New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

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New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:20 am

I have an Westone Spectrum DX with all original equipment. It sat in a closet for 20+ years. I've decided to take up guitar playing again and want to use this essentially as a project guitar, essentially just using the body - new neck, pickups, bridge, swirl paint job, etc. Essentially the only thing original left on this will be the body.

My question: I've read through the forums and have seen where the Gotoh Floyd Rose Bridge is a suitable replacement for the Bendmaster FT but that the Guitar Fetish Floyd Rose, while dropping right in, will not intonate correctly. Would this carry over to the Bendmaster DX as well or is it specific to the Bendmaster FT? If i'm going to have major issues I don't want to take on a project that won't work toward the end.

Would replacing the neck, as I want to do anyway, with a neck specifically for the Floyd Rose fix this issue? Or is intonation issue directly tied to where the posts are on the body and neck will not have any impact?

As it is I've narrowed down to a neck and bridge that, if I get the answer I hope to get, I will purchase and install. If not, not biggie and I'm not out anything. But I think it would be fun, educational, and have something unique if I were to get it up and running.

This is my first time doing this, am in no rush, and am doing this strictly for fun because I turned 40 and apparently science suggest as we get older we take up projects that take long amounts of time. On the other hand I have a Bendmaster DX that, while rusted along the rollers, appears to be in near perfect shape, though I'm missing the whammy bar.

Your thoughts?

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by westcoaster on Fri Aug 14, 2015 7:55 am

Please dont take this the wrong way, im not having a dig at you but I can't imagine why you'd want to do that with what is, i assume, a perfectly good Westone. 

Why not just sell it & buy the parts to put together the guitar you want.

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Fri Aug 14, 2015 8:02 am

Truthfully, just personal preference. Smile

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Sun Aug 16, 2015 8:53 am

I've decided to move forward with this with eyes wide shut. I'll use this forum, if the moderators are amenable, to post progress and experience.

What I will end up with is of course not a modified Westone but...maybe a Frankenwestone?

It will be a swirled patriotic paint job, Floyd Rose bridge, probably Seymour Duncan Dimebag pickup in the bridge and Seymour Duncan Distortion bridge pickup in the neck (I did this with another guitar and it sounds amazing). I'm happy to hear thoughts and recommendations from others.

The question I imagine some are asking is "why?". Essentially - I want to. I've been wanting, as a project, to customize a guitar for my own edification.

Here's a before pic of the guitar and what I want it to look like. The next few pics will document my progress. I hope to be done in the next 60 days or so.


The before picture.

And what I want it to look like:


The next post will come later today documenting the stripping, filling in wood chips, and priming/sealing the body.

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Barry on Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:32 am

Many of us have refinished, modded, and changed out hardware, etc on our Westies. Sometimes out of preference, other times out of necessity. But it is seldom we would see a completely radical change of the sort you're proposing here.

The Spectrum line has a lot of fans here. In particular, the neck, which for me is one of the best neck designs ever made. To replace that seems like a step down. Similarly, the Bendmaster is a solid, reliable design. I don't see any advantage in replacing it with a FR. Chances are you'll be into a world of hurt trying to make it work correctly.

If you're interested in building/modding your own guitar, you might be better off grabbing something less well designed and keeping the DX intact. You can always swap out the pickups, etc without ruining the integrity of the build.

But in the end, it's your guitar and you can do as you wish. We'll watch your progress with interest. Good luck!

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Sun Aug 16, 2015 1:26 pm

Barry, your point is well taken and I appreciate your input.

I did struggle with this and as backup I've kept all the original hardware and will put it back in, including the neck.

The BMDX bridge is in great shape, but needs the rust on the rollers removed which is easy enough. The neck is badly discolored and I don't know why, which, while not affecting the playability, made it bit of an eyesore.

I can say 4 hours into stripping it I was regretting it. :-)

I'll keep you posted...

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:10 pm

Day Two: finished filling dings, pits, and gouges; sanded with 150, 220, 320, and 400 grit sandpaper. Sealed and primed with a white shellac oil sealer/primer so I can use the oil based paint for the dip.

I finally see daylight on this. Next weekend will be the dip.

After stripping, filling dings and gouges and sanding with 50, 80, and 150 grit sandpaper:




After sanding with 220, 320, and 400 grit sandpaper:





And after it's been sealed and primed:




Project for next weekend - the dip.


Last edited by akinschris on Sun Aug 16, 2015 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Clarified the primer.)

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by corsair on Sun Aug 16, 2015 5:32 pm

Oooh... yeah; those DuPont finishes take some shifting, eh!!

Keep'em coming!!

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Mon Aug 17, 2015 5:53 pm

Finally decided on a "Starry Night" swirl motif. Though there are 5 main colors in starry night I ended up sticking with Reflex Blue, Primrose Yellow, and Black - I ordered 1Shot paints through Dick Blick, which seems to be a higher quality paint, and should be for the cost.

My goal this Saturday is to get a large container - say a garbage can with a wide opening or a storage storage bin large enough to completely immerse the guitar.

The basic idea from what I've been able to ascertain via research:

Borax - 1.5 tbsp per gallon of water
Water - approx 78-80 degrees.

Use pipettes to drop the paint onto the surface of the water, let it spread, insert, and let dry.

I'm hopeful, so we'll see. Next post will be Saturday with post-dip results.

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Barry on Mon Aug 17, 2015 8:14 pm

Yikes!  affraid

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:14 am

I'm ordering the neck this week and have identified the Floyd Rose bridge.

I understand and have learned through the forums that intonation is a problem with a new bridge on the old neck, but that a Gotoh or, interestingly, a floyd rose-similar floating tremolo from Guitar Fetish will work with a little tweaking. Either way is fine and I'm going to be measuring from the fret to the rollers to make sure I can get it as accurate as possible and hopefully install the neck once. I might have to shimmy it or cut it or whatever, but I'm prepared and have the patience to do that, I think. I guess we'll find out. :p I guess what I'm getting at is I'm not going to get mad and deem it a failure and wig out.

But, today's focus is on the neck - I've identified a neck that fits the specs I want, has the "Tree of Life" inlays (think Steve Vai) with a Schecter-style 3-on-a-side headstock on the front in black with a natural finish on the back.

I toyed with getting a raw neck and swirling the headstock and finishing it myself, but I'm not hung up one way or the other on it.

The paint should be delivered tomorrow - I'm very excited about that. I will take pics and maybe a video of the swirl as it happens, but def pics. My Plan B if the swirl doesn't work is to paint it white and do a blood splatter design on it.

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Westbone on Wed Aug 19, 2015 3:15 pm

Thought you would have cut a hand grab cutout in the upper bout.

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:05 pm

Noooooooo....I'm keeping cutting to a minimum on this project. I haven't had to do any, though I suspect, based on what I read I might have to do some adjustment on the neck. 

Today I ordered wiring and electronics (except for the pickups) and all gold-toned hardware for it - knobs, jack, machine heads, strap locks, etc.

I think for the pickups I'm going to order a Seymour Dimebucker in the bridge and maybe a Seymour Distoration bridge pickup in the neck.

I'm excited about this...

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by corsair on Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:39 pm

Take no notice of Westbone; he's our resident curmudgeon and has a forthright sense of humour!! LaughingLaughing Laughing This  should be interesting; Westbone suggested a swirl finish for a guitar I was restoring some time ago and I was tempted momentarily. In the end I opted to go a different direction so looking forward to seeing the process....
Gold hardware, eh?! Personally, I loathe it because my gigging guitar which I have had for 25+ years looks awfully tatty because the plating wears off with enough hours wear and tear, and I've modified a very nice APII LC 440 from gold hardware to black, which improved the looks 150%.... IMO!! Laughing
Anyway.. liking what you're doing so far....

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:59 pm

I appreciate the support. I'm really excited about it all. I do look forward to sharing everything with y'all!

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Westbone on Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:14 am

corsair wrote:Take no notice of Westbone; he's our resident curmudgeon

Carefull!!! don't act like a Hori...LaughingLaughing

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Westbone on Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:16 am

akinschris wrote:I appreciate the support. I'm really excited about it all. I do look forward to sharing everything with y'all!

When your finished it can be added here...Laughing
http://forum.westoneguitars.net/t5346-rogues-gallery

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by corsair on Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:32 am

Westbone wrote:
corsair wrote:Take no notice of Westbone; he's our resident curmudgeon

Carefull!!! don't act like a Hori...LaughingLaughing
 Hee hee hee... I wonder how many others in here will get the reference!!

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Iceman on Thu Aug 20, 2015 9:38 pm

...or want to...   Rolling Eyes

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by The Chad on Fri Aug 21, 2015 12:50 pm

I hope I'm not too late to chime in here... use a Gotoh 1996t trem.  It is one of the most stable, fluid and smooth floyd's available. 

Read my posts about it.  You'll need to slightly mod the trem cavity, as I'd outlined.  And you'll need the maximum length sustain block.   Do not cheap out, if you're going through all this work, get the Gotoh.  I have it on my Dynasty, it is amazing.  And I use it. 

I have somewhat exhaustively outlined the process somewhere... let me see if I can find it for you.

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by The Chad on Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:25 pm

Found it.  Read all of this.  Especially the links.  The trem posts will need to be replaced.   Do this before painting.  

CLICK HERE!

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by akinschris on Sat Aug 22, 2015 5:34 pm

Ugh. I already painted and ordered a Guitar Fetish tremolo. If I need to send it back I can. The budget is a big issue for me. :/

Also, as an update - I did swirl paint and...I'm not totally loving it, but not hating it. 

Not bad, I suppose, for a first attempt.

The back side came out GREAT! The front side...not so much. Blotchy and running. Used too much paint.

Results are here - back side.


Front side:
 

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by corsair on Sat Aug 22, 2015 7:08 pm

ooops... sand back and start again?? The back looks OK...

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Barry on Sat Aug 22, 2015 9:07 pm

I think the vertical hold on my TV just went on the blink... ba dum bum

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sun Aug 23, 2015 2:41 am

Dance 3

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Re: New Bridge & Neck on Westone Spectrum DX - Advice Needed on Neck and Bridge Replacement

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