Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

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Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by djhollowman on Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:05 pm

Hello all!
I'm looking for a replacement locking nut for my 1985 Spectrum LX.
One of the threads in the block appears to have stripped in mine.
Hoping someone can help please?
I understand these have become something of a rarity, and that there was a spares section but it is now closed??
(I think I'll have a go at making one if I can't buy one - I work for a jewellery manufacturer so it shouldn't be that hard!)
She's metallic black, I've replaced the pickups and given her a Floyd Rose trem (perhaps that's a little sacrilegious here??), I've had her almost 20 years! What a sorry state it was in when I got it.
Thanks for any useful input,


DJ

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by corsair on Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:26 pm

Right; first things first, let's have a look at your guitar, man!!! Laughing Before and after?? Because of the aftermarket p'ups and bridge, I'll assume it was stripped when you got it, yes?

The spares are still open AFAIK...

http://www.westone.info/spares/index.html

...about halfway down the page you should find the FT bits and bobs.

Rarity is a bit strong but Westone, and all Matsumoku instruments, are rapidly increasing in value as more people become aware of the quality and performance of these guitars. I mean, you try to buy an Aria Pro or Vantage for anything less than a king's ransom these days!!
There are purists in here who may not totally approve of your mods but by and large, we're just happy to see the guitars being used! cheers

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by Guest on Sun Sep 28, 2008 4:54 pm

Hello there DJ and Welcome! Smile

Yep, the spares section did close for a while but they are up and running again, thankfully!
cheers

Wow, you say your guitar was in a sorry state when you got her over 20 years ago! It makes you wonder how people can have so little respect for their guitars.
Rolling Eyes If you think about it, the guitar wouldn't have been that old at the time either! Grrr! Things like that really make my blood boil! Evil or Very Mad

Before and after photos would be cool if you have some!
Very Happy

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by djhollowman on Sun Sep 28, 2008 5:11 pm

Hi, thanks for the quick replies!
I did try looking on the page of the link you posted, Corsair, and the part is there but it's out of stock. Sad
It was actually the baseplate of the locking nut that I meant was kinda scarce, but nevermind! Very Happy
I'm heartened to hear you're not all gonna flame me for deviating from the standard spec of my Westone!
Yeah, it's all about keeping them in playing condition, as you say.
As for mine: this is a sort-of "before" shot:

and this is a more recent one:

Well, I bought it in about 1991 for £30 (UK pounds). It wasn't actually stripped, no, but it was in a sorry state for being quite young, as you say Pollyanna (1985 model, serial 5080008).The neck had been handpainted (badly!), the body has several large dings, the locking nut was toast, the frets were badly worn, it had obviously been re-wired at some point - the original jack had been bypassed and a new one put into the cavity cover (!!??) I put it where it is in the top photo just for convenience, the tuners were pretty worn and rusting, the bridge was quite rusty.
So, I've replaced: all 3 pickups, nut, tuners, all 3 pots, jack socket, all 3 knobs, switch, all the wiring (all corroded), and more recently replaced the Bendmaster with a Floyd copy (after that photo was taken!) You would be amazed how much more stable the tuning is with a locking bridge!! Gotta be honest, I never liked that Bendmaster much, esp. when changing strings.
I made new cavity and switch covers while I was at it.
I also sanded the neck to reveal the original serial number and logo, then re-finished it properly! Before I did that I didn't know it was an LX!! I'd been looking around the 'net for info about what model it was, but obviously that answered that question.
I levelled, crowned and dressed the frets. (Oh, I'm quite the luthier! Very Happy Check me on Project Guitar!)
I will probably replace them at some point as well.
Next up is to replace the bridge pickup with an EMG81, and the neck with an EMG85. (I'm a metalhead, what can I say??)
The middle pickup cavity will be filled over when she goes for a re-finish! That will also take care of the dings etc on the body! Toying with the idea of a colour change too - seen a nice metallic blue I like!
Yup, this baby is gonna HOWL when it's finished!

So, any other ideas for the locking nut base?????

DJ

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by Guest on Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:26 pm

WOW!

You've done a cracking job there DJ! Well done mate!
cheers Nobody here will shoot you down in flames for bringing her back to life, that's for sure!

Bit of a bummer about the base-plates though, (I need some as well!) but keep checking the spares section because if I'm not mistaken, I think that David actually makes these parts himself so he might have some new stock in again soon. Unless of course, you need it now! Would a FR locking nut fit onto it or not?
scratch

You could always try re-tapping the base-plate and the shims and using slightly bigger bolts. If all else fails and if you still have the old base-plate; (you obviously have the skill to do it), why not make your own?

Cool work on the frets too! If you are in the UK I might call on your Luthiering (is there such a word?
scratch ) skills sometime in the future if I ever need some fret work doing!

I like the sound of the metallic blue for the paintwork too.
Smile I've just sort of goofed up on my Genesis II (long story! Shocked ), and oddly enough, I was thinking about doing that in a metallic blue as well!

Keep up the good work and keep us posted on the progress!
Smile

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by corsair on Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:35 pm

Colours; Westone and Electra had a very nice blue burst??! Laughing
Gee, that was a sorry piece of kit, so well done to you getting running again! The FT locking base is different to the Deluxe locking base so while I have a spare one I can't help, sorry! And an FR locking set up is quite different; I wonder if Kahler have anything that might do the trick? I know they do, or used to do, a behind-the-nut string lock...
Polly has a point; you could drill and tap new holes in the base you already have; shouldn't be too much of a problem to a good keen bloke like you, eh!?
Oh, I agree; if those bridges aren't set-up quite right, they are a beast but fortunately through the good graces of the people in here and the help of a local engineer, I have nutted out how to best set 'em up and now like 'em lots! It's true that they have no individual string height adjustment without cutting shims but hey, FR bridges require odd double ball strings and I can use any damn string I like!! Very Happy (although I use D'addario jazz lights almost exclusively!) I reckon all trem bridges are a compromise, eh and you can get used to anything!

Do you not find the middle p'up useful? And are your new pots push/pull? The wiring on the LX/GT/X195 was pretty radical in it's day with the phase reverse and coil split; they were and still are a very versatile guitar indeed; you won't get anything to do what it does for less than mega-bucks, eh

Good for you for resurrecting it, man - I doff my cap to you!! Any help I can give, just ask...

John

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by djhollowman on Mon Sep 29, 2008 4:06 am

Thank you for your kind words! Very Happy
Looking back I realise how much work I've put into this guitar, but it's been done over a couple of years as my experience and confidence have grown! Nothing like taking out yer lutherie habit on yer own axes eh??
Regarding the locking nut base: yeah, I've seen those Kahler units before, could be worth a look. I have a BC Rich with something very similar, but it would need to be raised up from the headstock a bit to meet the strings properly. Maybe I'll look into Polly's suggestion of getting the old tap'n'die set out! I would need to source bigger bolts then of course. Hmm...
FR locknuts incorporate the nut itself into the design. Here's what I did on a Washburn I have converted to a FR bridge and nut:

This quite a common mod on Strat-style necks being converted to FR's.
However, I like the idea of a behind-the-nut lock so I can try one of those Earvana compensated nuts!
Double ball ends, Corsair? Are you thinking of the Speedloader FR bridge perhaps? With mine you actually cut the ball off, so you can clamp it in the bridge saddle. Very secure. Every time I tried to change strings on the Bendmaster the ball end would jump out! Oh, and my old Bendmaster did have individually height-adjustable saddles.
But, yes, I agree John, all trems are a compromise!
I find I never use the middle pup, and I have plenty other guitars with one anyway! I agree, the wiring was pretty special as standard, but I just never use it!! I only ever have the bridge or neck HB on full whack!
The EMGs need 250k pots anyway, so the 500k push/pulls will be recycled into something else - nothing is ever wasted!
I want to make this baby a metal machine, and nothing comes close to the crunch of active EMGs!!

Polly, I am in the UK, but I'm way oop north, Orkney to be precise! I'd happily help you out with fretwork, but I'm sure you'd find someone closer to you!

Will keep you all posted,

DJ

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 29, 2008 6:22 am

Hi DJ,

If you got the tap and die set out you would be able to buy the bigger bolts from David if he still has them. (I think that they were for the headless bass models - M5 x12mm, if my memory serves me correctly!
scratch )

This was actually suggested to me some time ago when I had the same problem with a locking nut that had the threads stripped - it's worth a try!

As for cutting the ball end off the strings, is it not just easier to thread them through from the top first, leaving the ball end intact?
Rolling Eyes
(Okay chaps, I'm being a clever clogs here; I only know this because I used to have a Jackson with a FR! geek )


Orkney! Yep, you really are way oop North there!
santa rendeer Laughing

Anyway,
good luck DJ, I hope you get it sorted out soon, keep up the good work!

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by corsair on Mon Sep 29, 2008 5:27 pm

Ahh; I wondered how the FR was retrofitted to strat-type guitars! Gee, that fillet under the nut would have to be absolutely spot on, eh! That nut that you show is similar to the nut on some on the Westone Clippers that had a TRS 101 trem set-up; it looks to me - at this remove, I've never actually seen one in the flesh! - like an FR clone perhaps?!
It's certainly worth trying to re-tap the offending hole(s) before getting really serious with replacement bits, and if Spares doesn't have the 5mm bolt needed - and I'm willing to bet he does! - then Orkney will have a fastener type of store, yes?
Mate, it's so long since I had anything to do with a FR guitar - I think it was a Jackson Soloist! - that the details are a bit fuzzy; I just remember it being a pain to change strings on the fly... just like a Bendmaster!! Laughing My Bendmaster Deluxes are not height adjustable without shimming; the FT must be different - good job!
Ha! Metal machines, eh; I'm looking for a Westone Corsair 1440 in Metallic Pink - that would be MY metal machine!! There was one on the bay not so long ago, but the seller wouldn't ship it overseas... Sad Sad

Hey yeah, you need to show us what you've got, bro... get to it!!! Very Happy

Polly, no-one likes a smart-arse!! Laughing Laughing

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by Guest on Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:14 pm

corsair wrote:
Polly, no-one likes a smart-arse!! Laughing Laughing

WHO?? Rolling Eyes ME??? Rolling Eyes NEVER!!!! No

What I meant was that I only knew about putting the strings on that way was because I used to have a Jackson, (and an Ibanez Jem copy), both with FR, otherwise I wouldn't have had a clue!
scratch So yah, boo, sucks! Razz Laughing Laughing Hee hee!

Come to think of it, one of my Westones might be strung like that as well! I'm not 100% certain though so I'll have to check that out!
scratch


DJ, I do have a locking nut off a Clipper CL4112 that had the TRS-101 bridge fitted, so I can photograph it as a comparison if you want.

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by corsair on Tue Sep 30, 2008 12:48 am

Pollyanna wrote:So yah, boo, sucks!

OK, I'll consider my wrist slapped!! NO, don't stop; I kinda like it....


I don't see any support here for the blueburst idea.... Crying or Very sad

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by djhollowman on Tue Sep 30, 2008 4:25 pm

Aha! A Jem copy, you say? Something like this one I'm currently reviving?
(I spend a lot of time on that site - check out my R7t please, link in my sig there!)
It's my thread and I can hijack it as much as I like! And seeing as you're the mods anyway, why not eh? lol!

Polly: your comment about leaving the ball-ends on, and stringing from the neck is, of course, perfectly feasible. In fact, I've seen it done many times. The downside is that you're left with unsightly ball-ends next to your tuners! Yuk! I like clean lines etc.
And a photo of the Clipper nut could be useful, thank you.

corsair: what do you mean about showing what I've got? Do you mean photos of all my guitars?
And yeah, that shim from the Washburn neck I posted: the final version was a little different, I made a platform of ebony to get the height but I also had to flatten the area behind the original nut a little to make an area for the platform to sit on. It was all complicated by the fact that I still had to allow for truss rod nut access! But it worked out fine in the end.
And no, the FR trem isn't height adjustable except with shims. Although saying that, I think I've seen one somewhere with height-adjust grub screws in the saddles.....???

Colourwise, I'm rapidly going off the blue idea as well. It's metallic black, and I think it may well remain so!

Right, I've got some M5x14 bolts (well, set screws with allen heads to
be exact!) from work, might try a tap and die later! Wow, those M5's
really are waaaay wider than M4's eh?? One mm of difference, but it looks huge! May have to make a larger middle pad to accomodate a 5mm hole, I think the old one would break in half if I tried to widen its hole to 5mm.


DJ

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by Guest on Tue Sep 30, 2008 8:36 pm

Hi DJ, Smile

Thanks for the link... that is cool! I couldn't find your R7T that you mentioned though!
scratch Am I missing something there??? scratch

Hey, it's your thread, you can hijack it as much as you want! Just remember that it is about Westones so don't go too much off-topic
silent or I might have to tell you off! Evil or Very Mad
"You are not the Messiah, you are a very naughty boy!"
lol!

I'll see what I can do about photographing my Clipper nut for you and I'll post a picture or two. Metallic black sounds good! I've just seen a lovely metallic green that I wouldn't mind using on something!
Very Happy

John,
Sorry mate; yes, I have to agree that the blue burst is a really nice colour but I reckon that it would be a devil of a job to achieve!
Rolling Eyes

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by djhollowman on Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:13 am

Polly - sorry, yeah you have to be a registered member there to see the link in my sig, sorry!
Try this instead:
http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=36711
And, or course, my own site: www.capricornguitars.co.uk

It's shameless self-promotion! Cool

Anyway, you mentioned a nice metallic green? See above R7t.

So, last night I tried simply re-tapping the M4 thread in my locknut block, but I haven't had time to see if it holds yet! I'm not confident that it'll hold well enough. If it doesn't I'll re-tap the block for the M5 bolts.

DJ

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:07 pm

Thanks DJ, that's brilliant! Wink

I love the green! It's so cool!
Cool

WOW! I wish that I had the skills and the facilities to do something on a grand scale like that - unfortunately, my workshop is just a little garden shed but I do have everything in there that I need (and stuff that I don't really need as well, but don't tell my husband! Snigger!
Laughing )

I still haven't photographed the Clipper nut yet, sorry for being so lax but I've been to the vets today with my dog so I haven't had time to do anything!
Rolling Eyes I'll get onto that tomorrow though! Smile

You must put some photos of your collection up soon, we are all dying to see your guitars!
cyclops cyclops

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by djhollowman on Wed Oct 01, 2008 3:28 pm

Thanks for your kind words, Polly!
The R7t was my first guitar that I made totally from scratch, I'm delighted with it!! Very Happy
Amazed myself TBH! I think anyone with basic common sense and a reasonable selection of tools could do something similar though. You just need to think logically through every detail, and have loads of patience. Do research, go on forums asking questions, buy books, stuff like that. Oh, and if you have a mate in the automotive trade who owns his own car spraying business that definately helps!! Cool (Hence the beautiful paint job! I did do ALL the rest myself though!) I just decided to commit and went for it. It's the first one I made, but it deffo won't be the last! Wish I could afford to stop full-time work to just work on guitar stuff, but it'll never happen, fun hobby though. I have a re-wire for a guy to finish, this Westone to finish, Project Chibanez to finish, another Washburn is being painted......plus I have 2 young sons!!!

Yeah, I could post some guitar porn - should I post it somewhere more relevant?

DJ

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by Guest on Wed Oct 01, 2008 4:15 pm

djhollowman wrote:

Yeah, I could post some guitar porn - should I post it somewhere more relevant?

DJ

WOW! WOW! and more WOW! Shocked Shocked Shocked

You've certainly took the bull by the 'horns' (so to speak!) on that one! Good on yer DJ!
cheers

Yes, just put your photos up in the Members Westones forum.
Very Happy

Friendly word of advice, (although I haven't helped here, so I'm slapping myself on the wrist as well,) we'd better try and stick to the topic here!
Laughing Laughing

Pauline
:flower: :queen:

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by corsair on Wed Oct 01, 2008 5:13 pm

Very pretty indeed, indeed! I can see why it's the headstock that people are unsure about; I quite like it! That string angle out of the ferrules looks a bit severe - have you had any trouble with string breakage? And what's it like to gig?!

Anyway - yeah, a 5mm tap is quite a bit bigger than a 4mm eh: the re-tapped hole won't hold; well, mine didn't as there's not enough meat in the threads left to hold tight, and according to my Westone guru, the threaded portion is a lighter steel than the bolts so instant problem!! The ones that Spares had had a much heavier steel insert and are much better, though you still don't want to over-tighten, eh!!
That's a very good point about the clamp, too but I'd be inclined to try drilling it out... very very carefully!! Are all of the holes in the base stripped? You know that you need 2 clamps (1 above, 1 below the strings) for each section of the thing, don't you?!
Do try the Spares as he may be able to help and is normally very approachable and extremely helpful; he has a new baby at home so replies may take a while!! Otherwise you could make a baseplate yourself; I thought about it but I reckon a model engineer would be the person to have a go at it; you'd need a really small drill mill, I reckon!!

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by djhollowman on Tue Oct 21, 2008 5:19 pm

Bump!
Time for a wee update!
So, I drilled and tapped the holes in the locknut block for 5mm threads. That went fine!
The problem now is that I can't get the holes in the steel pads drilled out to 5mm.
So, in the meantime I made new pads from 2mm aluminium sheet, but they're so soft, they're all marked already:

Gonna have to get/make better pads!
And yeah, thanks Corsair, I did notice there's 2 sets! Thank you though, that could have been a critical omission!!
DJ

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by corsair on Tue Oct 21, 2008 8:44 pm

Woo hoo - action a-plenty!! G'day DJ - it doesn't matter if the alloy is marked as long as it holds, I would have thought; the only original shim I've got from 3 Deluxe bridges is marked as well and that still holds!! Why could you not re-drill the steel ones? I've just had to do re-drill one for an experiment I'm making and it went fine; I used a slow speed on the mill and had a poop-load of cutting oil flowing and no dramas....

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Re: Wanted to Buy Spectrum Locking Nut

Post by Steve777 on Tue Oct 21, 2008 9:39 pm

Hi DJ and welcome,

Read your tale of woe with regard to the locking and and had the same problem on my Dimension 4, one of the bolts pulling the threads out of the locking nut base plate. It was on the E/A string side.

At first, I couldnt understand why all the bolts were the same length when clearly all the strings were of different thicknesses. Taking the base plate, shims and lock plates off the guitar, I realised that all the bolts only caught the first two or three threads in the base plate and turning it over revealed that there was at least 2-3mm further to go if I so wished.

I simply bought longer M4 bolts, I think 14mm which picked up the remainder of thread without going into the neck.

Hope this helps. If you are recycling any old Westone PUPs / trems or knobs, let me know.

All the best

Steve

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bendmaster ft

Post by catonine on Sun Dec 07, 2008 4:00 am

ok.. what did ya do with the bendmaster ft that came on it.. i want that.. lol.. i need a string end holder thing that holds the string ball in place.. you can keep the rest.. ha.. or if anyone knows where i can find one single little string holder please send it my way !!!

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Re: Want to buy: Westone Spectrum locking nut

Post by corsair on Sun Dec 07, 2008 6:42 am

Heya, Scott - what do these look like? I've never seen an FT bridge in the flesh and am wondering if thy're like the Deluxe ones?

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