2001 Amistar-made Johnson Tricone Guitar

The Czech-made Amistar resonator guitars are definitely several steps above the current (and 2000s) line of Chinese-import Johnson-branded instruments that replaced this particular model. The metalwork is much nicer and the neck is, too, though the neck's cut and quality is definitely not on par with something like an NRP "National."

This one has bogus National branding at the headstock and has had its cones swapped for an NRP tricone set which yields much-improved sound over the originals (Eastern European cones tend to be just a hair stiff). It was brought in by the owner for general "buttoning-up." He decided to play it "Hawaiian style" with a raised nut and so my job was simply to get rid of random rattles and give it a fuller, louder, punchier sound. Some of that involved a bit of dampening and cleaning-up here and there in the soundwell and the rest involved picking-out a nice vintage "Kamiki Special" nut extender from my assortment (30+) of various old raised nuts.

If you're at all looking for a used tricone, do hunt up these old Amistar-made products. Compared to a used Asian-import model their construction is cleaner, the weight is a bit lighter, and the feel is more professional.

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