The Matsumoku made guitars have always bring fascination to my collector ego. Their craftmanship and quality really do not deserve the low price market they are currently going for, or at least to this day. Anyway, this is quite good from an aficionado point of view.
How do you recognise a matsumoko ? Certainly not with brand name, as they seemed to work for all Japanese makers in their glory time. Easiest start is the incredible wood work on them, and often complicated-to-death electronics, while this a not a rule, as we will see.
I will not enter here in precise description of all models, description you can easily find on the web. Consider this page an ode to my beloved ‘woodies’.
Mr.Famous first here with the Musician , an incredible guitar I have always loved for its ultra flat and thin neck, and mega-humbuckers, here in a light natural color and simple wiring. Then, my rare top-of-the-line studio in its elegant veneer. Please note the massive Cimar electric in the back, Cimar being an budget-brand of Ibanez for years.
Slap that bass, as Fred Astaire would say. Two musician and two studio, one being offensively modified. The musician bass was made famous by young Sting, who had nearly every model of this line, including a very rare 8-strings. These bass are excellent but heavy. Better work your back muscle with long rehearsals.
Aria Pro II
Aria was certainly one of the best customer of the mats factory. They came with a lot of models, all of excellent quality, such as my fave red with its casted bridge, really an incredible wood work. You can also spot an Urchin, weird shape at its best. Let’s have a look at their booties :
A very proof that matsumoko mastered all type of necks : bolt-on, glued-on and neck-through live together in perfect harmony, while their neck-through really are exquisite and personnal fave. Cavities are as numerous as in a candy-lover-non-flosser-teen-ager, but always fitted with precise plates within micron precision.
Vantage was a very good customer too, but with less fantasy : most of their models, while always at the same level of high quality, look the same.
The dark beauty on the right side was not made in Japan by mats, but in Korea by some crafty admirer of the famous luthier. You can see the woodstripes are not organise as usual at Matsumoko and the dark wood is from a different lumbers. Turn back !
Same display of neck work here and clearly different gluing for the Korean…but I love her the same.
The other brands
Their always should be a french man in every story….and I found one in the matsumoko history with these Morris guitars. The back of these weird Globalsound Morris—brand mostly know for their cheap ripoff guitars in the ’70s—says : ‘ Designed by Patrick Vrolant’…
This french designer even had time to propose bolt-on and neck-through before vanishing in Sologne fog on a winter morning hunting party…
The other guitar bearing the C.G.Winner brand is quite a mats classics if you except its blade humbuckers from hell.
Supermodels time now : The Washburn really is a luxury guitar with a mad array of special features, including metal circle neck markers. Do not snob the Eagle which is by far the best sounding mats of my collection. Light as a feather and ringing like a vintage sg special , this guitar could convert you to matsumoko before you could spell their name correctly.
Really those guys had no family life : matching veneer backplate that comes so precisely in the cavity
you could not put a piece of cigarette paper in the slit.
These poor siblings have hidden talents. Both the Westone—propietary matsumoko brand–and the Kawai Aquarius AQ-555 fro 1984 are perfect axes any pro guitar player could use on a daily basis.
This picture is only here to show you the mapple choice for this cheap westone was far from economics reality…
From my The Aria Pro II PE100 guitar…4-11 NM ?