Instruments & Gear: Fine Lutherie

Preston Thompson 0000-14JMS

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A 16-inch maple jumbo with a big sound.

by Teja Gerken
July 09, 2018

Preston Thompson has built his reputation on building guitars inspired by Golden Era flattops, but he isn’t limited to reproductions of vintage instruments. Thompson has wanted to introduce an original take on the classic jumbo flattop for some time, and has now come out with the 0000, a model that combines ideas from various jumbo designs. We recently had a chance to check out one of the very first Thompson 0000s, built with maple back and sides, before it was shipped to Carter Vintage Guitars in Nashville, Tennessee.

Rather than using the more well-known 17-inch jumbo as a template, Preston chose the slightly more compact 16-inch 0000 (also known as “M”) body shape for his jumbo. Building the body with a depth of 4½ inches at the tailblock creates a large resonating chamber, perfect for a big voice that’s optimized for playing rhythm and strumming the guitar. On this 0000-14JMS (“JMS” stands for “jumbo, maple, sunburst”), the body is built with beautifully quilted big leaf maple back and sides and a Sitka spruce top. The guitar’s neck is rock maple, and while different shapes are available, our demo guitar features what Preston calls his “slightly larger” profile, with a soft V-shape. With a width of 1¾ inches at the nut, the neck is indeed on the hefty side, but is very comfortable for playing open chords and will suit players with large hands. The instrument’s sunburst finish was executed beautifully, highlighting the attractive woods throughout.

The 0000-14JMS is a powerful guitar that easily meets Preston’s goal of creating a great rhythm instrument. Strumming chords yields a highly satisfying, rich tonality that would be perfect for laying the foundation of a song or accompanying a vocalist. But the guitar is also balanced and responsive enough to sound great when fingerpicking or playing single-note lines.

Overall, Preston Thompson has come out with a great addition to his already large catalog. Players looking for a flattop with a big jumbo sound but a slightly smaller body would do well to check out a Thompson 0000.

SPECS: 14-fret 0000/M body. Sitka spruce top with scalloped, advanced-X Adirondack bracing. Quilted big leaf maple back and sides. Hard rock maple neck. Ebony fingerboard and bridge. 25.4-inch scale. 1¾-inch nut width. 2⁵/₁₆-inch string spacing at the saddle. Nickel Waverly tuning machines with butterbean buttons. Made in the USA. $7,795 (0000 base price is $6,445). pktguitars.com

 


Category: Instruments & Gear

Comments and Discussion

Posted by Jim Moulton on
Besides being a beauty, the guitar has a real full, sweet sound.
Jim
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