MPC, Yeah You Know Me! A Look At Electra's MPC X330


Guitar companies have been trying to rope us in with gizmos and gadgets to get us to buy since the beginning of time. Some were very successful, like Fender's "synchronized tremolo action" bridge. And some, not so much...need I mention Gibson's Robot Tuners

In 1976, Electra came out with their MPC (modular powered circuits) line of instruments. Produced by the Matsumoku Factory of Japan, the guitars had huge cavities routed in the back to house the MPC's, which pushed in and pulled out at a moments notice to give the player a multitude of effects to choose from! Electra produced 12 different modules, some of which included fuzz, phase, auto wah, and even "frog nose", which allowed your output jack to become an input for headphones.

But beware! They weren't kidding when they said "Do Not Pull Up!". One wrong move and you ended up with a guitar that just had a compartment to put your...whatever in. 

Most MPC guitars that come through the shop do not work. The modules have been broken or removed, or sometimes the mammoth toggle knobs on the face of the guitar have been broken off. Fortunately, this particular guitar is in excellent shape and owned by the original owner. Alan Dobson Sr. brought his MPC X330 in for a fret level and set up recently and told me that his stepfather acquired the guitar for him when Alan was 16, in a trade from the owner of SLM by doing some lateral sewer work on his property!

 

Alan has the Power Overdrive module and also the Phaser. We played a bit with the Power Overdrive and though the effect was a bit noisy, it did give cool rock tones with tons of endless sustain! Luckily, Alan hooked up with local audio guru Steve Higdon after I posted a few pics on FB, and Steve offered to do some mods to improve the modules and reduce the noise. Thanks to Alan for sharing his cool guitar and it's history!

P.S. Sign up for Reverb.com through this link and get $10 toward your first purchase!


1 comment


  • Guy Nelson Kingsbury

    That was was my old boss from SLM Electronics who designed those modules – John Karpowicz. Amazingly gifted individual who loved music and making musical accessories – He started CRATE amps in his garage. I had the pleasure of being involved with his fine company for 23 years – best gig ever!


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