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Magnus Aries Magnus Aries

Magnus Aries is the fourth in the Orley Six (O6) semi-hollow body style of guitars. The Magnus name arises as the largest bodied electric I've built. The Aries name reflects the red padauk top in combination with the white/cream maple back and sides. The building materials used in the Aries are an homage to the very first semi-hollow body guitar I built. This earlier version was constructed of maple body, padauk top, mahogany neck, and rosewood fretboard. Once I developed the O6 style, I was eager to build one using this same combination with improved techniques and design. As a tone wood, padauk is similar to maple, with both providing bright tones. I completed the Magnus Aries in November 2018.

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Magnus Ambrose

Magnus Ambrose is the third iteration of Orley Six (O6) style of guitars. The Magnus name arises as the largest bodied electric I've built. I've named this one Ambrose to capture that the primary construction material is mahogany, but not just any mahogany, but a single attractive caramel-tone chuck of wood used for the top, back, sides, and neck. As other styles, I always like building at least one guitar comprised almost entirely of mahogany. The Ambrose is the O6 contribution. Like other Magnus offerings, Ambrose is a semi-hollow body constructed, with both top and back contoured shapes common to most 335-styled semi-hollow body guitars. The only non-mahogany component in the Ambrose is the rosewood fretboard. The hardware and electronics are gold-toned. I completed the Magnus Ambrose in September 2018.

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Magnus Ambrose

Magnus Arizona Magnus Arizona

Magnus Arizona is the second in my Orley Six (O6) style of guitars. The Magnus name arises as the largest bodied electric I've built. The Arizona designation highlights the horizontal strips of varied wood types (more on this below) that reminded me of trips through the Arizona desert. The Magnus Arizona is a semi-hollow body constructed of sapele for the back, mahogany for the sides and once again a wide assorted of woods for the top. Both top and back have a contoured arch top commonly featured in most 335-styled semi-hollow body guitars. The neck is comprised of maple, mahogany, padauk, and peruvian walnt and the fretboard is rosewood. The top has a thin center line of wenge and the back has a comparable centerline strip of yellowheart. The pickguard/pick up bracket assembly is maple. The hardware and electronics are nickel/chrome. I completed the Magnus Arizona in November 2017.

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Magnus Alpha

Magnus Alpha is the first in a new line Orley Six (O6) of guitars. Because this is the largest bodied electric I've built, it is designated the Magnus. As the first employing this O6 style, I've ingeniously named this one Alpha. The Magnus Alpha is a semi-hollow body constructed of mahogany for the back and sides and maple for the top. Both top and back have a contoured arch top commonly featured in most 335-styled semi-hollow body guitars. The neck is also made of mahogany and the fretboard is rosewood. The top has a thin center line of padauk and the back has a nifty racing strip with strip of maple sandwiched between two thin strips of padauk. The pickguard/pick up bracket assembly is also mahogany. The hardware and electronics are gold. I completed the Magnus Alpha in September 2017.

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Magnus Alpha

Lil Marge Lil Marge

Lil Marge is an interesting little guitar that synthesizes features and ideas from other guitar builds. First off, it is a semi-hollow body that employs the Orley Five (O5) guitar body shape. I also took inspiration from the O4 Margie guitar, using Mahogany for the body, top, neck, and pickguard; Rosewood for the fretboard; and Gold for the pickups, tuners, and other hardware. The slightly smaller body size combined with the MRG materials led to the the obvious name -- Lil Marge. Even though Lil Marge uses the O5 body style, I have not officially included this in the "Mystic" line. Unlike the Mystic Thinline semi-hollow body guitars (flat top, single f-hole) and similar to O4 semi-hollow bodies, Lil Marge has an arch top, with two f-holes, and a voluminous interior cavity comprising almost the entire body. This feature reduces the weight (at 6.6 pounds the lightest non-acoustic I've built) and also provides a great un-amped tone. Lil Marge, the last using the O5 body shape, was completed in May 2017.

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Mystic Autumn

Mystic Autumn is a solid body Orley Five (O5) guitar. The Autumn was completed in April 2017. The distinguishing feature, apparent from the photos, is the myriad of wood used in the construction. The body is composed of stripes of walnut, paduak, mahogany, maple, cherry, and brazilian cherry. For strength and a hint of design, the pickguard is paduak laminated with mahogany. The fretboard is rosewood and the neck is andiroba (a close cousin of mahogany). I struggled mightily on the name of this guitar, but finally settled on Autumn. I think the name captures the stylistic essence. Like other the Mystic solid bodies I've built, the Autumn also has Strat-like body contours.

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Mystic Autumn

Mystic Yerple Mystic Yerple

Mystic Yerple is the third solid body Orley Five (O5) guitar I have built. The Yerple was completed in February 2017. Like the Mystic Cinder and Amber, this one is also is a solid body. However, unlike other O5 solid bodies, the Yerple is really a "solid" body. Taking inspiration from the prototype of the O5 body shape, the Sunny Ray, I constructed the Yerple body from scraps of different types of wood, including cherry, maple, purpleheart, and yellowheart. During the glue-up of the body, the name of this guitar screamed out to me relentlessly -- YERPLE! Yelllow and purple. What else could it be?

Continuing the Yerple theme, the neck is a 3-piece construction, with a strip of yellowheart sandwiched between two strips of maple, giving it a hint of the Stratocaster "skunk stripe" look. I also used purpleheart as headstock veneer, then used purple inlay dots for the fretboard. The pickguard and fretboard are both maple. Like the Mystic Cinder and Amber, I also made Strat-like contours of the body to ease the body.

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Mystic Mellow

Mystic Mellow is the fifth in my Orley Five (O5) guitar line that I have been developing for 2016. Similar to the Mystic Dawn and Mystic Plum, this too is a semi-hollow body Thinline. The uniqueness of the Mellow is the body and neck are both constructed from yellowheart wood. Yellowheart is a relatively dense wood, but not quite as dense (nor as heavy) as the purpleheart I used to construct the Mystic Plum. But, as the photos show, it is clearly yellow. Fans of the singer Donovan, might appreciate the derivation of the Mystic Mellow name. If not, no worries. Like the other Mystic Thinline models, this to is a semi-hollow body version of the O5, comparable to the Telecaster Thinline, with single f-hole on the top side of the instrument opening to a chamber carved from the body.

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Mystic Mellow

Mystic Plum Mystic Plum

Mystic Plum is the fourth Orley Five (O5) guitar that I've built. It's probably obvious from the photos, that Mystic Plum is purple. When I first began building guitars, my daughter, who is a big fan of purple, thought I should make a purple guitar. Well here it is. Mystic Plum has a purpleheart body and purpleheart neck. To complement the purple, I used maple for the pickguard and fretboard. I never intended this as a tribute to the late Prince, but if that works for you, then it works for me. Like Mystic Dawn, this to is a semi-hollow body version of the O5, comparable to the Telecaster Thinline, with single f-hole on the top side of the instrument opening to a chamber carved from the body.

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Mystic Cinder

Mystic Cinder is the first in a new line of guitars I've been developing. It is an every-so-slight modification of the Orley Five (O5) body shape I used for the Sunny Ray. The Mystic Cinder has a solid cherry body and a padauk neck, accented with a padauk pickguard. The ebony fretboard was the inspiration for the black/red color scheme. As I neared the end of the build, I decided that the natural orange of the padauk pickguard and neck was not playing well with the ebony black fretboard and the slight pinkish tinge streaking through the cherry body. As a alternative look, I used an ebony black stain on the cherry body and a red oak stain on the padauk pickguard and neck. On a lark, I also engraved the "Orley" name on the pickguard. The body has a Strat-like contour at the tail end, a design feature that my right forearm has always appreciated.

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Mystic Cinder

Barbie Barbie

This is the sixth guitar I've made using the Orley Four (O4) design (and likely the last). It is a semi-hollow body electric guitar composed of mahogany body, maple top and neck, rosewood fretboard and pickup brackets, and mahogany f-hole binding, with nickel and chrome hardware. The back is highlighted by a center stripe of maple and rosewood.

Like other O4 guitars that I've built, two cavities are carved beneath the unique f-holes for the distinctive semi-hollow body sound and design. The mahogany body and maple top are similar to The Palomino, but is differentiated by the maple neck and rosewood pickup brackets. I particularly pleased how this one turned out.

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Margie

This is the fifth guitar I've made using the Orley Four (O4) design. It is a semi-hollow body electric guitar composed of mahogany body, top, and neck; rosewood fretboard, pickup brackets, and f-hole binding; and gold hardware across the board. As you may know, I name each of my guitars, a name that often reveals itself over the course of the build. I struggled heartily with this one right to the very end. It seldom spoke to me and when it did, the message was garbled. But near the end, as I sanded the mahogany neck and body, added the rosewood binding to the f-holes, and drilled the holes for the gold hardware, I finally understood. Mahogany body and neck. Rosewood fretboard and trim. Gold hardware. M - R - G. Margie. It is soooo obvious... NOW!

Like other O4 guitars that I've built, two cavities are carved beneath the unique f-holes for the distinctive semi-hollow body sound and design. The mahogany body, top, and neck, of course, set the stage for this instrument. The rosewood fretboard is augmented by the rosewood pickup brackets and f-hole binding. Then the pickups, tuners, strap buttons, output jack cover, control knobs, and even the fretboard and headstock inlays, are gold.

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Margie

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