If that sixties Jazzmaster or Jaguar you've had your eye on is still a few thousand dollars out of reach, then here's the answer to your Guitar Acquisition Syndrome prayers. This unbelievably nice Magnatone Typhoon X-20 is just as vintage as the F...
If that sixties Jazzmaster or Jaguar you've had your eye on is still a few thousand dollars out of reach, then here's the answer to your Guitar Acquisition Syndrome prayers. This unbelievably nice Magnatone Typhoon X-20 is just as vintage as the Fender product – even built within spitting distance of Fender's original Fullerton factory – sounds almost as good, and it's a hell of a lot cheaper!
The words "vintage Magnatone" carry a certain cachet in music circles, and while these days it tends to be the Magnatone amps that people remember best, the guitars the company produced, between 1957 and 1967, are also highly revered. Buddy Holly was probably the first big name associated with Magnatone amps, and these days James Intveld and others swear by their cool, slinky tone. (Australian band GIT immortalized Intveld and Magnatone in 'Lucky Girl (From Benson, AZ)', on their 2003 Flowers album)
Rickenbacker, Mosrite, Magnatone Knocking out similar cool vibes to your Jazzmaster and Jag, the Typhoon X-20 was the highest-priced model in Magnatone's mid-sixties Starstream professional guitar series, conceived by legendary guitar designer Paul Barth, previously with Rickenbacker and Mosrite, and rumored to have been something of a silent partner to Leo Fender in the early days. (Magnatone's factory, in Torrance, California, was just half an hour or so from both the Fender plant at Fullerton, and Rickenbacker in Santa Ana)
Lake Placid Blue This first year Typhoon, released for the US summer of 1965, features contoured body lines, not that dissimilar to a Strat, (see above), plus a bridge, tremolo system, electronics and switching, all also "borrowing" from Fender's Jaguar & Jazzmaster models. Also borrowed from the boys at Fullerton was the metalflake paint – Dupont's famous 1958 Cadillac color, Lake Placid Blue. One area where Barth was ahead of Fender was the screw-down bar at the nut, which keeps the strings both locked in place and in direct contact with the zero fret – a design idea Fender themselves wouldn't utilize until several years later.
Phase In/Out The Typhoon features a full 25½" scale Maple neck, topped with a 21-fret Rosewood board, (possibly Brazilian). Both board and frets are in excellent condition. Pickups and electronics are in likewise perfect condition. Note that different looking middle pickup – this is part of where the Typhoon gets its great sonic variety. Along with some special tone circuitry, which we'll get to in a moment, the middle pickup features different magnetic structure, minus the adjustable pole-pieces of the neck and bridge units, allowing for various in and/or out of phase combinations.
Electronics & Controls The electronics, (which you almost need a university degree to master), are unlike any other guitar we've ever come across, offering the player an incredible 8 preset lead and 8 preset rhythm tones! The two volume knobs, rather than being one for each pickup, each control a separate circuit selected by the red switch on the bass horn. Each of the three pickup selector switches runs through assorted tone-modifying and switching options that will take you days to figure out. The Typhoon is an amazingly versatile guitar, which you can take from surf to country, jazz to rock, and loads more destinations in-between. Elvis Costello bought himself a Typhoon in Nashville a few years back – you can hear some of the awesome sounds these guitars are capable of on his 2008 album, Momofuku, where he used it extensively.
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