Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 10:32 am

Thanks for your reply, Grady. Dowels would work well if I had to create new ones. It may get down to that.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby louisianagrey » Fri May 12, 2006 11:33 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON May-12-06 AT 07:36 AM (EST)]Sometimes there's a screw or a nail that goes through the bottom of the disc into the post. If you value your saw blade try to cut the post fairly close to the neck stick.

Construction details vary a lot on these things. I guess a lot depends on whether the guy assembling them can be bothered going and getting parts that actually fit or not. The stick should definitely go to the tailblock, though, and really the strap button screw should be long enough to go into the end of the neck stick too.

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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 1:12 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON May-12-06 AT 09:14 AM (EST)]BTW, I am curious about what is considered normal assembly for the cone plate (right term?) that covers the soundwell. Besides being secured to the neck stick, it is spot welded to the body. Is that normal? It would be much easier to work on the mushrooms if that came off.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby ricochet » Fri May 12, 2006 1:16 pm

It's not coming off. Forget it.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby zaiata » Fri May 12, 2006 1:37 pm

>Zaiata, I'll keep that stripping in mind. I've read that on previous >searches of the mod topic. It really makes that much of a difference? >The bridge material seems pretty hard. Can't imagine that painting it >could have that much of an impact.

Improving a little here and there helps the overall
sound of any instrument. I think that stripping the bridge
contribute to better sound. I am including my old post reporting
my findings after the moods.

"
"RE: Johnson Tri-Cone Mods"
Report on the Johnson Tricone Mods:

Well, after working really hard on the tricone i finally get it
sounding good.
Thanks to every one at this forum for the excellent suggestions and tips.
My gratitude to grady, panhead74, Tricone John, crowduck, Drake, Ricochet, delatajew and every body else on other treads related to the tricone mods.

Mods implemented:
Mushroom Mood, it was easy. You notice the difference after fixing other noise problems.

Strings changed to John Pearse nickel wound .016 - .059 result:
Mmmm... they are ok but i took those outs and installed Martin resonator strings Nickel wound .016 - .056, cheaper ($2.99) and they sound better to me. Thank you Ricochet!

Used Rock-Miracle paint remover to remove all the black paint from the
bridge. I believe this improve sound in a subtle way but every little bit helps.
Gently hit the bridge with a metal object prior to removing the paint and after, like you are playing a percussion triangle and you will notice that the ring after removing the paint is nice and clear.
After removing the paint I think the bridge is more in tuning
with the cones. If you use Rock-Miracle, carefully with you fingers skin, this stuff is strong.

Replace the saddle with an ebony caped maple saddle ordered from Elderly. At the same time adjusted strings saddle high.

After closing-open several times this Johnson (my Second, the first i had to return DOA) Did not sound good. Rattle, kind of noisy all around. The main culprit was the cover plate, The cover plate have 3 metal support one wasn't very good soldered and the cover do not have a perfect fit. I have to use tape in some location to avoid noise with the vibration. Check fro the surface where the cones rest.

The Nut is good as it come from manufacturer on this reso, it seems to be bone and slots are nice.
"



After all the moods I wasn't really impressed with the sound, but after playing it for a while this reso started sounding better and better. Be a little patient and like i said before plaay this guitar a lot. You are going to experience a mayor improvement in sound.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby deltajew » Fri May 12, 2006 4:03 pm

Hi,I've been through it all with this guitar.I used brutte force to get the mushroom out,I think I hooked the claw of a hammer around the dowels,yanked and they came loose without much effort.Beware of getting cut on sharp edges.I also had that end block problem,it came loose when I unscrewed the tailpiece.I jammed it back in.Make new mushrooms because most likely they are not square.Putting a new ebony capped maple saddle in takes a little time to form because the blanks are 1/8" and the T- bridge slot is about
1/16".It is most important that this saddle is squarely seated and has a snug fit.The first one that I made wasn't and really muffled the tone till I re-did everything.I also put a Tusq nut on it and that seems to have also made a difference.I really love the sound of this guitar now that I've tweaked it.It is worth going through all of this in order to transform this Chinese beast with an American name.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby bluzeluvr » Fri May 12, 2006 5:43 pm

..Putting a new ebony capped
>maple saddle in takes a little time to form because the
>blanks are 1/8" and the T- bridge slot is about
>1/16".

Mine came new with one. They must have switched to the ebony capped saddles on the new models. Thanks for your advice.
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RE: Mushroom Mod Help - Johnson Tricone

Postby crowduck » Fri May 12, 2006 7:47 pm

>..Putting a new ebony capped
>>maple saddle in takes a little time to form because the
>>blanks are 1/8" and the T- bridge slot is about
>>1/16".
>
>Mine came new with one. They must have switched to the
>ebony capped saddles on the new models. Thanks for your
>advice.

The important things about fitting a saddle on these are firstly make it a tight fit, tight enough so you can pick up the spider when holding only the saddle, and make sure the bottom of the saddle slot is flat, smooth, and square, as well as the saddle bottom. The idea is to maximize contact, a loose or sloppy fitting saddle will muffle the sound.

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Postby bluzeluvr » Mon May 15, 2006 6:47 pm

Thanks everyone for your responses. I finished the job Friday evening. This was my first moment back on my computer since then. Your advice and opinions are much appreciated. Here's a summary of my findings and final decisions.

1. I ended up removing the middle mushroom only, leaving the one near the neck alone.

2. The mushrooms have a screw that goes up about 2/3 of the way into the post. (Not enough to reach the neck stick. Also, the screws from the neck stick do not go deep enough to reach into the mushroom post.)

3. Even with the post removed, the mushroom "cap" was still tough to remove and I just decided to give up. Although cosmeticaly speaking, I would have liked to remove the "cap", I figured leaving it there should be insignificant to the overall change in sound. Maybe if I had one of those narrower, longer type flippers, I would have been easier. But I found it difficult to get even the slightest tip of the spatula or putty knife underneath. The mushroom had no real gap around the edges - glued solid and flush to body all around.

4. To get the post removed, I ended up taking a drill and boring a bunch of holes into it to the point where I was able to just break it up and remove it in pieces.

5. After struggling that much with the middle, and facing the prospects that I may have to destroy the other mushroom as well, I decided to limit the mod to the removal of the middle only. That would prevent me from having to create a new mushroom, which I admit could be done easily enough. I just didn't want to bother. Also leaving the cap still attached, would make it that much easier for me to return it to normal, if I decided I didn't like the change. All I would have to do is insert a new post in between the cap and neck stick.

6. In looking at the position of the neck mushroom, I decided that it may be best left alone anyway, if I didn't want to change the sound to drastically, and lose some of the sweetness, and the focus or tightness of the original sound. I was concerned about possibly opening it up too much and being left with a more "banjo-ey" sound. I speculated that opening up the middle even more by moving the neck post further up may cause that.

7. Verdict. I like it! As compared to the un-modded original, I found that in some respects, and especially at first, that I lost some of the sweetness, and so I was glad I did not move the neck mushroom. However, I did get more volume, more sustain, stronger bass, and what I would describe as a more "airy" sound. The more I played it, the more I liked it. I actually found it to be more balanced. Before the mod, the wound strings were a bit muted, and the #3 string was particularly weak. Now I find that the wound strings are better balanced with the plain strings.

So I have decided that it was worth it, and I am glad I did not move the neck support. I think doing so, as I already suggested, would have opened it a bit too much and alter the original tone a bit more than I would have liked. I think for this guitar at least, the simple removal of the middle one was a good compromise. Although the unmodded guitar was a bit sweeter, it was also more Hawaiian sounding -- Duh!. Nothing wrong with that. It just lacked a bit of that blues vibe. I think now it has more of it, while still retaining enough sweetness. But who knows? Maybe one day, I'll get the bug to go back to the original, just to re-compare. In that case, all I would have to do is slide in a new middle post -- easy enough. So I am happy with my decision.

Lastly, I filled the gap between the neck stick and the tail piece block. Now I have a nice solid and continuous beam all the way to the tail. I wonder how much of a difference that has made in the overall sound. Before I put the tailpiece back in I determined that the original screw was just long enough to tap into the second block about an 1/8 of an inch. I figured that was fine. Wasn't sure if it even needed to go that far, but I figured that it was probably better if it did. So that worked out well also.

Once again. Thanks everyone. You make this board worth visiting. I really appreciate your support! :)
        Last edited by bluzeluvr on Tue May 16, 2006 12:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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        Postby ricochet » Mon May 15, 2006 7:34 pm

        Sounds great! Glad that worked out.

        Yeah, the sound is "nastier" to me. I like it that way!
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