Here is the one I found in dark, blood red. It's got the exact pickguard as the above example. But notice...no higher end mother of pearl.
I realize I need to get closer and sharper pics of the red than what I have...which is fine, as I found a blue bass Magnum just the other day. More pics on the way! Ay-yi-yi!
Black seems to be the more popular color of the ones I've been able to locate online for examples. The one I found was dark red like blood minus the mother-of-pearl inlays. It had silver pickups that looked pretty fragile (I'll be willing to bet owners of these guitars replaced these as quick as possible). Since I live in southeastern lower Michigan, I quickly discovered that the "Magnum" badge was sold locally at Royal Oak Music in Royal Oak, Michigan. The music store has long since disappeared into history. It looks like "Magnum" was sold in Chicago as well so maybe it was only distributed in the midwest in America. There's a lot of reference to Magnums being widely sold in Australia, so they must have been manufactured in good quantities as a 'starter' copy guitar and distributed there as well. It's so interesting where all these badged guitars end up!
Now what makes it far more difficult in pegging who made the Magnum badge is the fact that there was ANOTHER company in Vietnam who made "Magnum" badged guitars! However, those Magnums are described as cheap laminated guitars that have a horrible sound with an approximate manufacturing date somewhere in the 1980's. The Magnum I'm looking at is definitely from the 1970 period and solid. There are also the famous Eastwood Magnum basses and acoustic Magnum Opus guitars which are made domestically both in the United States and Canada.
It's clear the Magnum I found was the lower-end model because of the lack of mother-of-pearl inlays and the cheap pickups.
But I still can't determine if this guitar IS Japanese. Some argue that it is based on styling...it's rather similar to a Daion Les Paul from that period but god, you could say that about a lot of other Les Pauls from the golden 1970's Japanese copy era! Others insist it's a Chinese product. It's such a mystery. I'm going to go back and see if I can find a serial number on the one spotted. In the meantime, check back...I should have those photos up soon so you can see it. The guitar IS for sale, so if anyone is interested, let me know and I'll pass along the information on the seller.
If you have any information or want to share your Magnum, add it to the blog!