The Canadian Guitar Forum banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have an old '60s Kawai/Winston that's giving me some grief.

Nothing worked when plugged in. Has a pair of single coils, big fat ones, 3-way toggle, volume, tone and input jack. Hollowbody so no rear access, had to de-solder the neck pickup to get all the wiring pulled out to test. Pots were very stiff, 3way as well.

Lightly sanded the input jack to remove any oxidation, then cleaned it and everything else with Deox-it. Everything works great now. Plugged it into the amp (neck pickup still de-soldered) and tapped the pickup with a screwdriver and worked fine. Took a multimeter and both pickups have a reading so put back together.

3-way switch (before desoldering the neck pickup) looked like the bridge pickup's green wire was broken off. Soldered it back on, then the neck pickup, and now... neck works fine, bridge doesn't work at all. Ever so often with enough wiggling and such it sounded like it cut in/out so assumed old solder joints broken.

De-soldered everything, used a solder pump and removed all old solder, retinned everything and soldered it all back up, and volume works, tone works, neck works... no bridge.

Multimeter to the 3-way thinking maybe the one side was dead but was able to get a reading without any problems.

Kinda stumped... hoping for some feedback/ideas... I'd like to keep everything original if possible, just not sure why the bridge was fine outside the guitar and now it's not.

Here's a quick diagram of what the wiring is for the 3-way... each pickup has a red/green/black wire... black/green are soldered to a metal tab on the 3-way switch housing. The red wire from each goes to one of the outside terminals. The grey wire that goes to the volume, has a white wire in the middle and woven metal sleeve... white goes to the centre terminal, and the woven part to the same tab as the green/black wires.

 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,586 Posts
Can you post a pic of the guitar and a pic of the harness.

Are you working through 'f ' holes?...A lot can go wrong when you are "stuffing" the harness back into the guitar through 'f ' holes.

It is very likely going to end up being something annoyingly simple. Isn't that typically the way it goes..*#*(

What you have done to troubleshoot is very impressive from some alternatives I have read !!
De-soldered everything, used a solder pump and removed all old solder, retinned everything and soldered it all back up, and volume works, tone works, neck works... no bridge.

Multimeter to the 3-way thinking maybe the one side was dead but was able to get a reading without any problems.
Cheers

Dave
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,150 Posts
Have you switched the neck and bridge controls to rule out one or the other? Wire up the bridge pup to the neck pots and see if it works. If no it's the pup. And vice versa.

Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I'll try to grab a photo tonight... luckily not working through F holes.. had everything pulled out and tested the bridge only (neck was desoldered so I could get the harness out).

Used strings with small nuts tied to the end to drop though the vol/tone/jack holes and out the bridge pickup hole, tied to the tops of the pots/jack and pulled back up through... took some patience but went pretty smoothly. Hardest part was the ground wire from the jack to the hole where the strap-button is, but all that seems fine. I would assume if anything got disconnected from that section then neither pickup would work since it's just the single grey wire coming from the vol. pot to the 3-way switch.

I will admit, I have little meter skill, but used a few tuts online to figure out testing the switch and pickups. I could still have done the testing wrong though... I'm not ruling that out at all. But again... I did get sound from the bridge pickup when the harness was on my desk.

I have not tried swapping the red wires around... will give that a try. I also have a 3-way for my other guitar not yet installed I may test with. Hopefully not the switch because hoping to keep all the original parts if possible. Assuming the switch is original. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,104 Posts
I'm actually slowly but surely restoring an old Kawai/Winston myself. A 2-pickup solid-body with a lovely wooden veneer pickguard, bridge mute, and vibrato. One of the things one needs to be mindful of is that the age of the wire makes it exceedingly brittle. Not only the connecting wires from the pickups to the selector and controls, but the joint between the coil and the connecting wire as well. So it can happen that you think everything is hunky dory, and measures just fine, but then after you wiggle stuff into place, nothing is working...because the wire fractured.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
17,150 Posts
I'm actually slowly but surely restoring an old Kawai/Winston myself. A 2-pickup solid-body with a lovely wooden veneer pickguard, bridge mute, and vibrato. One of the things one needs to be mindful of is that the age of the wire makes it exceedingly brittle. Not only the connecting wires from the pickups to the selector and controls, but the joint between the coil and the connecting wire as well. So it can happen that you think everything is hunky dory, and measures just fine, but then after you wiggle stuff into place, nothing is working...because the wire fractured.
I had the same issue with my old Harmony Strat, a bugger to figure out initially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@mhammer ... say... yours doesn't still stay Winston on it, does it?

I have another thread about my cracked headstock... which is still ongoing, but in addition to that it is also missing the sticker. I downloaded a pic off Google but quality just isn't good enough to trace in illustrator to re-create a new decal. Trying to find a good image to work from to create a new decal for it.

Was debating actually to start up a site of just eps/png files for people doing restorations and wanting to print off new stickers/waterslide decals. Database that gets added to type deal... just need quality images to trace from in illustrator.

Wire wise... ya I hear ya on that. Old, brittle and thin... why so thin? Stuff is impossible to use wire strippers on. Ended up using an X-acto blade and slowly shaving off the plastic coating.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,104 Posts
Unfortunately, no decal. But the headstock, bridge, and square-polepieces on the pickups, plus the rocker switches, are pretty distinctive and telltale, positioning it squarely in the Kawai/Kingston/Norma lineage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bummer... was hoping to get a photo from ya I can trace out. :)

Ya, mine I thought at first was a VOX, but after looking a bit more, figured a Kawai MS-170.

Kawai MS-170

Not much there yet, had a Photobucket account but they started changing stuff on there and haven't had the chance to copy everything over to IMGUR yet. Few pics of the body though... was in a basement for decades, dirt was caked on it. Some staining/discoloured areas now, but not too bad, less seen when strings on it. Polished it up, polished all the chrome as well. Not going for a full restore, just want to fix the headstock and wiring and sell it on Reverb.

Sister was lucky, got this for $20 and a really nice Supro Super Seven in a rare red colour for $20 as well. Local buy&sell. The Supro is in amazing shape, original case too but, it's seen better days. Cleaned it up and putting it up for sale as well. Neat guitar, weighs almost nothing, sounds good... massive neck and needs action set, but same as the Kawai, just cleaning up and selling. No point setting it up if ends up on someone's wall. :)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
18,586 Posts
WOW..I went out to get a few groceries and this thread took off.
I now remember looking at the pics of your guitar in the other thread.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ya, pretty bad... I'll upload more pics to the album from before I disassembled... quite the dirty mess. Cleaned up really well though. Shame about the split headstock... though when I searched for that guitar online, both the guitar and bass version, half the photos had split headstocks.

Been so busy with the guitar for my nephew's xmas gift, the mini arcade build for my niece, plus design freelance... just haven't had the chance to cut out the jig for the headstock to attempt to get it glued together again. Hoped both guitars be up for sale before xmas, but thinking just be the Supro for now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Didn't get to photo the wiring but, setup is identical to the diagram. 1 wire (white) has a sharp kink to it, though not sure if the issue... if the main wire to the volume pot has an issue, I'd have the same issue with both pickups. Will tackle it more tonight.

@mhammer - Hey... found a good photo of the Winston logo. Tracing it out now. I was going to buy a sheet of gold foil laser paper to print onto. Figured, print in black, few thin coats of clearcoat, should be pretty close to the original. Did you want me to send you one when I'm done for your guitar?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Quick question, I'm sure the answer is yet... can I wire the pickup direct to a jack?

I have a few extra jacks for a guitar pedal project I have lined up. Could basically tape the wires to the jack, plug it in and give it a few taps with a screwdriver.

At work right now so can't test, also, don't wanna short something out... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Weird... so tested again, multimeter, everything seems fine... switched the red wires around and now everything works fine, neck and bridge. Put it together, wiggling all the wires and such trying to make it cut out but nope, works just fine.

Don't understand it... not gonna question it. All hooked up and screwed in place and pickups are fine, now onto the neck and finishing touches on the Winston logo... almost perfect, just a few lines to adjust. Let me know @mhammer if wanting a sticker when I'm done.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
26,104 Posts
Nah, I'm good. But very generous of you to offer.

Glad to hear everything worked out with your guitar. Amazing isn't it how often taking something apart and reassembling it can "fix" it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Amazing and annoying since I took it apart 3x. :)

But glad it's working, and I tried wiggling and moving everything to make it stop working and didn't do anything, which is good. I'd hate to finally get it assembled and it died again.

Not sure about your Winston/Kawai... but, are the necks plywood?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Finally had the chance to finish that logo... the yellow won't be printed, just the black onto gold foil paper.

Though, I would rather print onto waterslide decal paper and clear the whole thing, prevent the sticker from drying up and falling off like the original but, won't look right.


 

·
Registered
Joined
·
806 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Found another photo, the blob at the base of the "i" shouldn't be there. Corrected it.

Gold foil was too thick and stiff, so ended up doing a waterslide decal, adding that, cutting it out and pouring a thin layer of resin on top. Resin spread to the edge, but didn't go over, rather formed a nice rounded bevelled edge all around. Resin is a bit flexible as well so, came out like a real decal.

Offer still open if you want the extra @mhammer just needs a small amount of rounding with a nail file, maybe run a sharpie around the very edge of the paper.

 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top