Last year (I think?) I spruced this guitar up adequate for its owner to get it going once more. This year he came by with a Kent-branded 60s pre-loaded pickguard and had the intention of installing it.
As usual, for retrofit to an acoustic, placement of the pickup (despite its thinness) needed to be changed so it would clear the strings appropriately. It took a bunch of fuss to get this to mount with no needing a screw in the physique as well, but I finally got it worked-out.
The second element of the program involved replacing the mini-jack that came with the pickguard to a normal 1/4″ guitar jack on the face — which also necessitated moving the knobs about to get it to fit with the jack and cable-finish dropping into the widest element of the f-hole’s opening.
Right after that I wired-up a ground from the tailpiece to the jack from inside the body.
Whilst fussing with the pickguard’s mounting I kept noticing that the signal would drop more than and more than no matter how a lot of times I stripped and resoldered the end of the pickup’s leads. I ultimately yanked the complete lead from the pickup (see how rotted-out the interior of the cable is! — hence the issues of it grounding to itself) and had to go inside the cover of the pup and straight wire-up new leads from the +/- sides of the coil. I try not to do that on these old Japanese pickups simply because…
…beneath that cover the coil and magnet and its fragile leads are simply taped-up with what seems to be ancient masking tape. It is truly simple to harm these pickups with disassembly. Luckily, every little thing went nicely, and with almost everything back in place I was in a position to reinstall the whole assembly on the guitar and fire it up.
As expected, the tone is crisp, clear, and balanced — with that vaguely-acoustic tone that Danelectros frequently have — but leaning far more towards the DeArmond spectrum.
The old wiring harness also got all of its soldering-points re-heated but remained, otherwise, factory-original — including the “backwards” tone handle.