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Author Topic: Would like some help identifying guitar and replacement parts needed  (Read 1141 times)

Offline nathaniel.ehle

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I recently picked up an old Washburn electric guitar that looks exactly like this one:

It says "Mercury Series II" on the headstock. SN beginning with 4 on the neck plate which I believe dates it to 1994. It has Grover tuners, maple fretboard, black dot inlays (as seen in the picture), 24 frets, 1 tone knob, 1 volume knob, 5 way switch, black body, and chrome licensed Floyd Rose bridge. Pickups: neck 421 humbucker, middle 412 single coil, and bridge 423 humbucker. This site leads me to believe its an MG-340, but the one discrepancy is that it lists a rosewood fretboard while mine has maple.

Before I ask for help, I want to assure you that I have scoured the Internet (forums, reviews, Washburn site, etc.) and have yet to find the information I am seeking.

In particular, I am looking for information on the licensed Floyd Rose. Does anyone know exactly what model Floyd Rose was put on these guitars.

It did not come with the nut blocks:
I don't see much variety in what you can buy. Is this a pretty standard part? I'll add a picture of the existing nut later today.

It did not come with tremolo arm or the "post" that the tremolo arm fits into. The bridge plate has a hole for the tremolo arm threaded on the inside with a slightly raised "collar" around the hole on the top of the plate. I'll add a picture of the bridge plate tremolo arm hole later today.

Some of the saddle inserts are cracked so I need to replace them. I don't see much variety in what you can buy. Is this a pretty standard part? I'll add a picture of the existing saddle inserts later today.

I would also love a wiring diagram as the previous owner says that there is some crackling and blames the input jack connection.

Also, any advice on cleaning the bridge, body, fretboard, i.e. the whole thing would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance,


Offline nathaniel.ehle

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Re: Would like some help identifying guitar and replacement parts needed
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2017, 08:26:30 PM »
Old saddle inserts:
The old saddles have the indentation kind of in the middle, while all the inserts you can buy have the indentation toward one side like here:
Will there be a problem with the new saddles?

The tremolo arm is not as I thought it was:
The hole in the bridge plate is not threaded, but it lines up with a threaded hole in the brass block. I don't remember seeing a tremolo arm anything like that. all the ones available on stewmac or allparts have a post/sleeve that would go on the underside of the bridge plate that the arm would go inside. Any body know where I can get the appropriate arm?

This looks as though the standard nut blocks will work fine.

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: Would like some help identifying guitar and replacement parts needed
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2017, 11:24:26 PM »
One note: Floyd Rose Guitars has never made "licensed" parts. Their products are generally known as Original Floyd Rose or Floyd Rose Original or whatever.

In exchange for cash, Floyd Rose Marketing allows some other company to use some key design elements, & the name for marketing purposes. The licensee might change some elements (material quality, milling precision) from the original design, or take only a few FR elements into their own design.

As a result, many "licensed" versions are disdained. Those made by Schaller are generally well-regarded (though the name might have much to do with that); those by Gotoh seem to be considered the best, possibly even better than Originals.

One exception (supposedly) to the above is the current Floyd Rose Special Series, marketed as imported by Floyd Rose Marketing & made to their exacting specifications. They are NOT stamped "licensed" but bear a "Floyd Rose / Special" imprint.

Replacing small parts is often a hit-or-miss proposition unless you know who actually built what you have. That is to say, you may have to buy a few parts only to find they don't fit. Some owners just replace the whole shebang with a used assembly they buy off -- it's faster & often cheaper. GFS used to sell a complete kit for $20.95.

Any body know where I can get the appropriate arm?
You mean, something like a 6mm Screw In Floyd Rose/Made In Mexico replacement arm? Yeah, I might have an idea --
You might actually be able to use ANY "import" arm, like you'd find on any number of Squiers or cheaper -- if it binds, don't force it, but worth a try.

Sure looks like an MG340 to me. Washburn has been known to change that sort of thing mid-run, with or without changing the model number.

If it really needs that thorough a cleaning, then take it apart first.

For a rosewood fretboard, I use lemon oil I got from a violin shop; not so good for maple as it tends to seep in even the tiniest gaps & discolor the wood. However, it's great for loosening crud on hardware, without risking rust; available online from pretty much any gear vendor.

Cleaning the painted areas takes a little warm water with just a touch of mild dish detergent like Dawn. Of course, you thoroughly dust it off first, & then resist unnecessary scrubbing, or you'll increase the "swirly" scratches on the paint. And use the water sparingly or you risk wetting any damage-exposed wood & possibly swelling or degrading the fibers.

Unless the wiring's been torn out, there's no need for a wiring diagram. That "crackling" could be just about anything, so poking randomly around is unlikely to be helpful.

In all likelihood, it's because of cumulative crud on the jack contacts. First thing, you take a regular 1/4" plug, then put it the jack, then take it out, then put it back in, & dio this about 20-30 more times. Ifthat's not good enough, then you clean the jack's contact surfaces with a cotton swab soaked in alcohol. If that doesn't do the trick, & you don't have any Caig DeoxIT handy, you need to get in & polish the contact points with a little piece of super-fine steel wool (or green scrubby pad). (I've heard from reliable sources that Brasso works too, especially when the metal's visibly discolored with crud, but I've never tried it.)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2017, 11:27:43 PM by Tony Raven »
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Offline nathaniel.ehle

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Re: Would like some help identifying guitar and replacement parts needed
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 09:49:33 AM »
Thanks Tony for the reply and for the information!

I think you are correct about it being an MG340. A few old listings for that model on reverb/ebay match my guitar exactly.

I ended up buying a bunch of parts from Stew Mac and most of them worked great.

One exception was the nut blocks (string clamps). Stew Mac's are made for Golden Age or Schaller tremolos and were too big for my existing nut. I ended up buying a replacement locking nut from Dragonfire Guitars. (It is still in the mail. I'll post an update once it arrives and I get it installed.)

Stew Mac's 6mm tremolo arm fits, although the point at which it tightens against the threads is not ideal. If you use the bar in a normal picking position (i.e. bar pointing towards the neck), there is a decent amount of wobble. I assume I can use loctite or plumbers tape or something of that ilk to fix this issue.

The OFR saddle inserts from Stew Mac worked just fine, no complaints.

The crackling the previous owner referred to turned out to just be dirty pots. I sprayed a bit of contact cleaner in each pot, worked them back and forth, and the guitar is now whisper silent. Very glad I didn't have to mess with the wiring at all.

In order to polish the frets, I used an old Planet Waves Fret Polishing Paper I had. This worked pretty well, but it is paper thin, so I got some pretty big blisters on my finger from all that rubbing. I ordered a 3M Scotch-Brite Light Duty Pad from Stew Mac, taped off the fretboard, and polished them again. This didn't do much more than the polishing paper already had, but it is much easier to work with than the polishing papers, so I'm glad I have it now for future use.

I cleaned the body and the fretboard with a damp cloth and a bit of dish soap. Worked fine.

I want to make note of a few other parts I bought/ordered. From Stew Mac, I also bought an oval jack plate, dome knobs with 6mm shaft, saddle mounting screws, and string lock screws. These all worked great, except the saddle mounting screws. They are of a smaller thread diameter than the existing screws on this Licensed Floyd Rose.

I also ordered replacement strap buttons from Dragonfire Guitars. They are still in the mail.