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Refreshing a "barn find".

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by Brian VT, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. Brian VT

    Brian VT Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    I bought an old Teisco/Silvertone. I sprayed the pots and switch with DeoxIt and they came to life. I put some Chromes on it and I'm enjoying it.
    I'm wondering if it could be even better. I don't know much about electronics.
    What do you pros do to tune up 45+ year old electronics?

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
  2. There is no need to do anything, unless the pots are scratchy, or the switch is broken.
  3. Brian VT

    Brian VT Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    The pots work perfectly since I sprayed them. The neck pickup cuts out once in a great while. I don't know if it's the switch or the pickup.
    I figured if I was going to dig into the switch I'd ask you guys what else I might could improve while I'm in there.
  4. Brian VT

    Brian VT Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Also, if any of you happen to know where I can get a bridge cover and pick guard for this I'd be very grateful.
  5. BassLife77


    Nov 13, 2009
    San Diego
    a lot of room for electronics. I would add a buffer and a push/pull pot for series mode
    Brian VT likes this.
  6. Don't fix what ain't broke. Aside from the pickup selector switch, I would leave everything stock.
  7. Reedt2000

    Reedt2000 Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2017
    Central New Jersey
    Man it's gotta be hard to find parts for that. You can buy the right material and make a replacement pickguard from a picture like this one. The bridge cover... I have no idea.

    Attached Files:

    Brian VT likes this.
  8. RobbieK


    Jun 14, 2003
    nice find!

    I've worked on quite a few of these old Japanese instruments. often they are better made than American instruments of the same era. I certainly wouldn't.change the pots or pickups. however they rarely have a humcanceling pair of pickups and one mod you might like to try is to flip the magnet(s) on one of the pickups then reverse its hot and earth wires.

    the other mod is to replace the switch (especially if it is still scratchy after contact cleaner) with a 4 position rotary switch. the extra position can be wired as series. this is how the bass in my little ID pic is wired.

    in terms of luthiery, I'd strongly recommend slackening the strings and removing the trussrod nut completely before lubricating and reinstalling it. also inspect the glue line where the top meets the neck block between the pickup and the neck heel. (you'll have you remove the neck to do this.) if the glue fails here the neck block starts rotating forward and the instrument literally starts to fold in half. a common problem with these type of instruments...
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2017
    Brian VT likes this.
  9. Brian VT

    Brian VT Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Thanks guys.
    What would a buffer and/or series wiring do for me?
  10. Pickups usually live or die but rarely go intermittent. The problem is probably the pickup selector switch. I can't tell for sure from the picture, but you may be able to replace the pickup switch with a Les Paul pickup selector switch. I would go with Switchcraft as it will probably last another 50 years.

    Go with the SHORT version - http://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_...rts/Switches/Switchcraft_Toggle_Switches.html
    Brian VT and Spidey2112 like this.
  11. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    I'm sorry... I couldn't get past your avatar... you were saying?
    Neo1 likes this.
  12. If that girl only knew how popular she was!
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  13. Spidey2112


    Aug 3, 2016
    Gorgeous... and the bass is pretty sweet, too! The bass... do you have a good pick of the headstock?
  14. Pirate Captain

    Pirate Captain Elitist Jazz Snob ******** Supporting Member

    Dec 22, 2016
    Shelter Island, NY USA
    my first bass was EXACTLY like that one...the action was like an inch off the deck. Enjoy!
  15. Brian VT

    Brian VT Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    Here you go. As you can see, it could use a new nut (it's been shimmed with credit cards which I have since "cleaned up") but it plays fine since it also has a zero fret.
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2017
    Spidey2112 likes this.
  16. Brian VT

    Brian VT Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    The action on this one is fine.

  17. Nice find. One good thing about that setup is you don't have to be as fussy when making a new nut. Since there is a zero fret the nut becomes more of a string spacing guide.
  18. My guess would be the switch, give it a spray with Deoxit and work it back and forth a few times.

    Other than that I would get the nut area tidied up then play some Beatles on it (with a pick).
  19. Brian VT

    Brian VT Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2017
    I did spray the switch and now it works most of the time.
    The switch doesn't have any holes in the case so all I can do is spray down around the lever.
    I guess I'll give it a few more shots before ordering a replacement.
    The neck is facing the wrong way. ;-)
    delta7fred likes this.
  20. Not if you stand in front of a mirror!

    With the sealed switches some have silver contacts that tend to oxidise when not used for a while. I have had pretty good results running a drop or two of Deoxit down the toggle (spray into a bottle cap so you don't dowse the guitar in Deoxit), then give the toggle a real good waggle!

    Also look for cold solder joints, especially on the switch.
    Brian VT likes this.