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Westone Spectrum SX
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Westone Spectrum SX
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Steve_Boudreaux Steve_Boudreaux

« Shread, and RED! »

Publié le 08/06/11 à 07:00
How's THAT for an attention-grabbing title??!? By "shread," I mean this guitar was made for shreading lead guitar play, with it's locking bridge and tuner. As for "RED," the whole guitar is red (except pickups and hardware.) I mean, body, headstock, neck, and even the FRETBOARD! It's a translucent stain, not paint, so the wood's grain shows through- BEAUTIFUL! One of the coolest looking guitars around!

Like most Westones, this one was made in Japan (some later models were made in Korea.) "Hot strat" pickup selection- two Magnaflux IV single coils with a Magnaflux II UBC humbucker. Volume, tone, tone controls, with push-pull pots for phase reverse and/or the coil tap. 22 frets, Bendmaster brand, Floyd Rose type micro-tuning bridge and locking nut. Fairly thin, fast neck. Westones often have a somewhat strat-ish body, but no one would mistake the profile of a Westone for a Strat!

Please note, this guitar, and all Japan-made Westones, bear little or no resemblance to the "Westone guitars" being made today in China, and in my opinion, that company is not doing anything to honor the legacy. Modern "Westones" are just another cookie-cutter copy of Les Pauls, Strats, ES's, etc, and are Westones in name, only.

UTILIZATION

Easier access to last fret than a Strat, as the body is more cut away and the edges more rounded. Contours where the body meets your belly and your fore-arm, too. Good "heft," without being too heavy, good balance- no neck dive. I am not sure what this site means by "are the drivers stable?" as I don't know of any "drivers" on an electric guitar. Perhaps they mean pickups?



SOUNDS

I also can't see where "What amps or effects do you use it?" is a pertinent question, either- the guitar sends a signal to the amp, so the amp affects the tone of the guitar, but whatever amp I play may be different than yours. This is a review of a GUITAR, not an amp.

Sounds- mostly hot strat-like sounds, but by tapping the humbucker, you get a single-coil pickup in the bridge postion- instant "normal" strat sounds. Pups are fairly hot, so a stronger signal is sent to the amp, resulting in easier distorted tones, if that's what you want, but smooth, clean jazz tones are easily available.

OVERALL OPINION

What I like most about this guitar- it's RED! I mean, all red, bright red, shiny red, red, red, RED! No one ever fails to notice this guitar! What I like least? Well, that it's red- on the fretboard. Looks totally cool, but I worry that if I were to wear through the poly coating, I'd start wearing off the red stain underneath, and it's appearance would go down hill, fast, from there. Therefore, I don't play this one too often. It plays quite fine, and delivers very good tone- the SX was the top of the Spectrum line, with more bells and whistles, and often a nicer finish. They were available in all blue, and some had a more conventional dark stained fretboard- you would not BELIEVE how much the color-matching fretboard makes a visual difference.

If you could find one these days for $70.00 USD, it would be almost a steal- but don't hold your breath. Westones seem to be trading for around $300 and up, these days- worth it from a standpoint of what they do and how they sound/play, but for most people, that kind of money will buy them a more-familiar MIM Strat. Westones are an acquired taste.

Having said that, I would certainly buy this one again.
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