Maton Supreme 777

A beautiful rare Australian rockabilly machine…

As I haven’t been touring much with my band lately (we’re writing for our new album), I haven’t had the opportunity to discover as many delicious guitars to write about in guitarnerd as I usually do. My sole supply of cool guitars right now is Tym Guitars… (this is NOT a sponsored ad!). As I’ve mentioned before, I usually poke my head in a Friday afternoon after work to see what new goodies have arrived during the week. This week I was in for a nice treat…

Hanging up was one of the classiest looking vintage Maton’s I’d ever seen. It was a cherry red Supreme 777, basically Maton’s answer to the Gibson 335. The main difference is that this guitar is completely hollow, like a Gretsch. The only real weight on the guitar is the glorious original vintage Bigsby tremolo.

The body is made of a beautifully flamed maple (or whatever wood Maton was using back then.) The finish is a satin deep red… with all the awesome little finish cracks that 50 years of Australian weather gives. It’s not exactly a Gibson quality finish. This looks like it’s been lovingly made in a back shed in Melbourne somewhere using some pretty basic tools… which it basically was. The finish is wafer thin and almost looks like paper mache.

The bridge was the original cast moustache bridge, which totally suited this guitar. I just love the look of these things, they almost look like World War I sand-cast trench art.

The scratchplate is pure awesome Maton. Instead of the Gibson/Jazz guitar type curved scratchplate, Maton have obviously looked at Batman for inspiration.And the pickups are pretty unique. I haven’t seen these type before on a Maton. Looking at the Maton website: “Twin Magnametle high power Pick Ups with separate tone, bass and treble controls.” They have massive square pole pieces and are VERY Gretsch sounding. I plugged it into a Fender Twin Reverb and was in Brian Setzer heaven. (Note: Brain Setzer heaven is like normal heaven but the angels all wear leather jackets, have massive quiffs and spend their time at the malt shop in their 1940’s Fords.)

The big surprise was the neck. It was TINY! I mean, I have tiny little monkey paws for hands, and even I was having trouble playing chords on this thing. It wasn’t too bad, it’s just a bit different to the Leds Paul I usually play. It actually reminded me of my Maton Phil Manning Custom Stereo. The headstock was that cool vintage Maton version that Maton revamped for their Mastersound Anniversary model. The only non original thing on this guitar was that the tuners had been changed to mini Schallers, which is probably a good thing. Also the nut seemed to be made of black plastic, but I’m not sure what the originals were made of.

I had a look at the Maton site and it seems there was a triple pickup version of this guitar called the Capri Electric 151 which looks amazing. I love the triple pickup selectors on the scratchplate too.

I was really tempted to sell off some of my axes to buy this, but honestly I probably wouldn’t do it justice. At the moment my SC1 and Les Paul are my two main stays and I don’t see that changing for a while. Hopefully this beautiful Australian classic goes to a good home.

And remember… if you or your mum or dad or uncle or next door neighbour or mail man or best friend’s sister’s dog’s vet have a cool cool cool guitar that you think is guitarnerd worthy, drop me a line and I’ll do an article on it! SHARE THE LOVE!!! (Don’t know what that means, it just sounded right for this instance.)