The Guitar Gallery Forums - The Guitar Legacy of Matsumoku

Q&A, discussion, and information for the labels covered by The Guitar Gallery (Specifically and exclusively guitars made by Matsumoku up to 1987)
It is currently Fri 14 May 2021 11:47 PM

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic
 [ 16 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2018 06:40 AM 
Offline
Gallery Friend

Joined: Mon 30 Apr 2018 08:29 AM
Posts: 6
Love the info guys, keep it coming!

ExFender - if your pickguard has a single screw by the jack then it would be a 'Mk 2' like the white example above - my serial (5020546) precedes yours so maybe the 'Mk1 ' is actually the earlier example. I'm now certain that my pickguard is original - it is exactly the same as an early 80s tobacco brown 'RS Series' currently on ebay, except for being SSH not SSS e.g. the RS Series is exactly the same shape and has controls close together with two screws by the jack. Change the single coil bridge cutout to a humbucker cutout and it's the same as fitted to my Wildcat. So - RS Series has same pickguard (bar bridge pup) as 'Mk 1' RS Wildcat, which is different to the design on 'Mk 2' RS Wildcat and Wildcat Series ('Mk 3').

In other words if the RS Series had a bridge humbucker it would be nearly identical to my Wildcat - the body shape might be slightly different, the trem doesn't have ACT printed on it, and the neck plate simply says 'Made in Japan' - no 'Aria Pro II' or serial unfortunately :( Interestingly tobacco brown is one of the two colours (with black) that the specs on this site give for the Wildcat, though I've never seen a picture of a Wildcat in the same clear-black sunburst effect that apparently is 'tobacco brown' (horrible name for what I think is actually quite an attractive finish).

Jorg, I hadn't considered adding more red (though I have bought a new red/black lead which I thought would look good); I'm replacing all the tarnished / rusty / oxidised screws and bolts with shiny new black parts and adding a gold trem arm with black tip - if that doesn't look good I'll just put a black one on. Maybe with a red tip :) I've also bought a black 1ply backplate / trem cover to replace the BWB 3ply that was fitted - not sure if this was original as it doesn't look very well made.

And as you both have push-pull tone pots I have to assume mine is non-original, probably changed when the (not coil-tapped I assume) Ibanez humbucker was fitted. Unless someone else posts to say their Wildcat also doesn't have push-pull, in which case it might be another distinguishing feature of the 'Mk 1'. Maybe.

Re the trem, my unit is an ACT2 - anyone have any idea on sourcing either new black locking bolts / saddles, or recommendations on an affordable upgrade? A new FR would set me back more than I paid for the guitar!


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2018 01:13 PM 
Offline
Virtuoso
User avatar

Joined: Sat 25 Mar 2006 09:25 PM
Posts: 2859
Location: Grand Absurdity, TX
Funny you mention the body shape. I can spot the plywood RS bodies. I'm sure they're not supposed to be different but the upper horn is. On all of the "The Cat" bodies I've seen, the upper horn tip curves back to the body at a funky angle that, to me, is far less elegant than the non plywood bodies.
I've noticed my Lefty Cat posts seem to be MIA since the server crash. I had side by side comparison of bodies. I'm sure I still have the pics somewhere.

looking for pics. . .

Attachment:
File comment: THIS ONE!!
IMG_1837.jpg
IMG_1837.jpg [ 987.47 KiB | Viewed 200 times ]

_________________
Quality service since 3:00 last Tuesday


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Thu 03 May 2018 02:32 PM 
Offline
Virtuoso
User avatar

Joined: Wed 02 May 2018 04:46 PM
Posts: 120
Location: Germany
More info here than I've found anywhere else! I guess I didn't browse thoroughly enough or the info wasn't posted at the time (my "history" here ended some time ago).

I had another Wildcat on my watch list on fleabay (German) just last March. All black, otherwise exactly like mine but pretty ratty. I would have bid on it, but family got in the way :wink: and it went for more than I was willing to shell out. I love the action AND sound of all my Aria's, which IMHO is superior to any of the Strats that I had ('57, '63, '67 re-issues...NOT!) and MUCH nicer than my first elec - Gibson Melody Maker.

I'm currently trying to run down an ES 500 to replace a Gibby 345 that I had for too short a time in the late '70s - got stolen along with two of my Strats (the '67 and '63).

Here are a few pics of my 'Cat.


Attachments:
DSCF6446[s].jpg [72.99 KiB]
Downloaded 57 times
DSCF6445[1].jpg [113.11 KiB]
Downloaded 57 times
DSCF6444[s].jpg [79.98 KiB]
Downloaded 57 times

_________________
Comparing spammers to a pile of organic waste, is an insult to the organic waste.

Uncle Mats ES-500, RS Wildcat, RSB Deluxe, FS-750, Magna MA 30 (non-Mat), TA-61 non-Mat), a Westone limited run/proto Thunder and an OAKLAND (Westone) XI100.

Pete
Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri 04 May 2018 09:59 AM 
Offline
Virtuoso
User avatar

Joined: Sat 25 Mar 2006 09:25 PM
Posts: 2859
Location: Grand Absurdity, TX
Thats the color of my bass.
viewtopic.php?f=36&t=8968

_________________
Quality service since 3:00 last Tuesday


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Fri 04 May 2018 11:02 AM 
Offline
Gallery Friend

Joined: Mon 30 Apr 2018 08:29 AM
Posts: 6
Love the pics :)

The red finish certainly makes the guitar look more friendly (and a lot cleaner) than mine!

I have a little more info, having just seen a listing on Reverb for a Wildcat from a seller in Japan listed as 'Japan vintage Wildcat' - however it's Korean, and a 'Mk 3' by my nomenclature. The pictures are clear enough to show its serial as 7104048 and the neck plate reads 'Aria Pro II - ACCURATE BOLT ON SYSTEM - SERIAL #', so it's an '87 not made in Japan. The head logo reads 'Aria Pro II WILDCAT-series', it has the same control layout as a Mk 2 but the truss rod access is at the head. Interestingly (to me) it is in exactly the same livery as my guitar - gloss black body, matt black pickguard and red logo.

EDIT - after closer inspection of the pics the Mk 3 also has an ACT 2X trem as opposed to an ACT 2, and cheaper V shaped strap buttons instead of chunky T shaped ones. Any ideas what the X means?

Also, I double-checked my tone pot and it is push-pull - the first couple of times I tried the knob just came off so I assumed it wasn't double-action, but then I tried pulling the post with the knob off and hey-presto! Of course the humbucker I've got either isn't coil-tapped or isn't connected correctly so the push-pull doesn't actually do anything...

Summary of info so far, from this site, this thread and my research so far:
Wildcat first produced in Japan in 1983?
Neckplates read 'Aria Pro II - Made in Japan - SERIAL #'.
Colours were black and tobacco brown?
The Mk 1 (my guitar) was made until some time in 1985.
Sometime later but still 1985 - between my serial and ExFender's - the controls were moved further apart and the pickguard slightly changed (one screw by jack) - Mk 2.
Other colours also available - red, white and blue?
Later in 1985 production in Japan stopped / was moved to Korea?
In 1987 (and possibly since the Korea move?) the truss rod access was moved to the head, so the string bar was changed to two round string trees and the pickguard no longer has a notch at the heel. The logo now reads 'WILDCAT-series' instead of 'RS Wildcat'. This is the plyminate 'Mk 3'.

This almost, but not quite aligns with the years given on this site for the Wildcat (83-84), Wildcat II (85) and Wildcat Plus (86) as Jorg originally surmised - if the Wildcat (e.g. my Mk 1) was actually made until, let's say, early 1985, when the Mk 2 / Wildcat II replaced it (also Japanese, further apart controls, same logo), and then the Mk 3 / Wildcat Plus started in 86 until at least 87 in Korea with the logo 'WILDCAT-series' that would seem to make sense?

This site lists the 'The Cat' models as being made in 86-87 (all 8 versions apparently!), which would mean they were contemporaneous with the Mk 3 / Wildcat Plus. Other than one logo reading 'The Cat' and the other 'WILDCAT-series' I couldn't say what the differences were - I may try to have a look at the 'The Cat' if it's still there next time I visit the shop that sold me my Wildcat.

There is also a very similar guitar with the same pickguard as my Mk 1, but with SSS pickups instead of SSH, badged the 'RS Series'. I'm not sure how this fits into the timeline above? It looks very much like the picture on this site of the Bobcat (83-86), only with a trem not fixed bridge - could it be a Straycat (84-86)?

Unless someone posts with details of any other variants I think the above info is correct - it would just be clarifying when the Mk 2 became the Mk 3 - I'd suspect as soon as it was made in Korea, but maybe we'll never know for sure.

Site Corrections:
I'd like to submit some more accurate details to this site for any future RS owners - this is what I've got so far.
Re year of manufacture, if my assumptions above are correct and my guitar is the original Wildcat then my serial shows that model was made until '85, and not 1984.
On the model specifications, the body is alder and the neck maple - I have no reason to think this is wrong, unless someone can say otherwise?
The fingerboard is listed as maple (like the Bobcat) - mine is certainly rosewood, as are all the others I've seen pictures of - any info to the contrary anyone?
The scale length seems right at 650, which is what mine averages allowing for intonation adjustments.
Hardly definitive, but no-one has yet posted with info of a Wildcat with HH pickups and a fixed bridge (a Mk 0?), nor have I seen any pictures of such a beast, so that info on the details page should be changed to two single coil rails and a single humbucker (models?), and an ACT2 trem?
The controls are listed as a volume, push-pull tone and 3-way switch - which would make sense with HH pickups, but as noted above I think every Wildcat actually has SSH pups - so a 5-way switch?
Die-cast machine heads, bone nut and chrome hardware plating are the final details; my tuners could well be die-cast (how would I know?), but I've never seen a black nut like mine made of bone (though I'd like to find it was possible!), and my hardware is all black with no chrome, unlike ExFender's.
Can anyone add anything to these details?

Thanks again for the feedback chaps, the fog is clearing :)


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
PostPosted: Mon 03 May 2021 04:59 AM 
Offline
Prospective Member

Joined: Mon 03 May 2021 02:25 AM
Posts: 1
Thank you for your work justageezer!
It helped me a lot.
I'm sure that your assumptions at least about MK1 and MK2 are correct.

My very first electric guitar (30 years ago...) was an Aria Pro 2 RS Wildcat which i do not have anymore, but i still have photos of it (and fond memories :) ).
I wanted to have one again so i looked around and saw lots of wildcats which were more or less close but not like mine was.

Now i found one which looked exactly like mine but i also recognized that the controls are further apart.
All other details: Black hardware, act II, HSS, black tuners, blade pickups, etc... were spot on.
And it came with a matching case i never knew existed, and with a (most likely original) trem arm my first one did not have...

So i had an MK1 30 years ago and now i have an MK2 which is identical in my point of view except the more spaced knobs and the pickguard screws at the output jack.

i have to say that this is quite a good guitar (after some TLC this one needed)!
Excellent playability and flexibility. Pickups are a bit hot (even the single coils, perhaps bcos of rails) but they are ok.
The guy in the music shop who recommended me this model 30 years ago did a good job! Those days i didn't have the experience to judge that but now i can.

Here are pics of the new one:
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
Image


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group