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Controls on Spectrum LX bass

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BASS - Controls on Spectrum LX bass Empty Controls on Spectrum LX bass

Post by nickmajor81 Tue Nov 22, 2022 2:32 pm

Hi all,
I'm hoping someone on here can help me out, I have a Spectrum LX bass. It is active with the two Magnabass humbuckers. I am baffled what all the switches are/ do and would appreciate a little help in working out their function, especially as something somewhere is not working and knowing what they all do will help me find it. 
Any help gratefully appreciated, I've had this beauty since the 80s but still don't really know what everything is supposed to do!

BASS - Controls on Spectrum LX bass 2022-110
nickmajor81
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Post by Barry Tue Nov 22, 2022 9:44 pm

Hi Nick and welcome.
Our main web site (westoneguitars.net) is experiencing some serious image display problems so I cannot direct you to anything useful there. We're waiting on the new web master to make repairs. Neutral

However the older archive site has a little bit of information which mentions some functions but it doesn't identify which control does what. But you should be able to work it out I'm sure.

Have a look here: LINK

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
BASS - Controls on Spectrum LX bass Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
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Post by nickmajor81 Wed Nov 23, 2022 2:39 pm

Thanks, Barry. I've looked at that one as well. Unfortunately something makes the sound cut out, and I'm not sure what the switches to enought to figure out the issue. What actually do coil tap and phase switches do...?
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Post by Barry Wed Nov 23, 2022 3:05 pm

A Coil Cut simply grounds out the slug side (usually) of the humbucker, which effectively turns the pickup into a "single coil" configuration giving you a brighter, chimey-like sound.

In the process you will usually notice a slight drop in output. Perhaps that's what you are referring to?

A Phase Reverse switch reverses the polarity of one of the magnets so that the two humbuckers are no longer in phase (i.e. in synch and quiet). The result is a more nasal sound which not everyone likes but can be an interesting effect for some applications.

Things get even more wacky when you combine the two effects! geek

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
BASS - Controls on Spectrum LX bass Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
Barry
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Post by nickmajor81 Wed Nov 23, 2022 3:34 pm

Awesome, thank you.
It's not a drop in output as such, it completely shuts down all sound. I'll have to have a play and see which combination causes that; presumably something has lost a connection and this causes it to have no output in that setting. Perhaps I'll get it to someone who can work it out for me if I can't figure it out myself, not too good with electronics.
I have never really looked into what each control does (on any of my basses...) until recently when I have started playing more again, but I know where I like the controls for the type of sound I am looking for.
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Post by Barry Wed Nov 23, 2022 4:30 pm

If you are losing output completely on the coil cut switch it might indicate a corroded or broken switch, or worse case, a "rotten" coil, i.e. the winding has broken somewhere.

This happens fairly often on the MMK45 guitar humbuckers (ask me how I know Rolling Eyes )

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
BASS - Controls on Spectrum LX bass Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
Barry
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Post by nickmajor81 Thu Nov 24, 2022 12:25 am

OK, how do you know? Wink
Thank you again for your help.

I've had a play and can't make much sense of the controls. I'm assuming the three way switch selects between pickups, in which case, when I flick it forward (neck p/u?) it gets scratchy and dies off quickly to the extent there is no signal at all. The middle setting and right both give output.
Volume control has a pull function - am I right in thinking that is the active boost?
THe middle pot is clearly tone, lowest pot has a midway notch in it. The two switches do change the sound, but I can't work out which does what, possibly because of the dead p/u, although the coil tap should only affect the humbucker if I am not mistaken.
I am still confused, I really never foudn out what everything did, just found a setting I liked and stuck with it. Then along came a Stingray and I haven't played with the LX for a long time, just coming back to it now, it's such a great bass.
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Post by Barry Thu Nov 24, 2022 1:12 pm

nickmajor81 wrote:... when I flick it forward (neck p/u?) it gets scratchy and dies off quickly to the extent there is no signal at all. The middle setting and right both give output...
Ah, now you've just made your problem clearer.

What's likely happening is oxidation on the selector switch, a very common problem on all electric guitars.
That can be remedied easily with a liberal dose of electrical contact cleaner.

In fact I'd recommend that you remove the cover plate on the control cavity and give all pots and switches a spray. Then immediately work the controls to ensure good coverage. (Don't worry about a bit of over spray, it will flash off quickly.) If you are still having some issues, do a second application.

It's important to vigorously move the switches and controls to ensure everything gets clean. If you still experience a cutout it would indicate that the switch is likely broken. Any standard 3-way switch can be used to replace it.

Volume control has a pull function - am I right in thinking that is the active boost?
I have no direct experience with Westone basses in particular but on the guitar this would ordinarily be the coil cut function.
The active boost on the guitars is normally on the mini toggle switch. That would make the other one a phase reverse.
THe middle pot is clearly tone, lowest pot has a midway notch in it.
That would likely relate to the active boost circuit. With the active circuit off it should act as a passive tone control for the sweep up to the detent position. When the boost circuit is activated, the pot controls the volume of boost and works from the detent position up

You need to clean up the electrics before trying to figure out anything else. BTW does this have a battery powered circuit?? (you'll see 9volt batteries under the hood if it does) If yes, check and replace if necessary.

That's all I got.

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
BASS - Controls on Spectrum LX bass Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: https://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)
Barry
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Post by nickmajor81 Fri Nov 25, 2022 1:49 am

Brilliant, thank you for all of that useful info. I think I may be a step closer to understanding the bass now!
I'll get some cleaner sorted and then have more of a play. I've found some circuit diagrams as well, so hopefully I can get to know the controls a bit better.
Your advice has been invaluable Smile
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Post by nickmajor81 Fri Nov 25, 2022 2:11 am

Just found this too https://westoneguitars.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Spectrum-LX-bass.jpg
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Post by Ralf1e Sun Dec 11, 2022 1:04 pm

nickmajor81 wrote:Hi all,
I'm hoping someone on here can help me out, I have a Spectrum LX bass. It is active with the two Magnabass humbuckers. I am baffled what all the switches are/ do and would appreciate a little help in working out their function, especially as something somewhere is not working and knowing what they all do will help me find it. 
Any help gratefully appreciated, I've had this beauty since the 80s but still don't really know what everything is supposed to do!

BASS - Controls on Spectrum LX bass 2022-110
Volume to the front.
Passive tone centre.
Active tone with the centre detent to the rear.
Rear switch switches active in and out.
Front switch is the phase switch puts the pickups out of phase sounds awful
The pull up pot is the coil tap.
Big switch is pickups front , both, rear.
Double check the battery connections are good and no dry joints. Hope that helps. Look after it one of the best basses ever made.🤗


Last edited by Barry on Sun Dec 11, 2022 3:07 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : fixed the display)
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