1970s Conn F-100 000-Size Flattop Guitar




This is a consignor's all-ply, Japanese-made, x-braced "campfire guitar." It's well-made and lightweight along the lines of a same-period Yamaha, though it has a little more midrange grunt and a slightly looser high-end.

I'm always impressed by the economy of means in these factory-built Japanese guitars of the time -- the bodies have quite thin 3-ply all over, though the design takes advantage of the ply's resistance to the elements by lightening-up the bracing. This gives them a full, round, warm tone despite not having fancy materials. They're also stable, too.

Anyhow, previous work (by someone else) on this looks like a neck reset and possibly bridge reglue, as it had a good neck angle and decent compensated saddle on it when it came in. My work included a fret level/dress, some fussing with the tuner mountings, and a good setup. It plays well with 3/32" EA and 1/16" DGBE action at the 12th fret and it's strung with 12s. The neck is essentially straight, but the treble side has more relief (hair over 1/64" deflection) than the rest of the neck when dialed "flat" at the truss-rod.

Specs are: 25 3/8" scale, 15 3/8" lower bout, 11 3/8" upper bout, 4 1/8" side depth at the endblock, 1 11/16" nut width, 1 1/2" string spacing at the nut, 2" spacing at the bridge, a 12" radius to the fretboard, and a mild-to-medium, soft C/V neck shape that's actually a lot like a same-period Yamaha, too.

Woods are: ply spruce top, ply nato(?) back/sides, mahogany (or nato?) neck, rosewood fretboard and bridge. The instrument appears entirely original save perhaps the saddle.















Comments

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I've got one of these, but mine has no interior label (notorious for becoming lost), so mine might be F9 or F11, to which it looks similar.

FYI, the neck joint on mine (and maybe yours) is a sliding vertical dovetail that's set in with some epoxy. I needed to adjust the neck angle, I loosened the interior neck bolt, freed the fretboard ext with some heat, then heated that sliding dovetail while repeatedly applying pressure in different ways, since I didn't know anything about the joint, until things started to loosen up and I could what I had. I used a clothes iron over the joint for the heat.

Neck came off nicely with no damage (pull UP, straight off the body), I adjusted the angle, repaired some minor wood removal, then simply slid the dovetail back together after installing another interior bolt/receiver to hold the neck in place. I left the fretboard unglued, but no buzz means it's now it's a bolt-on dovetail with intact full scale that I can pull apart for adjustment in 10 minutes.

Great guitar that sounds great, too.