Saturday, 9 January 2010

Bigsby Magnatone MkIII guitar from 1957

Hear the name "Bigsby" and you automtically think of the now legendary Bigsby vibrato. It seems almost ironic that this "Bigsby" guitar doesn't have a vibrato (or tremolo) at all!

In fact this is a Bigsby-designed Magnatone MkIII. Magnatone were best known for their Hawaiian guitars and amps, but contracted Paul Bigsby to design a "spanish"-style electric. (That always sounds funny to me, because I think of Spanish guitar as being acoustic nylon-string. However, "Spanish" in this instance refers to the playing style familiar to all of us today as opposed to the lap style of playing.)

You can read more about the Bigsby Magnatone MkIII here.

Of course, Paul Bigsby together with Merle Travis developed what is arguably the first solid-bodied electric guitar back in 1947, which in turn influenced a certain Mr Leo Fender. You can see where the influence for the Fender headstock design may have come from (read more about that here).

See also:

G L Wilson

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