best cone for a Johnson single resonator

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best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby steel1953 » Fri May 05, 2006 3:09 pm

The former president of our blues society has loaned me a chrome Johnson. Sticker says made in China. I have no other resonators to compare tone with except a wooden body Gibson hound dog so, no comparison.
Would a new cone make that much difference? More "authentic". Heck, people cop a tude as soon as they see the shiny chrome body!

Thanks for any and all help.........I'm working up some songs on it and my harp so I can do some busking for the poor here down by the river. We have a sandwich program at our churh, and we give away literally hundreds of meals .....Brian
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby crowduck » Fri May 05, 2006 11:28 pm

Brian,

Is it a spider or biscuit bridge? I don't know if Johnson makes a chrome bodied spider, so I'm guessing you've got a biscuit. If so, check the cone for embossed 'spirals'. If it's got spirals, it may be one of the newer Continental cones, and shouldn't need replacement. I think Johnson started shipping with Continental's in 1995. The older Johnson biscuit cones, like from 4 years ago, had smooth sided cones, made in Asia.
If you want 'the best', a replacement cone with biscuit & saddle is available from National.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby bignick » Sat May 06, 2006 12:17 am

If it is a newer Johnson than it has a Continental Cone in it made in Europe. I have one in my Squareneck and it sounds great although I really like the sound of the Beard cones.
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby dabluz » Sat May 06, 2006 12:24 pm

i'm hopelessly biased, but i think the national cone sounds the best. i just replaced the cone in a friends regal with a nat and the difference is noticeable. however i must add that i also did the setup and that, i think, contributes more to the package than just the cone in terms of sound. have any expierenced reso tech's in your area?

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby mickeypainless » Sat May 06, 2006 1:12 pm

>>>however i must add that i also did the setup and that, i think, contributes more to the package than just the cone in terms of sound.

So howz bout sharing the set up w/ us!?!?!?!? Thanx!
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby dabluz » Sat May 06, 2006 5:48 pm

sure, it's a methodical exercise in detailed examination of every aspect of the cone, bridge, tailpiece, cover, action, and brining it all into balalnce without any unwanted rattles or distractions. thats the science, actually doing it is developed by doing it a lot of times, and actually differs with each player and their styles. if the player is completely comfortable on the guitar and the guitar is in balance, it will sound better, but of course everyone already knows that. [http://www.soundclick.com/pappad]
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby steel1953 » Mon May 08, 2006 2:35 am

Unfortunately, there aren't any reso techs around here. I'll check on the whole cone/bridge thing, and let you guys know tomorrow.
I know it could definitely be setup better as far as action.........
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby ricochet » Mon May 08, 2006 11:40 am

Yeah, generally speaking, if you buy a reso you're going to be the tech.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby crowduck » Mon May 08, 2006 9:44 pm

Someone technical recently posted that he has seen/heard noticeable improvement to Johnson single cone reso's by replacing the soft basswood neckstick with hard maple, as well as replacing the mushrooms with hardwood dowel on spruce disk.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby ricochet » Mon May 08, 2006 10:59 pm

Sounds reasonable.

Replacing the neck stick's a big job, however.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby slidnslim » Tue May 09, 2006 1:33 am

Crow,that was me,and it was my 34 Duolian
nice mahoghany neck but the neck-stick was basswood(go figure)
I put a nice maple one in its place,
Its not a job for everyone though,the neck has to be removed
along with the board as well,

Like Dabluz said a National cone sounds best(for me anyways)
but its all in the setup too,
slot too deep or too narow will choke the sound,
Break-angle too steep(common on asian resos latly)

Kenny,
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby deltablues57 » Tue May 09, 2006 2:09 am

I replaced my Johnson cone with a National cone. It didn't sound bad but really sounds much better with the national cone. Basically the strings cone biscuit and nut are about all the upgrades you can do and all of them make a difference.
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby crowduck » Tue May 09, 2006 2:26 am

Kenny,

Yeah, thanks for chiming in on this.

Yes, replacing a neckstick is not a simple job. Fortunately, I found a Johnson 996 'piecemeal' on eBay in 2 separate auctions, one for the stripped bare brass body, and another for the complete neck with tuners. The basswood neckstick has already been replaced with maple, looks like they used a sort of splice joint, glued and screwed. I haven't tried to put it together yet.

Another project I have is a new Johnson tricone I got from a freight liquidation site that had a broken headstock. I got lucky posting a 'wanted' message on another website, and a nice fellow sent me a complete tricone neck, including tuners, bone nut, and a maple saddle......all for free. Since reading your post, I'm keen to do a maple neckstick replacement on the tricone, especially since I've got 2 necks.

What do you think about cherry wood dowels for mushroom posts? They have a nice bright 'ring' when tapped together. I've got a bunch 3/4" diameter.

Oddly, my best sounding reso is an older(4 yrs) Johnson 996, I got used off eBay. It's got a smooth walled cone, maybe asian, but it really 'booms', and overshadows my newer reso's with the spirel'd cones, Continentals. I've got a National cone with biscuit/saddle that I haven't installed on anything yet.
I love to tinker with these things, it's like working on an engine w/o the grease.

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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby slidnslim » Tue May 09, 2006 8:44 am

Cherry dowels should be good,I use maple but not dowels just square
supports,and maple 1/4 veneer for pads,
remember if you change a neck-stick its important to keep the
same angle as the previous one,and slightly bigger so you
can adjust it acording to neck heal,

Kenny,
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RE: best cone for a Johnson single resonator

Postby ricochet » Tue May 09, 2006 11:53 am

>I love to tinker with these things, it's like working on an engine w/o the grease.

You're not greasing your Tricone?! You play that thing hot, it'll seize up!



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