Morgan Cone Bass


A new guitar maker from Victoria that has some very unique ideas.

I had a few gigs in Melbourne over the New Years break, so decided to spend a few extra days to relax… and check out the local guitar shops, of course. Aside from a nice Maton Starline and a silver USA Jackson bass, nothing really grabbed me. Then I entered the Guitar Gallery (near the Old Bar) in Collingwood, which specialises in acoustic guitars and mandolins and saw this crazy looking acoustic bass that amazingly was sitting upright on its own. It’s base was flat… an inbuilt guitar stand!


I had a chat with the stores owner and got the story behind this instrument. This bass (along with a VERY unique acoustic guitar also in the store) were made by a new guitar maker named Richard Morgan. He is just starting out and has been designing these instruments in co-operation with the Guitar Gallery’s owner for a while. What makes his instruments unique are the materials. This bass is mostly made of carbon fibre. All the parts, apart from the machine heads, are custom made. While the body and neck are carbon fibre, the front of the guitar is made from wood salvaged from an antique wardrobe. The fretboard wood is from the counter top of an old Post Office.


The ‘cone’ looks also to be carbon fibre, with a hand made wooden bridge placed on top. The bridge saddles are also custom made from what looks like solid steel. The bass is a neck through design, and feels incredibly solid. Although hollow, this is not a lightweight. But it’s still comfortable… it’s like a midweight Fender P-Bass.


The headstock (which is also carbon fibre) has a classy Fender type outline that fits with the overall design and the straight string pull would help with tuning stability.


I had a quick play and was amazed at the sound that erupted from this beast. The bottom end is phenomenal. It’s like a mix between a double bass and a solid body… the massive bottom end of the double bass with the sustain of the solid body. The note just riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiings. I didn’t get a chance to plug it in, but the pickup is a USA Jazz, right up at the neck so I assume it would sound pretty big! The neck was a beatiful profile as well, a very comfortable Fender Jazz Bass neck shape with a narrow nut width. The action was a touch high, but I think that added to the endless sustain this thing has.


All in all, I was seriously impressed with this bass. The colour scheme wasn’t really my thing… I think one of these in gloss black, with a transparent dark sunburst front so you can see the wood grain would look fantastic. But the design, workmanship and the price ($1500) make this a winner.

Check this bass out in person at the Guitar Gallery in Melbourne.