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Westone pickup replacement

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by chriscrob, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. I purchased a Westone Spectrum ST for $40. It needs a new pickup. They guy told me it needed one, I was hoping it was just a disconnected wire or something, but I wired the pickup straight to the jack and still got nothing.

    I'm having trouble identifying what size pickup I need to replace it with. I believe it is smaller than a musicman pickup...and it has four screws (2 on each end) rather than the 2/1 on most musicman style pickups. Does anyone know how I can determine which pickup to order? Is there something specific I should look for?

    I'm looking to order something relatively cheap...I'm probably going to try to use this as my BEAD bass (and I don't play in BEAD very much).



  2. rojo412

    rojo412 Walnut is fun! Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    It's doubtful that you'll find a cheap pickup in the exact size...
    Speaking of which, what are the dimensions?
    In particular, the rectangular area of the pickup, before the wings?
    OR... The pickup measurements without the cover on?

    There are plenty of options that would fit into the cavity, but won't be perfect. If you don't mind that, you can easily make it work, it just won't look "pretty"

    But if the cover is large enough, you could sneak another pickup under it and no one would be the wiser.
  3. SGD Lutherie

    SGD Lutherie Banned Commercial User

    Aug 21, 2008
    Bloomfield, NJ
    Owner, SGD Music Products
    You won't find a direct replacement, but you can have that one rewound or repaired, or even a new pickup to fit that case for about the same price as a new pickup.
  4. I don't know how much it is to repair or rewind that pickup, but it might be worth looking into. It's a Matsumoku pickup and has its own sound and shape. Like others have said, though, you could probably find something that fits in that cavity. The black plastic cover has holes in it which line up with the Westone pickup's pole peices, though, so it'll be hard finding a pickup that matches that cover.

    Good luck, though, Westones are cool basses. If the neck is in good condition it should be a nice player. And that white finish is cool, too.
  5. Thanks for the advice! TB for the win.

    I hadn't seriously considered repair...but I got it repaired at Smit's Pickups for $29 including return shipping. I would have ended up spending that much on a crappy pickup that didn't fit.

    I guess the pickup is sort of on the lower output side of things? I'm not sure...my other bass is active but still a good bit louder when the battery switch is off. It was low enough that I soldered the leads directly to the jack to see if the volume/tone knob were sucking volume (they weren't, I fixed it).

    It sounds good as a BEAD bass, I just have to crank the volume knobs on my compressor, preamp, and power amp to get the same volume I get on my other bass.
  6. I realise this is an old thread but I picked up one of these basses last year with exactly the same fault.
    The thing was the bass itself is in exceptional condition and I got it for such a low price I decided to see if I could repair the pickup, first I removed it from the bass then used a test meter to check the resistance , it clearly showed the pickup was open circuit.
    Ok using a craft knife I trimmed away the glue and carefully removed the pickup from its casing, now VERY carefully removing the tape around the coil windings I found one of the leadout wires had broken away from the coil windings.
    The difficult thing was it was the "inner" connection the outer wire from the coil is easy to unwind a turn so you can resolder the leadout wire, the inner is trapped under a few thousand turns and any remaining copper from the coil is all you have to work with.
    In my case I had 3mm of wire and it took several attempts to get a good solder joint to it but the job was done.
    Next I cut some insulating tape "length wise and slipped one end under the solder joint I'd just made and wrapped the rest round the complete coil.
    Ok recased the pickup reconnected the volume, tone and jack socket and it plays like new.
    A simple job really at a cost of about 10 pence and 30 minutes work.
    I urge anyone with an open circuit pickup to take a look, if your lucky you can restore it very cheaply otherwise the Kent Armstrong pickups will fit but you loose the original look.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2017
    Domespeed likes this.
  7. squeakyd


    May 18, 2015
    Kind of related to all this, I've got a great playing Spectrum ST that had a very microphonic original pickup in it. As in lots of trouble in quiet moments on stage. I was hoping to just repot it myself, but found it's taped and has no wax on it at all. I wound up breaking the same lead on one end that Caskman mentioned, and I'm not skilled enough to work with coil wire. I just spoke to Kent Armstrong, and he's going to repair it for me. It doesn't sound right that the rebuild Smit's did has low output. This is one of the strongest passive pickups I've ever heard. I'm hoping that's what I'll get back from Kent.

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