Well, another year almost gone by again!
Christmas is almost upon us, the shortest day of the year and tomorrow the
days start to get longer. Yippeee!
The next set of questions I asked Chip, were as usual, answered in great detail.
Above and below is my '79 Toaster, with a "Slab" body and the smaller switches.
The story continues. . . . . .
As sales progressed and years passed by, there were some subtle mods.
The body became contoured - was this to be in line with other brands
or a natural progression in design?
The body contouring was increased because the wood shop had proven their
ability with the stroke-sander, the machine which took the steps out of the
domed top and we had introduced the guitar with less contouring than I wanted.
It was also a subtle way to reduce the weight, albeit very little.
We took very little notice to what others were doing, with the exception of the
individual saddles on the bridge.
There was also the deletion of the white index dot, on the scratchplate to indicate
what position the control knobs were - was that to make a cleaner look or just took
away another op' on the machining?
It was another way to reduce the cost of the pickguard, as the pickguards were
built for us by an outside vendor.
The ¼” counter-bores on the body’s face were to accommodate the protruding
of the plastic from stamping the countersink for the pickguard screws.
The stamping of the screw holes saved a costly secondary operation for the
stamping house, so the index dots were eliminated at the same time for the same
The biggest change must have been from the Toasters to the Blades.
The original pick-ups must have been more time consuming to make than
the later ones? Part of ongoing mods?
The Blades also are wound a little hotter?
They have an extra brightness - more noticeable on the bass than the guitar.
The toasters are "Warmer" and offer great tones - do you have a favourite?
The original pickup design had a plastic plate that filled in the oval openings in
the pickup cover but the plate was eliminated to save cost, being the only injection
The blades were introduced to allow the pickup to be closer to the strings
without having the main body of the pickup in the player’s way.
It also strengthened the magnetic field and eliminated one of the magnets.
The blades allowed us to keep the same number of turns around the bobbins,
(which is where the power comes from), while reducing the resistance at the
This kept the same power while allowing the option of more treble overtones.
All of the tones available on the original pickups were there on the “blade”
pickups, but the reduced resistance from the total length of wire also allowed
more treble overtones to be reproduced.
I greatly prefer the exposed blade pickups.
The last of the series went on to change the switches - can you remember
the reason for that?
The switches were changed when I realized that the musicians didn’t treat their
guitars with the care that I had hoped they would. Instead of admitting that they
were not avoiding the microphone stands, it was easier to blame the switch,
so we changed to a beefier switch.
Towards the end of production, the nut - which had been the same from day one,
was changed to a nylon one. Another effort to watch the $$$ in production?
The group following my leaving Peavey to go the Fender felt that they had to
change things for little reason than to show that they were busy.
They didn’t realize that they were changing from not having to file topnut
grooves to the expense of setup time.
They didn’t save money, as the die cast topnuts were in a family mold and
were just cut off and thrown back into the melting vat!
Below are shots of the last line of the series - Contoured Body, Bat Switches
and the Nylon Nut. This one is a beast of a bass, in every sense!!!!!
Well that's all for this year, Many Thanks to Chip, who has a lot more to say - which
I will do next time.
I would like to thank everyone, around the world, for dropping in to read my blog.
As of this morning, I have had over 90300 visitors drop in for a look, since I started
this winding story of intruments and some of the people involved.
Over the last few years, I have had e.mails from all over the world - literally - from
people who have one of what I have got or would like to know something about
a particular instrument - always great to hear from you.
I will be attempting to rationalise the collection, over the next year - thin it down a
little, make a bit more room and let someone else enjoy a few of them.
This, of course, means that I will have a bit more room for . . . . . . . :) :) :)
I would like to wish my readers Seasons Greetings and look forward to coming back
to you in the New Year.
All the very best.
Flat Eric. :)