04, 2021 8:53 pm

LOL Thanks, Barry! Yes, I’ve been snooping around the site for all the info I can get. Fingers crossed this goes off without a hitch. I’ll be sure to share photos as soon as I’m able and will definitely ask you guys questions if I run into problems with it. I’m already hunting for a replacement backplate, but so far no dice.
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Post by Ryan3000 Thu May 26, 2022 9:30 pm

So, six months later, I finally have an end to this story. The morning of the day I was supposed pick up the guitar, the seller emailed to tell me that he had another buyer willing to pay his asking price. I was skeptical, but thanked him for his time and wished him luck. As time went on, his CL listing for the guitar kept renewing with the price gradually coming down to $200, so yesterday I reached out to him and politely increased my original offer from $100 to $140. Amazingly he accepted and I picked up the guitar this afternoon. He even included a new gig bag, which I really appreciated. So, it’s a happy ending to a rather long and kinda boring movie!

Anyway, I was pleasantly surprised to see that it’s mostly intact and not missing any critical parts (as far as I can tell). I do wish it had the back plate cover, but I guess I’ll have to keep my eye out for that. If anybody knows of a source, I’m all ears!

I was nervous about stringing and tuning with the bend master tremolo, since I’ve never had anything remotely like it in the past, but with a little trial and error it went fairly well. The only issue is the fine tuners on the high E and B strings max out before I can get them perfectly in tune. They’re both just slightly sharp with no room left on the dials. I’m thinking of placing a shim of some kind beneath the screws to give them a little more play, but I’m not sure what to use. Any ideas? Or maybe there’s an easier solution that I’m missing? Quite possible!

I was only able to plug it into an amp for a few minutes before my wife and son came home, but it was long enough to know there are some issues with the electronics that I’m going to have to fuss with. I’ll have to open her up tomorrow if I have time to see what’s going on.

Anyway, despite that, my early verdict is that I got a great deal and I think I’m going to love my Genesis II. Even though the neck is a little wider and the fretboard a little flatter than I’m used to, it’s an absolute dream to play. Man, I really can’t wait to get it all cleaned up and in perfect working order. I’ll try to take pix tomorrow and post them so you can see it in its current state. Oh, one other thing, the locking nut seems to be a replacement, since holes were drilled through the neck to mount it. It seems fine to me, but I don’t know why the original owner would have removed the stock one in favor of another. Anyway, thanks for reading!
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Post by Barry Thu May 26, 2022 10:37 pm

Ryan3000 wrote:...it’s a happy ending to a rather long and kinda boring movie!
The Genesis is anything but boring! And there's always a good story behind every Westone acquisition. Yours is one with a happy ending!

The only issue is the fine tuners on the high E and B strings max out before I can get them perfectly in tune. They’re both just slightly sharp with no room left on the dials. I’m thinking of placing a shim of some kind beneath the screws to give them a little more play, but I’m not sure what to use. Any ideas? Or maybe there’s an easier solution that I’m missing? Quite possible!
NO, don't shim anything! You just haven't set the trem up properly.

Start over:
- Loosen the lock nut then adjust all the fine tuning screws so they are sitting approximately half way down their length.
What I do is extend the bass E up fully and the treble E all the way down. That shows you the full range of adjustment and you then us it as a guide to set the other screws to the halfway mark. When you've done those then adjust the two E screws to match
- Tune the guitar, then gently but firmly lock it down.
- Give the bar a few dive bends to settle everything.
- Then correct the fine tuning of each string which should only need a small amount of tweaking

... the locking nut seems to be a replacement, since holes were drilled through the neck to mount it.
affraid  Oh no! Why on Earth would someone do that?!
Drilling through the neck is a stupid thing to do.
I suspect the previous owner lost the clamping plates of the original part and decided to replace the whole thing. But what was he thinking?!

As for the back plate, your chances of finding one are as rare as rocking horse poo. You're better off making your own.
I had to do that on a Spectrum model and I just used some black plastic cut from a cheap container bought at the dollar store. Not a difficult thing to do, easily shaped and sanded.

Now, pix or it didn't happen! Razz

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Post by Ryan3000 Thu May 26, 2022 10:56 pm

Thanks so much for the advice, Barry. I’ll have to try your tuning trick in the morning. After doing it wrong the first time, I put all the fine tuners all the way down, figuring that would give me maximum room for adjustment. But your method makes a heckuva lot more sense. All things considered, I’m surprised I got it as close to in tune as I did!

The drilled holes were the biggest disappointment to me, but I suppose it could be worse.

Yeah, I figure my ever coming across an original backplate will be, as you cleverly put it, “as rare as rocking horse poo,” so I’ll have to compromise. It sure would be nice to have the original anniversary plate, though.

Pix will be on the way just as soon as I can get to it tomorrow! Thanks again!
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Post by Barry Thu May 26, 2022 11:23 pm

Happy to help Ryan.
The reason you set the screws half way is to give you the option to either sharpen or flatten the tuning. You never know for sure what you will need each time you play.

Once the original setup is done you should only need fine tuner tweaking until the next string change. Oh, and be sure you don't overtighten the locking nut. No need to go medieval on it, it ain't a vice!

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Post by gittarasaurus Fri May 27, 2022 1:52 pm

Ryan3000 wrote:

The drilled holes were the biggest disappointment to me, but I suppose it could be worse.

just recently some authentic new old stock parts have appeared, including some unused necks. the folks at Franklin Guitar Works are selling them on Reverb and ebay.

take a look and you might find one that matches your neck. like maybe >>this one<<
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Post by Ryan3000 Fri May 27, 2022 2:20 pm

Thanks for the tip on the replacement neck. I’ll definitely consider it even if only to keep as a backup for the future. Honestly, I really love this neck just as it is. It plays so great. And thanks to Barry’s advice, I was able to figure out how to properly tune this beast and keep it there!

I promise to upload pix sometime over the weekend for those interested in seeing it. Regarding the electronics, the bridge humbucker is simply amazing. I can’t get over how much I love it. The middle SC pickup is set quite low and sounds decent, so I’ll have to raise it up to see if I can get it to sound better. The neck SC seems to be disconnected, because I get nothing from it at all.
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Post by Ryan3000 Fri May 27, 2022 3:52 pm

Took a peak inside and saw two unconnected wires (red and orange), which I assume has to do with the neck pickup being nonfunctional.
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Post by Ryan3000 Fri May 27, 2022 5:53 pm

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Post by Ryan3000 Fri May 27, 2022 5:56 pm

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Post by Ryan3000 Fri May 27, 2022 6:00 pm

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Post by Ryan3000 Fri May 27, 2022 6:03 pm

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Post by Ryan3000 Fri May 27, 2022 10:23 pm

So, here are all the pix to prove that it happened. As you can see, the electronics look all original, but it seems there are two wires that have been disconnected. I’ll have to find the wiring diagram and take a look. I assume it has to do with the neck pickup not working. Overall, the guitar is in decent aesthetic condition, and certainly better than I thought it was going to be judging from the few photos the seller had posted on CL. Sometime soon, I’m going to strip the strings and give it a deep cleaning. I’ll also take a look closer at the wiring, which is not really my forte, but I’ll try to make do. At the very least, the selector switch is in need of a good dose of contact cleaner, because it’s very glitchy when changing from one pickup to the next. Sometimes I have to tap and jiggle it for it to make and maintain the connection.
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Post by corsair Thu Jun 02, 2022 7:39 am

That stringlock needs to be be taken off, and the whole thing done again, properly!! Look at the stringpath across the lock base; the E/B strings are kinked…

I believe Floyd Rose locknuts are bolted in from underneath the neck, and that’s probably what happened here; Kahler do sell a proper behind-the-nut stringlock: perhaps that could be an option?

That aside… what a bottler!! Love the colour and everything looks pretty good! Mine doesn’t get anywhere near enough play but is a joy whenever I do!!

Setting up a Bendmaster is a PITA but with a little patience is eminently do-able… getting the action height right for your preference is easy enough, then you need to intonate the bloody thing…

As Barry said, setting the fine tuners at just a little more than halfway is ideal; guitars with vibrato bridges tend to go flat rather than sharp, so there’s your starting point.
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Post by gittarasaurus Sat Jun 04, 2022 5:28 pm

my guess would be that the red/orange wires would be the (unused) center tap for the humbucker

just need to be insulated, a piece of tape or some shrink-tube
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Post by The Guitar Mon Jun 27, 2022 11:44 am

Looks like those wires has solder on them. If you want to check, pop the strings off and lift the neck pickup out to see what color the wires are or follow them and see what hole they come out of. Usually the neck and middle wires will come from the same hole into the cavity. For the back plate, maybe someone that has this and access to a scanner could trace it on paper and scan it at 300dps and send it to you so you can send it and have it made.
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Post by Barry Wed Jun 29, 2022 3:41 pm

Ya done good grasshopper  Razz

I have the same beautiful burgundy colour and I love it. This is one of the most comfortable guitars on the strap that I have. You're gonna love it!
 
Excellent advice from Corsair and gittarasaurus.

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Genesis - Advice Needed re: Westone XA1630 Genesis II Guitar10
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