Gibson Guitar Board: Replacement NanoFlex Pickup for my Masterbilt EF-500RCCE ??? - Gibson Guitar Board

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Replacement NanoFlex Pickup for my Masterbilt EF-500RCCE ???

#1 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 07:38 AM

I purchased a Masterbilt EF-500RCCE from my father a few months ago. He had purchased it from a local ship in AZ and just used it as his front porch strummer for a bit. I fell in love with the way it played and had been looking for an acoustic with onboard electronics to do some gigging with so we worked out a deal. He doesn't have any amplifiers at his place so he'd never played it plugged in, and I didn't either before bringing it home.

The first time I plugged it in though, the nanoflex pickup wasnít working. After reaching in and gently wiggling the lead to the nanoflex it started working fine. The next time I played it, same thing. Then the pickup went into crackle mode, making it unplayable (at least plugged in).

I removed it from under the saddle and sure enough, I was able to find the exact spot where the broken wire must be right where the braided lead wire goes into the transducer string. No vissible way to repair it though...

Since my dad got it used and I got it from him, Iím sure no warranty applies. Iíd be happy to pay for a replacement nanoflex but canít seem to find where to purchase one.

Gibson Service told me that ďany Epiphone retailerĒ can sell me one, but the local Sam Ash, Guitar Center and smaller shops all told me to call Gibson for the part.

Any ideas on how to get a replacement nanoflex?

Iím also wondering if just any under saddle pickup with a 2.5mm plug will work with the e sonic2 preamp?

#2 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 08:08 AM

Peter, thanks for the welcome and info.

There are a couple Shadow dealers in my area I can check with.

From their webiste it appears Shadow sells the Nanoflex along with an endpin preamp

http://www2.shadow-e...pro.html?id=207

I found it at an online vendor for $155(US).

http://www.music123....171735.Music123

Of course I don't need the preamp and honestly I won't be spending $155 to fix a guitar I got for $450...

Wonder if there's a way to just get the Nanoflex...?

#3 User is offline   LJS 

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 05:57 PM

Only the Nanoflex, without preamp, should be available, it is in Europe:

http://www.thomann.d...kup_classic.htm

Search for SH NFX PU-G 2.3 or SH NFX PU-G 2.8

HTH
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1968 Nagoya Suzuki P-15
1980 Yamaha G 225
2001 Epiphone Hummingbird
2007 Ibanez Jet King 4
2010 Epiphone DR 500 ME NA
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#4 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 21 May 2010 - 02:24 AM

Very cool thanks. A quick Google didn't yield much though. Have to say I'm a little bumbed that Epi/Gibson service wasn't a little more helpful. It seems like ordering a replacement part from the OEM should be something you can do.

#5 User is offline   karm 

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 01:29 PM

>Have to say I'm a little bumbed that Epi/Gibson service wasn't a little more helpful.

Now that is an understatement. I bought a new Epiphone AJ-200 SCE 18 months ago (same pickup and preamp as yours). In less than a year the pickup started humming and poping (like what you describe). The dealer (Guitar Center) where I bought it would not touch it (yes, the folks who sold it to me would not service it). They made a generous offer to give me a box, and I could ship it myself back to Gibson. Right, drop my guitar in a box and ship it across the country, and maybe get it back in 6 months.

Gibson support gave me the name of 2 local "authorized" repair shops. Both had so much backlog they would not even take my guitar.

So much for service. I doubt I will ever buy a Gibson or Epiphone again.

-Mark

#6 User is offline   YerDugliness 

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 03:29 PM

Well, I must admit that for a change procrastination has become its own reward......

I bought an AJ500RC and absolutely fell in love with the townewood combination, among other things, and was seriously considering an EF500RCCE b/c it uses the same tonewoods. Now this comes up.....I was going to use the EF500RCCE for open-mic stuff, but now I think I'll just proceed with my intentions to put a K&K mini into my AJ.

Seems certain Epi models each have their own weak areas....the AJ500RC has historically had problems with lifting bridges (mine did, too), and now there seems to be a consistency with this difficulty with the EF500RCCE.

Cheers from Dugly [biggrin]
YerDugliness, Esq./PostNoBills


Lifelong audiophile, guitar playin' FOOL

Retired once, back at work again, but still attempting to age disgracefully

Epiphones: Masterbilt AJ500RC, Epi Dot, Epi LP Custom

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#7 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 05:12 PM

Funny that this is getting revived now. I finally found a shop not to far from where I work that can special order the Shadow pickup for me. $75 plus $10 for the "special order." So $85 to fix a guitar that cost me $450, so I can maybe sell it for $400...

At least I'm really enjoying the Seagull I bought to take the Epiphone's place. This will undoubtedly be my last Epiphone instrument. Heck maybe I'll sell my Les Paul just as a protest.

#8 User is offline   Hungrycat 

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:03 PM

Quote

Funny that this is getting revived now. I finally found a shop not to far from where I work that can special order the Shadow pickup for me. $75 plus $10 for the "special order." So $85 to fix a guitar that cost me $450, so I can maybe sell it for $400...

At least I'm really enjoying the Seagull I bought to take the Epiphone's place. This will undoubtedly be my last Epiphone instrument. Heck maybe I'll sell my Les Paul just as a protest.


So if you fix it, why would you sell it? It's fixed.
And shouldn't you be pissed at Shadow and not Epiphone?
ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
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#9 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 06:24 PM

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So if you fix it, why would you sell it? It's fixed.
And shouldn't you be pissed at Shadow and not Epiphone?


I suppose that if I get it fixed I might give it a try against the Seagull but I have my doubts it'll be staying around.

As for being upset with Shadow, yeah I guess it was their pickup that went bad. But the total lack of support from Epi was mind boggling. They wouldn't help me out at all and wouldn't support their local "authorized" repair shops.

I've never heard of any OEM not being able to sell replacement parts for something they are still currently manufacturing. Actually, what they told me through the repair shop, was that if it had been a warranty issue they could send a new pickup, but not otherwise... even though I was perfectly willing to pay.

Maybe that's just how it goes with outsourced manufacturing.

#10 User is offline   karm 

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 09:00 AM

I would not mind even paying $75 for a new pickup (for this $300 guitar)... if I was confident it would last more than a year.

Shadow's web site says its products are warrantied for 2 years (5 years if you register your product), but it is not clear if that applies to their products bought as part of a 3rd party guitar package (e.g. Ephiphone). I have asked about this via their web site... we'll see if I get a reply.

For now I installed a Dean Markley 3060 piezo pickup wired direct to the output jack (bypassing the Shadow electronics completely - it seems they don't work with any other pickup). But it sounds lousy (harsh and tinny) and I have no control on EQ, mute, no tuner, etc. I am not a happy camper...

-Mark

#11 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 10:59 AM

Quote


For now I installed a Dean Markley 3060 piezo pickup wired direct to the output jack (bypassing the Shadow electronics completely - it seems they don't work with any other pickup). But it sounds lousy (harsh and tinny) and I have no control on EQ, mute, no tuner, etc. I am not a happy camper...

-Mark


Yeah after buying two other pickups I discovered there's some sort of impedence issue. The Shadow has a little built in Preamp that lowers the impedence, other pickups have a much higher impedence so they don't work with the Shadow Pre.

I had the local shop quote me a new Fishman setup with installation. $250 for that AND the NanoMag is unusable...

Wish I'd never ended up with this thing...

#12 User is offline   YerDugliness 

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 11:33 AM

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Wish I'd never ended up with this thing...


Nate, how does it sound when played unplugged?

The price you paid would not be unreasonable for an acoustic-only Masterbilt....I'd say if you like the unplugged sound, you got a decent deal. I realize it isn't performing as you wanted, but IMHO if that can be fixed for less than $100 you didn't get hurt too bad......IIRC, the price Sweetwater quoted to me was in the $575 range, but of course that would be for a new axe with Epi's warranty.

What a shame this has worked out so badly for you!

Dugly :-"
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#13 User is offline   karm 

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:38 PM

I have contacted a number of Shadow dealers in the US. None of them can get spare parts (e.g. nanoflex pickup). One dealer told me there is a single, exclusive US distributor and the dealers can only order from them. The dealers cannot even order direct from Shadow. There used to be a Shadow office in Florida, but apparently it was closed. Many US dealers seem to have dropped Shadow because of the lack of support and distribution in the US.

I found one dealer in the UK (Thomann, URL in a prior post) that has the pickup listed as a separate item. With shipping to the US and Euro conversion it comes out to about $100. Hard to justify for a $300 guitar (Epiphone AJ200SCE).

#14 User is offline   YerDugliness 

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 03:50 PM

Quote

I bought a new Epiphone AJ-200 SCE 18 months ago (same pickup and preamp as yours). In less than a year the pickup started humming and poping (like what you describe). The dealer (Guitar Center) where I bought it would not touch it (yes, the folks who sold it to me would not service it). They made a generous offer to give me a box, and I could ship it myself back to Gibson. Right, drop my guitar in a box and ship it across the country, and maybe get it back in 6 months.

Gibson support gave me the name of 2 local "authorized" repair shops. Both had so much backlog they would not even take my guitar.

So much for service. I doubt I will ever buy a Gibson or Epiphone again.

-Mark


I'm reading this thread again and wonder why you don't just send the guitar back to Gibson.....or, ask Gibson to intervene with one of the two "authorized" repair shops. I just had a guitar by a different manufacturer repaired at a local luthier who is an authorized Gibson repair shop and it took them 6 months, so that isn't an unusual time frame for a local luthier, but I'd bet Gibson would get it repaired and back to you more quickly.

It seems to me that Gibson has offered you a warranty on the purchase of a new guitar and for the cost of shipping the guitar to them you can get the guitar repaired by the factory. It's a choice, I understand.....I had to make a choice between having a local luthier or Gibson repair the lifting bridge on my AJ500RC, and I chose the local luthier. Yes, that was a different luthier (I live near Houston, TX), but it took him 6 months to get that repair done, too. In the end, I got what I feel was a quality repair, whereas I had little confidence in Gibson/Epiphone's repair b/c they would likely have repaired it to factory specs, which almost ensures that it would have lifted again. I must admit, had I known about the other luthier (the Gibson authorized repair shop), I would probably have chosen to give him a shot at the repair.

Sounds like you have two remedies available......it just might take some pressure from Gibson to get the local option to come through on their responsibility.

FYI, and FWIW, I, too, swore that I would never buy another Gibson product again when the whole AJ500RC saga was over, but as time goes on I am softening on that position. I own two Epiphone electric guitars that I truly NEVER play, but as of yet I have no interest in getting rid of them, they seem like quality products. I knew about the lifting bridge issue with the AJ500RC when I bought it, took my chances, paid for the local repair myself in order to get what I believe was a better repair.

YMMV, of course!

Dugly [biggrin]
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Epiphones: Masterbilt AJ500RC, Epi Dot, Epi LP Custom

Many other fine guitars from other manufacturers, too.

#15 User is offline   karm 

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:59 AM

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I'm reading this thread again and wonder why you don't just send the guitar back to Gibson.....or, ask Gibson to intervene with one of the two "authorized" repair shops. I just had a guitar by a different manufacturer repaired at a local luthier who is an authorized Gibson repair shop and it took them 6 months, so that isn't an unusual time frame for a local luthier, but I'd bet Gibson would get it repaired and back to you more quickly


If I had it to do over I probably would have shipped it back. The first time I had a problem with the pickup and got the run-around, a local guitar shop was able to fix it (it had just come lose). 6 months past the 1-year warranty and the pickup is dead (seems to be broken inside).

The pickup may be under the 2-year warranty that Shadow says it has on all its parts... but so far I cannot get any response from them at all.

#16 User is offline   YerDugliness 

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Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:35 AM

Epi's only have a 1 year warranty? I guess I thought they carried a lifetime warranty to the original buyer. Guess that's what I get for doing my own thinking :) !

Since Gibson/Epi built and sold the guitar with the Shadow pickup, I'd think that they would be responsible for the repair. Does their warranty specifically exclude the pickup?

Perplexing :-k !

Dugly [cool]
YerDugliness, Esq./PostNoBills


Lifelong audiophile, guitar playin' FOOL

Retired once, back at work again, but still attempting to age disgracefully

Epiphones: Masterbilt AJ500RC, Epi Dot, Epi LP Custom

Many other fine guitars from other manufacturers, too.

#17 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 10:50 PM

Just to recap, I got the guitar used so no warranty. But I was fully willing to pay for the replacement part from Gibson. They said "no."

After a few weeks of banging my head against the wall and having "authorized" repair shops tell me that Gibson was abandoning me with a guitar that wasn't working, I found the US distributor for Shadow pickups, Musicorp.

An extremely helpful guy there named Jonathan Spitler not only helped me find the specific part number of the pickup, but found me a music shop close to my office that could order it for me.

6 weeks and $75 later I have the pickup and installed it. The guitar plays and sounds fine but after all this, it'll be on ebay shortly and this will absolutely be the last guitar I buy from Epiphone. Even my to LPs have been grounded as I wait for this bad taste in my mouth to pass.

#18 User is offline   YerDugliness 

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 11:16 PM

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Epi's only have a 1 year warranty? I guess I thought they carried a lifetime warranty to the original buyer. Guess that's what I get for doing my own thinking [cool] !

Since Gibson/Epi built and sold the guitar with the Shadow pickup, I'd think that they would be responsible for the repair. Does their warranty specifically exclude the pickup?

Perplexing :-k !

Dugly :-$


Yeah, Nate....my response above was to karm, who was having trouble with an AJ he bought new.

I have often wondered why you didn't have your dad, who it appears was the original purchaser of the EF500RCCE, take up the issue with Gibson/Epiphone. I realize that you had bought it from him, but Gibson/Epiphone don't know that and he could have called in the warranty request and the factory would have lived up to their responsibility.

I'm still curious, though.....don't Epiphone's guitars carry a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser, and does that warranty NOT apply to the electronics Epiphone uses to build their guitars? It sure seems to me that it would!

Again, what a shame this has panned out so sadly for you.....IMHO youn deserved better from the Gibson/Epi warranty repair station. As long as they did other work and were not STRICTLY a warranty station, they could have and should have helped you out. Shame on them!!!!

Dugly [-(
YerDugliness, Esq./PostNoBills


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Retired once, back at work again, but still attempting to age disgracefully

Epiphones: Masterbilt AJ500RC, Epi Dot, Epi LP Custom

Many other fine guitars from other manufacturers, too.

#19 User is offline   Nate74 

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Posted 26 July 2010 - 11:29 PM

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Yeah, Nate....my response above was to karm, who was having trouble with an AJ he bought new.

I have often wondered why you didn't have your dad, who it appears was the original purchaser of the EF500RCCE, take up the issue with Gibson/Epiphone. I realize that you had bought it from him, but Gibson/Epiphone don't know that and he could have called in the warranty request and the factory would have lived up to their responsibility.

I'm still curious, though.....don't Epiphone's guitars carry a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser, and does that warranty NOT apply to the electronics Epiphone uses to build their guitars? It sure seems to me that it would!

Again, what a shame this has panned out so sadly for you.....IMHO youn deserved better from the Gibson/Epi warranty repair station. As long as they did other work and were not STRICTLY a warranty station, they could have and should have helped you out. Shame on them!!!!

Dugly [cool]


Gotcha on the karm thing.

Actually my pops got the guitar 2nd hand from a shop in Prescott that carries everything from guitars to hunting knives...

That being said, I have NO idea what the guitar went to before it got to him.

As for the two shops that couldn't get the part from Gibson, one showed me the email from the service folks at Gibson stating that they don't sell the repair parts for "non warranty" work. Can't blame them, they tried.

Of course the trouble now is, the guitar could turn out to be a good instrument for me, but my hang-up with the guitar may never go away.

Thanks for your thoughts on this whole thing too!

#20 User is offline   karm 

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Posted 30 July 2010 - 07:45 AM

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An extremely helpful guy there named Jonathan Spitler not only helped me find the specific part number of the pickup, but found me a music shop close to my office that could order it for me.


PLEASE tell me the name of the music shop that ordered your replacement nanoflex pickup. I have called a dozen shops around the US and nobody could do that (word was, there is only a single US Shadow distributor and they don't carry all the parts).

I found a used nanoflex pickup (and eSonic preamp) on Ebay for cheap, but the pickup seems to be bad just like mine (probably why it was on Ebay). Now I have 2 good preamps, and no working pickup [cool].

Also, did you have any trouble installing it? The nanoflex installation instructions from Shadow are a bit vague about some things like the 30-45 degree angle of the hole in the saddle (which my Epiphone does NOT have... the hole is straight down through the saddle) and "bizarre audio consequences" if it is not secured on the underside just right. My original pickup was replaced (with a crummy piezoelectric) so I am not sure how it was originally installed.

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