So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

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So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Brainfertilizer on Wed May 18, 2011 10:17 pm

My MIK Corsair is fantastic. To be honest, with the exception of a beveled heel instead of a matsumoku-inscribed neckplate, it seems VERY Westone-ish to me.
I have an 89 MIK Challenger on the way...of course, I can't know how good it will be, but I expect it to be fantastic, too.

Lately I've been wanting Modulus Graphite Villain...if I find one for the right price, it probably won't slow me down at all that it is MIK. I had an Alvarez Graphite before, and my biggest problem with it were the Dan Armstrong pickups being too quiet, not the construction of neck or body or sustain, etc. I really regret selling it, too.

And there is another 1990 Spectrum I DLX for sale out there that I'm thinking of. Should I not bother just because it isn't Matsumoku?

I'm a little torn...I love the Matsumoku quality, but if I'm going to collect Westones, why not put more emphasis on the brand than the factory?

Thoughts?

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by corsair on Thu May 19, 2011 1:51 am

Not even roughly should you consider the MIK models inferior to the Matt ones, IMHO - I have 3 Korean built and these days look for ANY Westone from that decade 1980 - 1990. The Matt made guitars have a build quality that is normally second to none, but the early Koreans, by and large, are right up there and no mistake, so I reckon you have a valid point; ferret out the brand, not the factory!! Smile

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by hobster on Thu May 19, 2011 11:09 am

I prefer the Mats myself, and only own 1 MIK guitar which i need to sell soon. The quality was superior with MIJ Westies, although Corsair has a point and the early MIK guitars were great as well. I've played a couple of MIK's that were excellent players. I think someday the earlier MIK guitars (not just Westone) will be sought out as much as the Japanese ones. Maybe i'm just a MIJ snob, but thats the way uh huh uh huh i like it.

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Brainfertilizer on Thu May 19, 2011 11:45 am

I do know that some MIK guitars have build quality every bit as good as MIJ guitars. Hamer's 1st generation imports, the Hamer Slammer Series are professional-quality guitars, made in Korea. Some of the 2nd generation Hamer imports (also MIK) are almost as good: replace the pickups and you've got a guitar good enough for gigging or recording.

You guys have given me a good portion of what I was looking for. I'm not the only one who likes some of the MIK versions.

I guess one of the differences between MIJ and MIK is the pickups. Another difference is body shape, obviously.

To be honest, as much as I love Matsumoku, I don't really like the Westone trems very much...I like the Kahlers much better, and those tend to appear on the MIK models, which increases my lust for those. ...but they don't have the Matsu pickups.

But I honestly haven't been able to tell a difference in the necks. Westone necks, whether MIJ or MIK, seem to be indistinguishable (to me, at least). And they are totally unique from anything else I've seen come out of Korea.

Well, anyway, I'm waiting for a national chain to contact me about a '90 Villain Modulus Graphite, and the Challenger showed up at UPS today for me to pickup, so I guess I'm committed to the MIKs one way or the other! Very Happy

But I'm glad to hear it isn't foolishness to like the MIKs nearly as much as the MIJs.

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Brainfertilizer on Thu May 19, 2011 11:45 am

hobster wrote:I prefer the Mats myself, and only own 1 MIK guitar which i need to sell soon. The quality was superior with MIJ Westies, although Corsair has a point and the early MIK guitars were great as well. I've played a couple of MIK's that were excellent players. I think someday the earlier MIK guitars (not just Westone) will be sought out as much as the Japanese ones. Maybe i'm just a MIJ snob, but thats the way uh huh uh huh i like it.
What are you selling and how much? Smile

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Westbone on Thu May 19, 2011 12:08 pm

All the MIK stripey maple tops are only a veneer, not solid.
Underneath all that good looking veneer are numerous pieces glued together.

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by hobster on Thu May 19, 2011 9:32 pm

Brainfertilizer wrote:
hobster wrote:I prefer the Mats myself, and only own 1 MIK guitar which i need to sell soon. The quality was superior with MIJ Westies, although Corsair has a point and the early MIK guitars were great as well. I've played a couple of MIK's that were excellent players. I think someday the earlier MIK guitars (not just Westone) will be sought out as much as the Japanese ones. Maybe i'm just a MIJ snob, but thats the way uh huh uh huh i like it.
What are you selling and how much? Smile

It's not a Westone, but i have to sell my Hondo II MIK 335 copy. It's a very clean and beautiful guitar, i just got a Rainbow1 and it blows away the Hondo in every way, especially the sound. Gotta thin the heard, i'm runnin out of space. I paid $300 on ebay with shipping, but i doubt i'll get that much for it.

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Brainfertilizer on Thu May 19, 2011 11:04 pm

hobster wrote:
Brainfertilizer wrote:
hobster wrote:I prefer the Mats myself, and only own 1 MIK guitar which i need to sell soon. The quality was superior with MIJ Westies, although Corsair has a point and the early MIK guitars were great as well. I've played a couple of MIK's that were excellent players. I think someday the earlier MIK guitars (not just Westone) will be sought out as much as the Japanese ones. Maybe i'm just a MIJ snob, but thats the way uh huh uh huh i like it.
What are you selling and how much? Smile

It's not a Westone, but i have to sell my Hondo II MIK 335 copy. It's a very clean and beautiful guitar, i just got a Rainbow1 and it blows away the Hondo in every way, especially the sound. Gotta thin the heard, i'm runnin out of space. I paid $300 on ebay with shipping, but i doubt i'll get that much for it.
Yeah, my apologies: I'm not into Hondos.
Thanks, though, and good luck.

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Brainfertilizer on Thu May 19, 2011 11:07 pm

The Challenger arrived today. Pictures maybe by this weekend...dunno. It's a pain in the butt to get all that done.

But the guitar kicks butt. The Floyd Rose licensed trem is very good, very stable. Almost no corrosion anywhere on the guitar.
It kind of reminds me of a Charvel-Jackson, in that it has a strat body and pickguard and an intense yellow paint color, but a superstrats' flat fretboard, pointy headstock, HB, and Floyd trem.

I'm very pleased, but I haven't plugged it in and put it through its paces yet.

It was an excellent deal for $200 shipped.

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by The Chad on Fri May 20, 2011 10:36 am

Glad you like it. So is the neck as feel good as what you expected?

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by hobster on Fri May 20, 2011 9:58 pm

Brainfertilizer wrote:
hobster wrote:
Brainfertilizer wrote:
hobster wrote:I prefer the Mats myself, and only own 1 MIK guitar which i need to sell soon. The quality was superior with MIJ Westies, although Corsair has a point and the early MIK guitars were great as well. I've played a couple of MIK's that were excellent players. I think someday the earlier MIK guitars (not just Westone) will be sought out as much as the Japanese ones. Maybe i'm just a MIJ snob, but thats the way uh huh uh huh i like it.
What are you selling and how much? Smile

It's not a Westone, but i have to sell my Hondo II MIK 335 copy. It's a very clean and beautiful guitar, i just got a Rainbow1 and it blows away the Hondo in every way, especially the sound. Gotta thin the heard, i'm runnin out of space. I paid $300 on ebay with shipping, but i doubt i'll get that much for it.
Yeah, my apologies: I'm not into Hondos.
Thanks, though, and good luck.

Hondo made some excellent instruments. 90% or more were crap, lots of plywood etc. but the professional line was top notch. I have a Hondo II Professional bass and it was made at the Tokai factory in Japan, it's basically a Tokai with another name and it blows away lots of Fender P basses i've played. The Fender Lead 1 and Tele copies were among the Tokai made Hondo II Pros- awesome stuff!!

Here is another killer Hondo II Pro which i own (and love) and its still a mystery where it was made, but its MIJ.

http://www.matsumoku.org/ggboard/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=6589

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Brainfertilizer on Sat May 21, 2011 10:42 am

The Chad wrote:Glad you like it. So is the neck as feel good as what you expected?
Yep.
the guitar rocks.
I feel like Brad Gillis (even though it is yellow rather than red) when I play it. Great action. REALLY good tone in the single coils, the HB bridge apparently splits in the in-between position (position 2, if you count from the bridge).

Maybe the only thing I don't like about it is the bridge position HB tone isn't quite as fat as I might like.


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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by Brainfertilizer on Sat May 21, 2011 10:55 am

hobster wrote:

Hondo made some excellent instruments. 90% or more were crap, lots of plywood etc. but the professional line was top notch. I have a Hondo II Professional bass and it was made at the Tokai factory in Japan, it's basically a Tokai with another name and it blows away lots of Fender P basses i've played. The Fender Lead 1 and Tele copies were among the Tokai made Hondo II Pros- awesome stuff!!
I don't doubt they rock. I'm sure they can be fantastic guitars.

Much of my interest in older guitars, especially Westones, is purely based on random attraction. There is a Hondo II Formula I in great condition in a local pawnshop for $99...it doesn't stimulate even a drop of guitar lust in me.

There is some system or method to my guitar lust that I haven't figured out yet.

Example: I got the MIK Westone Corsair for cheap. Fantastic guitar. So it got me excited about Westone again, and I picked up an Aria Pro II for cheap, along with the Genesis I and the '87 Corsair XA1420. Very happy with all of them, instant members of my long-term collection, they grab my imagination, and I feel cool having, holding, and playing them.

So I decide to throw $200 at the Challenger. Not MIJ. Definitely not Matsumoku pickups. Not even a Bendmaster trem. The only connection with Matsumoku's Westone that I can see is the excellence of the neck and the headstock shape.

Yet it is such an awesome guitar, I played it for 5 minutes and immediately began thinking: this guitar is so good, which of the other Westone's should/can I sell?

For some reason, a Floyd-equipped H/S/S 22-fret MIK Westone shredder doesn't replace or have any connection in my mind to a Hamer H/S/S 24-fret shredder. I can have both, and want to play both at different times. But for some opposite reason, having a fantastic Floyd-equipped H/S/S 22-fret MIK Westone shredder seems to check a box I didn't know existed in my brain, and replaces the Floyd-equipped H/S/S 24-fret MIK Westone Corsair shredder, the Floyd-equipped H/H 22-fret MIJ Westone Corsair shredder and the Floyd-equipped H/S/S 22-fret MIJ Westone Genesis I shredder in my mind.

It was only a temporary urge, however. I would miss both Corsairs and the Genesis if I sold them. The XA4120 has active pickups and a beautiful flame top none of my other guitars have, and the Genesis I is completely unique and as Mr. Presley said: limited edition, comfortable to play, and special. And the MIK Corsair has 24 frets and some cool switching, plus the mid-range boost I'd lusted after for years.

The Aria Pro II is a goner, though. Smile

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

Post by knuge on Sat Jun 04, 2011 12:39 pm

Brainfertilizer wrote:
To be honest, as much as I love Matsumoku, I don't really like the Westone trems very much...I like the Kahlers much better, and those tend to appear on the MIK models, which increases my lust for those. ...but they don't have the Matsu pickups.

I totally agree with you. I love the Kahler Fulcrum on my '88 Spectrum. cheers

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Re: So How Excited Should(n't) I be about MIK Westones?

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