Mandolin Guitarophone (Marxophone)

Mandolin Guitarophone (Marxophone)


The Marxophone is a fretless zither played via a system of metal hammers. It was invented by Charles Marx in 1912. It features two octaves of double melody strings in the key of C major (middle C to C”).

I bought my instrument from a pawn shop in Philadelphia. It was made between 1915 – 1920 by the Oscar Schmidt Company in Jersey City, NJ. I had to do some work on it to get it back into a playable state (replacing zither pegs and strings), but I think it was worth it.

NOTE: My instrument is “technically” not a Marxophone because the Oscar Schmidt Company didn’t own the rights to the Marxophone name until they merged with the Phonoharp Company in 1926.


– Hammer: The classic Marxophone sound
– Pick: Picked with a guitar pick. A classic fretless zither sound.
– Pick – Unison: All Pick samples being triggered at the same time.
– Hammer Swarm 1: The Hammer sound from above, but 4 voices simulatenously looping.
– Hammer Swarm 2: The Hammer sound from above, but 15 voices simulatenously looping.
– Hammer Swarm 3: A media composer pad: the Hammer sound from above heavily processed to create a cinematic pad.

Formats: Kontakt 5.8.1, SFZ


Leave a review to let others know what you thought of the instrument!

Have been after this for years

5.0 rating
April 19, 2020

Thank you so much for this. Been after it since I saw Blues Explosion playing with one on their Damage making of video. To paraphrase Judah Bauer: whole careers are based around stuff like this.



A Marxophone sampled in a variety of styles, and “Swarm”-style pads.

5.0 rating
5 out of 5 stars (based on 1 review)
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