Maton Mastersound (MS500) Reviews
I bought my Maton Mastersound MS500 about 5 years ago for $999 Australian Dollars from Better Music in Canberra, Australia. ($999 Australian dollars = about US$650).
Nowadays the RRP is AUD $1195, so about USD$750. I chose the MS500 (as opposed to the MS2000) because as far as I can tell there is no practical difference (the MS 2000 come's with a highly figured bookmatched top, better paint that won't let the wood dent). They sell for about double the price. Last year Maton came out with a carved top model of the Mastersound too which retails for AUD $1799 to AUD $3000 depending on options.
This guitar just feels like home sweet home to play, the neck shape is just perfect for me, and the short 24.5 inch neck scale makes difficult stretches easier. It feels similar to play as a Les Paul, but easier because it's a LOT lighter and it's a Double Cut-away.
The tone is hard to describe, because it's quite individual. For those who would like a comparison, it has a lot of Les Paul and Strat and vintage Dano type qualities. I haven't been able to get quite the grunt l'd like to have because I play it through a Fender HotRod Deluxe. But there are a lot of heavy rock bands that use this guitar (Queens of the Stone Age, Grinspoon etc). Through my HodRod Deluxe it generates the best blues sounds I have ever in my 13 years of playing.
I was also really pleased to see Tommy Emmanual (Australian guitarist who recieved a Certified Guitar Player award) playing an MS500 at the Sydney Olympics' Closing Ceremony... I would have thought he would at least have one of the more expensive Mastersounds. Ben Harper also plays Matons as well, but not electric.
I don't like the paint on this guitar. I try to treat it well but it dents very easy. If you don't want this to happen I suggest you pay the $200 (Aust $) extra for the next model up, that gives you the type of finish like a Les Paul (which also comes in beautiful sparkle top).
While I actually really like the short 24 inch neck scale, it has its disadvantages too. If I give it a real hard bash on the clean channel of my amp, you get the noise of the pick touching the string, and you also get a bit more variation in the pitch. But played exactly the same on distortion... unbelievable tone.
The body is made of Silkwood, which has a brighter tone than Mahogany. The neck is Maple, with a rosewood fretboard.
Maton Humbucker in Bridge position (tap-able to single coil)
Maton Single coil in neck position
Build quality is excellent, but as I said, the paint on mine dents easily. 5 years after I bought it, it's been played a lot, and I've had no problems.
The MS500 has a large variety of tones, and plays really comfortably. I think it has the potential to become another classic guitar.
If it's a Strat or a L.P. or a PRS that you really want, go and get one. The Maton Mastersound is definately as good quality as them, but it's different.
I don't live in the US so I have no idea how easy they are to get, but have a look at their website which might help. www.maton.com.au , but I have heard that they are exporting quite a lot.Matt R.
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