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Rescued my brother in laws Spectrum DX from the loft after 30 years!

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Post by Fredster42 Mon Jan 16, 2023 4:28 pm

Hi - my name is Ian from the UK, first time poster

Found this forum just now as was looking for info on Westone guitars. I've been helping my mother in law move house today and rescued this guitar and curious to find out more about it

Bit of back story, both my brother in law and i were in bands at school in early 90s, I remember seeing my BIL playing it. I married his sister a few years later and we are still together with 2 kids!. 

I've got back into guitars last few years and looking to bring this beauty back to life. Just had a quick play and despite it sitting in the loft for 30 years I can tell its a good guitar, neck feels great, and has quite a distinctive tone, different from usual strats/teles/jags I have. I think it will clean up into a really nice guitar and means quite a lot to our family!

Has a couple of chips to paintwork back to the wood, do you think its worth trying to repaint it? There are some chips in the neck and guessing repaiting the neck is pretty tricky job

Anyway just had a quick look round the site and seems there is loads of info so will be checking in as I work on it,

Cheers 
Ianspectrum - Rescued my brother in laws Spectrum DX from the loft after 30 years! Img_2011
spectrum - Rescued my brother in laws Spectrum DX from the loft after 30 years! Img_2012
spectrum - Rescued my brother in laws Spectrum DX from the loft after 30 years! Img_2013
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Post by Barry Mon Jan 16, 2023 9:21 pm

Hello Ian and welcome.
Hey, looks like you inherited some vintage dust as well! Razz

Seriously, what I see in the pictures is mostly dirt, nothing that cannot be swept away. We've all seen much, much worse believe me!

You have a great guitar there, the Spectrum is extremely well built and has one of the most comfortable necks you could ask for.

To call them an "entry" level product does them a great disservice, they're a solid workhorse instrument and beautifully designed. ('course I may be biased, I own 6 of 'em!)

Strip her down, give everything a good cleaning and polishing, and give the pots and switch a good dose of contact cleaner. You should be good to go!

The finish on Westones is extremely tough and I don't recommend removing it unless you're into self punishment. Most surface scratching can be buffed out with a good quality auto rubbing compound followed with polish.
I've had good success with Meguiar's products.

Deeper gouges can be drop filled with CA glue then scraped and sanded (lots of info on the Internet about that)

And now for the potentially bad news. . .your model year likely has the UBC pickups which replaced the much liked and vastly superior MMK45 pups of earlier years. There is info on our website about the UBC's and what they were supposed to accomplish, but didn't.

Long story short, the UBC pickup has a resistance reading of about 6K while the MMK45 is around 11K. Your output will be fairly clear but "wimpy". In coil cut mode the output drops to around 3K but in mid position it damn nearl disappears at about 1.5K!

Most of us have replaced them and there are lots of choices out there.
Do keep us posted on your progress, with lots of pictures! Coffee Drinker

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Post by Fredster42 Tue Jan 17, 2023 2:47 am

Hi Barry, yes I reckon it will clean up really well, it looks pretty sound, just dusty. Thanks for the info on the pickups, I will have a look at what they are and will probably replace with them with something. Thanks again
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Post by Stubedo Wed Jan 18, 2023 8:35 am

Hi Ian,

In July 2021 I acquired a 1986 Spectrum DX in a similar condition ... possibly a tad worse  Crying or Very sad. It belonged to a semi-pro musician who gigged pubs'n clubs in the 80s & 90s but then when the band folded the guitar just shelved in an outbuilding on a farm for 25-ish years.

Anyway, I stripped the guitar and painstakingly cleaned every metal component (even grub screws and tiny screws dotted around) using a good quality metal polish and a pack of microfibre cloths.

Whilst it took me about three days and a lot of finger-shredding and fingertip pain, it was absolutely worth it (a few pics attached for ref).

I used Autoglym car polish for buffing up the bodywork but I chose to do nothing about the two paintwork dings/chips ... I want it to show its road miles and heritage ... it's had a previous life, I'm just giving it another!

Anyway, after I got it pro-setup for me it was reborn. It is an amazingly well built instrument and very versatile; I never tire of playing it and I'll never sell it. 

I'm confident that if you apply the elbow grease then you'll get a similar outcome and fall in love with it.
I wish you well.

Stuart
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Post by Fredster42 Wed Jan 18, 2023 9:48 am

hi Stuart
Thanks for the reply, I've already taken mine apart and the metal is in a nice vinegar bath as we speak! Its starting to come up nicely, the neck has been cleaned and oiled and looks beautiful
Just curious with yours, Barry above says the pickups are pretty rubbish I think mine are the UBC ones, not MMK45s as they have plain black metal back. Did you keep the pickups? Im thinking of getting some new ones, but all the other electrics look fine. I know they work as did plug it in before stripping it
Cheers
Ian
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Post by Stubedo Wed Jan 18, 2023 10:08 am

Ian,
Forgot to send pics ... link below will hopefully work.

PUPs were/are fine ... mighty powerful and sound great at high gain so I didn't change them. I guess they are original.
Stuart



2021 bests https://imgur.com/a/O5dionr
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Post by buck1108 Wed Jan 18, 2023 12:19 pm

Hi Ian and welcome to the forum,

That's a great guitar, and it's super nice to find something like that in the attic. Cotton cloth and damp rag with mild liquid dish soap will help to clean up those surfaces.  Just dry it off with another cotton cloth afterwards, to avoid any potential water damage to any open woodgrain.
If you need to remove small scratches and want to really buff up the body, the Meguiars #2 and #9 are what I use.  The #9 is the swirl remover, which leaves a great finish (the #2 is a little more abrasive). 
https://tinyurl.com/mrnjmzxv
https://tinyurl.com/2t6nmwxj


If you decide to repair some of the dings and chips in the finish, just what was said about about CA glue is great.  If the color is gone as well, then you might try something like GluBoost fill 'n' finish black.  https://alliedlutherie.com/products/fill-n-finish-black-pro-formula

I've been using GluBoost products lately to repair some chips on my guitars, and it is working pretty well.  They sell a pre-mixed black, and, although it's a little more pricey, it does blend well, and black is one of the more forgiving colors for blending, etc. It does require practice, and I would suggest working with it on a practice piece of wood first to get the hang of doing the razor blade scraping and the sanding.  But, it's nothing insurmountable at all.  After a few run-throughs, it's pretty easy.
Here's a link with a tutorial , and luthier Robbie O'Brien shows how he repairs a chip in a black finish solid body:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53rHDaFZ66A

Congratulations on your new axe!  Smile

Buck
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