A new guitar brand has emerged in Denmark and I have had the pleasure of meeting Martin Abrahamsen, the founder of MAG Instruments.
He builds the guitars from ground up and the result is a unique, handbuilt instrument featuring many innovative details and ideas. He already have two models on display, both signalling raw performance with their simplistic yet powerful appearance. His attention to detail is clearly present in his work and it seems he's on a mission for one thing in particular: Rock Solid Tone!
In his own words, here's a short presentation of his latest work...
The feel of a MAG guitar is sonic!
When your fingers travel, they travel with the speed of light. Light is magic, and MAGic could be the name for this "surfboard" to ride the sonic wave. It is a high performance tool and its biggest asset is smoothness.
Every asymmetric twist and turn is made for the very purpose of traveling light. The MAG resonates like a stiff arrow... hitting another arrow in the rear: Spunky and direct. And after stopped playing, you still hear... ringing.
Martin Abrahamsen, founder of MAG Instruments®
MAG guitars are made to be used and we expect you to use it hard!
The making of a MAG AMBORELLA
Here's a never before seen inside view in the building process of a MAG guitar. The guitar is the new model: AMBORELLA. Due to highly secrecy and heavily guarded fences around the perimeter the intruder was unable to catch any real time building action.
Only when the guitar builder was distracted by toilet visits, lunch or frequent visits by very hot pinup models, was it possible to snatch deep into the work process at MAG Instruments.
Shaping of the overall AMBORELLA body contour from blank. Neck pocket have been made to depth precision and tremolo hole through body as well.
The length of our spring cavity is short to minimize the gap between the springclaw and the left side of the cavity.
Checking that tremolo stud screw holes are in perfect alignment.
These two holes are a textbook example of our way to approach even the smallest detail with perfection.
We use only the stud screws of the GOTOH tremolo. The screws are 8mm in diameter also at the thread.
To fit snugly around the screws and at the same time have plenty of bite at the thread, our holes have two diameters; 8mm in diameter on the first 5mm of the hole and 7,5mm in diameter in the rest of the hole. These two diameters must be centered with each other, leaving a difference of 0,25 of a millimeter (0,00984252 inch) on each side inside the holes. We do this operation to high precision!
Our special 1mm recess underneath the tremolo baseplate. This special recess is primarily made to level out the tremolo system when installed non-floating (lower pitching only). Often when a Floyd Rose system is installed non-floating it tends to angle a little caused by the small metal plate between the sustain block and metal plate with six spring-like fingers. The small metal plate rests on surface of the body underneath the system. This causes an alteration of the radius over the sledges. Not only will the radius be more flat but it will be in an uneven way. Of cause this is on an almost theoretically level (in practice you would probably never notice this) but as with everything else at MAG we have approached this with our usual perfection.
Our special 1mm recess underneath the tremolo baseplate from another angle.
Pickup holes have been made to depth precision.
Neck pickup / heel route
There is no space between the front pickup and the neck. #1
There is no space between the front pickup and the neck. #2
Shaped by hand
Our smooth rounding forearm contour is done entirely by hand. Control holes have been made too.
Control cavity and our very smart fitting tummycut have been made. Shaping our special tummycut is a very delicate operation done entirely by hand. The edge of the tummycut is not being smoothened out until just before finish-sanding.
Ferrule-/neck screw holes and shaping of our highly contoured neckjoint.
Despite the obvious placing of the lower left neck screw, the spread along and across the neck screws are greater than traditional Fender neckplate spacing.
Our neckjoint is truly one of the best you'll ever get, beating all conventional and semi- conventional neckjoint shapes on the marked.
All major shaping is done and wire channels have been drilled.
Shaping of the overall AMBORELLA neck contour from blank. Tuning machine holes drilled. It's always important to look good while building guitars therefore a cheek brush is always within reach!
Our rock solid truss rod, have been installed and peghead have been given the correct thickness.
Fretslots made and fretboard have been glued onto the neck.
Our special small dot Inlays have been installed.
Our very special and highly contoured backshape is almost done #1. Contouring the backshape is a very delicate operation done entirely by hand to high precision. Only computer controlled CNC technology can match our work!
Our very special and highly contoured backshape is almost done #2.
Our very special and highly contoured backshape is almost done #3.
Our very special and highly contoured backshape is almost done #4.
Contouring the backshape is done and the final gritlayer sanded. The neck is now ready to get radius on the fretboard and to be finished with our special gunstock oil and wax.
Finish on the body is done. It's now ready for the 3M copper foil shielding in the control cavity. We don't use graphite shielding spray. It just isn't good enough for our guitars!
Preparing pickups and electronics to be installed.
The neck is done and ready to receive frets. The stud screws have been final installed.
We have fitted the neck temporarily for your naked steaming eyes to see. #1
We have fitted the neck temporarily for your naked steaming eyes to see. #2
22 little soldiers ready to be installed into the neck. Our fretwork is in a class of its own!
We round off the edges to a degree that have yet to be matched by any other manufactures or builders.
And there you have it. The neck is completed and the whole guitar is ready to be put together.
Visit MAG Instruments
See more guitar models by Martin Abrahamsen by visiting MAG Instruments homepage.
Article and pictures by Martin Abrahamsen