The second Bigsby designed guitar that made it to Magna production was the Mark IV and V models. These were both really the same guitar except that the Mark V came a Bigsby tail piece, and the Mark IV came with a set tail piece. Materials were Honduran Mahogany and Basswood, and the mahogany neck was a set neck design like the Mark III (as opposed to a bolt-neck design). Initially, both guitars had a german carved top, but at some point, the carved top feature was dropped from the Mark V.
Major endorsements came from Bob Gibbons of the Tennessee Ernie Ford Show and Gene Davis.
Whether these guitars were built at the Magnatone facility in Inglewood, or elsewhere is unclear. The production span of 1956 through 1957 straddled the Magna ownership change of early 1957 when Duhammel and Hellman sold the company to Chilton, Buckles, and Walsh. By this time, Bigsby had moved on to other projects, and the new owners were left to find a new guitar designer.
The entire body of this Mark V is shaped from a single thick solid block of wood, rear routed with chambers in the lower bout wings, and solid up the middle, and solid in the upper bout wings. Back is covered with a thin piece of wood. The neck is large-and thick. Could be called the “baseball bat” neck. It has a long tongue going far into the body.
This guitar has been extensively used over the years and was modified with new tuners and the neck was sanded to give it a more easy handling. It still remains a great sounding guitar.