Maton TE-1 Reviews
At the time I was looking for a Taylor guitar ...But since I lived in New Zealand and our dollar at the time dropped against the GreenBack, I had to review my options. I only had a budget of 2500 New Zealand Dollars, but the lowest Taylor at the time was 5000 NZ dollars. I hunted around and did a little research and it turned out a friend of a friend was dealing in Matons. He personally loved them, and said I should try one out. I played a few Takamines and other guitars, and this one beat them hands down for sound. I decided right at that moment that I would buy the guitar.
The TE-1 is a signature model endorsed and played by Tommy Emmanuel himself. If you havent heard him play then you are really missing out! It has the best bass/mid range I have ever had the pleasure of hearing on an accoustic guitar. The highs are mellow yet defined and powerful, and the overall tone is like honey. Yet the tonal spectrum remains very balanced. The action is as good as it gets and the intonation is perfect. Playing chords is effortless all the way up to the 21st fret, and doing sliding runs is equally easy. I will say it again....the bass/mid response is awesome.
Amped up through a PA it sounds even better. The AP5 pickup is in my opinion of better quality than the fishman prefix found on the Taylors (I found the taylors to sound quite raspy when amped up...I dont know why people rave about these pickups?). The amped up tone was warm and powerful. The pickup had a sweepable equaliser which enables you to either accentuate a particular frequency or take it out altegother.
This guitar has an unexplainable mid/bass sound that sounds great, and I have found this to be the strong point of the guitar. Some people would probably like mid/highs to be the strong point.
But dont get me wrong, this guitar is balanced, and does have a very nice mid/high response, it is just that the bass/mids have something special going on.
The guitar is made from AAA Sitka Spruce top, Solid Indian Rosewood sides and back, Maple neck, Indian Rosewood Fretboard, Walnut headstock (the older type for Matons), Gold plated tuners, AP5 piezo electric pickup, Hearing bone inlay, scalloped bracing. Cuttaway Dreadnought shape.
A little glue was showing from the bracings inside the guitar. The gloss around the soundhole had lifted almost unnoticeably on one side...I am not sure why that would have happened.
The overall quality of craftsmanship is excellent. Solidly built, and is absolutely classy.
I would describe the look as understated elegance with no flashy pearl inlays or colourful gloss finishes. This is just a very well made, quality tool for producing exceptional quality sounds. Looks very plain!
My favourite guitar used to be Takamine, and then Taylor. But then I tried this guitar and in my opinion came on par with Taylor accoustically but at a drastically lower price. The overall amped up sound was better than any other guitar I tried. The feel was similar to a Taylor or a Takamine. The sound is balanced with that special something in the mid/bass response which I have never heard in another guitar. A real joy to play, and I will be interested to see how it ages in the next few years.
My next guitar will probably be a smaller model with more trebble response(probably Maton or Taylor). I havent tried this guitar in a band setting yet so I do not know where it will sit in the spectrum mix, or how easy it would be to pull it out of the mix.Wynne
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