Restoring a Schecter Dream Machine Electronics

Posted on Posted in Misc, Vintage guitars

This week I had the pleasure to work an a Schecter Dream Machine. It is a really lovely hard-tail Strat with gold hardware. I am not sure about the wood (none of the codes that normally identify these) but the neck might be Pau Ferro (“Bolivian rosewood”). I am rather lost with the body, maybe ash that is stained, or Shedua, walnut,… ?? Any help is welcome so use the comment function to let me know what you think.

The main “problem” with the guitar is that the pickups have been replaced with some kind of  Seymour Duncan Hotrail humbuckers – surely good pickups but at leat not my cup of tea for a Dream Machine. The Hotrails required a completely different wiring of the mini switches and also the addition of two push-pull switches. To be honest, I did not fully understand the way the up and down positions of the mini switches were combined with the two push-pull potis.

As I had a set of original F500T pickups waiting for a guitar like this, it was no question that these two had to come together.

In the following you will find a photo tour that  demonstrates the work –  hoping some folks will find it interesting or useful.

Schecter Dream Machine with Seymour Duncan Hotrails
Schecter Dream Machine …
...with Seymour Duncan Hotrails
…with Seymour Duncan Hotrails

 

 

This is how the electronics look
This is how the electronics look
The whole circuit  design has been modified
The whole circuit design has been modified

 

After removing what was not original
After removing what was not original
I have these square conductive plastic Bourns potis from my own pickguards
I have these square conductive plastic Bourns potis from my own pickguards …
... and also this protective foil to not scratch the pickguard.
… and also this protective foil to not scratch the pickguard.

 

 

All connected, ready to install the pickups.
All connected, ready to install the pickups.

After assembling the pickups – it was a complete set with all wires still being taped together – I found it impossible to follow which wire end belongs to which of the three pickups. I connected a volts meter and touched the pickups with a screwdriver until the meter reacted to identify the corresponding pickup.

Which wire for which pickup??
Which wire for which pickup??

 

Not like new (still corroded) but like it was original again :)
Not like new (still corroded) but almost original again 🙂

 

Unfortunately some wood was removed to allow the heavy wires of the Seymour Duncans. Nothing I can do here :(
Unfortunately some wood was removed to allow the heavy wires of the Seymour Duncans. Nothing I can do here 🙁
The knobs were green and dirty ...
The knobs were green and dirty …
... but - one hour later after all kind of  treatment I could think of - came out like this.
… but – one hour later after all kind of treatment I could think of – they came out like this.

 

 

Finally, Dream Machine look again
Finally, Dream Machine look again

schecter-dream-machine-16Watch out for more details and pictures of this wonderful guitar in a future blog post.

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19 thoughts on “Restoring a Schecter Dream Machine Electronics

  1. Beautiful guitar – if I was to put money on it, I would say that is (stained) ash – doesn’t have the tight grain or dark lines of shedua and too wide a grain for walnut. Would love to get my hands on an original Dream Machine – one day maybe!

  2. Great one!

    Its really hard to find an original and untouched Dream Machine. Normally, these kind of guitars seems to be very modified these days.

    Ingo, “The Alchemy pickguard Set” has tapped pickups?

    Sorry my english.

    cheers!

    1. >>Ingo, “The Alchemy pickguard Set” has tapped pickups? <<
      No…

      Tapped
      – "Sultans pickguard": (vintage/DiMarzio sound), 26 sounds, covers all early Dire Straits sounds (with vintage Fender pickups or with DiMarzio in middle or neck position), also great for the Alchemy sounds and Mark's newer Strat sounds, probably most versatile overall
      – "Making Movies pickguard": Schecter tapped/full sounds, 26 sounds (Making Movies sound, Tunnel of Love, Telegraph Road,…)

      untapped
      – "Alchemy pickguard": SSL1 pickups like in the red "Alchemy" Schecter, 7 sounds (if you must have it 100% authentic and are willing to lose the 26 sound combinations)
      – "Wembley /OES pickguard": APS-1 pickups like in Mark's red Schecter after 1984, 7 sounds (if you must have it 100% authentic and are willing to lose the 26 sound combinations)

  3. I have this original guitar- the exact one that’s on the cover of Schechter’s 1978 catalog/flyer: spec: the wood black walnut, goldtone hardware numbers on the back of the neck F-7020 4238– and number 2 , and D and name carved into the wood Wesson…. Numbers on the body behind the neck F604P 3661 the name Schechter… Has three monster tone pickups, frets are in perfect condition, pickups and switches work fine,, neck is straight,, guitar sounds phenomenal shoot me an e-mail if you’re interested in it…. Good night

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  5. Hi Ingo, just a little update to my October 7 post
    the body-code F 7020 is emphatically mahogany… But the neck code is: F702Q… Which makes it Hong Kong rosewood…
    Has anybody seen the movie; “the red violin” … The reason I mentioned this particular movie- is to emphasize the mystery-and magic of the relationship between man, and instruments. A few weeks ago, I was entertaining the idea, to sell my dream machine and purchase a high-end acoustic electric guitar, mind you-I love my Martin 000-18, and an acoustic Guild D 35, it’s a little beat up, but it’s like an old girlfriend I just can’t let go, Lol. But getting to the point, about three weeks ago I awoke from a trilogy of dreams related to the history of this guitar.. I saw people buying and selling, and passions flying, I not only felt the emotions of the people, I could actually feel the soul of this guitar. I immediately went to the living room to look at the guitar.. And realized- I couldn’t get away from her. I was almost afraid, to pick her up… I thought, what if this possession is real and goes beyond my imagination, to find myself picking her up and playing like a maestro. Well, let me come back down to earth, the real deal is unequivocally, this is the best guitar I’ve ever held in my hands, I’ve been so motivated, playing and composing- this guitar is truly a dream machine- but, so am I !! Mr. fantasy

    1. Right, all these dream machines are really astonishing guitars, each with so much individuality and personality that it is a good idea not to sell one of these 🙂

  6. Beautiful guitar! You did a great job with the electronics as well. Building one of these has been on my “to do” list for awhile. I look forward to hearing some sound clips and am curious what you think about the feel and tone of the woods. Do you like the Pau Ferro neck?

    1. Yeah, I love that Pau Ferro neck. Playability and sound are simply awesome!! Personally I always favoured those brown wood / gold hardware Dream Machines over those with laquer / white pickguard / maple neck (although these are wonderful as well 🙂

  7. I have a totally original Candy apple red Schecter dream machine super strat with gold and brass hardware.
    It also has a Magical S serial making it from Van Nuys !,
    Super birds eye maple neck and is almost mint condition.
    It was made for Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy,but at the time he played Gibsons and did not really like it.
    I may sell it

  8. Guten Abend Ingo, Bitte können Sie etwas über diese zufällige völlig unabhängige Kommentare auf der Website tun.

    Danke schon, David.

  9. then after the gifts have been unwrapped, just about when little bellies start growling, I take our Holiday Morning French Toast out of the oven (assuming I got up early enough to get it into the oven in time!). It’s a

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