Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

Post by DerekWildstar on Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:39 am

Wow... I feel like I've finally come home. When I first started learning guitar, my Dad gave me a white Westone Spectrum II XA1230. When I asked my guitar teacher if he knew about it, he described it as a Japanese copy of a Jackson. Ok, fair enough. It played, and it was comfortable. It sounded weak (at least from the humbucker position), but it was nice enough to learn on.

Over the years, I picked up a Kamen acoustic, and a Yamaha classical guitar, but still the Westone hung around. As EVH was my childhood idol, I used black electrical tape to give it a tape-stripe (literally) design. My uncle, who also plays guitar, had a spare Dimarzio humbucker laying around that was a little beat up, but worked fine, so into the Westone it went. Now it could roar. I was given a really nice Telecaster one Christmas (I mean, really nice), but I didn't have the heart to get rid of the old Westone.

Many years later, I still have it, and honestly, it gets played about 80% of the time. I love it. For a relatively low-cost guitar for the time, it's got great tone. I mean, seriously, I love the sound. And it just kind of fits me.... I don't know how else to explain it. The cheesy tape stripes are still on it, the white is now more like a shade of yellow, and it's got a little surface oxidation on the tremolo, but it's my guitar, dammit.

So here is my question- I'm thinking of taking it to a proper tech to have it re-fretted, have the neck straightened, and have the electronics sorted (I'm getting a hum, and the pickup selector switch ain't what it used to be). Are there any Westone-specific quirks I should tell the tech about, and anything I should or shouldn't avoid having done while the guitar is being serviced? I did look up specific questions (such as advice for adjusting the Bendmaster Deluxe) in the Technical forums, but I guess I'm just looking for any other miscellany that might be good to know before it goes in for service. Your advice is appreciated, as the Westone really is my baby!

DerekWildstar
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 44
Location : Philadelphia, PA
Registration date : 2014-04-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

Post by The Chad on Tue Apr 29, 2014 2:38 pm

If you have a good tech, one that won't just see "MONEY!" when he sees you walk in, he'll take care of you.  If you have specific questions please fire away, we need specifics.  We like to care of our own repairs when possible, you can too with a little help from us.

The Chad
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 2451
Location : Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Registration date : 2011-02-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

Post by DerekWildstar on Wed May 14, 2014 11:38 am

Thanks for the response, Chad. I understand where you're coming from about specifics. I guess my question, though, was more of the "you don't know what you don't know" category, if there were any specifics related to Westones that people had picked up that I should be aware before seeing the tech. I also have seen that a lot of people here work on their own guitars. That's not a skill set I have yet, and I'd rather not practice and learn on my Westone. It's got a lot of sentimental value at this point, and I'd rather not take a chance and mess something up (because I learn best from my mistakes, but that also means I make a lot of mistakes while I'm learning).

That said, I did find a good tech whose estimate didn't charge an arm and a leg, and who actually recognized the brand without me saying anything. I think his exact words, upon seeing me take it out of the case, were, "Oh, Westone! This is that little company from Japan in the 80's, right? They made some good stuff." Feeling more reassured, we went through the guitar with a fine-tooth comb, and actually, not that much was wrong with it. It definitely needs a re-fret (some of the frets were starting to look like a fretless bass), the neck will be straightened, it's getting a new pickup selector switch (the old one is shot), and a couple little odds and ends are being taken care of (new cover for one of the Gotoh tuners, one of my back cover plates is cardboard and has some rot, probably from humidity, etc). I should be picking it back up last week. I've been playing my Telecaster while the Westone has been in the shop, and as nice as a guitar as it is, I miss my Spectrum.

DerekWildstar
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 44
Location : Philadelphia, PA
Registration date : 2014-04-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

Post by The Chad on Wed May 14, 2014 11:42 am

Glad you have a good tech, that means a lot.  You'll love it newly fretted, what a huge difference that makes.  Let us know how you like it once you get it back.   And we need pics!

The Chad
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 2451
Location : Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Registration date : 2011-02-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

Post by DerekWildstar on Mon May 19, 2014 2:15 pm

Wow, what a difference a properly set-up guitar makes. I got my Spectrum back from the tech, and it's like having a whole new instrument. Between the re-fret, the sanded and oiled fretboard, the straightened neck, and all of the electronics now properly working, it's really an impressive little machine.

The biggest difference so far is that the tech finally got the Bendmaster Deluxe working properly. It would always make a great "dive-bomber" sound, but I would always have to wait until the very last note of a song to do it, because it would be horribly out of tune immediately afterward. Not anymore. I even did the thing from "Judgment Day" by Van Halen where you press the whammy bar until the strings go slack and then move it up and down rapidly, causing the strings to vibrate against the fretboard. When I came back up and hit an A-chord, it was still in tune! I was thrilled.

Photos to come, I promise!

DerekWildstar
Westone Nut

Number of posts : 44
Location : Philadelphia, PA
Registration date : 2014-04-23

Back to top Go down

Re: Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

Post by The Chad on Mon May 19, 2014 2:16 pm

Great to hear!  Pics when you can.

The Chad
Financial supporter

Number of posts : 2451
Location : Harrisburg, Pennsylvania
Registration date : 2011-02-01

Back to top Go down

Re: Spectrum XA 1230... Personal history and a question

Post by Sponsored content Today at 3:01 am


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