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Thread: Sonics Washburn Rebirth

  1. #1
    Member Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Sonics Washburn Rebirth

    Time to throw a thread up on this one before I get too carried away. I actually made a start on this while I was waiting for the Shoegazer kit to arrive.

    So this is my first ever electric guitar - if you donít count a horrible SG copy I bought off a mate for the grand sum of $25, which was just about unplayable. After watching me mess around trying to get the SG to play and sound nice my parents clearly realised I was serious and I received this on Christmas day 1990. It was a total shock and one of the best presents Iíve ever received.









    In the 27 years since then this guitar has been everywhere with me, played almost every day, used abused and generally thrashed. Itís been the one constant in my stable for all that time, and has been used in countless terrible bands and recordings. I love playing it, even though itís nothing special to most people.

    Its had a few patch jobs on the wiring, I lost a humbucker screw at some point and so just put some self tapping wood screws in to hold it in place. The wheels really started to come off a bit a couple of years ago when the volume pot died right before a gig. Rather than replace it, it was hastily bypassed, along with the tone. This resulted in a sound not unlike tearing paper, but we still played and I doubt anyone even noticed given the style and distortion of the music





    Since then I had been tossing up between restoring and replacing it. Eventually I bit the bullet and bought a new guitar and this one just sort of sat in the rack - until I discovered this community.

    So now Iíve got the JMA-1 build under my belt I thought Iíd look at doing a minor resto and upgrade on the old girl.

    Given the history I didnít want to remove too much of the personality of the guitar itself. So a basically started by pulling it all apart and giving it a really good clean. Its covered in nicks and dings, but Iím not really bothered by that, you can also see a huge amount of pick wear on the front face and the frets were well and truly worn down.

    So once 27 years of sweat, beer and god knows what else was cleaned off, it actually came up pretty well.





    I did find a bit of a crack in the neck pocket which I glued and clamped.





    I steam cleaned the neck with a hot iron, huge amounts of muck came out. Probably not a recommended technique, but I didnít want to use any cleaners or abrasives to get the finger goo build up off. Seems to have worked well with no adverse affects.





    I ordered a radius block for fret levelling and a crowning file and set about doing my first levelling job. I think its come up really well, but the proof will be in the playing.









    Iíve lemon oiled it a lot and its still soaking in so Iíll keep doing that for a while.

    I also knocked out the old plastic nut and installed a Tusq one - perfect fit using a curved base stratocaster one - the truss rod goes through the cavity so a flat bottomed one wouldnít work.

    I put an order in with Adam for a few bits and pieces which turned up this week, most exciting are new Benson neck and middle pickups. Iíll be very interested to see how the staggered poles sound. From what Iíve read Iíll need to get the Ďgí string intonation spot on. There wasnít any rhyme or reason behind the pickup choice, Iím still learning a lot about the differences between all the different styles, so this is an exploration as much as anything.

    I have an Entwistle Zebra hum bucker and Babicz trem bridge on back order - apparently some of the wild weather in the states has caused some issues that end. Then it will be new pots, jack and capacitor.

    I have also fitted some grover locking tuners - I had to enlarge the holes to fit them which was scary but its worked out fine. I really love those things, so easy to do setup and re string.

    Anyway, so here is where its up to - new decal I picked up at a guitar store in Japan applied to signify its new lease on life.



    Last edited by Sonic Mountain; 26-10-2017 at 11:12 AM.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=7788

    Build 2 - The Relliecaster-http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=8005

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  2. #2
    Overlord of Music pablopepper's Avatar
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    Love seeing an old beater get some love. Who cares what the brand says, if it's a good player it has the potential of becoming a great guitar.
    'As long as there's, you know, sex and drugs, I can do without the rock and roll.'

  3. #3
    Overlord of Music FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    NOOOOOOOOOOO!!! What happened to the MOPAR Sticker???
    Project list:

    #1: 16/001: PBG EXA-1. Complete, finish fail, tweaking set up.
    #2: FrankenWashie Resurrection. Complete, playing with set up and fiddlin'.
    #3: 16/002: PBG SV-1. Final colour coats, Inlay Work.
    #4: 16/003: The Clichť Black LP. Still trying to get black flat.
    #5: 16/004: TLA-TH-TBA. Final coat, assembly and set up.
    #6: 17/001: The IB-Freebie. Covers, Shielding, Neck finals.
    #7: FrankenLab Experiment 2. The Silent Build.

  4. #4
    GAStronomist wokkaboy's Avatar
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    Cool resto job Sonic it's come up nice. Spewing you removed the Mopar sticker !

    haha edit snap Franky you beat me to it !
    Current Builds and status
    scratch end grain pine tele - first clear coat on !
    JBA-4 - assembled - final tweaks
    Telemonster double scale tele - finish tobacco burst on body and sand neck

    Completed builds
    scratch oak.rose gum Jazzmaster - assembled needs setup
    MK-2 Mosrite - assembled - play in
    Ash tele with Baritone neck - neck pup wiring tweaks and play in

  5. #5
    Member Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Hah...you'll be pleased to know my bass still sports a mopar performance sticker. That one came off a val I had and there was dirt and crap under it. I have a file for the original mopar logo from the 60's. Maybe I'll get one printed for this.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=7788

    Build 2 - The Relliecaster-http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=8005

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  6. #6
    GAStronomist wokkaboy's Avatar
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    hell yeah Sonic, would be good to get a Mopar sticker back on so it looks like it used to but shinier and restored !
    Current Builds and status
    scratch end grain pine tele - first clear coat on !
    JBA-4 - assembled - final tweaks
    Telemonster double scale tele - finish tobacco burst on body and sand neck

    Completed builds
    scratch oak.rose gum Jazzmaster - assembled needs setup
    MK-2 Mosrite - assembled - play in
    Ash tele with Baritone neck - neck pup wiring tweaks and play in

  7. #7
    Overlord of Music wazkelly's Avatar
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    1990 era would suggest probably built in Korea?
    Good restoration job with some tasty upgrades. It should sound awesome and play much better once completed.
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 under construction https://goo.gl/gvrPkp

  8. #8
    Member Sonic Mountain's Avatar
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    Y'know I've never thought to find out that Waz. I just had a google and wikipedia suggests they were manufactured by the Samick factory in Korea from 1991, although the wording suggests they had already begun using Korea to produce prior to that, so it seems likely. These are classed as a budget or entry level guitar, so that would make sense for them to test the manufacturing waters with a budget line.

    I'm biased obviously, but I always though it was a nice guitar. The black finish was like a mirror when I got it. The first chip I put it in nearly made me throw up . But like cars are supposed to be driven, guitars are meant to be played and enjoyed, so these days I see the wear and tear as a badge of honour.
    Build 1 - Shoegazer MK1 - http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=7788

    Build 2 - The Relliecaster-http://www.buildyourownguitar.com.au...ead.php?t=8005

    "What I lack in talent I make up for with enthusiasm"

  9. #9
    Overlord of Music wazkelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonic Mountain View Post
    Y'know I've never thought to find out that Waz. I just had a google and wikipedia suggests they were manufactured by the Samick factory in Korea from 1991, although the wording suggests they had already begun using Korea to produce prior to that, so it seems likely. These are classed as a budget or entry level guitar, so that would make sense for them to test the manufacturing waters with a budget line.

    I'm biased obviously, but I always though it was a nice guitar. The black finish was like a mirror when I got it. The first chip I put it in nearly made me throw up . But like cars are supposed to be driven, guitars are meant to be played and enjoyed, so these days I see the wear and tear as a badge of honour.
    Great story. Korean built back then is probably better QC than Chinese built today.

    Agree about battle scars. Same with a new car. No point being too precious as after 1st scratch or ding we tend to accept and move on.

    Sent from my SM-A520F using Tapatalk
    # 1 - EX-5 https://goo.gl/fQJMqh
    # 2 - EX-1 https://goo.gl/KSY9W9
    # 3 - Non PBG Tele https://goo.gl/W14G5g
    # 4 - Non PBG J Bass https://goo.gl/FbBaFy
    # 5 - TL-1AR GOTM Aug 2017 https://goo.gl/sUh14s
    # 6 - MMB-4 under construction https://goo.gl/gvrPkp

  10. #10

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