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This article was originally published in issue #58
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There are a number of design elements that set this guitar apart from the pack.
Solid ovangkol construction
Smart engineering decisions
Fretwork could be better
Using solid ovangkol for the top, back and sides, this beautiful, slightly darker sounding acoustic guitar from Mayson has a truly special design. The MS3/OCE2 Artist Series guitar offers a very natural satin feel neck and even increases the ease of playing with it's carefully designed body and neck shape. Nick Jennison tells us more.
Mayson is an acoustic guitar manufacturer with bold ambitions. They’re aiming to improve on centuries of guitar building by employing a number of “Smart Concepts” (more on that later), combining old-school luthiery with the latest technology. Bold claims indeed!
The MS3/OCE2 model we’re looking at today a team-built instrument in Mayson’s concert-sized Marquis body shape, and my word is it a looker! The solid ovangkol top, back and sides are absolutely stunning, with a deep and vibrant grain. Ovangkol is related to rosewood, and shares many of it’s tonal properties. It exhibits rosewood’s broad and even frequency response, but the fuller low midrange and “harder” treble are reminiscent of koa. It’s a great-sounding wood, and the solid construction used on this guitar shows it off at it’s best.
The tone is dark, but still very clear. There’s not a lot of punchy upper-mid brightness, but there’s plenty of “air” and string definition. The highs are very silky with a husky, breathy texture, underpinned by a full and balanced low end. Hard strumming brings out more of an “aah/or” format that’ll poke through a mix with clarity and a good degree of authority, but it’s on Flatpicking and fingerstyle where this guitar shines. These more delicate styles showcase the guitar’s tonal breadth and balance, with a low end that’s present but not overwhelming and a clear, slightly scooped midrange.
There are a number of design elements that set this guitar apart from the pack. Notably, the inset machine heads look and feel very high quality indeed. The fretwork on this particular guitar isn’t fantastic, with some sharp fret ends and a high 11th fret that causes some buzz on the plain strings when digging in. It’s not a big or expensive job to sort these issues out, and I’m certain this is an anomaly, given the quality and attention to detail exhibited elsewhere on this guitar. The optional LR Baggs Anthem pickup system a trusted and familiar setup, and it’s natural sound and non-invasive format flatter this guitar well. It also comes with a very nice hard case as standard.
The Mayson MS3/OCE2 is a gorgeous looking instrument with a silky, dark voice that’s very evocative. It’s probably not the best choice for aggressive strummers, but more delicate stylists will love it.
Mayson Marquis Body Shape
Solid Ovangkol Top, Back and Sides
Satin Neck Finish