Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

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Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by umpdv5000 on Sat May 22, 2010 2:35 pm

Hi All,

I bought a Westone Thunder I-A today from a flea market. It needs a bit of restoration before it will be in a playable condition, which I will do over the next week or two. Its problems are pitting on the fretboard, a little fret wear, a bent pot shaft and an odd bridge saddle (well that's all I can perceive upto now without it being plugged in), but other than a bit of dirt its in pretty good shape. As a guitar repair / luthier I am well capable of curing its problems, except for the odd bridge saddle (which is why I am writing this note). Does anyone know of a supplier of Westone Parts? I have sussed out that the bridge (which is made of Brass and Gold plated) is in fact a Gotoh GTC101 bridge and the Saddles are Gotoh S11 which are the current serial numbers I traced on Gotoh's site in Japan. Problem is I can't find any Gotoh supplier that has one these bridges in stock and asking for the saddles would seem to be like filling in a lottery ticket. The only supplier I can find who stocks these is in Japan and the cost would be prohibitive. Stewart McDonald's site in the US stocks what looks to be the right one but its code number is different which makes me hesitate a little, although it could just be their own catalogue numbering. Has anyone else ever bought one of these from them or have any knowledge of them before I take the chance? Link below.... Many thanks, Martin.

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Bridges,_tailpieces/Electric_guitar,_non-trem_bridges/Gotoh_Hardtail_Bridge.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=4104

PS, After checking again on the Gotoh Site, it would appear that if Stew Macs measurement are correct the string pitch is slightly narrower. The Gotoh GTC101 has a 10.5mm string pitch and Stew Macs is 10.32mm. All the other measurements are the same and if it is narrower it would be a lost cause. However, the Gotoh site does not list a hardtail bridge with a 10.32mm string pitch.

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by Barry on Sat May 22, 2010 8:57 pm

umpdv5000 wrote:...Does anyone know of a supplier of Westone Parts?...
Bwah ha ha ha!! Good one! Razz
Sorry, couldn't resist, we're all looking for a Westone parts supplier! But welcome here anyway my man.

You didn't say what year your guitar is. If you give us a serial number we can help you out with that. Pictures would be great too.
I have an original, miserable, "barrel saddle bridge" on my '81 Thunder I-A, which is going to be replaced--soon!

I have already replaced one other similar on a Vantage:
BEFORE
AFTER

And I have yet another Vantage with a bridge to be replaced. You are correct about the string spacing at 10.5mm BTW.
I didn't get too picky about the replacements though; got three of them from an eBay seller for reasonable money.

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by corsair on Sun May 23, 2010 3:47 am

Barry wrote:
umpdv5000 wrote:...Does anyone know of a supplier of Westone Parts?...
Bwah ha ha ha!! Good one! Razz
Sorry, couldn't resist, we're all looking for a Westone parts supplier! But welcome here anyway my man.

I think David's back online in late June, but I don't know what he's gonna be carrying... apart from replica Switchmaster knobs!!!

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by umpdv5000 on Sun May 23, 2010 7:11 am

I wrote an email to Gotoh Japan last night and I have also emailed a good friend of mine in Portsmouth who's partner has a big music shop there, to see if they can get hold of them from Gotoh. The thing with all this parts business is, that it's all a matter of priorities. I mean, if you are intending to keep the guitar as a playing machine, then what is important is functionality. If you want to keep it original because you are a collector or you want to sell to collectors, then you need to source original parts. Personally I don't give a **** about original parts, I always look for the playability in a guitar, no matter what name is on the headstock. In this case, I am renovating as close to originality as I can so as to appeal to collectors or anyone who just gets off on originality. I have to say that I am totally impressed by the rigidity and quality of woods used even though I haven't tried the guitar yet. I am a little concerned as to what it will sound like with it having a pre-amp, as I can't say that I am normally a fan of pre-amped guitars, but I shall wait and see when I have put everything right on it. It may be worth considering by you chaps, to take note that unless Westone designed and made their own hardware, there will be some company out there (like Gotoh) that will be selling the same items as part of their product range. All you have to do is find the makers. Which can be a bit difficult at times but not impossible, unless the manufacturer has gone out of business or changed the design. I have to say that I am itching to give it a whirl seeing as they have achieved cult status over the years and I have never had the experience of playing a Westone guitar yet.

Martin.

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by corsair on Sun May 23, 2010 10:50 am

yep; all true, Martin... Matsumoku did have quite a few bits made by other concerns - Switchmaster and Maxon spring readily to mind - so you have to wonder if they didn't out-source the bridges etc. and have them made to their EXACT specifications, which is why there is a difference between say your OEM bridge, and a drop in replacement Gotoh...

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by umpdv5000 on Sun May 23, 2010 10:58 am

Ah, but that's what I mean. The Gotoh GTC101 bridge along with those S11 saddles that I mentioned IS the ORIGINAL bridge that is on the Thunder I-A. If you do all the exact measurements and check them out on www.g-gotoh.com you will find that they are absolutely identical. Its the one in Stew Mac's site that is a tad out in saddle size.

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by umpdv5000 on Thu May 27, 2010 5:37 pm

Just as a follow up if anyone is interested, I have pasted the reply I got to the email that I sent to Gotoh....

Dear Mr. Martin Gerrard

This is Quest International Ltd. from Japan.
I received your massage through Gotoh parts.
Because I'm original designer of Westone and dealing the Gotoh parts today.


The Thander-1A Bridge saddle can use GTC-101 brass saddle p-10.5mm .

And also we can supply you through internet http://ssl.bfit.jp/~jby/

The charge of the person is Jun Hasizume .

Please contact to him.

If you have any question don't hesitate to contact to us.

Best Regards

Toshi Owa
Quest International Ltd.
Head Office: 2-6-6 3F Jingu, Atsuta-ku Nagoya 456-0031 Aichi.
Tel & Fax : +81-52-737-7160

Shiojiri Atelier : 1756-1 Takaide Hirooka Shiojiri 399-0703 Nagano.
Tel&Fax: +81-263-50-7608


mail: t-owa@quest-md.com /
www.quest-md.com


Last edited by umpdv5000 on Fri May 28, 2010 1:32 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by Barry on Thu May 27, 2010 7:47 pm

Very interesting communication!
Toshi Owa was indeed one of the key designers for Matsumoku/Westone, working alongside Tom Presley, and is mentioned in his posts here: LINK

Really good to know that we have a properly endorsed saddle replacement for our beloved Westies!

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by corsair on Fri May 28, 2010 2:31 am

Well, well well; that is interesting... good work, there Martin!!

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by umpdv5000 on Fri May 28, 2010 5:57 am

[quote="Barry"][quote="umpdv5000"]...You didn't say what year your guitar is. If you give us a serial number we can help you out with that.

Well I would be grateful if anyone could tell me the year of manufacture from the Serial Number 2111571.

Martin.

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by Steve777 on Fri May 28, 2010 7:40 am

Looks like November 1982 ...

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

Post by umpdv5000 on Fri May 28, 2010 10:58 am

Thanks for that Steve.

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Re: Bridge Saddles or Bridge on Westone Thunder I-A

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