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Westone Thunder II-A Bridge and Tailpiece

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Post by ale7780s Fri Jan 05, 2024 5:02 pm

Hi all,
I just got hold of this absolute stunner, and I'm already regretting it as I don't have the first clue of how I can restore it without having a tailpiece and bridge machined by someone who'd also have to come up with the cad drawings as I don't have the first clue of how to work with machines metal/brass.

Any tips? Anyone around here has the cad files and is willing to share/sell them?

thunder - Westone Thunder II-A Bridge and Tailpiece Pxl_2010
thunder - Westone Thunder II-A Bridge and Tailpiece Pxl_2011
thunder - Westone Thunder II-A Bridge and Tailpiece Pxl_2012

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Post by Barry Fri Jan 05, 2024 9:00 pm

Hi and welcome!
Yeah she's a stunner alright!
And that heel-less neck is a thing of beauty. Yes yes!
You'll love those MMK53 pickups too.

Unfortunately you can't enjoy any of that without a bridge and stop tail eh? Puppy Eyes

It sounds like you're already aware of the sad tale of this stop tail design and it's tendency to bend up and eventually break?

Sad to say that the stop tail design is proprietary and there is nothing that we've discovered off the shelf to replace it. And it's post centres are non-standard.

The only sure way to restore the guitar to playing condition would be to plug the existing holes and re-drill to suit. The good news is that the guitar is black and not a custom colour or burst finish. That will make hiding the patches much easier.

Yes it is a royal pain in the R-R-R's but it's worth it for such a great guitar.

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Post by electricdruid Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:03 pm

In the meantime if you've got a luthier nearby he/she should be able to set you up with something close so it's playable.
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Post by corsair Fri Jan 05, 2024 10:58 pm

Yep… get yourself a nice Gotoh bridge and tailpiece, fill the current holes, then measure, mark and drill new holes for your new hardware!!

I did this with an Aria Pro II which had damage to the bridge and tailpiece, and the joy of it was that the one I bought was in black!

God, that neck join is a thing of sublime beauty!!

This sort of thing…

https://g-gotoh.com/product/ge104b/?lang=en

https://g-gotoh.com/product/ge101z-t/?lang=en, both available in black.
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Post by Westbone Sat Jan 06, 2024 2:39 am

I've a bridge and tailpiece which are for sale. Both are chrome.

PM me if interested.
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Post by ale7780s Sat Jan 06, 2024 7:20 am

Thank you for the warm welcome everyone!

Barry wrote:And that heel-less neck is a thing of beauty.

Isn't it just! I am in love with the shape and overall design, the details are incredible.


Barry wrote:Sad to say that the stop tail design is proprietary and there is nothing that we've discovered off the shelf to replace it. And it's post centres are non-standard.

Terrible news for me Sad I only have a ruler at home so took some measurements knowing they wouldn't be as precise as a caliper, but I don't have one of those lying around. It seems like the distance of centres of the two bolts is 74mm, which shouldn't be a problem to replace, as Gotoh itself does bridges and stoptails with these specs. I am yet to sit down and see if I can find any technical drawings of the two pieces of hardware I'm missing, or at least some specs!

thunder - Westone Thunder II-A Bridge and Tailpiece Pxl_2013


Barry wrote: The only sure way to restore the guitar to playing condition would be to plug the existing holes and re-drill to suit. The good news is that the guitar is black and not a custom colour or burst finish. That will make hiding the patches much easier.

Yes it is a royal pain in the R-R-R's but it's worth it for such a great guitar.

Unfortunately it's not black! My pictures probably don't make it justice but the actual colour is this kinda-green/dark blue with some kind of glitter in it. It will be really hard to replicate. Will try and take a picture.



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Post by Westbone Sat Jan 06, 2024 10:30 am

Westone dimensions are 73mm post to post.

That is why there are no direct replacements.
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Post by Barry Sat Jan 06, 2024 4:19 pm

It seems like the distance of centres of the two bolts is 74mm, which shouldn't be a problem to replace, as Gotoh itself does bridges and stoptails with these specs. I am yet to sit down and see if I can find any technical drawings of the two pieces of hardware I'm missing, or at least some specs!

As everyone has said, there is nothing commercially available that will fit, and Westbone has given you the actual C.to C. dimension plus the offer of actual original parts for sale. What more can we offer you?

There are no manufacturing specs or drawings available, and any replacement parts have been done by measuring an original part and custom machining a new one to suit. Slow, labour intensive and expensive.

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Post by ale7780s Sat Jan 06, 2024 5:03 pm

Barry wrote: As everyone has said, there is nothing commercially available that will fit, and Westbone has given you the actual C.to C. dimension plus the offer of actual original parts for sale. What more can we offer you?

I gave my word to Westbone that I'll come back to him as soon as I'm sure the pickups still work. Smile

I was probing around to see how folks solved the same problem, I've got nothing more to ask. I know you guys know a lot about Westones and I appreciate your guidance. Please don't take my skepticism as arrogance, I completely trust the measurements you shared but also have some confidence in what my eyes can see. My hypothesis is I am either taking the measurements incorrectly, or the previous owner already replaced the parts for standard ones. The former seems more likely given the state of the paintwork.

Thank you all, I'll share an update when I'm done for those interested in seeing the guitar come back to life Smile
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Post by 1point5 Sat Jan 06, 2024 5:22 pm

In your picture above, you're way off the centre point of the first bushing hole. That's going to throw off your entire reasoning. You're going from edge (or outside) to centre, not centre of one hole to the centre of the other. It's quite clearly visible in the photo you posted above.
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Post by Westbone Sat Jan 06, 2024 6:34 pm

You will be able to fit a 74mm bridge, Westone are the same 74mm

They are a good solid bridge and never have I seen or heard of a bridge breaking.

The tailpiece is definitely 73mm centre to centre. These are not commercially available.

Looking at your photos you still have the original body inserts, no evidence of these being replaced.

How much did the guitar cost you minus bridge and tailpiece, can't be a lot??  Looks like an early model probably an '82 or a very early '83.
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Post by BQmusic Sun Jan 07, 2024 10:37 am

On most Aria guitars Schaller bridges fit. Chances are these fit any Matsumoku guitar. The Schaller roller bridge is ideal since you can adapt the string spacing.
On the Aria's I serviced I needed to use the schaller posts but didn't need to change out the bushings inside the guitar.
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Post by Westbone Sun Jan 07, 2024 12:40 pm

Schaller STM bridge will fit. I have one in black on a X350MA Pantera.

I've offered 'ale' an original bridge and tailpiece, 
thunder - Westone Thunder II-A Bridge and Tailpiece 20240113
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Post by Jerry_B Mon Jan 08, 2024 10:16 am

You might want to try looking on Ebay - occasionally parts for various Westone guitars/basses are on sale there.
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Post by ale7780s Mon Apr 01, 2024 2:45 pm

Update: I finally managed to test the pickups, and I can't tell how well they work as I tested them simply putting them by the strings of another guitar. They sure pick the signal up, and pots+switches do what they're supposed to do.

I'm back to square one with the tail and bridge - I'm not in a rush so I'll wait for original spares to become available rather than drilling holes in the body as any paint work would likely show since the colour is quite specific.

Hit me up if you have anything to sell! Smile
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Post by Barry Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:25 pm

You need to re-read posts #5 and #13!
Your needed original parts have already been offered to you! Rolling Eyes

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"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
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Post by ale7780s Mon Apr 01, 2024 3:37 pm

I already reached out to Westbone who, luckily for him, managed to find buyers before I was ready to go ahead (perhaps I even helped him through this post? Thinking) Those parts are no longer available, so back to square one looking for spares.
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Post by Barry Mon Apr 01, 2024 8:54 pm

Ya snooze, ya lose! Sleep

Good luck.

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"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
thunder - Westone Thunder II-A Bridge and Tailpiece Guitar10
GUITARS : https://legend.barryeames.com
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Post by ale7780s Thu Apr 11, 2024 7:02 am

I managed to find a stoptail Smile Still looking for a long travel bridge. I'm determined to restore it with original parts now.

If anyone happen to stumble upon one, please do send me a pm or message here!

Thank you
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