Oral surgeon's quest to reimagine the garage-band guitar

Ben Marks, our pal at Collector's Weekly, says, "I just wrote a piece about Matt Eichen, the yarmulke-wearing, oral-surgeon founder and designer of Musicvox, whose Spaceranger guitars were used in the last Austin Powers movie. After taking an almost decade-long hiatus due to his daughter's bout with cancer (she's fine now), he's back at it, with new designs and models, all inspired by the cheap, consumer guitars of the 50s and 60s, from Danelectro and Harmony to Supro and Silvertone."

Like a lot of budding collectors of the inexpensive, entry-level guitars of the 1950s and ’60s, Eichen found himself in a lot of pawn shops. “During my residency and afterward, whenever I had some spare change I would go to a pawn shop wherever I could find one. If I was traveling to a conference in any state, when I get off the plane, the first thing I’d do is go to a pawn shop in the worst part of town and see what kind of guitars were available. Harmonys were always on my list, but then I spread out to Supros, Danelectros, Airlines, and Silvertones. Anything made by Valco or Kay. They had magical tones.”

Oral Surgeon's quest to reimagine the garage-band guitar


  1. Ha!  I have a silvertone acoustic!  My friend Jehan refuses to work on it, although he keeps our other guitars (which aren’t exactly high-end machines) in shape for me.

  2. The headstocks are cool, but that overgrown horn makes the body look like a five-year old’s rendering of an electric guitar.

    Danelectro and Vox guitars were pretty.  These guitars are not pretty. 

    If you really want to see the garage-band guitar re-imagined, look at the low-end guitars from diPinto or the high-end guitars from Fano.

  3. “…the first thing I’d do is go to a pawn shop in the worst part of town…”

    No, gosh, no! I always advise people to go to pawn shops in the more affluent areas of town. Rich people have better stuff to shed.

  4. Those old cheap giutars do not have “magical tones”. Distinctive in their thin-ness, fret buzz and/or lack of proper intonation they may be, but magical-toned they are not. Their appeal lies elsewhere.

  5. I’ll stick with Cort. Amazing necks, excellent construction, great tone, massive range of features, and half the price of a major brand guitar.

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