Posted on 4 Comments

Why That Schematic And Repair Documentation Provided By Mage Music Is So Unique And Valuable


Why That Schematic And Repair Documentation Provided By Mage Music Is So Unique And Valuable

The poor, misunderstood schematic….

When we can find a schematic, manual, or specification sheet for a piece of audio equipment we are servicing for you (which is nearly every time…), you will be provided a copy of that schematic and documentation with your invoice.
That schematic (or manual / spec. sheet) will also contain notations stating what we did to your prized piece of gear.
It will detail the work that was performed, any parts that were replaced (especially if they weren’t in-kind replacements), any oddities that were found (and may or may not still be that way ;), and general info that will be invaluable to the next person that gets in the thing.

This is something that is severely lacking in the service and repair landscape, and it really shouldn’t be that way. If your technician is competent enough to repair your gear correctly, then they should easily be able to document to you how they did it!

We do.
Most don’t.

The highly valuable, and sometimes irreplaceable schematic….

That documentation is more valuable than the invoice as far as I’m concerned…

Say in 5 years you bring your amp, or whatever noise-maker isn’t making noise to whomever, to have some work done.

I know I won’t care a whole lot about seeing my previous invoice, let alone someone else looking at a 5 year old invoice from some other shop! 

Now, I can usually recognize our work,  but if I can’t,  and you show me that schematic with our handwriting on it? Well, then I’ll know. :)

And if you show it to someone else? I would assume (I know…) that they will be appreciative. And – Bonus! Your repair bill just might even be a little lower, since they won’t have to spend a bunch of time and frustration hunting down a schematic, or figuring out what the last guy did!  

So keep the schematics!!  
They’re not just chicken scratch, trust me.
Well, I have to partially take that back.
As evidenced by the picture accompanying this post…. my shining example…. there’s some actual chicken scratch now and then, but you get the idea… o_O

There’s a wealth of information there for the next dude or dude-ette that fixes your baby.

Even if that’s not me. ;)

May your strings never tarnish!

Posted on Leave a comment

Happy Independence Day!

Independence Day

Happy Independence Day!

Let’s celebrate on this Independence Day the struggles, courage, and selflessness that gave us the freedom of thought, actions, faith and speech!

Land of the free, because of the brave!

We Americans have had the privilege of living free since birth. We get to choose our way of life, our words, thoughts, and deeds. We get to do these things because of the heroes that came before us and fought for those freedoms, and the heroes of today that continue to fight for those freedoms.

Don’t ever forget, that freedom is NOT free!

Posted on 8 Comments

Merry Christmas Everyone!

merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

Here’s wishing a very Merry Christmas to you and yours this season. Let’s not forget the reason we are celebrating…

The Christmas Story

The Christmas Story of the Birth of Jesus – Paraphrased from the Bible:

This Christmas story gives a biblical account of the events surrounding the birth of Jesus Christ. The Christmas story is paraphrased from the New Testament books of Matthew and Luke in the Bible.


Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-12; Luke 1:26-38; Luke 2:1-20.

The Conception of Jesus Foretold

Mary, a virgin, was living in Galilee of Nazareth and was engaged to be married to Joseph, a Jewish carpenter. An angel visited her and explained to her that she would conceive a son by the power of the Holy Spirit. She would carry and give birth to this child and she would name him Jesus.

At first Mary was afraid and troubled by the angel’s words. Being a virgin, Mary questioned the angel, “How will this be?” The angel explained that the child would be God’s own Son and, therefore, “nothing is impossible with God.” Humbled and in awe, Mary believed the angel of the Lord and rejoiced in God her Savior.

Surely Mary reflected with wonder on the words found in Isaiah 7:14 foretelling this event, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

The Birth of Jesus:

While Mary was still engaged to Joseph, she miraculously became pregnant through the Holy Spirit, as foretold to her by the angel. When Mary told Joseph she was pregnant, he had every right to feel disgraced. He knew the child was not his own, and Mary’s apparent unfaithfulness carried a grave social stigma. Joseph not only had the right to divorce Mary, under Jewish law she could be put to death by stoning.

Although Joseph’s initial reaction was to break the engagement, the appropriate thing for a righteous man to do, he treated Mary with extreme kindness. He did not want to cause her further shame, so he decided to act quietly. But God sent an angel to Joseph in a dream to verify Mary’s story and reassure him that his marriage to her was God’s will. The angel explained that the child within Mary was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that his name would be Jesus and that he was the Messiah, God with us.

When Joseph woke from his dream, he willingly obeyed God and took Mary home to be his wife, in spite of the public humiliation he would face. Perhaps this noble quality is one of the reasons God chose him to be the Messiah’s earthly father.

Joseph too must have wondered in awe as he remembered the words found in Isaiah 7:14, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

At that time, Caesar Augustus decreed that a census be taken, and every person in the entire Roman world had to go to his own town to register. Joseph, being of the line of David, was required to go to Bethlehem to register with Mary. While in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to Jesus. Probably due to the census, the inn was too crowded, and Mary gave birth in a crude stable. She wrapped the baby in cloths and placed him in a manger.

The Shepherd’s Worship the Savior:

Out in the fields, an angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds who were tending their flocks of sheep by night. The angel announced that the Savior had been born in the town of David. Suddenly a great host of heavenly beings appeared with the angels and began singing praises to God. As the angelic beings departed, the shepherds decided to travel to Bethlehem and see the Christ-child.

There they found Mary, Joseph and the baby, in the stable. After their visit, they began to spread the word about this amazing child and everything the angel had said about him. They went on their way still praising and glorifying God. But Mary kept quiet, treasuring their words and pondering them in her heart. It must have been beyond her ability to grasp, that sleeping in her arms—the tender child she had just borne—was the Savior of the world.

The Magi Bring Gifts:

After Jesus’ birth, Herod was king of Judea. At this time wise men (Magi) from the east saw a star, they came in search, knowing the star signified the birth of the king of the Jews. The wise men came to the Jewish rulers in Jerusalem and asked where the Christ was to be born. The rulers explained, “In Bethlehem in Judea,” referring to Micah 5:2. Herod secretly met with the Magi and asked them to report back after they had found the child. Herod told the Magi that he too wanted to go and worship the babe. But secretly Herod was plotting to kill the child.

So the wise men continued to follow the star in search of the new born king and found Jesus with his mother in Bethlehem. (Most likely Jesus was already two years of age by this time.) They bowed and worshipped him, offering treasures of gold, incense, and myrrh. When they left, they did not return to Herod. They had been warned in a dream of his plot to destroy the child.

Posted on 9 Comments

Small Business Saturday – Show Your Love And Shop Small!

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday – Show Your Love And Shop Small!

Nov 26 is Small Business Saturday®, a day created specifically for small businesses. This year, don’t just Shop Small® at Mage Music for our beautiful guitars and incomparable service! Do it for the businesses you love, for the community you call home, and for the money that can stay in the neighborhood when we all Shop Small.

This Nov 26, get up, get out, and Shop Small!

So, why should you shop small, you ask?

Well, here’s your answer!

Small businesses power the U.S. economy. In fact, according to the SBA, they represent 54% of all domestic sales and generate approximately 40% of all retail jobs. Small businesses add vibrancy and strengthen communities, as well as their local economies.

Small stores pride themselves on high levels of customer service, the one-on-one attention that big box retailers simply cannot offer. While typically small retailers cannot compete well on price, they can offer unique items, helpful service, and the personal touch that seems to get lost in the Black Friday hysteria.

It is important that we remember to shop local at the stores that support our community not just on Small Business Saturday®, but all throughout the year. Small business is the key to the American economy and this annual initiative has evolved as a great way to offer support to the great entrepreneurs of our country.

Thanks for choosing to #ShopSmall. Please share your Small Business Saturday experience on your social channels. See you Saturday!

Read more about Small Business Saturday® on the American Express website.

Posted on 12 Comments

Guitars For Vets – Help A Hero Heal Through Music

Guitars for vets

Guitars For Vets – Help A Hero Heal Through Music

On this Veteran’s Day, consider donating whatever you can to this great program. Our veterans deserve our utmost gratitude, and a little help goes a long way. Guitars For Vets is doing great work through the healing power of music.

From the Guitars For Vets website :
Thousands of our war Veterans are afflicted with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). In fact, more soldiers have committed suicide since the Vietnam War than have died in actual battle. But many are finding hope in an unlikely place: behind the wood and strings of an acoustic guitar. The healing power of music helps soldiers cope. That’s why we provide veterans with guitars and a forum to learn how to play. But we can’t do it without your help. Please read on to learn more out about the program and how you can help those who served rediscover their joy through the power of music.

In 2007, Patrick Nettesheim, a Milwaukee guitar instructor was introduced to Vietnam-era Marine, Dan Van Buskirk. For years Dan wanted to learn to play guitar but felt the lasting effects of combat, in the form of post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD), would make it difficult for him to succeed. After only a few months of working with Patrick, Dan discovered that the strong spirit that helped him throughout his time in Vietnam was all he needed to play music. Together, the men realized that guitar lessons were both opportunities for self-expression and positive human interaction. Dan and Patrick shared what they learned with Veterans at The Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center and Guitars for Vets was born.

Guitars for Vets is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization founded in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 2007. We currently operate more than 50 chapters in 25 states with the assistance of over 200 volunteers nationwide. Over the past seven years, our organization has refined a guitar instruction program aimed at providing Veterans struggling with physical injuries, PTSD and other emotional distress a unique supportive program. G4V pursues its mission to share the healing power of music by providing free guitar instruction, a new acoustic guitar and a guitar accessory kit in a structured program run by volunteers, primarily through the Department of Veterans Affairs facilities and community-based medical centers.

The weekly guitar lessons provided by our volunteers are individualized and designed to help students learn at their own pace. Monthly group sessions are organized at each chapter to provide Veterans a communal atmosphere to talk and continue to play music with peers who have shared similar experiences. In G4V group sessions, the connection created between individuals who are both warriors AND guitar players serves as a catalyst for positive human interaction. Veterans who regularly attend group sessions build confidence to further pursue creative self-expression and engagement within their communities. Some G4V graduates and group session attendees even go on to perform at local fundraisers and teach guitar lessons in their local G4V chapter.

To date, G4V has administered over 20,000 guitar lessons and distributed over 2,000 guitars to Veterans. Over the years, we have observed the many ways that our program is enhancing the lives of warriors suffering with mental, physical and emotional distress. We are very excited to now have clinical trial data supporting our belief in the power of our program. Outcomes from our recently completed pilot study showed remarkable improvements in PTSD symptoms. A copy of the study results can be viewed here: Guitars for Vets: Evaluating psychological outcome of a novel music therapy.

To contact the Iowa Chapter in Des Moines:

To make a donation on the Guitars For Vets website :

Posted on 5 Comments

Thank You…

Thank You
I’d like to give a sincere and heartfelt thank you to all of the men and women who have served and given the ultimate sacrifice so that I can live the life I do today.

We all owe you the deepest gratitude.

Thank You!

Posted on 2 Comments

International Guitar Month – Most Underrated Guitarist

International Guitar Month

April is International Guitar Month. In honor of thirty days of celebration of our beloved wood-and-wire wailers, let’s hear about your favorite underrated or undiscovered guitarist!

Here’s a few on my list :
Mark Knopfler
The name Mark Knopfler doesn’t normally come to mind when discussing the guitar greats out there, but perhaps it should. The strictly finger-style distinctive sound, along with his indisputable songwriting capability, have produced some fantastic guitar moments. My personal fave – Sultans of Swing.

Yes, he’s a mega-huge pop star, but not usually thrown a vote for one of the guitar gods. Most people don’t even view him as a guitar player. But give a listen to some of the solos on the Purple Rain album, or just watch the solo in the video below, and then come back and tell me Price ain’t a guitar player.

Robin Trower
Casual listeners have probably never even heard of Robin Trower, but do yourself a favor a give the album Bridge of Sighs a listen. You will not regret it. There’s a ton of Robin Trower stuff out there though, so don’t limit yourself to just one!

Chris Duarte
Another great blues payer that many may have not heard of, but yet another that you really should hear. Chris Duarte has put out quite a few great albums, but I personally give a nod to Love Is Greater Than Me. Oh, and don’t forget to catch Chris live at the Hard Rock in Siox City on July 30!

Scott Lucas
Scott Lucas is the lead guitar and bass player for the two man band Local H. Yes, he plays them at the same time. No, he does not use two guitars. What he does use is a custom Strat with a bass pickup installed, and run with a separate output to an octave box. Scott uses quite a few effects to achieve his signature sound, but not overly so. I once saw Local H at Spicoli’s in Waterloo, and when I pointed at a pedal I didn’t recognize in his pedal board and asked what it was, he simply replied – “That is to entertain you with, my friend.”
Maybe not the most technical player on the planet, but you want some feeling and some tone – you can get it here!

There’s so many more out there – the list could go on and on – these are just a few…

So, who do you see out there that is making a guitar sing but yet goes unsung as a guitar god? Let us know!