Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal from

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Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal from

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 16, 2004 4:55 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-16-04 AT 03:35 PM (EST)]I've just finished ordering another Johnson JM991 Style 1 Tricone, with wooden hard shell case, from http://coast2coastmusic.com/ Coast To Coast Music. (It's not for me, I've already got one Johnson that's all I can handle. This one's a gift for my long-suffering guitar teacher. Don't tell him.) PappyJ, whose real name is John Watts, is a very nice fellow to deal with. He's also the owner of our discussion board here, and it's good to support his business. He made me a killer deal on this Tricone package: $499.95 on the guitar AND HSC, plus shipping anywhere in the US for $20, for a total of $519.95. He says he'll sell one to any member of Big Road Blues at the same price, and doesn't mind me posting so here. Friends, you're not going to find a better deal on a Tricone anywhere! (That's $140 less than I paid for mine 2 years ago from another dealer, and at the time I was sure I'd made the best deal possible. And my case is the less expensive hard foam and canvas model.) You'll need to phone him for this deal, as it won't work through the Web page ordering system. 1-800-776-5015

Dunno what he can do about international shipping, but I'm sure John'll be glad to answer any inquiries. Like I said, he's a really nice guy!
:7

(My attempt at making a clickable URL that just said "Coast To Coast Music" didn't work right.)
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby david » Fri Apr 16, 2004 6:34 pm

Rico, How can I get on your Christmas gift list?

That does sound like a good deal, and I have been finding myself awfully tempted. The problem is I have still never seen an actual tricone in person. I can't tell from listening to recordings just how different the sound is.

Before I can plunk down that kind of money I really need to know its the sound I'm looking for. Dang.

Any of you tricone owners want to come by my place and play a tune or two?
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 16, 2004 7:52 pm

I'd love to, David, but it's a little far for me to drive over just now. You're welcome here, of course.

I don't know what to tell you that hasn't been said, they are quite different with the single cones being louder, harsher and twangier with less sustain. A while back I said (and somebody on the IGS board quoted me today) that the single cones sound like a banjo in a well. Don't mean that unkindly, they just do. They sound really cool for the right kind of stuff, but as bf has often noted that rude bark or "honk" as he calls it doesn't fit with every style of music. The Tricone is smoother with a lot more sustain and IMO is much more versatile. I'm sure you're pretty familiar with the sounds of spider bridge "dobros" as well as the single cone Nationals. May not help you much, but I think the Tricone sound falls between the other two. Has a twangier attack than the spider, a bit reminiscent of the single cone biscuit, not as smooth and sweet as the spider but a lot more "civilized" than the single cones. How they sound depends on how you play them, of course. Picks really bring out the crisp attack, complex overtones, and jack up the volume.

Trying to describe tones verbally gets to be like that silly wine tasters' talk, or worse, the stuff that gets posted about amp tubes.

Have you listened to the National Resophonic sampler they send out with their catalog?

Anyway, I know several people have been thinking about Tricones, and this is just too good a deal to pass up! Take advantage of it if there's any way you can!
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 16, 2004 8:23 pm

Hey David, wanna hear somebody else playing some cool stuff on a Johnson Tricone modded just about like mine? (He did the mushroom mod and put Quarterman cones in it, he hasn't yet gone for the ebony capped bridge.) Check out "Bottleneck John": http://www.soundclick.com/bands/5/bottl ... nmusic.htm
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby david » Mon Apr 19, 2004 12:50 pm

Thanks for the links. I have the National Resophonic Instrumental Project CD (and have been working on some of the tunes), but its hard to tell the difference between the instruments from a recording. How much is the instrument, how much is the musician, how much is my sound equipment?

And trying to describe the difference is like trying to give a haircut over the phone.

Till I hear one for my self I can't know if its really the sound I want.

One of these days I'm gonna make the two hour drive down to Nashville. There ought to be some guitar stores there that have a tricone in stock.
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:36 pm

I'd think so.
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 23, 2004 12:16 am

OK, I've had a chance to see and hear the new Tricone. It's absolutely gorgeous, and sounds terrific! It's better in several ways than mine. They've fixed the bugs that mine (an early Chinese made one) came with 2 years ago.

The cones are nicely finished. The tool marks from spinning are closely spaced, even and smooth like the ones on my Quarterman cones. I see no evidence of rough handling damage like my original Johnson cones had. Even with the original light 80/20 brass acoustic strings it came with, it puts out good volume and the tone is GREAT! It's noticeably more trebly than mine. (Not that there's anything wrong with either guitar's tone, I think it's the difference between cones that are spiralled or not. The Johnson cones have spirals pressed into them, the Quartermans are smooth.) The sustain is tremendous, fully as long as that of my mushroom-modded one. The saddle is a nice looking piece of maple that's properly fitted in the bridge slot. (Mine came with a sloppy, loosely fitted piece that I had to replace. The saddle and cones were the two things I fairly quickly realized were problematic and replaced. I only recently discovered that a misfitted "mushroom" in mine had been damping the vibrations, killing volume and sustain, and fixed that.) The plating on this new one is absolutely perfect. I can see a bit of rippling in the sheet brass not present on my old one, but my old one has some trivial plating imperfections. The neck/headstock of the new one is very attractive mahogany with nice grain showing through a transparent finish. Mine has an opaque semiflat brown paintlike finish that's not nearly as pretty. The nut is still bone, but now it's finished so smoothly and bleached so white that I initially thought it was plastic. The serial number of the Johnson sticker inside is 00007. I'm suspicious that these Johnson serial numbers are without meaning, all low and likely frequently repeated. There's an inspector's number 3 sticker in the new one, none in the old. There are no visible imperfections of the plating inside the body of the new one, some are present in the old one and I shook several loose pieces of solder out when it was new. What I didn't get to inspect was the mushroom arrangement of the new Tricone, or the internal finish of the wooden neckstick. (Mine has a roughly chiseled out notch for the soundwell, and the wood screws holding the soundwell to the stick are run in a bit crooked.)

Where I'm going with all this: The Johnson/AXL folks have been listening. They had a good product before, especially considering the price. I was happy to get mine and didn't mind making some upgrades to bring it up to the standard I wanted. But this new one won't need any upgrading IMO. It's already there! And the price has come down to boot! If Grady's and my recent experiences are representative, you won't be disappointed with the quality of a new Johnson Tricone. And you won't find a better price on one anywhere than this deal that PappyJ is offering! (BTW, I noticed last night on Google that if you search for "Johnson Tricone" his ad comes up on the side offering this deal through April 30.)

Jason, BTW, is the happiest man I've seen in a very long time!
:7
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 23, 2004 2:34 am

I forgot to mention another difference: The neck profile of the new Johnson is deeper and more steeply veed than the old one. It's just as wide.
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 30, 2004 3:58 pm

I've been studying (and mostly listening to) the new Tricone yesterday. That thing is awesome! It's great sounding, with (to my ears) equal volume and sustain to my modded one. The tone's slightly brighter. (Makes me wonder if they've changed the gauge of the aluminum in the cones to match the National ones.) Jason's now got Martin reso strings on it, just like mine, so it's an even comparison. The three mushrooms are in the same locations as they were in mine prior to modding them. (As I've said, mine was originally suffering from one mushroom being poorly fitted.)

You Tricone fence-sitters really should talk to John about this before he changes his mind on the deal!
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby still_fiddling » Fri Apr 30, 2004 8:49 pm

Thanks for posting this deal.

I bought one (for myself) today and hope to post my impressions soon.
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Fri Apr 30, 2004 9:29 pm

I expect you'll love it.
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby rustyslide » Sat May 01, 2004 1:36 am

>You Tricone fence-sitters really should talk to John about
>this before he changes his mind on the deal!

I'm saving up for a 12 string model. Anybody have a website they need designed, he plugged, modestly?

And Rico, I'd hardly be surprised that your instructor is a happy man? who wouldn't with a brand new shiny johnson that makes everyone's head turn...

ramble ramble ramble
I got ramblin' on my mind.

[a href="http://www.geocities.com/hocmaximesugit/" title="my portfolio" target="_BLANK" style="text-decoration:none"]hoc maxime sugit[/a]
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Sat May 01, 2004 2:15 am

He's suffering from lack of sleep. Been staying up with his Johnson all night.
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RE: Johnson Tricone -- Killer Deal

Postby ricochet » Sat May 01, 2004 4:06 pm

Note that "musicbroker" wants $80 more for his Johnson than John Watts will sell you one for.

"Edith" will have to get along without me. I don't want that much of a restoration project. Be interesting to see what the final bid is.
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