Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

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Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:10 pm

Hello! Greetings from Europe!
First of all, sorry for my poor english...

Well, I want to buy an economic guitar to learn to play it (I like hard rock and heavy). Ive been advised to buy an IBANEZ guitar, but somebody has offered me a WESTONE (I'd never heard about Westone guitars before). But the seller doesn't know the model. He only knows it was buyed arround 1990.



Seeking in the guitar model list of the web I have seen it is very similar to SPECTRUM I WE1400 , but not equal, because the 5 way pick up switch is beside the humbucker instead of being between the master volume and tone controls.
It is also very similar to the pics of the SPECTRUM II XA1230, but this one doesn't have the angled tilt back reverse headstock.
Can anybody help me to find out the model and its specifications? The price is 150 (= 200$ more or less).

Thanks!

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by Iceman on Sat Feb 25, 2012 7:22 pm

Welcome to you pwell. Definitely a later 80's to early 90's Korean Westone and well worth 150. It looks from the two pictures to be in good shape at least from a cosmetic standpoint.

Have you played it at all? I am assuming not since you have not bought it. Once you play it I'll bet you will quickly and cheerfully hand over the cabbage. Easily as good a starter guitar as any similar Alvarez model, which is what the SLM Westone line morphed into in the early 1990's anyway.

Good luck and let us know.


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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:56 am

Hi Iceman, thanks for the answer!

I guess Korean Westone is worse than Japenesse Westone, isn't it? This seems to be korean.

I still haven't played it, but I'm very novice in the world of the guitars, so if I play I'm not sure I would appreciate if it is a good or bad guitar. So I would like to know the specifications of this guitar (type of wood, precise year of manufacturation, etc) to know if it is worth, but without knowing its model I can't Sad

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by Iceman on Sun Feb 26, 2012 8:01 am

Just because it is a late model Westone does NOT mean it is "worse". I have two MIK Westies and they are very fine guitars with excellent construction and both are top shelf players as well. Just because MIJ seems to be all the rage lately does not = Korean is bad, especially for Westones.

It is difficult at times to put precise year of build on a late model as Westone (SLM) had to do quite abit of scrambling to continue manufacturing when Matsumoku suddenly closed. Many of these "hybrid" instruments still had all the build components and characteristics of Mats guitars mostly because they are simply Mats built and sourced parts but just assembled elsewhere, much of then in Korea and some in the US of A at SLM's custom shop.

Do you have a friend who has some playing experience or expertise? If so I would ask him (or her) to accompany you to look at it. Also if you have a luthier in your area usually a seller would not think it unreasonable to be asked to meet you there to have it looked over as well.

Can you get addition pictures posted here as well? Close ups of the pups, trem, headstock, back, neck join and tuning keys can help someone here in narrowing it down possibly.

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:08 pm

For the moment, I only have this picks:



Is this guitar good enough to play heavy metal? Or should I get a guitar with two humbuckers?


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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by Iceman on Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:36 pm

Strictly my opinion now mind you...

I would think that a guitar such as this one with both types of pups would be preferable to heavier music due to the greater variety of tones that could be coaxed out if it. Certainly by using pedals and line effects you can get most any sound or tone you want out of any guitar (generally speaking) but even with a coiltapped humbucker at best you are usually only going to mimic a singlecoil.

With the guitar we are talking about here you can have both and I would think that would be of more value than not having it. You have a 'bucker for deeper growl, punch and wail; but also the singles for bite, screech and cry. Thunder and blister in one package sounds like a better set of options, to me at least.

C'mon players, pitch in a hand here. Gittarasaurus, Chad, CTS, Rabid... what say you??


Yeah, the rest of you are players too, those 4 just came to mind right off...

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by gittarasaurus on Sun Feb 26, 2012 10:44 pm

pwell wrote:
I still haven't played it, but I'm very novice in the world of the guitars, so if I play I'm not sure I would appreciate if it is a good or bad guitar. Sad


i think the main thing that matters is that you like the way the guitar feels when you play it.

i have several korean westone's and i do like them very much. they are a lot like the japanese made guitars. some have the same electronics. some have similar neck shapes. i have found each one to be an excellent quality guitar, very versatile with SSH and coil tap for SSS style too. i think the humbucker pickup sounds good for high gain/ high distortion and the single coils still retain some good characteristics even when juiced up with distortion. and they all sound good cleaned up too.

i think that you can play most any style on that guitar, and most likely, your playing style will change over time too. a guitar like this can hang with you for all of it.




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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:44 am

Hi again and thanks for the answers.

Well... I'm a bit afraid, because I have also written in a forum of my country (not specialized on Westone, but specialized on electric guitars) and a member who owns a Westone MIJ has told me "the good Westone guitars stop being manufacturated at the end of the 80s. After they were made in Korea, and later in China. So, a Westone made in 90s is just pieces of wood with strings"... I'M AFRAID! hehe

Besides, the guitar that I want to buy (see the pics) doesn't have the Westone logo in the silver plaque who is in the rear of the body. Should it have a serial number or anything? I will ask again the seller... I wanted to see the guitar in person, but is a liitle far from my home, so I will try to get more pictures.

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by beavis on Wed Feb 29, 2012 9:06 am

pwell wrote:
Well... I'm a bit afraid, because I have also written in a forum of my country (not specialized on Westone, but specialized on electric guitars) and a member who owns a Westone MIJ has told me "the good Westone guitars stop being manufacturated at the end of the 80s. After they were made in Korea, and later in China. So, a Westone made in 90s is just pieces of wood with strings"... I'M AFRAID! hehe

This is incorrect. There is indeed a Westone brand made in China but it is not the same company, not affiliated in any way except by name, to the Westone's this site talks about. Chinese-made Westones are probably low quality guitars but this is not the case of Japanese or Korean ones.

Personally, the guitar looks like a great buy and I wouldn't hesitate one second if it's in good working order. This axe was made for hard rock - heavy metal and will give it to you full on.

I have been playing for a while, mostly hard rock kind of stuff and to me it is important to have a humbucker in bridge position, like this guitar. A neck humbucker is IMHO not all that important and I actually prefer having a single coil in the neck myself.

Be sure to check the neck (warping) and the bridge as replacement bridges for Westones are hard to come by.

As for IDing the model, I'm not knowledgeable enough to help, sorry.

sunny

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Feb 29, 2012 10:35 am

the closest thing i see in the catalogs is in the 1989 New Horizons catalog, Spectrum 1, model WE1400WH.
it has all the same attributes and the only difference is a slight shift in the position of the switches.
originally listed for $350, so at about $200 it should be in very good condition.
i don't know how rare they are where you live, but where i live, there are many of these and similar models available for around the same price and even less.

price list
catalog pic
spec sheet

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Wed Feb 29, 2012 4:52 pm

Hello, thanks again for the answers.

I have new pics. There are in low quality, but it is all what I've got. In the last one a blow under the bridge can be appreciated:



neck: it seems it has no warping... but it's not the best angle to see it.
headstock: I haven't be able to get the rear view Sad it doesn't appears the model, only "westone". I hope it is the original font of the trade and no a chinesse imitation...

Apart from this blow, the seller says the guitar in perfect conditions, used very few years, and a lot of years kept in a closet inside its bag. The price in the 90s (when he bought it was 360 euros = 475 US dollar, he told me that).
the price now is $150 (US dollar), and it includes strap, jack cable, and old bag.

Can you assure me this original Westone from Korea? (I hope it won-t be the chinese one!)

In the guitar there is no "made in ----", model, nor serial number Sad

Thanks!


Last edited by pwell on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:17 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by westcoaster on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:33 pm

If you buy it buy a decent pair of wirecutters as well and chop those strings.

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Wed Feb 29, 2012 5:43 pm

hahaha, yes! I thought it too! :p

But there are other things that worry me more than the strings hehe

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by gittarasaurus on Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:06 pm

pwell wrote:
Can you assure me this original Westone from Korea? (I hope it won-t be the chinese one!)

In the guitar there is no "made in ----", model, nor serial number Sad

Thanks!

there is no question that this guitar is a "real" Westone, if that is what you are concerned about. this would have been made under the supervision of the american distributor for westone, St. Louis Music Company, which took control over the brand when the Japanese company closed. it would have been manufactured in Korea. the serial number would have been a sticker on the back of the headstock.


i have never heard of 'copies' of Westone guitars made in China.

currently, there is a company producing guitars in China, with the Westone name on them.

It is a German company and, other than the name, has no relation to the craftsmen of Matsumoku that designed and built the guitars in Japan and Korea. the guitar designs they produce now are more like copies of Gibson and Fender guitars, with few originals. they are not making copies of the Matsumoku designed and built guitars. as far as i know, nobody is.

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by Iceman on Wed Feb 29, 2012 8:34 pm

I can tell you this with 100% certainty...

If that guitar, with what you are telling me in included, was within 200 miles of me it would no longer be available for sale.

It is a Korean Westone build year 1989 or 1990. The dinosaur is correct that it would have still been produced by SLM, which means it is a very fine quality build for that style of axe and era.

Don't let the Korea noise you are worrying about dissuade you, that is absolutely worth more than $150 USD if it is in the condition the seller is representing.

Get off the dime and go get that guit!


Last edited by Iceman on Thu Mar 01, 2012 8:58 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by beavis on Thu Mar 01, 2012 5:53 am

Look at that guitar, it's a beauty, go for it man!

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by The Chad on Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:01 pm

If you don't buy that guitar we'll never speak to you again.

$150 for the guitar, case, and whatever else?! Nice deal.

By the way, these things have sexy headstocks. Cool logo too.

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Fri Mar 02, 2012 6:51 am

I have made up my mind... I'LL GO FOR IT!

Though I would have liked a darker colour guitar, and I preffer the logo with the eagle head hehe, but these things are not important.
By the way, it's not a case, it's just a soft cloth bag (textil), but better than nothing.

I will met the seller in few hours: HERE I GOOO!
I would test the guitar with a Yamaha Amp of 15W. I hope it sounds good...
I wanna feel it in my arms hehe

I will inform you. Thanks!

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It's mine!

Post by pwell on Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:22 am

IT'S MINE!

This pic is dedicated to westcoaster:


Laughing Laughing Laughing

I will explain you more details tomorrow, but for the moment I can tell us that I can almost assure that the guitar is from 1993 or 1994. This explains the minimal differences with the Spectrum I of the 1990's catalogue. I hope the quality of the guitar will be the same that the ones who were manufactured in the catalogue, but I don't really know... I thought Westone stop producing guitars on 1991, that's strange...


Last edited by pwell on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by Iceman on Sun Mar 04, 2012 8:59 pm

Good for you, pwell!! Happy to hear you picked her up.

I'll be very interested in hearing your thinking on the build year. Not much information at all exists on Westone past about 1991 that I am aware of, save for the UK models and builds.

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:53 am

Iceman wrote:
I'll be very interested in hearing your thinking on the build year. Not much information at all exists on Westone past about 1991 that I am aware of, save for the UK models and builds.
Well, I can't know the build year, but I can know the year of purchase.

The seller was 34 years old, and the guitar was given to him at the age o 16. So, it was buyed in 1994 aproximatelly.
When I buy him the guitar, the seller presented me a broken-down guitar amp (Park G10). It is made in korea, and it has a serial number that begins for "93", so I supose it is the build year. If he bought the two items together, I guess the guitar was from 1993, but I can't assure 100%.



Maybe it was build in 1990, but it arrived to the shop in 1993... ? It was bought in Spain (I'm from Spain).
Anyway, the guitar seems to be a Spectrum I WE1400 but with a little variation, so probably it was build later than 1990.
Besides, in Westone.info I've read:
Westone.info wrote:
New prices (Oct 1989 US pricelist) were $350 for Black, Red, or White.
Two new finishes are listed Crackle Red and Crackle Mist costing $375.
My guitar seems to be "Crakle Mist", is it? So this colour appreared later, I guess...

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My guitar

Post by pwell on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:18 am

I introduce to you all my recent adquisition... tongue

The Westone came with a cloth bag (pretty padded), a guitar amp (unfortunatelly it's broken-down), and a 5 metres jack cable (not in the pics):


Frontal and rear view:


Zoom and details:



Headneck:


Blows and a little split near the neck:


Neck:


Behind the covers of the back side:



TROUBLES

1- The neck doesn't seem to be bent, but it not goes parallel to the body... that's normal in a guitar with floyd rose?

2- The volume control and the tone control make noise when they turn around.

3- When I put the pickup selector in the middle position, the guitar doesn't sounds!!!

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by beavis on Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:34 am

pwell wrote:

TROUBLES

1- The neck doesn't seem to be bent, but it not goes parallel to the body... that's normal in a guitar with floyd rose?

2- The volume control and the tone control make noise when they turn around.

3- When I put the pickup selector in the middle position, the guitar doesn't sounds!!!

1. Yes this is normal, the necks go slightly downwards.

2. You will need electronics cleaner. Had a horrible time finding it here, as the others on the forum will testify Rolling Eyes . It is not compressed air and it is not lubricant. It gets rid of oxidation and other uncool things and you will have to spray it directly inside the tone and volume pots of your guitar (again, others on here will explain way better than me, I am a beginner at this kind of stuff). You should find this switch cleaner at the do-it or even the strip malls you have in Spain (French Carrefour or Hyper U if you have those, or the equivalent).

3. Sounds like a loose wire to me. First, start by checking if there are any loose wires, then check that the wiring seems to match the corresponding diagram on www.westoneguitars.net and finally, should the problem persist, well I am sure many here will be ready to help!

The guitar's a beauty and in great condition: good job!

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by EvilVOG on Mon Mar 05, 2012 1:49 pm

Looks like you're missing the string locking nuts. you can usually pick them up on ebay for a couple dollars.

The cleaner Beavis mentions, you can substitute (or it's possibly the same stuff) spray cleaner for Radio Controlled vehicles from a hobby store. It's an electronics-safe liquid spray. I used to buy a brand that was called Nitro clean i think.

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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

Post by pwell on Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:40 pm

beavis wrote:
2. You will need electronics cleaner. Had a horrible time finding it here
I know that item. Here in spain it is called "Limpia contactos". I think it will be easy to find.



EvilVOG wrote:
Looks like you're missing the string locking nuts. you can usually pick them up on ebay for a couple dollars.
Look again at the pics. The the three locking nuts are beside the headneck Razz



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Re: Help to find out the model of this Westone guitar

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