Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

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Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Clive Shakedown on Sun Jul 28, 2013 7:48 am

Hi everyone.

I have been using Westone basses for the last 30 years and Hope you can help,

I have an 82 Thunder 3 as my main giging bass, this was bought new and has done thousands of gigs all over Europe.

(also use a thunder 2 and a 1) also 82's.

Recently the T3 has been sounding "muffled" or maybe less punchy than it did, possibly more "wooly"

hard to describe really but it doesn't have the punch or bite that it did.

I only use the neck pickup, (amp is GK with GK 2x15 cabs)

Could my pickup be wearing out?  is there a replacement? and how would I test this theory? I do have a ohm meter.

No changes have been made to pickup or pole pieces height for around 25 years.

I hope someone may be able to advise me.

Thank you in advance.

 Edit, Sorry, I just looked at your pages again and it seems the pickups may not be the same on my T2 and T3, my T3 (with the problem) is exactly the same as the Walnut fretless T3 on your website model list only with frets, and the T2 is just as your photo of the Savannah yellow one.


Last edited by Clive Shakedown on Sun Jul 28, 2013 2:03 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : new information to aid in a fix.)

Clive Shakedown
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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 28, 2013 8:22 am

Does the phase switch make any difference to the sound?

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Barry on Sun Jul 28, 2013 10:50 am

Hello Clive and welcome.

If you have had it set on the neck pup only for a very long time there's a good chance the selector switch has built up some oxidation. It doesn't take much to throttle the signal. Have you tried the simplest thing, which is a squirt of contact cleaner and a liberal trashing of the toggle?

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Clive Shakedown on Sun Jul 28, 2013 1:50 pm

Hi Westbone and Barry.

Thanks for your replies, the phase switch does little or nothing to the sound, but if I recall correctly it never really did, also I have checked my Thunder 2 (with one hopes is the same wiring and pickups) and the phase switch on that one also doesn't do much, perhaps a small "hollowing" of the sound if anything.
I have taken Barry's advise just now and unfortunately no joy there.
I'm thinking perhaps bad strings? I use rotosound solo bass 45 - 105, never had a bad set yet but I guess it's worth a try.

Also, as I understand from your pages, the pick ups on my T3 and T2 should be the same, and yet the T2 clips the amp on full volume, where as the T3 with the odd sound doesn't.

Thank you for your prompt replies.

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Westbone on Sun Jul 28, 2013 3:48 pm

Errr! have you checked the batteries?

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by umpdv5000 on Mon Jul 29, 2013 4:12 am

Good point made by Westbone about checking the batteries. But as the sound is being muffled, it could well be that your tone pot is faulty and pushing your signal through the tone capacitor, or as silly as this may be... have you made sure that the tone knob its turned up full? If its the pot that's going faulty (which can happen) a squirt of switch cleaner into the pot slots (on the rear of the pot) and rotate the knob a number of times may do the trick. If this doesn't cure it, you would need to test the resistances on the pins of the pot to determine if it was faulty and if it was, replacement is required.

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Clive Shakedown on Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:10 pm

Thanks ump.

I will try the pot cleaning, as for the batteries, I haven't had any in there for 20 years, I use the active/passive switch as a mute/standby control!
Will let you know how I get on.

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Westbone on Tue Jul 30, 2013 2:38 am

Well at least we're getting somewhere. You don't use the actives!!

Get some fine wet n' dry and clean the jack socket.

A service every now and then certainly helps. Good luck.

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Clive Shakedown on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:16 pm

A quick update, I took the bass to Robin at Remade Guitars in Oxford, He cleaned the bridge saddles and took out and cleaned the removable pole pieces and it sounds great again.
So thanks for all your help and thanks to Robin.

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:25 pm

Thumb Up 


maybe that'll spurr you on to keep it clean in future?

Very Happy

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

Post by Westbone on Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:09 pm

Yep, guitars don't like gunk.

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Re: Westone Thunder 3 bass pickups problem.

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