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

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

Post by The Chad on Tue Sep 08, 2015 1:07 pm

Lol, yes, that will reveal a lot!  

Epoxy may work, depends on what it has to hold onto. 

I had a strat with a break like yours, epoxy worked just fine.

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

Post by Barry on Tue Sep 08, 2015 8:05 pm

Dunno 'bout Loctite, never really used it, but my understanding is that it's mainly for use on metal to metal applications, no?

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

Post by akinschris on Sun Sep 13, 2015 7:00 am

Well...so far my north Florida engineering has held with the Loctite x8. I have no illusions it will hold up long term and am prepared at some point to either replace the whole hunk of wood around the damaged area.

Yesterday the neck came in. I've been forever mindful of The Chad's experience, mentioned on a previous page, as well as the experience outlined on the Westone page, also by the Chad and another user, at http://www.westoneguitars.net/fixme/hardware-repairs/bendmaster-ft-bridge-replacement and have appreciated the input of everyone.

Today I'm installing the machine heads - except I have to drill out the peghead holes. They're 10 mm and the machine heads are 25/64, I think (I got precise measurements, but they're not in front of me). I think the closest drill bit size is 13/32. So on the drill press it goes, slow and easy like.

The neck - I specified a headstock painted black on the front and a natural finish on the back of the entire neck. I got a neck painted entirely in black which is a darker shade of black than the swirl, but...it works, I suppose.

I eyeballed the two necks and they appear near precise. I, of course, know it won't matter until I go to intonate the thing, which could be later today, if everything goes as planned. I still need to install the electronics, but can do that with it strung.

Also, the Floyd Rose nut supplied with the bridge is a 43mm, and I need a 42mm, so ordered that. That 1 mm overhang is driving me nuts. Ugh...everything's been off by a hair, but I can say as frustrating as this has been at times, I've enjoyed it...


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

Post by akinschris on Sat Sep 19, 2015 10:17 am

So far so good. I need to shimmy the neck to raise it a little while adjust the angle of the neck. Initial experiments with intonation shows it should intonate properly. It might off 10-30 cents on the 1st string, but we'll see....

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

Post by akinschris on Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:30 am

I soldered the pickups and pots with a split coil and phase. Grand total time - 5 hours. I'm still not sure I did it completely right, though I went by the diagram.

Also, the neck I was having major issues with so I took it to a guy that does my set-ups locally. He'll do the finishing touches that are beyond my scope and tools - fret dressing, etc. I had a string that I simply couldn't not keep from deadening and don't know what the deal was. So, by Tuesday I should have the finished product.

For what I spent on it I could have bought a kit and put it together for a 1/4 of the cost, but...I've enjoyed it. Smile Final pics to come soon.

And when I did to the initial tuning and testing it did sound amazing - crunchy distortion, excellent harmonics - Chris was immensely happy.

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

Post by The Chad on Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:19 am

Excited to see the final pics!

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

Post by akinschris on Sat Sep 26, 2015 7:23 am

The beast is done. Outside of headstock decals and truss rod cover, I'm finished.  cheers cheers

Chad, you'll be happy to know the bridge I installed has intonated PERFECTLY! I did have to take it to my luthier for a fret dressing and final set-up. I simply was unable to do what he did, though I intend on learning from him. As an added bonus, it stays in tune. Also, my north Florida engineering of Loctite 8X polyurethane construction adhesive on the bridge is holding.

Here are final pics. Smile

To be sure there are defects. My fave quote from the luthier, Rob Trebor of RPJ Guitar Works (http://www.rpjguitarworks.com), was, "your soldering job...wasn't....that bad. I've seen professionals with 15 years experience who don't do as well." I'm extremely near sighted and lack some depth perception - I know a glob of solder went all over one area, completely missing a lug. 

I'm taking it back in two weeks for the final set-up. The neck, since it was brand new, had some issues - the frets were loose and was just a mess. I'm also putting strings specifically for drop-tuning (this one will be my D tuning guitar) for lower action, though it's already low.

I included at the bottom a diagram of the Seymour Duncan wiring diagram (I put a Dimebucker (http://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/dimebucker) in the bridge and a Black Winter bridge (http://www.seymourduncan.com/pickup/black-winter-trembucker) in the neck - yes, they're HOOOOOOT). I thought it would take maybe 2-3 hours for me to do. Nooooo...it took 5, and at the end two of the wires came off and had to re-do them. Then I forgot a basic tenet of soldering. Sand lightly the back of a pot and that gives the solder something to hold on to. Also, instead of one tone/one volume I opted for two volume. I've never in my life used the tone knob for anything. 

I did take my time with in in some aspects; others, not so much because I lacked patience at times. It took three attempts to get the swirl right. However, when stripping the paint from the first try I also took the wood filler on one of the jobs and I was too impatient to fill in back in and you can see the results in the end. I used too much clear coat on the edges and it has "fogged" on the edges. Probably will stay that way, but it's OK. I sanded through the finish on a couple of spots. I have a 43 mm nut - I need a 42 mm nut. I'll have that fixed when I take it back to Rob for the final adjustment. That 1 mm overhang is driving me bonkers and the action is a little too high.

Little tweaks I did that I did that may or may not help: I lined the pickup cavities and control cavity with copper tape; put foam in the pickup cavities between the body and pickups (supposedly helps with tone), put a 42 mm sustain block on the Floyd Rose.

I'm extremely pleased with it, though I'll always see the defects - it does sound and look amazing.

I'll be now moving on to my next project when I get another $400 or so - a coffin-shaped guitar, painted bright yellow, with a blood splatter pattern - http://www.bargainmusician.com/inc/sdetail/cf_body_style/116/247. Blood pattern video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1xJWNR5sjg.








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

Post by Barry on Sat Sep 26, 2015 11:51 am

Well sir, this ain't yer grandpa's DX anymore!
Congratulations on surviving it all. That was quite a transformation.

One of the best features of the Spectrum line is the neck, so I'm sad that it's gone, but I'm sure you'll enjoy her new fancy-schmancy neck Chris. Nice job.

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

Post by Sgt. Vimes on Sat Sep 26, 2015 3:12 pm

Well done! 
Not to my tastes at all,  but aint that what life is about,  variety? 
Not quite sure this can be called a Westone anymore!  Smile

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

Post by akinschris on Sat Sep 26, 2015 6:07 pm

No, I supposed can't be called a genuine Westone anymore. I'm glad though it was able to live a second life and give e the opportunity to create something I've always wanted. I've had this idea in mind for literally years..decided to pull the trigger...

Thanks, all, for the feedback and comments. I've truly enjoyed sharing this project with everyone.

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

Post by The Chad on Sun Sep 27, 2015 11:38 am

Super job, looks fantastic and if it plays well... Then you win!  Have you seen it with black pickup rings? I think it may look even better that way?  Try it, you nay love it...

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

Post by akinschris on Mon Sep 28, 2015 6:42 am

I looked at black and considered it. I had lots of people trying to steer me to black. For whatever reason I wanted to go with the gold look. On future builds I'll use black. But on this one I wanted it to shine...literally.


Last edited by akinschris on Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:21 am; edited 1 time in total

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

Post by The Chad on Mon Sep 28, 2015 8:15 am

Good on ya for taking the project by the horns and making it your own!  A lot of people wouldn't venture that far.  Love to see projects turn the corner and see the light of day!

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

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