New member, also X390 owner

View previous topic View next topic Go down

New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:49 pm

Well, it's like buses, none for ages and then two X390 owners turn up. Mine's also pearl white with the Kahler trem. I've owned a few Westones over the years - the first electric I had a lot of access to was a Thunder I in the 80s, I have a pretty bad Concord bass still, and I've also had a Spectrum FX with pull-for-middle-pickup, which was great but the pickups were very squealy.

My Pantera has more of a story to it though. In the mid-90s I was living above a music shop with a friend. One time I got to poke around in the back of the shop at all the broken stuff and rubbish. To my surprise I found this Westone that had been cannibalised for parts. I swapped it for a Tokai strat I had paid £180 for, and set about fixing it up. The very tip of the headstock was broken off - I could live with that. The bridge pickup was also missing - I put a Select by EMG humbucker in there as it was all I could afford at the time. And many bits of the Kahler trem and locking nut were missing. This was the 90s and you couldn't get Kahlers in the UK at the time, but I managed to get in touch with their old dealers John Hornby Skewes and get some of the parts I needed.

Since then I've swapped the pickups for a pair of Seymour Duncan '59s that came out of someone's SG, changed the knobs for Gibson-style speed knobs, had the Kahler set further into the body of the guitar to improve the break-angle of the strings over the bridge, and had a Roland GK pickup installed, complete with buttons on the body. I'll post pictures when I can find my camera battery charger :-)

I was considering selling it recently, but then I found they made less than 100 of them, and it's been one of my main guitars for 15 years or so, so I think I'll stick with it. And the pearl white has mellowed to a more yellowy colour over time which still looks quite good.

The one bugbear on this guitar for me has always been the top E-string tuning. Because of the extreme angle that the string goes through between the nut/string clamp and the tuner, if you're not careful it can stay at the extreme edge of the string clamp and not get clamped properly. And even if you pull the string so that it travels through the clamp straight, I've found that it slips anyway, or eventually grooves get worn in the clamp and it slips. My current solution is feeding the E string off the B tuner, and the B string off the E tuner via a string tree, to get the strings to line up better with the nut. Sounds weird, but it works!

The other thing is that the neck gets tiring if playing in thumb-behind-the-neck position for too long, but is comfortable for thumb-over-the-neck, which I found odd in a guitar obviously designed for shredding, but whatever!

Yes, I do still have the OFC pickup I took out of the neck. :-) I've always thought this guitar would sound nice with single coils - perhaps Seymour Duncan P-Rails? There still hasn't been anything quite like it for reasonable money - amazing access at the top of the neck, ebony 24-fret neck, Kahler trem and curvy downsized body. It's a keeper...

sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:55 pm

Oh and for some reason if you pull up on the Kahler and return to pitch, it's very slightly sharp. My repair guy couldn't work out how to fix it. It's liveable with though.

sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by corsair on Thu Apr 14, 2011 5:35 am

Welcome, Sean, and as with any thing on the web... pix or it didn't happen!!! Laughing We live for photos of peoples guitars in here, so we'd love to see yours!

I can't comment on the Kahler trem as I've never ever actually seen one, but on my Bendmaster Deluxe, FT and Precision equipped Spectrums and Genesis, the answer was a Goldo backbox, which I've described in here someplace. It's a tremsetter which is easy to instal and actually does what it says on the box; i.e. returns the floating bridge to the same position every time you swing on the bar. Worked for me, anyway!

_________________
FWIW, an after market esoteric nut is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, and a great way to convert your money into someone else’s.

corsair
Administrator

Number of posts : 5252
Age : 57
Location : Hervey Bay, Australia.
Registration date : 2008-04-08

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Thu Apr 14, 2011 8:49 am

Kahlers don't have springs in the back cavity, so tremsetter-type devices don't work. Good idea otherwise. The Kahler has two springs inside the unit itself.

sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by Guest on Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:21 am

I'd like to see close pics of the bridge modifications to see exactly what ya did there.

For the clamping down the E string, have you thought of not using the locking saddle and use locking tuners instead?

Guest
Guest


Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by corsair on Thu Apr 14, 2011 10:22 am

sean wrote:Kahlers don't have springs in the back cavity, so tremsetter-type devices don't work. Good idea otherwise. The Kahler has two springs inside the unit itself.

Oh. Bugger! I've not seen one of these; any chance of some close up pix??

_________________
FWIW, an after market esoteric nut is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, and a great way to convert your money into someone else’s.

corsair
Administrator

Number of posts : 5252
Age : 57
Location : Hervey Bay, Australia.
Registration date : 2008-04-08

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by colt933 on Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:09 pm

I wonder if your strings are slipping a bit at the lock when you pull up.

Funny, one of my X-390s was missing some parts as well including the Kahler and string lock. And Oliver had one that was missing its Kahler asw well.

colt933
Senior Member

Number of posts : 583
Registration date : 2008-04-08

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Thu Apr 14, 2011 6:34 pm

sarcaster wrote:have you thought of not using the locking saddle and use locking tuners instead?

I've thought of it but a) the headstock is so tiny that it probably wouldn't support locking tuners, and b) the fan-out of the strings from the nut to the tuners would just lead to problems I think, even with e.g. a teflon nut. The top E tuner is at least an inch laterally from the top E nut slot.

I just wondered if anyone else had come across slippage on the top string. The 3-clamp locking nut locks two strings at a time, so when the gauges vary, one string will be held and the other may have room to slip. e.g. D string plus G string. Wonder if anyone makes a six-clamp locking nut that doesn't go through the neck.

http://www.wammiworld.com/Strings%20101.php says "The cure is simple... Crank the string lock allen head more and/or lower or clean the rollers."

PS this is what the Kahler looks like: http://www.wammiworld.com/images/hybrid-blowup.jpg

sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:21 pm

So belatedly here's a picture. I managed to find the deluxe string lock, where you can just flip the levers over each pair of strings to lock/unlock the nut. So far this is keeping the top string much more in tune. See also the Roland hex pickup, up/down switches, guitar/synth selector toggle, and Seymour Duncan '59 pickups.


sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:23 pm

Oh and I still have the original metal knobs, just don't like them that much.

sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:33 pm

Here's a couple of close-ups showing how the vibrato was recessed and the greater break angle over the rollers:




sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by corsair on Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:15 pm

Found in a dumpster, eh... Rolling Eyes nice one!

_________________
FWIW, an after market esoteric nut is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, and a great way to convert your money into someone else’s.

corsair
Administrator

Number of posts : 5252
Age : 57
Location : Hervey Bay, Australia.
Registration date : 2008-04-08

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by sean on Sat Mar 16, 2013 1:19 pm

Oh and when I was a kid, a Thunder I was the first electric I spent any quality time with. It belonged to my room-mate at boarding school, and we were in a band together. I did like the wide flattish fretboard and biggish frets, but eventually got a Squier Bullet because I was more into strats at the time.

sean
Registered Member

Number of posts : 16
Registration date : 2011-04-13

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by Iceman on Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:03 pm

Ahhh, the indiscretions of one's youth. Very good to see you've managed to find the path though.

The headstock tip repair seems to have gone rather nicely on yours. Do you find that flattish fingerboard to be to your liking as well?

Iceman
Hero, Legend, and all round good guy

Number of posts : 2859
Age : 53
Location : Up North
Registration date : 2011-02-22

http://www.glowingtubes.com/p/Kahler_Instructions.htm

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by The Chad on Mon Mar 18, 2013 11:15 am

Thanks for posting. I like to see guitars with different pickups.

The Chad
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 2469
Location : Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Registration date : 2011-02-01

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by METESKY on Mon Mar 18, 2013 8:41 pm

Welcome, sean. You really know how to make an entrance. ;-)

METESKY
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 69
Location : Middle Tennessee, US
Registration date : 2012-04-01

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by Barry on Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:24 pm

sean wrote:...had a Roland GK pickup installed, complete with buttons on the body
I recently installed that pickup, with outboard controls, on a client's G&L Legacy (a very tight squeeze by the way!) Unfortunately, the amplifier portion had not yet arrived in the shop at that time so I didn't get a chance to play wif it. By my next scheduled day in the shop it had arrived and had been picked up by the customer. Crying or Very sad

So...how do ya like it? Especially on this machine?

_________________
"A little song. A little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown


GUITARS : http://legend.barryeames.com/guitars.html
MUSIC/PIX/VIDEOS: http://getback.barryeames.com (including Spectrum ST)

Barry
Hero, Legend, and all round good guy

Number of posts : 6128
Age : 71
Location : Port Weller, St. Catharines, Canada
Registration date : 2009-05-01

http://www.barryeames.com

Back to top Go down

Re: New member, also X390 owner

Post by Sponsored content Today at 6:11 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum