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Vintage Morris Tornado guitar headstock
Vintage Morris Tornado  

Vintage Morris Tornado guitar body
Vintage Morris Tornado  
Hello again,

I have already asked you a question about this guitar, but I have just received some information :
- Seems to be be a "Tornado" model (same bowl-back as Ovation) but the headstock and bridge are not the ones you usually see on Tornado.
- Acoustic-electric with on-board preamp.
- No sticker or serial inside.

Could it be an old Tornado or is it a fake one ?
Do those vintage Morris have some value?

Thank you very much by advance for your help.
Best regards,

Nicholas.



Following is my previous message
------------------------------------------
I have seen the following Morris acoustic guitar which will be on auction this week (in France) :
http://www.interencheres.fr/fr/meubles-objets-art/collections/guitare-morris-ave

I have noticed that the headstock is not the one I can see in most cases for a vintage Morris (usually more like a Martin).

I have also noticed the "mustache" bridge which is not very common...

The guitar seems to be acoustic-electric because it comes with an amp (no info about it) and there is something like a knob on the top left "shoulder" (see picture)...

Can you, please, tell me some information about this guitar, do those headstock ans bridge tell something interesting about its age, quality and value ?
Is this guitar collectible ?

I don't have more pictures for the moment and I don't have any serial number...

Thank you very much by advance for your help.
Best regards,

Nicholas.

Answer
Hi.I doubt that it is a fake.  Morris was/is Moridaira Gakki and is one of the oldest string musical instrument factories in Japan. They are located in Matsumoto. This is where the Morris acoustic guitars, Morris banjos, Fender Leo banjos, some Fender electric guitars, Charvel electric guitars and more many more brands were made. They currently still make high end acoustic guitars there. As for the Tornado, many were built in the 70's & 80's. From what I hear,
In 1986 you could buy one for the MSRP (street price) for $450. It also came with a hardcase. It is also said that the original pick up/electronics weren't very good quality nor user friendly as you had to reach inside the sound hole to install/change the pickup battery like the 1st Ovation A/E's and the sound reproduction was tinny and thin and left a whole big bunch to be desired. Lot of folks changed them out worth more modern, better sounding Barcus Berry and/or Fishman transducers and EQ packages which had the battery box right on the onboard preamp. My people say that the acoustics on these were comparable to the Applause line of Ovation. There serial numbers wouldn't mean much anyway as most Japanese companies,Moridaira included,  used these for inventory control and not dating. I cannot speak to the value and there are not many comparable out there but I doubt it would fetch more than $400.00 to $500.00 USD and that would be in 8.5 or better condition with working electronics and with a hardshell case IMO. I hope this helps. Cheers, Kevin

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Kevin Dunham

Expertise

Sigma by Martin guitars, Vintage Asian Import Guitars, acoustic guitars, american guitars, vintage music gear and vinyl record albums

Experience

I am a scholar and researcher of vintage Asain Import guitars and my area of expertise is Sigma by Martin fretted instruments imported by C.F. Martin & Co. from 1970-2007. I have been compiling materials and studying Sigma since 2008.

Organizations
I have my own website, www.nossigmaguitars.com, a blog, Sigma Martin Memo's, I am a consultant on the Vintage Sigma Guitars Facebook page and am an editor of the Sigma Guitars Wikipedia page. I am also writing a book on the sigma line and have just returned from MArtin in NAzareth where I was granted access to and permisiion to reproduce Sigma by MArtin materials by Dick Boak, Archivist at Martin. Martin customer service representatives now refer Sigma by Martin inquiries that they cannot answer to me.

Publications
My book propsal is currently under review by Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publshing group and an article I wrote for Vintage Guitar Mazine is under advisement.

Education/Credentials
Studied at Linn Benton Community Collage in Albany Oregon and Marylhurst University in Portannd, Oregon. I have been a lifelong musician and student of guitars and am a guitar tech.

Awards and Honors
None.

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