Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

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Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Sat Dec 26, 2009 10:28 am

Hi, i'm new here, i got myself a Westone Thunder I.


See: http://s591.photobucket.com/albums/ss351/munkieNL/guitars/Westone%20Thunder%20I/

It's a real fixer-upper as you can see. Tele(!) PU in the neck position, broken-off 3 way switch, non-original knobs. Last but not least: worn frets. But, the price was right and the build quality of this old Jap guitar blew me away. I'm an old geezer who's been playing for 30 years, i've had so much gear i could write a book about it.

Alas the original brass knobs are missing. Needle-in-a-haystack probably. But who has them/knows someone who has them etc.?

BTW, just got in a complete, original and OK Spectrum ST:



http://s591.photobucket.com/albums/ss351/munkieNL/guitars/Westone%20Spectrum%20ST/

Butt ugly but again, what a high quality guitar, what a bargain, the whammy bar stays In TUNE if you don't do dive-bombs.

Greetz from Holland!

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Sat Dec 26, 2009 12:34 pm

Hi munkieNL and welcome to the Forums!
You have two "keepers" there!
The Thunder is repairable, because as you say, the build quality is outstanding on the Mats guitars. Why would anyone put in a SC pup when the Thunder already has a coil split switch built in????
So many of these poor babies take a beating from uncaring owners but they keep on rocking!

You may be able to find a replacement pickup from either a forum member or eBay, but the brass knobs? Well, those are scarcer than rocking horse poo. You'll not likely have as much luck replacing those. There are similar reproductions available online but none are exactly the same size or material quality.

I have Spectrum ST just like yours that I bought new in '85 and gigged with for many years. Still a solid little guitar...can't beat the Spectrums.

If you can give us more pix, especially as you restore them and clean 'em up, that would be great.
We live to look at guitar 'porn' here!

Check out the info site for more information on Thunders and Specrums HERE

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Sun Dec 27, 2009 7:07 am

Thanks for your reply. I was afraid the knobs could be a problem. Oh well. I have a GFS Crunchy Paf humbucker that will be mounted in the neck position, it's 4 wire so splittable. I will practice my fretting skills first on a cheapo Strat neck and then on a cheapo acoustic off the flea market. Before getting my hands dirty on the Thunder.

The seller of the Spectrum also had the matching bass, oh GAS Where am i going to leave all those guitars? It's credit crunch, they're almost for free

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by DuoFuzz on Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:17 am

Hi munkieNL

That's some nice Westones you got yourself there, welcome to group therapy

It appears that our Thunder 1's may have been separated at birth! This is my 1982 Thunder 1-A model as I bought it.



As Barry mentioned, you might be able to get lucky on eBay and score an original pickup (known as MMK 45's). I managed to get a pair to replace the single coils some "expert" had fitted to my guitar. In the short term I would get that single coil out of there and find a decent neck humbucker that can be coil tapped (The wiring diagrams are HERE on the westone.info site)

As for them pesky brass control knobs, they've become a bit of a running joke on this forum, they are nearly always missing from these guitars and no one knows where they go to? (Notice the crappy hi-fi knobs fitted to my guitar!) I got some replacements from the spares department HERE over on the westone.info site, but sadly the supply for these and a lot of the other spares has dried up recently. Until someone can start making reproduction ones you will have to keep your eye's peeled on eBay.

I do have an alternative, if you're interested and you can find them?



These are replica Gretsch style knobs without the usual "G" brand embossed on them. I had them on the 1-A above before I got the brass ones. They match the size of the originals but they are gold plated which can look a bit to cheesy for some people!

Hope this helps,

DAN.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Sun Dec 27, 2009 10:51 am

munkieNL wrote:...I have a GFS Crunchy Paf humbucker that will be mounted in the neck position, it's 4 wire so splittable...
That should do nicely! You can always keep an eye out for an MMK45 and swap it later.

I will practice my fretting skills first on a cheapo Strat neck and then on a cheapo acoustic off the flea market. Before getting my hands dirty on the Thunder.
Good on ya. I have a couple of fret jobs staring at me but I've never done one so they'll have to wait until I screw up my courage (as opposed to screwing up the guitar).

The seller of the Spectrum also had the matching bass, oh GAS. Where am i going to leave all those guitars? It's credit crunch, they're almost for free
I feel your pain. I currently have 21 guitars...and a wife with a permanently pissed off expression on her face! Still, you gotta strike while the iron's hot, eh? I had the same thing happen on the last 3, two of which were dirt cheap. The last one (Vantage VE-550) was pricier than I normally pay but it is a rarer model, so of course I had to have it!

Couarge mon brave!

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Sun Dec 27, 2009 11:08 am

Hey Dan, I'm just looking at your Thunder and munkie's, and then at my I-A.
As much as I like the "natural" look I'm starting to like the contrast of the coloured wings against that maple/walnut striping centre core.

I have to replace the barrel saddle bridge on it anyway, and I'm thinking...
I'm not sure about black, but maybe...whatcherthink?

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Sun Dec 27, 2009 12:58 pm

Thanks again for the replies folks. Hi-fi/amp knobs now there's a concept. I also collect vintage turntables and other hi-fi gear, mainly 1970's Japanese stuff. Same stunning build quality, massive knobs etc. Alas mostly aluminum.

Very nice natural Thunder there. Mine has 2 planks of ash per side, the seam is hardly visible but there. The finish is very dark but not 100% black, you can see the grain of the wood. I saw a natural Thunder like that FS here in Holland in the original case, GAS but it's considerably more expensive than mine.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by DuoFuzz on Sun Dec 27, 2009 2:11 pm

Hi munkieNL

I really like the colour on your guitar. It's officially known as Ash Black and from what I could find in the catalogues, it was only mentioned as a colour for the Thunder 1 from 1981 to early '83. I can't remember seeing any with that finish on the forum, or eBay for that matter. It could be rare!

Barry wrote:
As much as I like the "natural" look I'm starting to like the contrast of the coloured wings against that maple/walnut striping centre core.
I know what you mean about the contrasting colours Barry, I have this mess waiting for it's resurrection.



It's finished in Sunset Red but needs a full repaint. I don't know what the paint is made but it laughed in the face of some Nitromors paint stripper I tested on it recently. I think I'm gonna need a large tin of elbow grease. (Also note that this has 2 the piece wings like munkie's. I think this is an '82 model but I can't be sure, the serial number is on the neck plate and that's missing.)

DAN.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:07 am

I used a paint stripper on a cheapo Richwood Strat a while ago. The finish came off in less than an hour. be careful though not to burn the wood and not to make deep scratches you can't sand off anymore.

I think i've seen that red Thunder, don't you put a Tele neck on that body That's even worse than my Tele neck pickup

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Mon Dec 28, 2009 6:16 am

ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT ALERT

Ok everybody awake now? I'm corresponding with a guy here in Holland who can machine solid brass potmeter knobs. He's willing to make me 3 new knobs for my Thunder. I need:

-close-up shots of the original Thunder knobs

-diameter, height, diameter of the hole inside in millimeters(metric system!)

-set screw for mounting the knob on the potmeter axis?

I don't know the price yet but he's willing to get to work.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:28 pm

DuoFuzz wrote:I really like the colour on your guitar. It's officially known as Ash Black...
Really striking; much more interesting than solid black. Like it a lot.

I don't know what the paint is made but it laughed in the face of some Nitromors paint stripper I tested on it recently.
Yeah, Uncle Mat knew how to paint 'em eh? If I recall there's some information on the Mats finish somewhere! (It may be on the Guitar Galley site)...Catalyzed Polyester I believe.

As to removing it...never had to yet, but those who have seem to have had a laborious time of it.
Our own Polly-ester has likely got some experience with this I'm thinking! Oh Polly, are you there luv?

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Mon Dec 28, 2009 2:34 pm

munkieNL wrote:Ok everybody awake now? I'm corresponding with a guy here in Holland who can machine solid brass potmeter knobs. He's willing to make me 3 new knobs for my Thunder.
Good for you. Several members have gone 'round the bend on the issue of knobs repros. The Switchmasters on the Spectrums are almost a lost cause, very unique. But with the brass cylinders you at least have a fighting chance.

You should search these forums for information, I'm pretty certain you'll find most if not all the info you need. You might also try looking in the Guitar Gallery (Matsumoku) Forums: http://www.matsumoku.org/ggboard/index.php

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Tue Dec 29, 2009 4:12 pm

The Saga continues...

An owner/seller of a nice natural Thunder here in Holland measured the knobs for me in mm's ( metric system):

Diameter: 22.5 mm

Height: 14 mm

Diameter of the hole inside: 6 mm

There's an indent at the bottom with the following measures:

Diameter: 16 mm

Depth: 3 mm


He even sent me some detail pix:







Sent the data to the guy here in Holland who's going to make the knobs for me. I'll keep you posted.

BTW i found a site here in Holland selling repro knobs for old radios. Scroll down to the 3rd image on this page:

Repro knobs

Doesn't it look like the knobs on the Spectrum?

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Wed Dec 30, 2009 12:29 pm

Ya know, that Philips knob is about the closest thing I've seen to the original Switchmaster design. Of course we have no idea if the shaft diameter is the same, but I'm certain that could be accommodated if necessary. The only obvious thing missing is the little white dot on the top. Again not a big problem.

You may be on to something there munkie! Thanks for the lead. king

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by hendrik on Wed Dec 30, 2009 2:59 pm

Yes, the Philips knob is close to Spectrum knobs.
Just had a look to compare it with my Spectrum's.

Seems a perfect fit.

H.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:27 pm

I've got a reply from the guy here in Holland. He's not only willing to make 3 knobs for me, he's willing to make even MORE knobs! Solid brass, smooth edges NOT knurled, set screw. 30 euro per 3 including P&P within the Netherlands. Anyone interested?

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:29 pm

Hi all! Just got a reply from the guy here in Holland. He's willing to make me 3 solid brass knobs, he's willing to make even MORE KNOBS! Smooth edges NOT knurled, set screw. 30 euro including P&P within the Netherlands. Anyone interested?

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Brass knobs for a thunder

Post by turnersmews on Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:12 pm

munkieNL wrote:I've got a reply from the guy here in Holland. He's not only willing to make 3 knobs for me, he's willing to make even MORE knobs! Solid brass, smooth edges NOT knurled, set screw. 30 euro per 3 including P&P within the Netherlands. Anyone interested?

I am happy buy a set with you.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by munkieNL on Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:21 am

The guy mailed me later on. 30 euro wasn't even enough to pay for the materials, but a man a man a word a word. Besides it's hardly interesting for him to make 3 knobs, he'd rather make 15 knobs or so.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by boutjp97 on Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:52 am

LINK This is a US company out of Texas but check out the custom guitar knob section. Some pretty good looking brass ones. $30 USD plus shipping per pair, not sure of the dimensions of this knob but it was made for a tele so if you have a tele knob check it out or just email him (update...I have emailed the company and asked about shipping, dimensions, and custom making a limited run to the above listed specs, I'll let you all know when I know). If he doesn't ship international I would be happy to accept paypal and buy/receive/re-ship internationally for any of you at actual cost of items and shipping (I may need a favor from your area some day). There are other members from Texas on here also, maybe someone lives close to this guy. Anyone??????




www.armadilloguitar.com/

I also found this on his site so he does make custom brass bridges Dan.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Thu Feb 18, 2010 9:22 am

Those knobs do look very close, eh? The exterior looks bang on to my eyes!
Even if they turn out to not be precisely the same I'm sure it won't take much to mod 'em.

Replacing these Brass knobs on the Thunders and Concords, etc. and the Switchmaster knobs the Spectrums, has been next to impossible to date. Looks like there's finally some light at the end of the 'ole tunnel.
Nice one boutjp97!

As for the bridge, it too looks really good.
But just a caution that you check the string spacing first. I recently replaced a barrel-saddle bridge an an Avenger which is an F-Scale and required a 10.5 mm string spacing. The more common sizing is 11.2 mm (much cheaper too) which is too wide and you'll end up with strings not only tracking off the pup poles but too close to the fret board edge.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by boutjp97 on Thu Feb 18, 2010 2:37 pm

Here is the reply to my email from the above listed company...

Hello Jason,
Well those knobs are quite similar to knobs that I make but not exact. But I would be more than happy to meet the exact spec's you require. Most of my work is small quantity, custom work, so I could probably fill your club's needs quite well. I don't have a minimum order per se and I ship all over the world. So I guess individual club members could contact me stating the number of knobs they would like and I could fill those orders individually, or you could commit to a larger quantity purchase and distribute them yourself. If you choose the latter I would work out some sort of price break based on quantity. I don't usually get much large quantity work, being mostly known to Tele players looking for true custom work, but I would do my best to get you an extremely accurate product in a good time frame.

Thank you very much for your interest in my shop.
Michael D. Slotboom

GREAT NEWS!!!!!! So do you all just want to order yourselves or do you want me to put in a large one time order for a discount and then mail them out individually? The discount would probably be small but I'm willing to ask. And Barry, I believe you live around 30 minutes from me so I could always deliver on one of my Ikea shopping days in your area or on my way to TO to save you that thax and duty.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by Barry on Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:01 pm

boutjp97 wrote:...And Barry, I believe you live around 30 minutes from me so I could always deliver on one of my Ikea shopping days in your area or on my way to TO to save you that thax and duty.
Hey thanks man! But I have no need for brass knobs at this time, no brass minkeys have been near my Thunder and she's still intact. 'Appreciate the kind offer though!

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by boutjp97 on Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:30 pm

Barry wrote:Ya know, that Philips knob is about the closest thing I've seen to the original Switchmaster design. Of course we have no idea if the shaft diameter is the same, but I'm certain that could be accommodated if necessary. The only obvious thing missing is the little white dot on the top.

Those are the best I've seen Barry. Here are a few other sources that may work in a pinch...

http://www.allparts.com/Beveled-Top-Knobs-p/pk-3255-023.htm
http://www.reidsupply.com/GrpResults.aspx?pid=10022725&aitm=DK-315&apid=10022725
http://www.cosmocorp.com/en/kp-handler.cfm?CAT=H&SUBCAT=1&KN=1&src=17

http://www.hoffmanamps.com

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

Post by boutjp97 on Sun Feb 21, 2010 7:16 am

I am still awaiting a price for a set of three brass knobs. As soon as he gets back to me I will post his price here and in the for sale section so that you all may order direct from him (international shipping is no problem). It appears it will be a considerably higher price than Mr. Blair was able to get them for in the Westone Spares Section but hey, at least we now have the option for replica brass knobs. Also he can make any brass bridge you may need with pictures and specs. I didn't ask about a brass nut but that should be easy work for him. Also his fame comes from quality custom brass Tele parts so all you Tele owners visit his site.

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Re: Wanted : Thunder I brass knobs

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