Spectrum FX

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Spectrum FX

Post by north-west-one on Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:31 pm

I have been following a Spectrum FX on the "bay" over the last few days. This guitar has been offered before and has never made the reserve price. I note that the seller has added that he had been advised by a Westone expert from Northumberland (I assume Thorn) that the volume and tone knobs were not original, the nut lock was also not original and the pick ups were not UBC's. It was the pickup statement that got me thinking. On the Westone info site, of the three possible UBC pickups available, guitars manufactured mid to late 85 would have the correct as advertised UBC's. This guitar would seem to manufactured in December 85 and therefore should have the correct UBC pickups. Could someone out there please advise me!!!!!!!!!!

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by bowenjaybee on Mon Sep 13, 2010 2:50 pm

Very confusing these Spectrums, ST this FX that DX bendmaster, UBC, FT stringlock blah blah blah, I have a '84 Spectrum II but was the 1st Spectrum model what's the II all about??? and then there is the later Spectrum Series II..........oh dear no wonder Westone went bust they should have stuck with a limited number of models and promoted them a bit more... they could have been great Rolling Eyes


Last edited by bowenjaybee on Mon Sep 13, 2010 3:15 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : can't spell)

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:02 pm

The Magnaflux I UBC pickup seems to have come in mid to late 85. The Magnaflux II UBC pickups that the Spectrum FX is supposed to have seem to have been fittted to guitars from April 86, possibly March. I have a Spectrum FX, April 86, with the UBC pickups, i've seen ones as late as Feb 86 that didn't have them. Never seen one earlier than April 86 with the right pickups. It's easy to tell on the FX, if it has individual pole pieces it's not a UBC.


Last edited by Thorn on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : typo)

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by north-west-one on Mon Sep 13, 2010 4:46 pm

Thanks for the comments guys.
It states in the article about UBC on the Westone site that if purchasing a model without the UBC, the pickups should be upgraded. Surely as Westone collectors we should be accepting the guitars as they were made "warts and all". If this particular FX has original PU's as fitted at manufacture we should accept this as part of development history/evolution of the model.
None UBC PU's are still representative of the guitar at the time of manufacture and I feel that we should accept them as they are. On another posting topic the merits of what would be the best Westone to start of a collection with was discussed. The Spectrum ST model was flagged up as a good example but the ST is well below the quality of say an LX model. Does this mean that we should avoid the ST. I think not.
Whats yer thoughts....

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Barry on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:20 pm

Thorn wrote:The Magnaflux I UBC pickup seems to have come in mid to late 85...
For the record here are mine:
Spectrum DX -1985 August = "Pretend" UBC's No
Spectrum ST -1985 March = "Pretend" UBC's No
Spectrum S -1985 October = "Real" UBC's cheers

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:40 pm

north-west-one wrote:Thanks for the comments guys.
It states in the article about UBC on the Westone site that if purchasing a model without the UBC, the pickups should be upgraded.

Not quite - it says I would strongly recommend upgrading them, just my personal opinion of those pickups. I tend to avoid saying what other people should do, that's entirely up to them. That page is also aimed at people who want a guitar with the UBC pickups - if that's a selling point for someone, there's no point in them buying a guitar that says it has those pickups, but doesn't.

What to buy and what to avoid comes down to what you're looking for in a guitar, and why you're collecting them. If someone wants a two humbucker guitar with a trem and doesn't do lots of dive bombing, the ST is a fine guitar, but if that doesn't suit at least some of your playing style I can't see any point in getting one. I have lots of Westones, but I'm not sure I'd call myself a Westone collector. I buy them because they are very high quality instruments, but I don't buy them warts and all, depending on how big the wart is. The early (non)UBC pickups are too big a wart for me - having had a couple before I know for sure I wouldn't play it.

Regarding the evolution of the guitars, I can think of a couple of approaches to buying. Firstly, buy Westones just because they're Westones - I think I'd only do that if I was intending to get one of every model, and every variation of each model. Secondly, (This is the way I do it) look at the various incarnation of each model to see which stage of it's development I consider the best, or at least the best suited to me. That's how I got my FX - there's a short period (About April to September 86) where they have what I consider the best combination of ever changing features of the FX, the heelless set neck, the genuine UBCs and the Bendmaster FT trem. I wouldn't want an earlier one (No heelless set neck, no UBC pickups) or a later one (I hate the Bendmaster Deluxe).

As I've got more of the higher end models, the list of models that I don't want has grown. The Thunder IIA has all the features I want in an active Thunder, so most of the rest of the Thunder range (I, IA, II) are now guitars that I have no intention of buying. On the Spectrums, the ST is fine for mucking about on, the FX is there for serious playing - I don't need the DX, GT, or LX at all. Panteras - I have an X390CB, don't need any other Panteras.

I'm going to shut up now before i start thinking about pruning my collection.


Last edited by Thorn on Mon Sep 13, 2010 5:40 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Typo)

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by norfolkngood on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:27 pm

Thorn,

An interesting post. I'm not sure that I agree with all you say, but I'm not going to argue with you! Sometimes it's a means to an end; some of the models you mention attract higher prices because they are the best of the best. I don't play out so I'm happy with lower-spec guitars which I can play through my Marshall 30 watter without the neighbours moaning.

Sometimes it's about condition. I bought a Dimension IV a while back simply because I'll never see another Westone in this condition (unless Saint Mat points me in the direction of a Prestige or Session which has been in a loft since the 80s). It is "as new" with not a mark on it and even the case looks like the day it came out of the factory. But as a player it's not that good, it needs a set up, probably because it didn't get the necessary tweaks when first sold.

I guess that makes me officially a collector, although I do take the Dim IV out (at jazz practice, to wind the others up!).

I'd like to work my way up the range, as I guess you have done. If you are intent on "pruning" a heads-up on here would be good.


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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by bowenjaybee on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:30 pm

and of course it's about finance I would have the best Westone collection in the world if I had the fattest wallet!!. one in every colour please Mr ebay!

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by north-west-one on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:39 pm

Thorn, great to hear your insight on this subject. What you state makes sense. From my own point of view I have enjoyed collecting Westone models over the last couple of years and set out to pick up as many as possible (if the price was ok!). After starting with Thunders (1a, 2 and Jet) I was able to compare the various models and now have the 2 as my favourite Thunder (set neck feels right.) Was surprised to find that the Jet is much lighter in weight. This I could only tell by comparing them once I had them. Spectrum's then followed and with only the FX model to go (hence my thread in the first place) I can compare them side by side. The Spectrum 11 (84) and the ST (85) feel inferior to my MX, DX, SX, GT,and LX. The LX and SX being the best of the bunch. Why? They just feel more substantial. I am not to bothered about how they sound. If each sounds different that's fine by me. No point in them all sounding the same. They all have a place. My Paduak 1 just looks unique and for that reason I probably like it the most. My Concord 11 is far superior to my Concord 1 and the Rainbow 1 is the best player, great neck and bluesy sounding pickups. The Clipper is surprising in that its Korean made but feels as good quality as the rest of the Japanese made models. My son shreds on it.
At present I am under no pressure to reduce my collection and will keep adding until I run out of room but if the time ever came I would keep those that I have highlighted as my favourites and sell the rest. Like many things you definitely get what you pay for and this is evident with my favorites list here with the more expensive models at the top.
As a horticulturist I could advise you when it comes to PRUNING your collection!!!!!!!!!!!!(in my direction).............That rhymes.......I feel a song coming on.

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by norfolkngood on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:41 pm

They're out there.

My latest is a Concord I off ebay, £60-odd and it came with a diddy practice amp which I moved on via the local gear shop. Good clean, squirt of switch cleaner and set of new strings = about £50 for an early Matsumoku Westone. Try this against a Strat-u-like no-name and its no contest.


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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by norfolkngood on Mon Sep 13, 2010 6:50 pm

NW1 -- so that's where they've all gone!

I thought it was Westbone who was hoovering anything I liked the look of on ebay.

My problem is that I don't want to part with the ones I've got. The 2 Spectrums are my "advert guitars." Am I the only one? Watching telly, the ads come on and I reach for whatever is leaning against the chair to noodle on for a few minutes. Doesn't need to be plugged in, unless she wants to chat Evil or Very Mad

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Westbone on Mon Sep 13, 2010 8:11 pm

Nope, You can have all the Spectrums, don't go near them, not my cuppa. Laughing

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by corsair on Tue Sep 14, 2010 2:46 am

.... horses for courses, I say; I like my Spectrums but am done collecting them; I really only wanted the pick-up configurations and I've got those now; I could care less what p'ups they have - although I am very keen on the MMK45s - because most playing "out" these days is quite heavily processed through various desks and EQs, so that all of those nuances that you like SO much at home are lost in the roar!! Thunders just don't do it for me; neither do the Panteras although the pointies - a Spectrum in a party frock!! - do! If a Session II came along at what I regard as a decent price, I'd buy it but a Rainbow? No thanks! I may still look out for a Concord in the 3 s/c setup, but will probably go for an Electra Phoenix in that config...

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by bowenjaybee on Tue Sep 14, 2010 6:11 am

Thorn
just been having a look at your great collection list on your Westone site, I notice you don't have a Rainbow or a Prestige, some would consider them very high end, is it because you have yet to find the right ones or do they not interest you

Jay

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 14, 2010 7:39 am

I had a Prestige 250 once, sold it as I just didn't like it. Weighed a ton, and I found it a bit limited tonally. The PEQ controls work really well on bass, I don't think they're that good on lead.

I've had a Rainbow I and a Rainbow II - both great guitars, lovely tones, but they didn't suit me, purely because I didn't find them comfortable guitars to hold and play

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Barry on Tue Sep 14, 2010 9:57 am

Thorn wrote:...Weighed a ton...they didn't suit me, purely because I didn't find them comfortable guitars to hold and play
In the final analysis, I think this is the most important thing, for me at least. Since I'm primarily a singer, what I don't need is a heavy weight on my shoulders, or a neck diving guitar, or controls that are clumsy to use; even if it's a great sounding axe. If I have to think too much about what I'm playing, my concentration is buggered at the mike. Embarassed

That's why I like the Spectrums so much (and the Avengers in the Vantage line). They are a reasonable weight, well balanced, and very comfortable to play. Concord falls into that same description too. The ST's and S's are really not lead instruments but they can lay down a rhythm with the best of them, which is just what I use it them for.

Although those may be relative musical light-weights, the GT most certainly is not! It's a lead player's dream; solid heavy body with sustain that hangs 'til next St. Swithin's Day, HSH configuration with all kinds of combinations, plus a decent trem. And, it's still comfortable to play despite the extra weight!

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by bowenjaybee on Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:18 am

north-west-one wrote:I have been following a Spectrum FX on the "bay" over the last few days.

the reserve was met at last.. The FX went for £130....north-west-one, is it yours now?

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by north-west-one on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:06 am

Barry, modesty prevails but.......what the hell, yes. I'll keep all posted as how it turns out. Watch this space.......................................

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by corsair on Tue Sep 21, 2010 8:20 am

Yay.... a win!!! Good for you, mate; we await your report....

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by north-west-one on Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:13 pm

I thought that I would keep you up to date with the latest addition to my Westone family. My FX arrived on Saturday and after opening and giving it the once over I am happy to report that all is good visually. On plugging in I found that all the electrics work fine with no crackles or pops. So far so good. Now the bad news. The guitar has some nasty fret wear which in my opinion makes it unplayable. Notes buzz, choke and are dull on various areas up and down the fret board. This annoyed me mightily as this was not mentioned by the vendor. He stated that 'he would not hesitate to gig with this guitar' Well I would!!!!!!!!! I emailed him and suggested he'd better make with some financial compensation to at least meet me halfway to a fret dressing. I quoted £30 and to my surprise this morning he has refunded same amount in to my paypal account. (Wish I had upped my amount!) Ah such is the power of a threatened negative feedback. The vendor is Al of Al's Guitars and he does a lot of business in ebay. I noticed that he was offering a buy it now on Ronnie Wood's 54 Anniversary Custom Strat 'Smoke this!' for ........wait for it........£110,000 but I see he has now dropped it to an offers over £10,000............Bargain!!!!!!!!!
I dropped the guitar in for a fret dress and set up today and should get it back on Friday. This will cost £70 and the guitar tech recons that it should be an easy fix. Fingers crossed.
With the refund this transaction will have cost £170 plus £15 P&P £185 pound for an FX. How does that sound?
This guitar now completes my Spectrum collection. FX, LX, SX, GT, DX, MX, ST and Spectrum 11. If anyone has the elusive Spectrum S up for grabs, let me know.
I'll keep you posted....

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by bowenjaybee on Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:47 pm


hope the FX turns out to be a good un


Last edited by bowenjaybee on Tue Sep 28, 2010 10:02 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by DreamRaven on Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:51 pm

bowenjaybee wrote:I once bought a bass on ebay and when it arrived it had worse than fret wear it had no bloody frets at all ....can you believe it no frets they had been removed and very unprofessional too

Was it a fretless bass? (How do you bassers play that freaky concept? Frets on my guitar are the only thing that keep me in tune!!) Or someone's attempt at one?

Laughing

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by bowenjaybee on Mon Sep 27, 2010 3:57 pm

freaky concept??? the double bass is fretless as is the violin cello etc

it was someone's attempt at a fretless and a crap one too

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by DreamRaven on Mon Sep 27, 2010 4:50 pm

Yup, fully aware of all of the instruments of the orchestra, and I found them difficult to play too!

Very Happy

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by corsair on Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:50 am

north-west-one wrote:This guitar now completes my Spectrum collection. FX, LX, SX, GT, DX, MX, ST and Spectrum 11.

Hmmmm... does it now?! What about the 12 string that we know exists?? And how about the Electra Phoenix range which are pretty much twins of the Spectrums?? Laughing


How's that GAS now?? Laughing

Anyway, my green eyed jealousy aside... great effort; now show us the family!! Very Happy

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by north-west-one on Sun Oct 03, 2010 4:24 pm

Update on the FX. Picked it up from the Tech at the weekend. It now plays like a new guitar. If you live in the Glasgow area I would highly recommend "Fine Tuning Guitar Repairs" in the West End of Glasgow- sam@fine-tuning-guitars.com

Here is the guitar (not a great photo!)




And here it is with the "family" arranged rather artistically I hope you would agree.





The Electra Westone is masquerading as a GT.

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Barry on Sun Oct 03, 2010 5:17 pm

Ohhh, Spectrum heaven!
Beee-uuuuu-teee-fullll!

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by bowenjaybee on Tue Oct 05, 2010 1:30 pm

very nice collection.. I see you have an '84 Spectrum II in there, I own one but I don't own or have never played a '85/86 Spectrum, I've got serious GAS for one though...besides the shape etc are the later ones much different playing wise?

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Barry on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:14 pm

We've got a bit of a discussion going here in the forum about the changes in the Westone logo. In that light it's also interesting to note above the variations in colours being use as well: all red; all yellow; red and yellow. No wonder there was so much brand confusion with Mats guitars. A similar problem existed with the Vantage line which changed logotype and colours a few times, and to a lesser extent the Aria Pro II's. Neutral

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by corsair on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:32 pm

Yeah!! That's what I'm talking 'bout, baby - Spectrums everywhere!! Twisted Evil So very nice... no GT, huh? I've got one... Laughing And Barry's got an a GT and an S.....


Boy; they sure do look good; I'm suitably envious! Cool

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by Westbone on Tue Oct 05, 2010 2:34 pm

Cracking picture of them all from above. Very Happy

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by north-west-one on Tue Oct 05, 2010 4:03 pm

bowenjaybee,
Your question regarding how the Spectrum 11 compared to the later Spectrums led to a bit of "blind testing" and after much comparing I can conclude that there ain't any discernible difference except the Spectrum 11 weighs a few grammes lighter than the rest of the bunch. (Wife's kitchen scales have never had to weigh guitars before.)

Corsair,
Got fed up waiting for a GT to become available and had to settle for the Electra Westone. The S seems to be rather hard to find as well.

Westbone,
Unfortunately a combination of rubbish camera and low roof resulted in a not too symmetrical aerial photo. Will have to try harder in future! (or borrow my daughters SLR.)

Thanks for the comments.

Fraser.

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Re: Spectrum FX

Post by hoax on Tue Oct 05, 2010 5:52 pm

Frazer

Stick'em in the garden and hire a crane or hot air balloon for a day. If the guys that do crop circles can fool the unthinking, then a bit of symmetry from you is not too much to ask for!

Take care and happy hunting, but you had better pee scent your ground 'cause, I'm in the market right now ( but for Matsu's, rather than solely Westones )

Graham

(slightly pissed every Tuesday and Saturday as I'm a creature of habit)

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Re: Spectrum FX

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