Friday, 10 September 2010

Morris MV702-SP

Another Morris model to discuss is the MV702-SP, which is part of the Vanguard series released in the late 70's until the early 90's. Unlike the MD range, which was a re-invention of the old W (Western) range of the late-60s on to the late 70's, the Vanguard series was a new design for the Morris line, designed to be a premium level guitar without the copy guitar status of the others. No laminate soundboard models were offered, with entry-level guitars already having solid Sitka spruce tops, and all models continuing to be made in Japan rather than to Korea, which Morris had expanded into for making the lower end models around the early 80's. Happily, the internal labeling keeps you informed as to where each model was crafted.

The MV702-SP here is a later 80's model, which entered the market at 40,000 Yen at the time. It was an extra model slipped in between the original MV701 and MV705 models; oddly it doesn't feature the sculpted headstock normally seen on the Vanguard series, but instead the Martin style headstock is present - i have yet to suss out why, apart from knowing this is a Special model as noted by the SP suffix. About the guitar itself; it is a dreadnought body, with a very lovely tobacco sunburst top, which is quite rare for a Morris guitar. As mentioned before, the top is solid Sitka spruce, and the back and sides are coral rosewood - this is a lighter coloured rosewood to indian, with quite an open flowing pattern in its grain - i feel it does compliment the tobacco shades on the top well. The body is bound in cream, with cream purfling that has aged a vintage yellowed white, and a white/black mosaic design down the central back joint. The soundhole is adorned with yellow/black rings, and a flecked tortoise-shell pickguard. The body itself has been subjected to quite a few dings and scrapes - nothing serious, but they are present and worth noting all the same. It is hard to spot these because of the finish however.

The Vanguard range featured a slightly narrower neck profile, more akin with Fender style necks on their acoustic range. On this model there is a rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot position markers, whilst the neck is constructed of mahogany. The headstock is of Martin design, with a rosewood veneer. The pearloid buttons on the Morris gold tuners are a nice touch and compliment the finish well. These tuners were exceptionally smooth last time i restrung, and hold tuning well.

The sound of this guitar is nicely balanced, with even tones from bass to treble. I took it out with some friends in the summer where a group of guitarists were, and they gave it a turn and were impressed with it; i had to go through the story of Morris guitars with them too at the time, and was left with the impression they were going to try and find one online.

Here are some photos:

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


You can find additional photos here

No comments:

Post a Comment