life of a toronto based random asian guy

Wednesday, 14 March 2012 15:41

westone spectrum lx

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westone spectrum lx

my current/only fretless bass
*update on Apr. 2013, this bass was sold to a friend Stephen

- westone spectrum lx electric bass 

- bolt on fretless neck, comes with extra fretted neck

- maple body

- canadian hard maple neck with position dot on the side

- rosewood fretboard, graphite nut

- 34" scale length

- westone magnaflux pickups (one split coil, one humbucker)

- 18v active electronic, can run in passive mode

- black finish including the back of the neck, black hardwares, the ninja bass

- weight about 9.3lbs 

- made in japan 

controls are: 
- volume (push/pull to change the neck pu phase)
- passive tone
- active tone
- 3 way pickup toggle(gibson style)
- active electronic on/off(mini toggle)
- coil tap switch for the bridge pickup(mini toggle)  

this bass was made in the 80s and was purchased at the end of 2011 from local classfied, the gas came after watching a bunch of jaco's clips and also alain carron's clinic.  first i missed a vintage fretless fbass, then i came to this guy on craigslists,  got a decent deal because the seller doesn't know much about it.  when i first tested it out, the pots and toggles sounded scratchy + we both had no idea with all the controls and all the circuits inside the backplate, they looked very complicated.  so i told the guy to take another $20 off because i'll have to buy parts and even swap the electronics.

after i took it home and change the batteries(this guy eats 2 9v) and then voila!  everything works perfectly.  just the pickup toggle makes very little noise when switching.  considering the age of this guy(early-mid 80s'), they used real quality parts.

next day i restrung the bass with d'addario chrome flatwounds, fill up one of the nut cut with masking tape to lift up the height and some cleanups.  it's all ready to go.  the neck is perfectly straight, the action and setup was all great.

the electronics are great, the passive tone is very responsive, and the active tone control is even more responsive that changes the tone dramatically from super muddy boomy low to crazy harsh/sharp killer high.  not all the sounds are ear pleasing, but it does cover a wide range on all frequency, that's how powerful the 18v electronic is.  and combine with the passive tone, it gives alot of useful tones from vintage to modern.  it definetly does take some time to expolore to options.  the coil-tap switch chages how the low-mid is focused, which can be useful, and i do use the phase switch at all (in 1 setting the 2 pus can cancel out each others and sounds stupid).

from this bass, you get to see how serious people build their instruments in the old days, and how some of these designs got improved and polished through out the years.  

here's some audio samples of the instrument

here's a link to this westone guitar site

* i think this westone has nothing to do with the headphone company, any idea?


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