2001 John Morton No 35 Tricone Resonator Parlor Guitar

This guitar is a gem. Mr. John Morton was a famed west-coast builder who passed-away, unfortunately, a couple years ago. See here and see here for details. As evidenced in this instrument, built back in 2001, this fame was well-earned. Every part of this guitar is handmade and cut with purpose and every piece save the tuners was fabricated by the maker, including the cones.

What's not obvious about this instrument at first is that this is a reduced-size tricone guitar -- the 3 cones each measure around 4" rather than the 6" of the normal National-style cones. As a result, it retains the sing-song-y, super-sustained, clean, mids-focused tricone sound but that sound fits in a parlor-sized body. It's quite wild how much work this entailed for him when he was building it because the whole plan for it has to be made from scratch. That takes time!

It arrived here only lightly-used but it did need some setup work and a new pickup -- the one in it had been damaged at some point. I fit a new K&K Twin Spot in (pictures of the internals lower in this post, by the way), gave it a fret level/dress, compensated the saddle, secured the cone placement with some tape at the edges (as I do on all resonators), and set it up. It's now humming brilliantly and a joy to play.

I think fingerpickers would get a huge kick out of this guitar, but the quick neck and old-fashioned style means it suits a variety of players, for sure.

Take a close look at all of the little details of the body and neck design -- the neck, for starters, is made from ridiculously-flamed maple and has a non-adjustable nature but remains perfectly straight and stable with the medium-gauge strings it's currently wearing. In the body, notice the overlapped soundhole motifs, sandblasted(?) detail edging, and gorgeous cut of the tricone-style coverplate. I mean... it's simply a beaut!

Repairs included: a fret level/dress, replacement pickup, and setup.

Body: metal

Cone type: tricone (reduced-size)

Bridge: metal T-bridge w/maple saddle

Fretboard: ebony

Neck wood: maple, highly-flamed

Action height at 12th fret:
3/32” bass 1/16” treble (fast, spot-on)
String gauges: 56w-13 mediums

Neck shape: slim-medium D

Board radius: 16"

Truss rod: non-adjustable

Neck relief: straight

Fret style: medium

Scale length: 24 1/2"

Nut width: 1 11/16"

Body width: 12 1/4"

Body depth: 3 7/8"

Weight: 7 lbs 9 oz

Condition notes: it's very clean with only very minor wear to the plating under the strings on the top and an errant tiny scratch here and there throughout the rest.

It comes with: a nice hard case and K&K acoustic pickup installed.


CM said…
I would love to hear Emmett Franz (The Petersens) play this with his spare and intelligent style, like the notes are there in the maps of his autonomic nervous system, he's just that good.