Saturday, September 21, 2013

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass


Specifications
Manufacturer: Officially Licensed Product (OLP)
Country of Origin: China
Serial Number: F05111148
Colour: Natural
Finish: Gloss Lacquer
Construction: Bolt On
Scale Length: 34" (864mm)
Nut Width: 1.81" (46mm)
Fingerboard: Maple / Black Dot Fret Markers
Fingerboard Radius: 16"
Hardware: Chrome
Frets: 22
Body: Basswood / Quilted Maple Top
Neck: Maple
Bridge: Generic
Pickups: Single Exposed Polepiece Humbucker
Tuners: Generic Chrome, Open Back (4+1)
Controls: Master Volume, Bass Boost/Cut, Mid Boost/Cut, Treble Boost/Cut
Onboard Preamp: G&B Co. 3 Band EQ

References
Guitar Buyer (March 2006, pp. 56 – 60)
Bass Guitar Magazine (March/April 2006, pp. 50 – 51)

Pics Section
OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Rear View of Basswood Body

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Battery Compartment

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Bridge

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Controls Layout

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Electronics

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Front View

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Rear View

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Headstock Back

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Headstock Front

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Neck Plate

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Neck Pocket

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Stock Wiring Scheme

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Output Jack


OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Underside of Pickup

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Single Humbucker

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - G&B Co. 3 Band Preamp

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Quilted Maple Top

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Shielding Paint

OLP Tony Levin Signature 5 String Bass Quilted Maple Natural - Spoke Wheel Truss Rod Adjuster



Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yamaha AES620 CG

Specifications
Model: AES620 CG
Origin / Date: Korea / February 2007
Colour: Charcoal Gray (CG)
Construction: Set Neck
Weight: 7.36 lbs
Scale Length: 24 3/4" (628mm)
Nut Width: 1 11/16"
Fingerboard: Rosewood / Abalone Dot Inlays
Fingerboard Radius: 13 3/4" (350mm)
Hardware: Chrome
Frets: 22
Body: Nato / Bookmatched Flamed Maple Veneer Top
Neck: Nato / C Profile
Bridge: Yamaha AES ("Tune-O-Matic" Style)
Tailpiece: Individual String Anchors (6)   
Pickups: Yamaha Alnico5 Humbucker (Neck) / Seymour Duncan JB (Bridge)
Tuners: Grover
Pickup Switch: 3-Position Toggle
Controls: Neck PU Volume / Bridge PU Volume / Master Tone (Alpha 500K)

Noteworthy Features
Single Beveled Cutaway
Contoured Top / Back
Through-Body Stringing
Recessed Control Knobs
Recessed / Angled Output Jack
Exposed Wood "Faux Binding"
Two Bottom Strap Buttons
Foil Shielding on back of Toggle Switch / Control Cavity Covers
Carbon Paint Shielding in Control Cavity

References
GuitarPlayer: Yamaha AES620
Yamaha USA – AES620
Guitar Player Magazine "Picks" the AES620
Yamaha Japan - AES620 Product Description
Yamaha Guitar Serial Numbers – Dating Your Guitar
Electric and Bass Guitar Serial Number Systems - Yamaha

Pics Section
Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - front view

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - rear view

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - made in Korea

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - front of headstock

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - Grover Tuners

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - abalone dot inlays

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - neck/body joint

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - contoured flamed maple top

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - contoured nato back

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - single beveled cutaway

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - exposed wood faux binding

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - recessed output jack and two bottom strap buttons

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - 3-way pickup toggle switch. Neck humbucker - Yamaha Alnico5. Bridge Humbucker - Seymour Duncan JB.

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - recessed control knobs

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - bridge

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - tailpiece / individual chromed string anchors

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - string ferrules and tailpiece securing bolts

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - stock wiring scheme

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - control cavity wiring. Note carbon paint shielding.

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - toggle switch wiring

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - foil shielding for toggle switch and control cavity covers

Yamaha AES620 Charcoal Gray (CG) - owner Izzat Jalil, circa 2011




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mexican Strat Restoration

Howdy folks! I'm happy to report that the sunburst Mexican Strat sent in a few weeks ago is now back in playing condition. Here's a rundown of the repair and restoration work carried out.

Neck
After removing the old frets with a soldering iron and flush-ground end nippers, the fingerboard was lightly sanded and then cleaned with naptha (Zippo lighter fluid). No finish was applied as per the owner's request. A full refret was then carried out using a set of Dunlop Accu-Fret 6110 Jumbo Fret Wire. A new nut was also installed. The wood in and around numerous fret slots (especially the first) and areas on both fingerboard edges was badly decayed and crumbly. This problem was fixed with a mixture of wood dust and super glue, followed by scraping, sanding and polishing.





Circuitry

The guitar was completely rewired, and a handmade aluminum pickguard shield plate installed.


The neck pickup tone pot (250K), capacitor (0.022uF), and output jack were replaced; and a new tremolo claw ground wire run from the volume pot. The bridge pu was also out-of-phase with the middle pu, producing a hollow and tinny sound in switch position 4. The problem was fixed by swapping connections for the hot and ground leads of the bridge pu.

 


Cosmetics

The missing middle pickup tone knob was replaced, as was the missing back plate. Two down, one to go; ie fixing the damaged poly finish on the inner curves of both body horns. I started off by supergluing the edges of the cracked finish to the exposed wood underneath. This was to flatten the edges and prevent further lifting. Following this, cracks and exposed areas were filled with Devcon Plastic Steel Epoxy. After six hours, the epoxy was hard enough to be filed, scraped and sanded flat in relation to the existing finish. These areas were then sprayed with three coats of black, followed by four coats of clear, left to dry, and then polished thoroughly to remove any overspray and blend the repair job into the existing finish.






Bridge 
Besides being badly tarnished and rusted in places, numerous bridge saddle height adjustment (allen) screws were frozen and had to be removed by force through a combination of heat and chemicals. Now, suitable replacements had to be found for these damaged screws. Luckily for me, I had a few old humbucker height adjustment screws lying around that fitted perfectly. After sawing off suitable lengths, I filed the ends flat and slotted one end with a hacksaw. Thus said, anyone intending to adjust saddle height on this guitar in the future should have both an allen wrench and a tiny flathead screwdriver on hand.




Finishing Touches 
A set of 009 - 042 strings were installed, and the appropriate truss rod / action / intonation adjustments were made for optimum playability. The grimy body was also cleaned with naphta and then waxed and polished painstakingly by hand. All hardware was also degrimed, brushed free of rust, and finally polished with Autosol. Though it's taken lots of blood, sweat and tears to get this strat back into shape, the results are well worth it.