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Author Topic: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade  (Read 848 times)

Offline JudgeShredd

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BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« on: January 27, 2019, 01:29:29 PM »
Ok I've read a few days worth of posts here and elsewhere for background. Refreshing my Tobacco Sunburst? 1997 BT8 that I bought new in 1997 for my daughter, long since languishing in a closet waiting for me to retire and begin a new journey. I tried to clean the pots and switch with little success, so I'm thinking of installing a $27 "premium harness" from Guitarfetish or similar: [Cat # K196- Standard Solder "Premium" Harnesses - SG Harness VVTT 500K, Braided Metal Cabling, .022uf Purple Polypro Cap. -(Has XGP pots, and I would change the caps to .047 gumdrops.)
Part Number:K196Availability: In Stock FINALLY! A complete hand-wired Telecaster assembly- made with the BEST components ].
The 2 pot harness is OOS so the above in stock 4 pot Tele harness catches my fancy, which results with dedicated pots for each humbucker. This install would require drilling the body for the additional 2 pots. I also want to add an output jack to the front of the body, below the pots, because I like to sit/lie down playing it to keep my left shoulder from screaming at me (the bottom out jack gets in the way). To add insult to injury, I might as well drill ANOTHER hole and fit the 3 way switch in there somewhere, to avoid unsolder/resoldering. The OTHER option is to install <$20 "premium" push pull pots, split the HB's (or not) which would save the drilling, although I still think I'll punch a hole for a front mount output jack, wired in parallel? with the existing. Now, I paid $599+tax for this 100% beauty back in '97, and it's worth apparently $200 today, with or without the new electronics?!!. . So the Big question is: Does it really matter if I lower its face value by modifying it? Second question: If I go with the push pull pots, does it effectively give me 2 vol and 2 tone to work with? So I guess I'm trying to balance the ideas of the additional work with the wiring, soldering the pots n switch, vs using pre-made harness, vs modding/drilling the body. (I'm equally good at the different disciplines involved). Any ideas as to playability/sound advantages to all the above?--Thanks to my fellow Washburn Bros--Hank
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"

Offline JudgeShredd

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2019, 10:05:20 PM »
Kinda multiple things to think about in the above, so if anyone wants to take on just the subject of modding/ altering the body, or one of the other facets of the above, i'd love to hear it-tx . You don't see many BT8's out there. I wonder how many were ever sold, but I just can't think they're all that rare. Probably thousands of them sitting in closets just like mine did for the last couple decades. I could MAYBE sell it for $200 ish, but what could I get for $200 that would have this level of build quality?
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"

Offline Tony Raven

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 10:04:59 PM »
First thoughts...

My old Blue Book says the BT-8 is valued at $550 in perfect shape, $295 in 80% condition. Really, not bad for MSRP $749. I did a fast analysis three years back, & set the BT-8 as the highest-value MIK Maverick, ahead of even the BT-10 & BT-9.

It's very difficult to affix a proper "market value" to because of the too-common BT-2, BT-4, & BT-3. Over the past 3-4 years, speculators have been snagging up all other models in hopes of getting rich. Believe me, I've thought of selling my BT-6 for twice what I paid for it a few years ago.

Per Blue Book, EVERY change made to a quality guitar reduces its value -- period.

If your axe is in great shape? SELL IT. 8) Buy a half-decent BT-2 or BT-4 (<$150 delivered), & feel free to poke at it as you will, because there's so little downside. In the past couple of months, I see that eBay has sold a black BT-2 ($73 delivered), another ($73), & another ($82). Someone got a BT-4 with HSC for $121 all-in. And if you want an axe with a face-mounted jack, why not just start there...? My Washburn "Shadow Series" is a dead-on Strat copy AND has Grover tuners, costing me a hundred bucks.

To "clean the pots," you need Caig DeOxit, & then to run 'em back & forth a couple dozen times. (Ditto for the switch.)

And after you overhaul the wiring, what will you have done to set the action?
M1SDL; XB-400 (natural), XB-400 (burg), XB-500 (teal); X-10, X-33; D46CESP, WCSD30SCE; BT-3, BT-4, BT-6, JB-80; WS-4; WI-66V; Lyon LCT24; OS Autoharps

resident troublemaker: http://cheapguitars.boards.net/

Offline JudgeShredd

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2019, 02:51:18 PM »
Wow, thanks for the reply. That makes me just want to try the Caig Deoxit first and see if I get a fix right there. I tried (i think CRC) contact cleaner, shot into the openings in the pots, and whizzed them back n forth about a hundred times each, but with almost no improvement. They cut out alot. Didn't think to do the switch. I just assumed it was poor quality, but ill try the Deoxit. Shoud I pull out the pots and immerse them somehow, or is that overkill?  Anyway, I guess I'll hold off on the idea of bashing her up. She's really purdy and unspoiled in her current condition, The guitar I mean.  ;D Probably put in some push pulls if the Deoxit doesn't work. Thanks- more soon-h
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"

Offline JudgeShredd

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2019, 07:49:26 PM »


And after you overhaul the wiring, what will you have done to set the action?

Action, what Action, I don't even know how to play the thing! JK. Actually I'm known in this household as being more about the gear than trying to learn what to do with it. You should see my fishing room. Yes I said Room. Most mom n pop tackle stores would be envious. Each wall has a section with peg boards, for different species/presentations. But I digress...
By Action, I assume you mean the string set up, and by golly, there's alot of adjustment points available on this puppy. I haven't felt the need to change anything with the set-up though, and maybe the boys at the shop where I bought her must've checked/set-up, because it's just easy to play (with) the doggone thing. I have a decent (Blueridge BR43 bought used at $125) acoustic that I'm supposed to be learning on, because my goal is to be a "campfire strummer", but when I get discouraged, I put on some headphones and "play" the BT8 through a cheapo Danelectro Honeytone pocket amp. And it's like greased lightning compared to that acoustic. Actually now that makes me think about checking the set-up on the Blueridge.- Thank you Tony! Oh well, GTG--ttyl--h
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"

Offline JudgeShredd

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2019, 08:30:47 PM »
(Re)Posting this here because I won't be able to find it later:
BT8   
- slightly offset double cutaway mahogany bound body, maple neck, 22-fret rosewood fingerboard with offset pearl dot inlay, three-per-side Grover tuners, tune-o-matic bridge, stop tailpiece, two exposed coil humbucker pickups, two knobs (v, tone), three-way toggle switch on the upper bass bout, chrome hardware, available in Honey Sunburst, Trans. Red, or Trans. Purple finish, mfg. 1996-99. In 1999, Honey Sunburst and Trans. Purple finishes were disc.

<Look at my Avatar Pic here <BT8 Ser # 7110363. I Remember the sales rep stating it was a Tobacco Sunburst, but the above post, supposedly pulled from Washburn source?, doesn't list Tobacco. No letter in the serial no. for a clue. Does anyone know what color it might be? From what I read on here, it seems Washburn was just winging it, putting together whatever they had laying around at the time. Does Trans. mean Translucent ?  I wonder what she'd look like under the stage lighting of a live show. Oh well, duty calls, GTG
« Last Edit: February 01, 2019, 08:44:43 AM by JudgeShredd »
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"

Offline JudgeShredd

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2019, 04:37:55 PM »
Update: Decided to KISS and avoid languishing in indecision, so I ordered "premium" UGC USA etc exact replacement values of the switch, pots and Switchcraft output jack for approx $36 total including shipping, from Guitarfetish. Got 12% savings for Namm show Woot Woot! So we'll have some interesting report upcoming within a week when I get it all done. In the immortal words of Borat.."Very Excite!!!"
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"

Offline scotto10

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2019, 04:50:46 PM »
Whatever you do, DO NOT sell the BT8 and replace it with a BT2, BT3, BT.....999. ALL of those BT2-7 pretty much suck. I have had two BT8's (one was stolen) and two BT10's. they are way out of the league of the 2-7's. The necks are way better/faster and the attention to detail is better - they are just better guitars. I mean, they took the time to put a carved maple top on it rather than use a flat slab of wood like the others. I think the BT8s and BT10 are some of the best unknown value guitars out there - ever. I would almost put them up against any one of my expensive USA Maverick series (i have a WM100, WM200, a JB100, & a JB100midi)  - BT are part of the Maverick series as well as the USA WMs. I would even say the necks on the BT8 and BT10 are faster and easier to play than the USA models with their painted necks. My one remaining BT (10) proudly sits next to my USA WM flock. Keep yours and upgrade it. It's also the ONLY import Washburn I have that I haven't swapped the pickups with Seymour Duncans because, for some strange reason, it sounds great with the stock pickups - it's the ONLY one like that though.
- and yes, I have owned BT2s and BT3s. They are garbage and part of the reason why Washburn has no respect any more. Washburn has put out so much low end crap that the fantastic custom shop models have been just about completely overshadowed by the low end crap. At their height (1994-2008), Washburn (custom shop guitars) could compete with any of the boutique guitar makers. After being sold to Canada, they crashed and burned. The good news though, is that you can get a great used USA made Washburn if you are very patient at very low prices.
Washburn WM-100
Washburn WM-200
Washburn MG-113
Washburn USA Idol White
Washburn USA Idol flame
Washburn Pilsen Idol
Washburn Silverado
Washburn JB100
Washburn JB100 midi
Washburn RW300
Washburn XB900
Washburn XB905
Washburn X40 Pro black/Aqua/blue
Washburn X50 ProQ
..and LOTS more imports too

Offline JudgeShredd

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2019, 08:59:01 AM »
Thank u scotto for the encouragement. I was wondering if the lower end washies would have different neck attributes. I've never "played" anything other than the bt8 electric. I have a Blueridge acoustic that i'm fooling around with, and while it came to me recommended as a pleasure to play, as stated below, i'm always coming back to the bt8...SO...I have completed the upgrade to the new stock spec "premium" UGC pots n cap n switch n jack. I must say, I'm quite proud of my soldering job, used the solid cutoff from the orange cap to make the jumper to the case, and just overall cleaner wire routing than the original production environment allowed. For those researching here considering same upgrade, I highly recommend doing the stock spec upgrade before considering anything more radical. (If you're an accomplished player, maybe go with push pull pots and split the humbuckers, but read on..) The only mod I had to do was inside the control cavity, I had to open up the output jack hole (with a carefully applied 1/2" paddle bit, started/angled just inside from the face of the body) as the new switchcraft jack is much more stout than the factory one. Results: In the words of Gene Wilder in the movie Young Frankenstein: "IT'S-- ALIVE!!!". I'm not ready to declare it a "tone monster" because I don't have an experienced opinion, but of course i expected it to be much quieter, which it is (I've only played it through my Bose noise cancelling headphones till later today) BUT the sound is so much "Fuller" and "Creamier" than the factory (oxidized) components! Very pleased with this easy, low cost $36 upgrade, including solder!. BTW the UGC pots have just the right turning resistance and the factory knobs fit perfect. Also, as per scotto's comment below, the W 621 neck and W 623 bridge pickups are giving me plenty to work with. TTYL- h
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"

Offline scotto10

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 04:42:38 AM »
Glad you got it up and running. The only criticism I would give the BT8 & 10 is there was not much in the way of color choice. There was red, like yours, and a very dark blue flamed version. that's it. That was during a time when red and blue seemed like pretty much all they had. These models would look killer in an antique or amber gloss.
btw, since starting on this thread, I pulled out a bunch of old spare hardware I have and think I will change all the BT10 chrome hardware for black. I have direct replacement Grover tuners in black and a black Washburn 800S in great condition I will put on it. I may do the internals upgrade you did as well while I am at it push/pull pots and switchcraft switch and jack. What are UGC pots? I am thinking the old standard, CTS, is the way to go - maybe with a little drilling though.
Washburn WM-100
Washburn WM-200
Washburn MG-113
Washburn USA Idol White
Washburn USA Idol flame
Washburn Pilsen Idol
Washburn Silverado
Washburn JB100
Washburn JB100 midi
Washburn RW300
Washburn XB900
Washburn XB905
Washburn X40 Pro black/Aqua/blue
Washburn X50 ProQ
..and LOTS more imports too

Offline JudgeShredd

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Re: BT8 BT 8 Maverick Refresh n Upgrade
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2019, 07:12:49 AM »
Sorry, been off the grid for a bit. The UGC pots are the ones GuitarFetish sells and recommends. I'm very pleased with them. (Now I just have to get past my aversion to barred chords, and play the thing:)
"All you need to write the Blues is 2 chords and the truth"