Newbie with a new purchase!!

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Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Kaiel on Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:08 pm

Hi all

First post in this wonderful forum! I've been looking on the web for days and I'm so happy this place exists! I think I'm going to annoy you all with endless questions though i'm afraid, sorry! Smile

Anyway hi, I'm Kaiel

I just bought a Westone Thunder 1A, I think

I paid £155 from eBay inc delivery, well it was local so collected it

The reason I'm not sure about it is its missing the truss rod cover but I know it was made in 1982 as per the serial number. It has the script logo on the headstock and active circuitry

As well as the missing truss rod cover, its also missing the battery cover. I dont suppose I can get these anywhere can I? I think I shall be making them otherwise! Brass might be quite cool.........

Anyways, could someone help me? I know very little about these guitars. As a kid I worked after school in an amp shop and they had one as the 'tester' guitar, and I just bought this one mainly for that reason! That was about 20 years ago btw Very Happy

I want to know exactly what I've got, and what it does if possible

Could someone please advise what the 3 switches and pots actually do? I haven't installed the batteries (it looks like it takes 2, that right?!) and the switch closest to the body doesn't do anything, which i'm guessing is a result of having no batteries installed?

Thanks in advance

K

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by norfolkngood on Wed Jul 22, 2009 4:35 pm

Hi Kaiel and welcome.

I haven't got a Thunder but I'm sure somebody on here will be able to help you.

A good starting point for spares is to click on Visit Westone.info on the title-bar at the top of this page. Click on "Spares" and all manner of goodies will be laid before you!

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by corsair on Wed Jul 22, 2009 8:54 pm

Hi there and welcome!! The Thunder is a very well regarded guiatr indeed and I reckon you'll be happy as with it; the controls are described in here...

http://www.westone.info/thunder1a.html

...and you're right; the bottom switch is the boost on/off and wiil have no affect on anything. That said, on my Vantage VA900 which has the same basic layout, switching the boost in with dead batteries mutes the guitar???

I'm not sure what the OEM backplates and battery cover were made from - my VA has anodised aluminium ones - but I'm sure Spares had 'em, and the TRC at one stage... Brass plate woudld indeed be an option, but the Thunders are already quite heavy, aren't they Laughing

Anyway, you gotta show us what you got, man... Smile

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by anaerobe on Wed Jul 22, 2009 10:06 pm

Nice guitar!!
Take some pics and post em up. Welcome to the forums.
Ian (wants a Thunder 1A bounce )

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Kaiel on Thu Jul 23, 2009 5:38 am

Ello all

Firstly, this guitar is absolutely brilliant!! I cannot believe I have got such an incredible guitar for £155, seriously I'm over the moon with it

Its built like a tank! It looks incredibly well made and it plays better than the majority of guitars I've ever played*. The action is possibly even a little too LOW Shocked and the intonation needs sorting but I'm not expert so I think i'll take it in somewhere. I did mess about with it yesterday but I think the truss rod needs adjusting, shortening/lengthening string length didn't solve it anyway

But yeah, couldn't be happier!! Smile Only thing I'm worried about now is buying more of them!

I shall get some pics up tonight, couldn't put it down for long enough yesterday

Regarding the missing bits, I believe they're just black plastic, and I've checked out the SPARES section of the main (?) site and all the bits I need are unavailable Crying or Very sad
Am I to assume that because its so old and now discontinued, that the spares just aren't available?

With regards to switches and knobs, would I be right in thinking:

Switch nearest to strings - coil tap
Corresponding knob - volume
Switch below - some kind of boost?
Corresponding knob - tone boost?! Has a notch halfway through
Switch at bottom - active on/off? No battery in, currently mutes guitar
Corresponding knob - regular tone

I am going to have hours of fun playing about with different configs

Sorry for the long posts by the way, I promise they wont all be like this, I'm just excited! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy

EDIT: I also own -

2 x Fender Tele's, one Tex Mex one standard
1 x Gibson SG
1 x First Act Delia
1 x Johnson Tele copy

1 x Ricky 4001
1 x DeArmond Starfire

The Thunder is by far and away my favourite!

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Steve777 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 7:22 am

Hi Kaiel,

I have several Thunders (1a,2,2a) as I am sure many others do. So ask away if you are stuck or cant find the info on the Westone website. Glad to help

Secondly, any luthier should be able to cut some black plastic to match for the battery cover. However, choice of material, ie brass, plastic, matching wood is entirely up to you and you may want to do the lot at once. Do note that the screws that hold the battery cover on are not wood screws but are fine thread to screw into the metal inserts in the body.

The truss rod cover is a bit more difficult as it is imprinted with the model name. However, these do pop on ebay from time to time. Might be worth circulating your requirements around your local music shops and luthiers. You never know what they have in their spares boxes !! Alternatively, have the plastic cut and shaped and the take it to an engraver ... just a suggestion.

Would I be right in assuming that you are UK based?

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Kaiel on Thu Jul 23, 2009 9:53 am

Steve777 wrote:Hi Kaiel,

I have several Thunders (1a,2,2a) as I am sure many others do. So ask away if you are stuck or cant find the info on the Westone website. Glad to help

Secondly, any luthier should be able to cut some black plastic to match for the battery cover. However, choice of material, ie brass, plastic, matching wood is entirely up to you and you may want to do the lot at once. Do note that the screws that hold the battery cover on are not wood screws but are fine thread to screw into the metal inserts in the body.

The truss rod cover is a bit more difficult as it is imprinted with the model name. However, these do pop on ebay from time to time. Might be worth circulating your requirements around your local music shops and luthiers. You never know what they have in their spares boxes !! Alternatively, have the plastic cut and shaped and the take it to an engraver ... just a suggestion.

Would I be right in assuming that you are UK based?

Hi Steve

Thats correct, I am based in London

I think I'll go down the luthier route for the missing covers. Although I wont be gigging with this for a while so will keep checking on ebay in case they pop up

I'll of course put a wanted notice up here also

Looking at the site, it appears I have the Thunder 1-A, Version 2 (1982-3) - as per the serial number mine was made in 1982

Thanks for your offer of advice, though I'm not sure how glad you'll be after weeks of endless questions Surprised

Looking at the catalogue, I have a coil tap switch, phase switch and equalizer switch. Obviously I know about the coil tap, but what exactly do the other 2 switches do? (I'm 30 years old, played for 2/3rds of that, why do I feel like such a newbie!!)
There is also the equalizer tone which as a centre point. How does this differ from Master Tone?

Thanks in advance

K

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Steve777 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:35 am

I am assuming that your describing the lower of the three brass control knobs marked with a B <---> T. When the boost circuit is operating using the lower of the three switches, from the centre point of the above described knob, you can add further Bass by turning it towards the B, or more treble by turning towards the T. With the boost circuit switched off, this knob has no effect, otherwise known as bypass and you are therefore reliant on the middle brass knob for tone control. This operates whether the boost circuit is on or off and in the same linear way as it would do on a "normal "guitar"

Althought the all the switches and knobs are replaceable on the Thunders, the B <--->T pot is not and I beieve peculiar to Uncle Mat.

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Steve777 on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:39 am

I dont know whether you found this review of the Thunder 1a but this explains alot.

http://www.westone.info/reviews/8312imthunders/index.html

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Kaiel on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:56 am

Utterly brilliant responses!!

Perfect mate, thanks so much, this is exactly what I was looking for

I cant wait to get home now and play about!

Kaiel
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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by corsair on Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:28 pm

Steve777 wrote:Although the all the switches and knobs are replaceable on the Thunders, the B <--->T pot is not and I beieve peculiar to Uncle Mat.

...and perhaps peculiar to Westone; my VA900, which has the same circuit, does not have the B---T on the knob.

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Re: Newbie with a new purchase!!

Post by Barry on Thu Jul 23, 2009 4:25 pm

Kaiel wrote:...I cant wait to get home now and play about!
Hi Kaeil, and welcome to the forum. I'm a bit slow in catching up on recent posts.

I have an 1981 Thunder I-A which I picked up about 6 months ago. I can't add much more to what the other folks have already said except to say that it is indeed one of the most extraordinary guitars I've ever owned or played! Its range of tones is astounding and the boost from the active circuitry is startling to say the least!

The weight does take some getting used to though if you don't normally play heavy guitars. Once you get past that though, it's pure Uncle Mats with one of the most fantastically comfortable necks ever designed IMHO.

Don't worry too much about what switch does what. Just play and experiment.
You'll be endlessly delighted! Very Happy

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