The Macmull Guitar is a slab-style steel-string guitar. The slab body, which resembles a flat plank of wood, was designed to maximize the volume and resonance of the instrument by minimizing its surface area. According to the designer Paul Macmull, it is an attempt to “get back to nature”. The second version of this guitar is currently in construction as well as a third version dubbed the “Aged Macmull”, which has yet to be completed.
The design for this instrument was first conceived in early 1993 on paper while Paul Macmull was attending California State University at Fullerton designing his first steel-string dobro prototype called “Big Orange.” It took nearly six years before he began work on what would become the Macmull Guitar.
Paul Macmull was a design student at California State University, Fullerton when he started work on his first steel-string dobro prototype in 1993. It took another six years before he began work on what would become the Macmull Guitar. The original plan was to build a folk guitar with a flat back and no soundhole but after designing that instrument it evolved into a modified classical guitar. After building five of these guitars Paul put them away for nearly 10 years until starting work again in 2008 on the original ideas from 1993. The final product has been three years in the making from start to finish and has been greatly influenced by John Gilbert, an American luthier who specializes in metal-string instruments.
The Macmull Guitar features a flat slab-style solid mahogany back and sides with a separate protruding face known as the belly which protrudes out by nearly one inch. Macmull has also designed his own 18-fret steel-string guitar neck that extends into the body of the instrument. It is currently strung with D’Addario EJ16 guitar strings (.012-.053 gauges).
Macmull has three other guitars in various stages of development, called “Big Orange”, “Blueberry Blues”, & “Aged Macmull.” The vintage version is currently being built concurrently while waiting for more parts to complete it. Big Orange was a prototype steel-string dobro, the Blues was a flat-style 12-string acoustic, and Aged Macmull was a modified version of the original design that had a vintage-style sunburst finish.
The entire instrument weighs about five pounds which makes it extremely easy to hold and play for long periods of time without being too cumbersome or heavy. The guitar is made from solid mahogany plywood with no center block in the body which eliminates dead spots, adding more volume and resonance to each note played. When asked if he has any plans to patent his instrument Paul replied “No. If I patent this, then I can’t teach anyone else how to do it.”
Macmull recently started a Facebook page titled “Paul MacMull Guitars” to promote the use of his instruments. He has also recently started a YouTube channel sharing instructional videos on how he builds these guitars in his garage at home.
Macmull Guitars are currently being sold privately through Craigslist and Facebook posts, however, there are plans for several sales events in the future. For anyone interested in purchasing one pleasr visit https://www.renegadeguitarco.com/