Post by blademaster2 on Sept 2, 2016 10:01:24 GMT -5
I bought a vintage 1967 Hagstrom Condor a few weeks ago. I love its workmanship, unusual controls and retro look (plus it sounds great and plays extremely well).
Not surprisingly, the volume pots are a little scratchy so I was eager to open it up to clean them. I have opened up many guitars in my time, but I never saw one like this (I have removed the brass shielding plate for the photo - it sits directly on top of the wiring PCB):
I quickly decided to abandon my servicing activity, for now, as I can live with it and I do not play live. The clean electrical design is impressive and it has fairly complete shielding. My only problem with it is the difficulty I will have in actually getting to the pots (and switches) to clean them. As I see it, I will need to carefully remove the entire electronics system possibly including the pups (maybe not) in order to access these devices. All of that handling risks wire breakage, and while I am fully capable of rewiring the entire thing I prefer to simply enjoy it as it is for the time being.
[While I am at it, if I do get it apart I might change out the tone capacitors for some different values. The "low" setting is too muddy and muffled, and the "high" setting is lacking the low frequencies too much, but the 'mid' setting sounds amazing for all three pups.]
Last Edit: Sept 2, 2016 10:03:18 GMT -5 by blademaster2: Clarification of image
When the L is pushed, a .01 cap goes to ground and the lever connects to the 250k pot, it also bypasses the M and H setting If that's a scratchy one it's a reverse audio. It's cause the lever works opposite to a knob. My bass has the same set up. Could just try potentiometer spray cleaner first to save a lot of work. The M setting is just volume, and the H is a .0033 cap in series to produce a low cut, which explains why it lacks low frequencys. Chances are the caps are in the control switch box.
Post by blademaster2 on Sept 4, 2016 17:02:41 GMT -5
I am loving the tone of this thing on the M setting (that one has no caps, as you said). Perhaps I will not fiddle with the caps after all since it sounds so good as it is like that. I prefer to keep it as vintage as possible, and right now there are no mods on it at all.
I also discovered that the pup switches can be depressed with more than one pup on at a time if they are pressed gently together (the switch bank is nominally designed to pop up the other switches as one is pressed), giving a Strat-combination tone. That is another very nice tone for this thing.
Which vintage Hagstroms do you have?
I also have a 1967 HII 12-string. It needs its switches cleaned (again) to restore its full function. For that one I find that the switches seem to get intermittent fairly often. I will get onto that, but it is a real nuisance ...