best cone for a Johnson single resonator

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby songdog » Tue May 09, 2006 2:28 pm

Hey Kenny

How is the neck attached to the body? Glue?
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby slidnslim » Wed May 10, 2006 12:39 am

No glue Dog, just screwed through the finger-board(under the dots on most)into wood strips and neck-stick morticed into the neck on a 45
and braced with supports under the neck-stick to the back,
and shimed at the tail-block with endpin screw going into tail block
then the shims and barely into the very end of the stick,
some steel bodied Nationals have fingerboard screws that just
go into the metal body and one long srew in middle dot 17 fret
that goes right down into the stick,
Hope that does'ent sound too confusing?

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby songdog » Wed May 10, 2006 1:05 am

Thanks for the info Kenny

I currently have my Johnson apart and I can now feel the wood block underneath the fret board that the screws go into.

Is there an easy/trick way to remove the dot inlays? Do you use heat to soften the glue?

I'm just kind of wondering if maybe laminating some strips of denser wood (or maybe even metal/brass plate) on each side of the existing stick might serve the same purpose as replacing it entirely... just a thought.

I'll definitely be replacing my mushrooms as they were very poorly constructed.
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby slidnslim » Wed May 10, 2006 1:19 am

[updated:LAST EDITED ON May-09-06 AT 09:21 PM (EST)] Dog,are you sure you want to mess with the stick?
Ive done cone changes on a few Johnson biscuits and the sticks
looked fine to me, I would first try some new maple supports,
they don't have to be round you could cut some 3/4" strips on the
table saw like I do, leave the bottom square and cut the end that
rest up under the stick at a 2* angle on a mitre saw and they
usually fit snug,I usually brad-nail them through the stick
but you could just put a dab of glue if there snugged good
they won't move,
I use steam to release the dots,and always count on replacing them!

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby songdog » Wed May 10, 2006 1:29 am

> Dog,are you sure you want to mess with the stick?

Na, I'd just as soon get it all put back together so I can play the damn thing. I'm just carefully considering all of the possible options while it's torn down.
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby crowduck » Wed May 10, 2006 1:30 am

To remove those dot inlays you might try using a soldering iron to loosen the glue. First drill a small hole through the dot, so you can 'hook it' with a bent paper clip.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby bignick » Wed May 10, 2006 11:25 am

An easier mod that you could do with less of a chance to damage your instrument is to enlarge the holes on the soundwell.

My Johnson Delta squareneck and my Gold Tone both have a basic soundwell with 9 circular holes only the 12:00 hole is ovular and roughly the size of 3 of the smaller holes to open up the instrument more. Beard is one of the first (might be the first) to do this which forced companies like Johnson and Regal to follow suit and up their quality control. Good for us cheapo-depot shoppers!

There are a few guys on reso-nation that have actually converted their cheaper resos into an open-chambered (non-soundwell) design, but this takes a lot of time and if done improperly the guitar could eventually implode from the tension.

I took a dremel and simply enlarged all of the holes on my sound-well about 3/4"-1" inch and noticed definite improvements in the volume and sustain of the instrument. Removing the soundscreen from the trim-rings also helped.

Both of these mods are simple without any risk to your instrument. (if you are careful). Hardening the neck join and pulling out the soundwell are not as easy with a lot of risk.

As far as the cone goes, I have a Beard cone coming in and will compare that to the Continental shortly. My Gold Tone has a Beard cone, but I wanted to do a comparison of both cones in the same guitar.
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby ricochet » Wed May 10, 2006 5:02 pm

I really don't like the sound of open-bodied, no-soundwell designs. They sound like tinny flattops to me.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby crowduck » Wed May 10, 2006 8:33 pm

>I really don't like the sound of open-bodied, no-soundwell
>designs. They sound like tinny flattops to me.
>
>"A cheerful heart is good medicine."

Yeah, some of the 'tone ring/soundpost' builders actually add baffles inside the box to manage the sound. Those soundwaves bounce around in some complex ways, and controlling them is both art & science.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby bluesmcgoo » Wed May 10, 2006 8:44 pm

I think the National cones are the way to go.

And you have to be careful on those Johnson cones. Don't assume that just because the cone has spirals it's a Continental or a National cone. My Johnson Tricone that I bought used back in 2002 had spiral cones. They sure weren't National cones, and this was certainly before they started putting Continental cones in those things.
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby crowduck » Wed May 10, 2006 9:06 pm

>I think the National cones are the way to go.
>
>And you have to be careful on those Johnson cones. Don't
>assume that just because the cone has spirals it's a
>Continental or a National cone. My Johnson Tricone that I
>bought used back in 2002 had spiral cones. They sure weren't
>National cones, and this was certainly before they started
>putting Continental cones in those things.

This is true. The difference is more than just the embossed spirels, which is done to strenghten the cone. The different makers use different aluminum alloys, and wall thickness's, which produce different resonance. I read of someone who weighed same sized cones from both National and Quarterman, and the difference was pronounced, the Quarterman being something like 50% heavier. I think I remember reading that Quarterman's aluminum comes from aerospace suppliers to the aircraft industries around L.A., don't know about Nationals. I can't even begin to guess what the Asian's use, maybe melted down beverage cans.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby ricochet » Wed May 10, 2006 9:12 pm

My Quarterman tricone cones are of sheet .010" thick, which is probably OK for a single cone, but WAY too thick for tricones.

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