My name is Anthony Bragg, Inventor/Founder/Owner of Madtown® Guitars, and I have been playing and working on guitars for as long as I can remember. I was introduced to guitar by my uncle at an early age and that left a lifelong impression on me. I eventually started playing guitar and a few short years later I got hooked on turning them screws.
Somewhere around 1984, I started learning from Stewart MacDonald catalogs and from Dan Erlewine through VHS tapes and tips, and that led to buying all of the guitar repair books that I could find. Acoustic, electric, it didn’t matter as long as it was guitar repair. Some kids were collecting baseballs cards, I was collecting books. Being self-taught, I definitely made quite a few errors along the way. But it wasn’t long before I started to acquire some nice tools, hone a few skills, and put forth some good work.
I would work on anyone’s guitar. I worked on my own, and lots of family and friends guitars. What started out as a hobby of instrument repair quickly turned into passion for the instrument, itself. I became fascinated by Mr. Les Paul and Mr. Leo Fender, and their vast contributions to the instrument. I was drawn to all of the different design elements of all of the many guitars that are out there and began to visualize guitar ideas, concepts and other enhancements of my own.
A few years later I graduated from Gwinnett Technical College with degree in Machine Tool Technology, and then got into the Shop. I would frequently get to work on some of my ideas in the Machine shop I worked at. We machined turbines and blades for Jet engines on the main floor, and the guy that ran the maintenance shop would let me work in there on my own stuff after hours.
Mid 1999, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee and was soon offered employment in the Engineering Department at the Gibson Custom Shop. For over a decade, I worked in the Pattern/Machine shop machining all sorts of guitar parts and hardware for custom or limited runs, as well as built stand-alone machines, custom CNC and Plek fixturing, and other tooling and fixtures to facilitate guitar production. I'm very grateful for the knowledge and the experience gained from a decade plus with the folks at Gibson.
Relocating to Georgia in 2014, I began to really hammer on some ideas of my own. Realizing the guitar market is plentiful with gifted builders that possess extraordinary skillsets and suffers not for more…that if I was going to pursue instrument building, I needed to dare to be different in my own way and push forward with making some of these concepts that I had floating around in my head a reality. I made several prototypes of what would become the Skidplate, then began building prototypes to test the Skidplate on. I needed a vehicle instrument to launch the Skidplate and other ideas on, so I formed Madtown® Guitars in 2015 and began to come up with my own line of instruments that incorporate innovation and precision as the foundation for crafting instruments.
In the presence of an original '59 Burst. Gibson Custom Engineering- circa 2009
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