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New Bass Day - Westone Thunder II

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Audix99, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. Audix99


    Sep 18, 2009
    So I met up with the guy and bought his Westone Thunder (1981/1982) Neck-Thru Bass for $150 with totally beat-up (thus oozing Mojo :D ) original hard case.

    Took it home and spent around 3 hours for a major clean-up and setup because this poor girl has been COMPLETELY NEGLECTED!!!

    The bridge and saddles were all SOLID & HEAVY BRASS that were covered by almost 30 years worth of tarnish, grime, dirt, etc...
    Used wire brush and sandpaper to make them bright N' clean again.
    Even the knobs were completely solid brass!!!!
    And the control plate, switch plate and battery covers were all solid brass panels. Brass everywhere!!!

    The neck was straight. I had to tighten up the truss rod to the max, but still had just a little relief. But action is medium low with no buzzing at all.

    The fingerboard, which is supposed be Ebony but is looking more like Rosewood, was totally dry, I had to use liberal amount of lemon oil to bring the luster back.

    The body is in a very good shape with 3-4 small spots where poly finish was chipped off. But overall, very clean looking.

    Put two new 9V batteries in, strung it up with Rotosound 66 45-105 I had, and WOW!!!
    The tone is nothing like P or J bass. Especially in active mood with increased bass, it becomes a serious thunder. :bassist:
    Very smooth and warm low and low-mid, with balanced yet distinctive hi-mid and treble.

    There are also parallel-series & phase on/off switches that I haven't fully experimented with. But I'm sure it will be interesting!

    I am happy with it, extremely, especially considering $150 I spent on it.
    The only thing I have to repair on is to replace 3-way pickup selector switch. I guess I will do some soldering tonight!!! :D

    And here are the mandatory pics.

    Before the cleaning. can you see the tarnished bridge and knobs? Didn't I tell you the case was totally beat up but oozing Mojo??? ;)


    Rear-view. Showing brass plates and "Made in Japan" sticker that is still on after 28 years!!!

    AFTER the clean up and setup. It was already after sunset, so lighting wasn't that good...


    Hope you enjoyed it.
    And BTW, sorry about this looong bragging about this acquisition... :bag:
  2. your idol

    your idol

    Oct 13, 2008
    Murfreesboro TN
    westones are rad..i had a geetar once..it was great and cheap
  3. I like it...good find!
  4. Randall


    Aug 6, 2009
    Cool bass. Looks well made - bridge looks awesome.
  5. Fergie Fulton

    Fergie Fulton

    Nov 22, 2008
    Retrovibe Artist rota
    Great post, and well done for giving a great bass a life again.:D
  6. VERY COOL!!! It has the same pups and preamp as my Electra. A versatile, thunderous beast indeed!! :bassist:
  7. Audix99


    Sep 18, 2009
    Thanks for all your compliments, guys!!! ;)

    This is indeed really well made bass. But it is HEAVY. Maybe it is because of Canadian Ash used for the body wings and all the brass?
    I was surprised by the amount of brass used on it.
    Bridge, saddles, knob, back panels and the nut--- all are solid brass.

    The string spacing is more like P-Bass, which I like.
    And the neck is CHUNKY!!! But it feels really good and I actually like this neck!

    I was able to experiment with the switches.
    Each split-coil can be made in series (like normal P-Bass) or parallel.
    With neck PUP in parallel, its tone was similar to J-bass with both neck & bridge.
    With neck PUP in normal series, it was producing serious bottom that was thick, warm and powerful/
    With bridge PUP in parallel----, well just too nasal and nasty... :rollno:
    But bridge PUP in series, it had awesome growl!!! :bassist:

    In dual mode, it can be turned into Phase-in. too nasal and nasty... :rollno:

    Active/passive switch works perfect. And I like both active and passive tone. :cool:

    Interestingly, it has one tone knob that works for both passive and active mode as treble cut-off, and another dedicated EQ knob for active mode.
    So yes, it has only one active EQ knob that works as EQ sweep. Flat at that the center, boosting treble in one side and boosting bass in other side.
    Not as good as having two independent EQ knobs. But I figured out the sweet spot for my rig.
    Having one knob is actually pretty convenient... :D

    Oh shoot... I again am rambling about this bass...
    Okay... I'll stop now... :bag:
  8. This thing reminds me of several basses I really want: Aria Pro II SB1000 RI, Alembic something...and all the other awesome basses that look like this. You know, wood finish, neck through, dual P bass pickups...-drools-
  9. Makatak


    Apr 13, 2002
    New Zealand
    Hi , old thread I Know but do you still have it ? Ive come across a cheapish one in good condition , I like a nice clear J tone , do these compare ? . Thanks

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