Saturday, 6 November 2010

1980 MB Himmelschlüssel

Another of these crazy German luthiers, like Basslab, Auerswald or Teuffel, MB was a short lived 80s small guitar company about which I cannot find much information - but that MB stands for Christian Müller and Roland Bauer, and that's it!

They conceived and released a few models based on this astounding design, and the main one was the Himmelschüssel (that you can translate by 'primrose' but means exactly 'key to heaven'). This guitar is not only rare because it's the first of the only 13 ever built, but for being issued from some designer's fantasy gone wild on the drawing board, and not being ridiculous once built! How many smart ideas in experimental guitar design went wrong? This design was actually made possible by the new technology of carbon fiber that arose in the early 80s - in this case combined with mahogany. 

This model was built for a famous German blues guitarist, and I always wonder why do people want new instruments to play old music! Look at all the demos on YouTube for high tech guitars like the Teuffel, the XOX or the Backlund, the players always go for old rock blues riffs and scales! Do Franck Zappa, Robert Fripp or Adrian Belew have no legacy?


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  1. Anonymous12:15 pm

    Listen to Black Napkins by Frank Zappa and you'll see where his legacy comes from! :-)

    This is a stunning guitar design by the way - I now want someone to build me a bass like this!

  2. I owned a music shop in the eighties and was good friend with Chris Müller and "Rox" Roland Bauer. Their guitars were welldesigned with a lot of thoughts of improving the sound and playability of the instrument realized.The built amazingly looking instruments, all with glued in necks and best hardware AVAILABLE. The wood they chosed was old european tone woods, like high alpinewood Pinus cembra, Zirbelkiefer or Southwestern french Walnut root with immaculate looks. I felt very sorry that they stopped making guitars, obviously they were too exclusive for those days. I still am the proud owner of a firebird like looking walnut firebird, ebony fretboard and handwound humbuckers. I wanted a three singlecoil instrument with vibrato and a carved maple/ ebony checkerd top. Unbelieveable good looking when through the carves the square checkers change from square to rectangular and back. I was too late to order one for.
    Alois Walter Jo Jonathan



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