Maton Sapphire 12 String

A beautiful (and rare) 12 string electric from Maton.

My first band was a thrash metal band in the (very) early 90’s called Lobotomy. When we’d saved up enough money from our DIY gigs, we entered Rat House Studios (located on an orange farm) and recorded our magum opus ‘The Sounds Of Egga’. Rat House was a great studio, with a huge desk and even huger tape machine (this was 1993…) so we had heaps of fun. The thing I remember most about recording those tunes was I got to play a gorgeous Maton 12 string on one of our tracks, ‘We Bury Our Own Kind.’ This guitar just played so easily that it felt more like a 6 string electric than 12 string acoustic. And it sounded like bells were playing in the background of the notes… it was just a beautiful guitar. So since then I’ve had immense respect for Maton’s 12 string creations.

A little while ago, I got an email from Dario with photo’s of his amazing 12 string Maton Sapphire.

These babies are particularly rare (I say that a lot with vintage Maton’s) with only 21 being made in 1967. It certainly is one of the nicest Maton’s I’ve seen. The sunburst is gorgeous and the triple pickups, along with their surrounds, look great. Plus this guitar is in fantastic condition for it’s age.

It still has it’s awesome ‘M’ tailpiece, which is great. I’ve seen a lot of Maton’s with the M snapped off. It’s such a great design. I could imagine some poor guy at the Maton factory bending these by hand with a pair of needle nose pliers. Well, probably not… but it’s a funny mental image.

The headstock is straight from Maton’s acoustic range. The machine heads are pretty cheap for such a high-end guitar, but do the job.

Surprisingly, this is a bolt on. The Maton Apollo, which looks to share the same construction as the Sapphire, was a set neck (well, a bolt on that looked like a set neck). I guess Maton decided to stop pretending and just put the plate there. It’s a great design that follows the curves of the body really well. And look at that sunburst…

Thanks Dario for sharing your beautiful 12 string.

And while we’re talking about Maton 12 strings, point your eyeballs at this beauty. It’s a 12 string Fyrbyrd, as played by Neil Finn from Crowded House. In it’s original Stanford case! This is owned by Maton collector extraordinaire, Ken.

Look at that frikken’ headstock! Makes  we want to cry a little. (Sad, isn’t it?)