Maton ‘Sharkbite’ Fyrbyrd

My favourite Aussie guitar design – the 60’s Maton Fyrbyrd.

A few weeks ago I posted an article on Spewy from the Dunhill Blue’s cool Johnny Ramone bass. Well, Spewy also owns another cool guitar… this classic 60’s Maton ‘Sharkbite’ Fyrbyrd. This is on ‘permanent’ loan to the singer in his band as the singer loves it so much. I can see why. Apart from looking hell cool, it’s one of the best playing Fyrbyrd’s I’ve tried.

It’s all original and deliciously grimey. This thing has been played a LOT over the years. The Bigsby is nicely rusted, and it still has the original cast bridge, complete with the baseplate. It’s nice to see it still has the original pickups as well. And look at the awesome red perspex scratchplate. So, so good.

One thing I love about these Maton’s are the stickers on them. They really make no sense and are totally Maton’s way of making these guitars in tune with the hip cat’s  of the 60’s. For instance, your pickup choices are COOL, MIDWAY or HI-FI… no idea what they actually do. I think they’re all on-off switches for the individual pickups. Also, the switches are very industrial looking. They almost look like they’re off a truck dashboard.

Then there’s the rotary switch…

This features the classic Maton switch that looks like it’s off a 50’s television set, which Maton thankfully still use today on their Mastersounds. Your choices are Full – Sound Barrier – Half. You rule, Maton…

This guitar has had a fair amount of work done to the neck, which is probably why it plays so well. The neck has been sanded off it’s finish and the frets have either been redone or had a fantastic dressing. But look at that beautiful neck heel design. Remember, this was 1962 – 63. It’s a very elegant job.

The headstock has also had it’s colour sanded off which is a bit of a shame… but it still has it’s original tuners which is good to see. I love that curved top.

My favourite part of this guitar is the sharkbite. It’s such a way out idea for a guitar built in Melbourne in the early 60’s! I think maybe Bill May might have been influenced a little by Paul Bigsby’s genius designs… the hardware & pickups  nearly identical, and then there’s that sharkbite.

This guitar sounded fantastic through the Fender amp it was being blasted to. These guitars sound great with just a bit of dirt and a lot of volume. Too much modern type gain and they sound a bit fizzy. I’ve said it many, many times but Maton… please reissue this design!