Retrofret Stock # 7317. Magnatone Zephyr X-5 Model Solid Body Electric Guitar (1965), made in Torrance, Ca, serial # 050965, Blonde lacquer with sparkles finish, Appalachian poplar body, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard, original molded black plastic hard shell case. This Magnatone Zephyr is a very interesting 1960's solidbody, from the last series of guitars to carry that venerable California brand. This line was launched in summer 1965 and was out of production within a year or so. These were sleek little twangers dubbed the "Incomparable Magnatone Starstream Slimline (of) personalized electric guitars". The X-5 was the student-level guitar and combines original ideas with Fender-like elements; the body is rather "Stratty" while the bridge, vibrato, and electronics are more in the Jazzmaster/Jaguar mold. It's fairly certain that Paul Barth was involved in the Starstream design -- the instruments share a "family resemblance" to guitars he marketed under the "Bartell" name. Whatever their pedigree, these are well made, light, handy, good-sounding guitars.The body is smoothly contoured, with a deeper center blending into a tapered edge. The neck is maple with a rosewood fingerboard. The quality of work is to a higher standard than many 1965 guitars; "American made, by American craftsmen" was a major selling point. The single-sided headstock is fitted with strip Kluson openback tuners. One nifty innovation is a screwed-down metal nutpiece fitted over the strings, forcing them down over the zero fret, an interesting idea that works well. The guitar also features a very functional tilt neck adjustment, similar to what Fender used later, but actually better designed and much more reliably functional. The floating bridge has a blade on the bottom that rocks in a "V" shaped piece of metal sunk into the body and individual saddles adjustable for intonation. The trem design is a simple flat plate design instead of the fancier unit used on the higher end models, which was basically a Jazzmaster knockoff. The single coil pickups are similar in size to Rickenbackers, with a metal outer casing and black plastic center. These great-sounding units are unique to the Magnatone Starstream, but similar to Bartell pickups produced by Barth in California. The electronics rig is wired to a top-mounted laminated plastic pickguard with the "Magnatone" logo cut through to the contrasting lower level, a nice cosmetic touch. Although the control layout appears straightforward, it is oddly complicated. The two lower switches are not simple on/off selectors, but include tone-modifying resistors and combine the pickups in sometimes unexpected ways, with a master volume and tone knobs. The range of sounds is impressive, from some very funky combinations to a remarkably deep resonant purr for such a "surfy" instrument. One of our 1960's favorites and a great value in a vintage American-made solidbody.Overall length is 39 7/8 in. (101.3 cm.), 12 1/2 in. (31.8 cm.) wide at lower bout, and 1 7/16 in. (3.6 cm.) in depth, measured at side of rim. Scale length is 24 in. (610 mm.). Width of nut is 1 in. (25 mm.). Very clean overall and all original, showing some dings to the bottom edges of the body and light flaking to the back finish. A very nice-sounding and playing guitar, complete with the original molded plastic HSC. Excellent Condition.
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Retrofret has been shipping instruments throughout the USA and worldwide for nearly 20 years. We have yet to experience a single instance of damage (...I hope this doesn't jinx our perfect record). Retrofret's shipping department can send parcels via UPS, Fedex, USPS, BAX, DHL and DSV Air and Yusen Air Cargo. We ship instruments and other items on a 48 hour approval basis once we received payment in full. Shipping charges and taxes are not included in the prices listed. Mail order shipments within New York are subject to sales tax of 8.875%. Shipments out of state are not subject to NY city and state tax, although the buyer assumes all other tax requirements of their municipality. Before sending payment, please call to confirm the instrument's availability and the cost of shipment.
If you decide not to keep an instrument shipped to you, notify us by telephone, fax or email within 48 hours of receiving it. We'll take note to expect the return. Please ship it in the same carton via UPS, insured for its full value. We will refund the price of the instrument as soon as we receive it, provided it arrives in the condition in which it left the shop. The customer is responsible for all shipping charges.