Manson Magpie Custom

The mid-sized Magpie was among the more popular standard models offered by Andy Manson, one of England’s best-known individual luthiers.

Based in Devon, Manson began making guitars in the late 1960s. In addition to his regular models, he became known for multi-neck acoustics, the most of famous of which were triple-necks made for Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones and guitarist Jimmy Page.

As his production increased, Manson brought on two assistants, Simon Smidmore and Andy Petherick, in 1993. Within three years they established their own shop – they actually took over Manson’s workshop – where they made their own Brook brand instruments and also made Manson guitars under license.

Manson eventually settled in a shop called The Ark in Crediton, Devon, and began making custom instruments exclusively. His works have ranged from conventional instruments for such artists as Dave Matthews, Sarah McQuaid, and John Paul Jones, to a combination guitar and sculpture called the Mermaid, and he has offered intimate insight into his guitar-making philosophy through a published diary called “Talking Woods”.