NGD 1997 Pro Tone

Maria

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 21, 2015
11
Gainesville, FL
Hammer, I'm selfishly resurrecting this thread to ask you some questions about how you restored your Pro Tone. I just picked up the exact same guitar at pawn shop for $200. Pics below. Mine is dirty, the pole pieces in the pickups are rusting and there is definitely some tarnish/corrosion on the hardware from the metals under the plating. The fretboard looks like it hasn't been cleaned since 1997. Anyway, my plan is to do the following:

1. Clean the neck and fretboard with naphtha, then level, crown and polish the frets. Do maple fretboards take conditioning of any kind after cleaning? I've only had rosewood until now.

2. Replace the pots with 250k's, upgrade to a CTS switch, install a .047 cap and replace all the wiring. I don't understand why 500k pots and a .022 cap would have come stock on an SSS guitar, but maybe someone can enlighten me.

3. Clean the bridge and saddles. You mentioned you soaked the bridge in soapy water? This doesn't encourage further corrosion of the metals under the gold plating? I know not to use an abrasive cleaner on gold plating. If your method worked well, that's what I'll go with.

4. Possibly... replace the pickups. Don't know what to replace them with, though (although some CS 69's sound pretty good). I'd like to know what you guys think of that idea, given the rust on the pole pieces and the general scumminess. I've never cleaned pickups before, not sure how to go about it.

Any advice is much appreciated :)

p.s. isn't it bonkers how it looks blue in one pic and green in the other? The sunlight coming into the house changed, that's it! Love that.


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Hammer 4

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 26, 2013
3,846
So. Calif.
Hammer, I'm selfishly resurrecting this thread to ask you some questions about how you restored your Pro Tone. I just picked up the exact same guitar at pawn shop for $200. Pics below. Mine is dirty, the pole pieces in the pickups are rusting and there is definitely some tarnish/corrosion on the hardware from the metals under the plating. The fretboard looks like it hasn't been cleaned since 1997. Anyway, my plan is to do the following:

1. Clean the neck and fretboard with naphtha, then level, crown and polish the frets. Do maple fretboards take conditioning of any kind after cleaning? I've only had rosewood until now.

2. Replace the pots with 250k's, upgrade to a CTS switch, install a .047 cap and replace all the wiring. I don't understand why 500k pots and a .022 cap would have come stock on an SSS guitar, but maybe someone can enlighten me.

3. Clean the bridge and saddles. You mentioned you soaked the bridge in soapy water? This doesn't encourage further corrosion of the metals under the gold plating? I know not to use an abrasive cleaner on gold plating. If your method worked well, that's what I'll go with.

4. Possibly... replace the pickups. Don't know what to replace them with, though (although some CS 69's sound pretty good). I'd like to know what you guys think of that idea, given the rust on the pole pieces and the general scumminess. I've never cleaned pickups before, not sure how to go about it.

Any advice is much appreciated :)

p.s. isn't it bonkers how it looks blue in one pic and green in the other? The sunlight coming into the house changed, that's it! Love that.


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Wow, yours looks great!

RE the fretboard..Maple boards have a finish/sealer on them, so no conditioning is needed, just a good cleaning, I use Murphy's wood soap.

Re: pots, ect..I switched back to the original pups, with the 250k pots, they do sound better, I used a .022 orange drop cap. Have no idea why they use 500k pots with a sss set up.

The bridge, yes, it was fairly grimy. Once it was free of the junk, I used a hairdryer to get all the moister off of it to avoid any rust, then lightly oiled it.

Cleaning the gold hardware use mild soap and water, so far it's holding up well.

When I had the Rose Robutsa pups in there, it sounded great, you might consider using Rose pups, excellent quality yet affordable. http://www.rosepickups.com/
 

Maria

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 21, 2015
11
Gainesville, FL
Thanks so much for your reply, that helps a lot. I got another recommendation for Rose pickups, and you just helped me decide on the first set to try :) I wondered if Murphy's Oil Soap would be a good option, I'll have to try that. Thanks again!
 

Razzle

Strat-Talker
Feb 3, 2011
164
AL
That's beautiful!! Wanted one of the tele pro tones due to the neck.

So how do u like the neck?
 

Maria

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 21, 2015
11
Gainesville, FL
That's beautiful!! Wanted one of the tele pro tones due to the neck.

So how do u like the neck?

The neck is literally the reason I bought it! It's so slim and fast. It's faster than the neck on my Ibanez, and the one-piece maple is fantastic. I could go on about that neck for days. I know a lot of people don't like it, precisely because it is so slim, but I'm female, and my hands are small, and the big beefy necks just make my life more difficult.
 

Hammer 4

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 26, 2013
3,846
So. Calif.
Maria, I clean all my maple necks with Murphy's soap, as do others that I know. If you need to clean around the frets, use a tooth brush to get any dirt out..may take a couple of try's.

I like the neck on mine as well, not as chunky as I would prefer, but not nearly as slim as some necks I've tried.

Oh, which Rose pups are you considering..?
 

davidjon_99

Strat-Talker
Nov 4, 2015
231
Houston
Hammer, I'm selfishly resurrecting this thread to ask you some questions about how you restored your Pro Tone. I just picked up the exact same guitar at pawn shop for $200.

That is a beautiful guitar! Congrats. I thought I got a great deal buying a '97 Pro Tone Tele for $189 with gig bag. But I think you got an even better deal.

Don't clean it up too much, you'll wash away all the mojo. :)
 

Maria

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 21, 2015
11
Gainesville, FL
Maria, I clean all my maple necks with Murphy's soap, as do others that I know. If you need to clean around the frets, use a tooth brush to get any dirt out..may take a couple of try's.

I like the neck on mine as well, not as chunky as I would prefer, but not nearly as slim as some necks I've tried.

Oh, which Rose pups are you considering..?

Ok, cool. I just got some Murphy's, and I also have naphtha.

With regard to the Rose pups, you mentioned Robustas earlier, which sounded good to me. I was also considering the Robusta/Buff Beauty combination set (http://www.rosepickups.com/apps/webstore/products/show/5913992). I use a lot of pedals for the band I'm in right now - cascading delays, fuzz pedals, etc. - so I want something that will handle that scenario well.
 

Maria

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 21, 2015
11
Gainesville, FL
That is a beautiful guitar! Congrats. I thought I got a great deal buying a '97 Pro Tone Tele for $189 with gig bag. But I think you got an even better deal.

Don't clean it up too much, you'll wash away all the mojo. :)

Oh man, that's an awesome deal on that tele! You're right, I have a real road-rusted axe here lol

UPDATE: I took off the bridge, and damn - those springs, saddle screws, and height screws are RUSTY. Some springs almost disintegrated in my hands. Is this something I can find a replacement for at a hardware store, or do I need to order from AllParts/StewMac/eBay? I found replacement saddle screws and springs on AllParts, but I was going to check at Home Depot later today, since I'm going there anyway. I thought I'd take the old parts with me to make sure I'm getting the right size.
 

davidjon_99

Strat-Talker
Nov 4, 2015
231
Houston
Oh man, that's an awesome deal on that tele! You're right, I have a real road-rusted axe here lol

UPDATE: I took off the bridge, and damn - those springs, saddle screws, and height screws are RUSTY. Some springs almost disintegrated in my hands. Is this something I can find a replacement for at a hardware store, or do I need to order from AllParts/StewMac/eBay? I found replacement saddle screws and springs on AllParts, but I was going to check at Home Depot later today, since I'm going there anyway. I thought I'd take the old parts with me to make sure I'm getting the right size.

It's sure worth trying to find the screws from Home Depot. We have a Sears hardware close by and they stock a lot of different screws and such. Things I can't find there I usually get from eBay.
 

Maria

Strat-Talk Member
Dec 21, 2015
11
Gainesville, FL
UPDATE: I took the whole guitar apart, and cleaned everything, per this discussion.

I cleaned the bridge and saddles and hardware with murphy's oil soap and a soft toothbrush. No harm or scratches on the gold plating, which was great! It's not like this is a new instrument - the hardware had rust spots and worn spots already, so I wasn't too concerned about tiny scratches. Polished everything up with GHS guitar gloss.

I soaked all the rusty screws and springs - ALL of them, from every piece of hardware and the pickguard and trem guard - in WD-40 for about five minutes. I let them dry on a paper towel, and put them back on. They look great. The WD-40 was dark, dark red when I threw it out, so much rust. However, I think this method allowed me to salvage the original screws and springs without having to replace them. The bridge and saddles went back together perfectly, no problems.

I leveled and re-crowned the frets, cleaned the neck and fretboard with murphy's oil soap and reconditioned it with F-One oil. I know maple fingerboards don't normally take oil, but the fingerboard felt dry after the cleaning, and this helped. I conditioned it with just a tiny drop of F-One on a microfiber cloth, and wiped the oil off almost immediately.

All in all, the guitar cleaned up beautifully. Just waiting on my new switch, pots and pickups now :) I would post pics, but it's not really dramatic enough to show in pictures - but I can tell!
 


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