Maton Mastersound Jr.

A very cool, tastefully modified Maton rock machine.

Like many of you reading this, I’m constantly thinking about guitars. I can’t help it… they CONSUME me. Tym Guitars is up the road, so every now and then I pop in during my lunch break for a quick guitar fix. There’s also a pawn brokers close by which I check out every few weeks to see what they have. One day, I was walking towards to pawnbrokers and an image of a red Maton flashed through my head. So I was quite surprised when I saw this Maton hanging in the store. The price was pretty good, so I snapped it up.

It looked like a MS501, which was the one pickup version that Maton released after the guitarist from the Australian band ‘Grinspoon’ ordered one. Someone had fitted a Seymour Duncan P-Rail, along with a Wilkinson roller bridge to it. I’d read really good reviews about the P-Rail, so I was keen to check it out. I was really pleasantly surprised with the sound. It’s a great sounding pickup, really bitey in p-90 mode with clarity but power. In humbucker mode it thickens out really nicely. They’re both really usable sounds. The rail setting by itself I’m not a real fan of… it’s kind of a little sterile sounding and a little underpowered.

The headstock was the older laminated version, which meant this was an older Mastersound. The newer ones have a painted headstock fascia with a silkscreen logo. It’s a great looking headstock design.

The machine heads had been replaced with mini Grovers. I’d never really seen these before. They’re a little weird… a bit too small for my taste.I find them a little hard to grip quickly. They tune very well though. Also there’s Maton’s cool volute and unique neck scarf joint. I really like this feature, it makes the guitar look a little more hand made.

The guitar itself is pretty light and small. Apparently under the scratchplate there’s what is called a swimming pool route, which means they took all the wood out in a big square shape so that any pickup combination can be fitted. It almost makes these feel like a semi-hollow body. It’s certainly a resonant guitar.

The neck shape is a little clubby but easy to play. It’s certainly not a 1958 Les Paul profile or anything. I guess I’m spoilt after playing my G&L SC1. The neck heel cutaway make getting to the top frets easy as.

As my SC1 was away getting set up, I used this guitar for a few weeks and really enjoyed it. The P-Rail sounds almost identical to the MFD pickup in the SC1, so I was really happy with that. The playabilty was spot on, with nice big frets. And the light weight meant this guitar was easy to play all night. It’s a winner. I later found out this guitar had been modified by a fellow guitar nerd that I know from the Aussie Gear Heads forum and he did a great job.

Unfortunately, I’ve decided to have a spring clean of guitars that I don’t play often so I can buy some stuff I really want. As this Maton was nearly identical to my SC1 and I honestly would probably hardly play this (plus I figured I only need one 1 pickup guitar), I’ve decided to pass it on to someone who will play it and appreciate it. I’m looking for $600, so if you’re interested… drop me a line. (Sold! Bye bye Maton… *sniff*)