Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

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Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by The Chad on Tue Feb 01, 2011 3:33 pm

Hi Everyone, long time lurker, just finally joined. I'm on the verge of buying a Spectrum FX, finally found one (took forever) but need your advice. Got close up pics of it, and it has cracks in the paint where the neck joins the body. There are a couple of other issues, which I'll describe under each picture. What do you think, should I buy it?! $200.00 is what he wants.



Looks like a crack where the neck and body meet. What do you think?


Here's the other side of the neck meeting the body. Looks like a little cracking up by the 19th/20th fret, is this where a crack would be or do you think it's just a scratch?



The bridge, look at the last saddle on the high E string, is that wood under there? Is it missing something? Also, the knobs look incorrect? And the input jack?



Here's a close up of that bridge. Maybe just some of the little adjustment screws are missing?



A shot of the whole guitar. These are hard to find, and I really want it, but I want one that works the way it should.

Please let me know what you guys think! You are the Westone gurus, let me know what you would do. Glad to be on the forums finally, hopefully one day soon I'll actually be a Westone Spectrum owner again!

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by corsair on Tue Feb 01, 2011 4:17 pm

Hi there, Chad - well... you've found one and that's a good start!!

1. The knobs aren't original and the OEM ones were Westone specific and are the very devil to find.

2. The input jack has had it's surrounding wood munted; that's why it has a large washer there to mount the socket, I'm guessing. Ugly but not terminal.

3. The saddle you point out looks to have one of the tiny Allen head grubb screws that adjust the string height missing, hence a wee shim of wood to get the string to the right height. The low E has no height screws left at all...

4. The cracks around the neck join are a little more problematic; Westones were built fit to survive anything a musician could throw at them and I suspect this one - judging by it's general tattiness - has seen quite some action and not all of it in the hands of a careful owner, so the cracks may be just that... surface cracks that mean nothing but they could also be joint cracks... I don't know without handling it and giving it a really careful going over!!

5. Does the present owner have the wang bar?

6. You don't show the headstock, but it looks as though all the stringlock washers are there; they're easily lost; look after them!

I'm afraid I would have to think long and hard before I parted out any cash on this one, but by the same token, $200 isn't a lot, really, and if the electronics are all working the way they should, then there's nothing on that guitar that some elbow grease will not put right!!

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by Westbone on Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:35 pm

The necks only a paint crack by the look of it.
the grub screw on the bridge is easily obtained.
Original knobs might be available soon at westone spares.
Quite a rare one, and cheap, buy it.

Looks like it's lying in state in the case pic. Is that a coffin case? Smile

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by The Chad on Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:39 pm

Looks like it's lying in state in the case pic. Is that a coffin case? Smile

Yes, that is a coffin case! Creepy if you ask me, but oh well. The funny thing is that if I buy it, I'll be playing it in my church sometimes... so I can just imagine how the coffin case would raise quite a few eyebrows!


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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by Westbone on Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:45 pm

Yeah!! LOL Laughing

What the frets like? What you can see look ok.

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by The Chad on Tue Feb 01, 2011 5:53 pm

I think I have a photo of that... you should be able to zoom in on it.

Problem is that I can't phycially go see the guitar, it needs to be sent to me.


It's pretty funny to see it in the "coffin". Do you think that's symbolic, maybe a sign for me not to buy it?! Laughing

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by Westbone on Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:05 pm

From what you can see the frets look ok. Has the complete locking nut as well.
It has taken a wack on the neck, seems to be a stress paint crack up the fingerboard/body as well.
these things are built like tanks, seen a lot worse than that and still playing fine.
At $200, (bid them down a bit?) The case has got to be worth $50. Twisted Evil

The lacquer is rock hard on these, no flex, any hardish knock will appear as a crack but will 9.9 out of 10 not be a crack in the timber. I certainly dont think that is.

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by norfolkngood on Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:27 pm

I'll defer to others on here more knowledgeable than me, but working down through the photos:

1) The crack by the neck-joint was probably caused when the guitar was knocked hard enough to cause that big chip which goes down to the wood. That would have been some knock, the finish on these is a thick polyurethane which takes some damaging! That wouldn't put me off, the Spectrum was "built like a bunker" and will survive a bit of abuse

2) Again the scratch on the neck looks superficial to me

3) John (Corsair) is correct on this;the string-height is adjustable but the tiny allen head screws are missing. Wedging a bit of wood under there is a novel way to get the top E to the right height

4) The original Switchmaster knobs are missing. Not unusual, many a Westone has been robbed of it's pot knobs over the years. Might be a negotiating point if you haven't agreed a price yet?

5) The frets don't look too bad, can't get a picture clear enough for a really good look

So... it's a rare model, these don't come up too often. The damage appears to be cosmetic more than structural. Non-original knobs. The whammy-bar isn't an issue, a generic one off ebay will do the job. After that it's up to you I guess.

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by The Chad on Tue Feb 01, 2011 6:39 pm

Really appreciate everyone's expertise. The knobs bother me, because that takes away the coil tap, doesn't it? I don't know. There is also an Electra/Westone Dynasty and a Raider II for sale, but I like the FX better. I want a great sounding Westone, the Raider II sure would look nice on stage though!

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by TVill25 on Tue Feb 01, 2011 8:05 pm

That looks like the one for sale in West Covina(LA). Looks like it's in workable order(it is almost 30 years old)


We'll I'm glad to hear that $200 is not a bad price. I just bought one off ebay a week or so ago and it just showed up. It's an 85 red and black one. Pics forthcoming when I get it cleaned and new strings put on it. Other than missing the string lock assembly it's all there. Also a major thanks to danagos(on this sight) for selling me the string lock assembly at a very good price.


BTW moderators may there should be a good guy area so we can keep posts up of all the good guys you can buy and sell and trade with???

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by hobster on Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:59 pm

I'd say it's worth 2 bills if you are cool with having a players guitar. Those are amazing guitars and as long as the frets are ok and it sounds good who cares what it looks like. Very Happy I have a few banged up Westies but i love 'em just the same, they play and sound just as good as a collectors piece. You could spend the $200 on a new Chinese piece of crap or own a classic axe. I love my FX, they have tons of tone options and are a blast. By the way, the knobs won't effect the push/pull variations as long as the pots are original. You should inquire about that. Good luck!

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by Barry on Tue Feb 01, 2011 10:05 pm

I'm dropping in a bit late on this one, but for what it's worth I agree with the general consensus assessment that we're looking mainly at cosmetic/surface issues here, not structural damage. That said it really is dirty and definitely been through the wars so anticipate a lot of refinishing work to get her back in presentable condition!
Go get her!

p.s. That coffin case really creeps me out! pale

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by The Chad on Wed Feb 02, 2011 10:12 am

I just bought one off ebay a week or so ago and it just showed up. It's an 85 red and black one.

That is the one! I haven't yet on it decided, still on the fence, without actually playing it first it scares me a little. I'll see if they'll come down on price any. And how did you find a red and black one on Ebay?!

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by corsair on Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:41 am

TVill25 wrote:BTW moderators may there should be a good guy area so we can keep posts up of all the good guys you can buy and sell and trade with???

I reckon that's pretty much self perpetuating; if any of us have a bad experience, it gets around like wildfire and ditto for really bad ones; and I'm not sure how I'd set something like that up, TBH!!

I'll think about it and ask my IT man.... BARRY?!?! Laughing

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

Post by Barry on Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:45 pm

I don't think it's so much a technical issue as a maintenance one.
It's easy to create another forum perhaps off the current For Sale forum called Verified Sellers/Repairers or the like. Then comes the question of how to administer it:
  • Submit a name/email to a Mod for consideration?
  • If OK create a post under the vendor's/luthier's name
  • Place the email there
  • Members are free to respond with experiences
  • Might be nice to have a couple of dedicated icons to include: White hat/Black hat?

All well and good but, because this is a worldwide forum, you'd also need a reasonable way to show by Country/Region/City?? Could get cumbersome in a Forum format.

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Re: Spectrum SF, which some cracks?! Need your advice on buying it!

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