Renovating a semi-acoustic Klira (ES-335 copy)

Discussion in 'Other Guitar Discussion' started by JamesE, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    This was my NGD a few days ago. It had been altered, and didn't look too good.
    Now it's time to get to work on it!
    I've never renovated a guitar before, so this is a new project - I'll let you know how it goes!

    20191126 DSC_4691.JPG
    That's how it looked on day 1.

    I cleaned off the strange name and threw the strings. Out comes all the electronics.
    The bits of string are to help me put everything back where it belongs.

    20191202 DSC_4789.JPG

    And here are the said electronics:

    20191202 DSC_4788.JPG

    I welcome any help and suggestions, as I know there are some very knowledgeable and experienced people here.
     
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  2. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue Strat-Talker

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    Are the electronics ok?
    From what I see selector and pots have been changed - not a necessary bad thing. I would start by making sure everything works as it should and silently. Those PU are single coils if I remember well, you may experiment with 250 and 500k as you prefer.

    Then after that: what is wrong with the guitar? What do you plan to do ?
     
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  3. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    PUs work, but there is a vast difference between the bridge output (high) and the neck output (low). Should I replace the wiring? As it ain't broken, I don't like to fix it.
    You're right that the PUs are single-coil, and it's all a bit noisy.
    One of my ideas is to swap them for some humbuckers, but I need to try the guitar out when it's back in working order first.

    I don't intend returning it to original spec., as that would mean taking off the tailpiece and searching for some vintage machine heads. Reverb has a lot of Kliras on it, where you can see the (IMHO amusing) crown-shaped turners.

    "What is wrong with the guitar?" Erm, not sure what you mean.

    What I intend to do with it - I've recently started playing in a Big Band, and thought a semi-acoustic would suit my position. It just so happens that this guitar came up for sale locally at the same time, and the magic of serendipity occurred.

    Tonight I'm working on a name plate and the scratchplate logo. If they go well, there'll be some photos. I've ordered some shellac, even though I'm aware of the problems of ready-mixed.

    I'm looking forward to getting it finished!
     
  4. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue Strat-Talker

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    Well you have to check if both pickups are ok, with a multimeter first. If so, you will have to raise the neck pickup and lower the bridge one to have a usable balance of tones.
    I remember working on a lot of Hofner guitars. Some are full of tone-sucking capacitors acting as filters. Lots of Eko, Galanti guitars have them too. If I have to play these guitars on live situations (and currently I play two fully-rewired Hofner 173), i rewire them all to classic wiring without those filters.
    So make sure there is nothing between your pickups output signal wire and the volume pot, and that the tone capacitors are where they should be.

    I thought you were needing some help because the guitar had a problem but seems not.

    They can be very good guitars. Klira were made in the same town as Hofners. Great woods etc. One of the major differences though, IMO, is Hofner had a far better Quality Control at the end of the production line. Klira, I have had great guitars, and others not-so-good. Still have a fabulous bass.

    Good luck! She’s already really pretty.
     
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  5. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    You're very knowledgeable about this guitar. I didn't spend much time trying the PUs, but in view of the difference in output, you've inspired me to replace the electrics. After all, there is no way I can restore it to its original state, so I might as well make it "my own".
     
  6. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    "...i rewire them all to classic wiring without those filters.
    So make sure there is nothing between your pickups output signal wire and the volume pot, and that the tone capacitors are where they should be."

    I've looked at some "kits" to replace the electronics, but they all have 4 pots. Mine are arranged Neck Vol - Tone - Bridge Vol. Here are some photos in that order:

    20191205 DSC_4835 Neck Vol.JPG
    20191205 DSC_4836 Tone.JPG
    20191205 DSC_4838 Bridge Vol.JPG

    What would you suggest for the wiring? Ideally I'd like the Jimmy Page setup, but can that be done with only 3 pots?
     
  7. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    No photos today, just ordered the new electronics - a set of Epiphone Pro-buckers.
    I mean, I'm not looking backwards at restoring it to how it was in 1969, so why not?

    Shellac has arrived, but before I start laying it on the guitar, I'm practising on my Mittenwald violin from about 1880. It's always looked rather sad, so I'm hoping my first shellac effort will cheer it up!
     
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  8. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    1880!? Let's see the violin!

    Sounds like a fun project you have there in the Klira. Can't wait to see more .
     
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  9. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue Strat-Talker

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    I have no idea what the Jimmy Page wiring is, but as you have no toggle switch to choose between pickups, you will always have a balanced sound with your two volumes putting more or less signal from their respective pickups.
    And so, a jazz bass wiring is what you need.

    7B79D35D-146F-4D20-A030-F2751518D38C.png

    As you are not keeping the original electronics, I suggest you put new pots (500k) and jack. In fact, new everything. And store the old everything.
     
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  10. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    Okay, you asked for it!
    DSC_4850.JPG
    This is "Camden" - I bought her at Camden Lock in 1979, and even though I later bought a handmade violin, I never had the heart to let her go. It's a pity I didn't take a photo before I removed the old shellac, because she really looked awful. There are a few scratches that go down to the wood, but most of the damage was only in the varnish. There was one particular place where a circle about 2 inches in diameter showed that somebody had spilt something there.

    Oh, and yes, that IS a lego block!
     
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  11. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    Thanks for the diagram, but I DO have a toggle switch - it's not terribly obvious as it's right next to the scratchplate. I've ordered some Epiphone Pro-buckers with pots, and my plan at the moment is to hide the neck tone control inside the body. Have to see how it goes, but I think the neck is best turned fully to treble. That's what I found on my SG, anyway.
     
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  12. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue Strat-Talker

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    Oh yes !! My bad !!
    Just do not connect the neck pickup volume pot to another pot (tone). just remove it from your kit ?
     
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  13. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    My plan is to set the neck tone control to full treble, lock it with a bit of epoxy resin, then push it into the body cavity. The switch and other three pots will then fill the four holes. If I don't like it, I can always rewire the switch and drill a new hole in the top shoulder - like on a Les Paul.

    I realise that I may have to extend the wires a bit, as the ones I've ordered are designed to be crammed into the Les Paul diamond hole, and there's quite a distance between the neck and bridge volume controls.
     
  14. KindofBlue

    KindofBlue Strat-Talker

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    It would be much easier to remove the pot and not fit it anywhere. That would act as a no-load, so full treble - full spectrum.
     
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  15. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    Just cut the cables? Job done, tick.
     
  16. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Wow!!! Gorgeous violin.

    I can offer that lightly sanding down to 400 or more, even 800, is beneficial to the final product. See the pics of my 70s Harmony. I had no idea the shellac would turn out so well. Or I would have carried on with the sanding past 320 grit.

    20190617_103159.jpg 20191118_194332.jpg
     
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  17. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    I am amazed at how lovely the violin's back is - I guess I'm going to have to do something about the sides and belly now!

    I used alcohol to remove a lot of the old shellac, then sanded the body. 99% of the scratching was in the varnish. I've got sandpaper to 1000 grit, but stopped at 600.

    Your guitar looks good so far - now for the polishing stage!
     
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  18. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    Here's my first attempt - the violin back, unpolished.

    DSC_4856.JPG
    I'll probably leave this for now and get on with the guitar.

    Just for anyone who thought I was dealing with something rare, precious and beautiful... the violin's belly:

    DSC_4857.JPG

    Pity about that crack! Some years ago I went back to the shop where I bought it, and the new owner was very disparaging about the previous owner's work. I just have to hold the violin so only the back can be seen!
     
  19. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    DSC_4896.JPG
    Sanding sealer has been applied. Soon the real varnish!
     
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  20. JamesE

    JamesE Strat-O-Master

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    DSC_5029.JPG
    Maybe not the most perfect back, but all done by hand! No nitro in sight, just shellac and and old t-shirt.
     
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