Adam Cole’s Satan Wedgtail

An amazing custom guitar by the father of the modern Maton electric.

Adam Cole holds a special place in the history of Australian guitars. He is the instigator and creator of the modern Maton electric guitar… specifically the Mastersound. Adam designed the new Mastersound from scratch, updating the design to suit modern playing techniques and setting up the Maton electric guitar division. This is pretty amazing when you see how young Adam is… he isn’t some grizzled old luthier who has been working in the industry for 60 years… he’s in his 30’s and looks like a typical long haired bearded rock dude.

Adam left Maton to start up Cole Clark guitars and then later opened his own guitar shop called Valley Music, in Lilydale. He still makes custom guitars every now and then.

Custom guitars like this…

Ladies and gents… this is the Satan Wedgtail. It’s a modern interpretation of the classic late 60’s Maton Wedgtail, down to the 3+3 headstock design and the sunk in Bigsby. I first heard about this mythical beast months ago when Tim from Tym Guitars told me Adam was building one for Billy Gibbons from ZZ Top. Instantly my guitarnerd senses went into hysterics and I pleaded for some photos. Unfortunately Adam hadn’t taken any shots of the guitar during the build! All I found was this pic on the net taken by someone in the crowd…

Image from Mad Mills blog

So that was it… that’s all I knew about this guitar until yesterday, when I happened upon some pics in a fuzz pedal forum that made me choke. There it was! The Satan Wedgtail! I messaged the owner of the guitar if I could use his pics in this story, which he graciously agreed to.

It is absolutely stunning. Adam’s attention to detail is spot on. He has nailed the look of the original design, and the updates have made this into a beautiful modern instrument. To keep the Maton flavour, Adam used custom handwound Maton style MS2000 mini humbucker pickups, with a coil roll off for the neck pickup and even included the Maton rotary selector. The split scratch plate is a gorgeous tortoiseshell.

The headstock is pure Wedgtail…. and the logo is a cheeky take on the original Maton version.

The attention to detail goes on to the back of the headstock, where Adam carved in a groove to help the tuners fit better. It’s an elegant solution and certainly shows off Adam’s luthiery skills.

The body and neck are mahogany, covered in incredibly smooth nitro. Adam even got the heel shape right, with the old style curved top Maton heel plate. Plus the back plate matches the original design as well.

The Bigsby is recessed into the body like the original Wedgtail, but instead of chopping the bottom off and screwing it flat to the body like Maton did, Adam found a way to make it fit. I’m not sure how… but it looks like it was made for it.

It’s great to see a rare old Maton design like this revived into such a stunning instrument. *cough*…. modern FyrByrd, anybody?

As there’s no video of Billy G playing this beast, here’s the guitar’s creator Adam with his band, bugdust. Adam is the bearded guy singing and playing the sweet Hagstrom…


***Update. Mitchell Pink has sent in some great photos of Billy playing the Satan Wedgtail. Click on the photo’s to see them in hi-res. Thanks Mitchell!

***update: Thanks to Craig for this great footage of Billy playing the Wedgtail!