This Week in Obscure Instruments: Candiria’s Michael MacIvor and His 1978 Ovation Magnum I Fretless Bass

The story of Candiria bassist Michael MacIvor and His 1978 Ovation Magnum I Fretless bass works on 4 levels:


1) It totally sounds like he’s saying his last name is MacGyver.

2) That 1978 Magnum is quite a bass. I’m completely in love with the look of the aluminum rail system atop of that natural mahogany finish.

3) The story of who he wound up picking up the bass from, and that man’s association with the band, is mildly entertaining.

4) Seriously, it really sounds like his last name is MacGyver.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

Latest comments
  • Sexy fretless is sexy.

  • The Ovation Magnum mudbucker is about the furthest thing from a P-style pickup. It’s just as unique engineering-wise as the bridge is. The pickup is a quad-coil. Each pole piece is individually wound and has its own gain trim pot underneath the pole piece. Here is what the insides of the mudbucker and the bridge pickup (also unique!) look like.

    I have a factory-fretless Magnum I as well. I’ve never seen another one until this video, and i frequently look around for another out of curiosity.
    It’s a gem of a bass. Can’t say enough glowing things about it. Has so much character.
    Another quirk about it is that there is a highpass filter wired up to the bridge pickup. Fun to keep that it mind when playing with the stereo output (like having effects on the bridge pickup, & unadulterated low end on the neck pickup w/no risk of phase issues).

    Michael, 300 Percent Density is one of my favorite albums. :) Best of luck with the bass, can’t wait to hear what you do with it! I’m glad the band is active again. You guys are the King Crimson of hardcore.

    Rock on,

    ~ Scott

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