Magnatone Leilani, silver-grey MOTS
ce 1948-49



PREVIOUS OWNER REPORTS:  1948 Leilani Lap Steel by Gourley and according to the Vintage Guitar price guide was made by Magnatone.  Finished in a black or grey Moto (MOTS / pearloid) finish and is in Excellent shape being 55 years old.  The finish is in excellent shape and the electronics sound great as well.  The only problem I can see are the tuning peg button's are shrinking do to their age but are very much in tact and funtion perfectly.  I dated this from the Stack Pole pots which (were) 1948.  A great vintage piece with a remarkable sound.

DENNY'S NOTES:  How do you put it nicely that an ebay seller is a color blind liar?

This Maggie's color is a Maroon & silverized MOTS that has aged to a darker Maroon color.  MOTS tends to darken with age.

The owner couldn't have possibly determined that the electronics sounded great, ....because the pickup potting had picked up some moisture through a crack in the MOTS covering it, and as is not-uncommon with these Maggies, that moisture swelled the petro bees wax potting the pickups are mounted in, and pushed the pickup up through the MOTS to the point the pickup touched the strings and made the Steel unplayable !

The pickup was also disfunctional, having had it's coil wires and bobbin torn and ruined in the potting swelling.  I removed the pickup and discarded it;  It's condition had no recycling use.

This era's plastic tuner knobs out-gas which deteriorates the plastic, making them weak; These knobs almost always have to be replaced when they look like this Maggie's do. Replacement knobs are readily available at Allparts and Stewart McDonald. Stewart McDonald has free installation instructions on their website.

This Maggie still presents an excellent opportunity for a Rebuild or Custom Work;  See notes below the pictures below.


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An excellent opportunity for a Rebuild or Custom Build platform:

A compact size that MOTS Maggies are valued for as well as their sound;  And  fully aged "slab" of excellent old wood ready for any custom parts and / or treatments.

If an original specs pickup is desired, it would have to be custom wound.  I know that Jason Lollar has done these before, and Lindy Fralin probably has too.  Both are top shelf experts by which all others are measured.

I still have this Maggie's magnet.

Shown below is a diagram I made of how these Magnatone "Maggie" pickups were made.

The coil was wrapped around a bobbin fixed on the winding machine; Probably 1 of 4 rod-posts that formed each corner of the bobbin yet allowed open space for 6 bands of masking tape to secure the winding before removal.  The coil was installed into the guitar's body cavity, then the magnet was inserted and rode in an extra routed slot in the bottom to receive and center the magnet in the pickup's routed cavity.  The pickup was then wired to the pot leads.  Then a heated bees wax based compound was poured in to pot the entire pickup into it's routed cavity.  Any overflow was surely shaved level with the body top.  Then the guitar's top and sides (and back edges) were covered in MOTS and the MOTS trimmed on the back leaving about 1/4" lip of MOTS reaching around the entire perimeter of the back of the guitar.