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)
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 Post subject: PE-130
PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar 2021 07:42 PM 
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Virtuoso

Joined: Wed 10 Sep 2008 03:05 PM
Posts: 2137
Location: Gothenburg Sweden
Long time no hear guys! Hope ya´ll are well. :)
Yep. Still at it, still building n designing tube amps. That said.. As some of you old timers are aware i not only own a crapload of PE guitars, but among them some of the early ones too.
Like the PE-150 and the PE-160.

Judge my surprise when i run into ,a basically, closet classic PE-130. Yep, the "Paulie" to have back in 1976/-77.

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What´s more one that´s been left stock. Basically at least. The 130 could, to my knowledge, be had in one finish only and that was "Jakaranda".
..n it IS a take on its own seeing the Les Paul law suit guitars.

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Uhu. That "Jakaranda" finish is at least IMO rather pleasing. Good looking guitar to say the least.

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Then of course with the very early logo setup.

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...n it differs on several points. Vs the Gibson as much as later Arias. Yep. Belly cut for instance.
Weight? Haven´t put it on a scale but..about on par with many of the others made back in the -70´s i´d say. Ie; rather heavy IOW. Guess approx 4kg.

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Uhu. Neck is one piece, and mahogony at that.

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While the typical -70s volute is there as well.

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Here an up close and dirty.. Pic says it all i guess.

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Took a razor blade to the fret board, followed up by a number of layers of oil. Fretboard is rosewood as evident.
Therein lies the only "drawback" i´ve found. Fit/inletting of the inlays could have been done with greater attention to detail but hey.. can´t very well win ´em all. Especially not so with these very very early Pro II´s.
The top nut is out of brass on this one and..i dunno if stock or not. Point being that the fit of it simply doesn´t fit the width of the neck at "point of impact" vs the board. The nut is like 2mm wider (bass side), for whatever reason.
Cleaned the cutouts out, which turned out to be a good idea. Full of old crud..certainly didn´t help tone one yota.

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This is sweet tho.. :love: Gotta love it. Sticker says "Super humbucking pickup". Yes. Of course it is.. :lol:

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Uhu. The stock neck pickup. "Custom made" and "patent applied for". What´s there to add? :P

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In turn the rather weird looking stock bridge pup. It IS stock no doubt, just check the catalogue pics of the thing.

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Yeah. Just as "Custom made" and "patent applied for".

What can be said is that they are dead ringer PAF´s really. Measures DC around 8,3k´s so..that kind of turns out correctly too.




As i got to hook the thing up..not all was well in Utopia. It hummed even with the dials turned to zero. The pickup selector had been replaced, a Switchcraft unit in place, but..albeit that might have been a consideration it was in reality not.

What turned out was that the leads for the pots had been swapped so signal from the pickups hit the wiper connection on each volume pot.
Played it like that for tonights rehearsal and..worked and worked well. I DID lack that typical "Uncle Mat" attitude to the sound tho (like the MMK-75´s got for instance). Shrill and top end lacking, which..was a matter of how the pots were wired.
Redid that correctly and while at it added treble bleeds as well (100k in series with 1nF over the leading prongs for each volume) which turned out to be EXACTLY what the Doc ordered.
THERE it is!! :hyper: :rofl:

Sure enough. Different animal, and NOW we were getting somewhere. As to if that hookup of the pickups has been there since day one or not..anybodys guess on a 45yr old guitar.
Now tho a different matter and the thing turned into a tone machine IMO. WONDERFUL guitar.

While on the bench..fresh strings, a setup and then intonation. Yes Sir..thaaaaaaank you very much! Done.
Magical.

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Yeah. Right. Guess this one tells the story as far as body material.

Already at this point Matsumoku had gotten their junk together. My PE-150 of the approx same era..wonderful P-90 guitar that has seen its fair share of use in my hands.
The PE-160 (Dragon strat) then on the other hand, as many of us have arrived on..hardware is a darn joke seeing the rest of the build and needs replacing.
This PE-130 though not so.
Can it be improved upon (read- were the later law suit Pro II´s better?)? Yeah. I guess. Having fooled around with loads of them over the years..
Mid range. My LS-600P for instance. To be compared to this PE-130? Yeah, to an extent i´d say. LOVE the LS-600P (the more i play the more of a sucker i become for P90´s and PAF pickups) and it indeed IS a wonderful guitar. Again one that sees a fair amount of action with me.
Where we´re at.. a toss.
The higher end LS guitars? Hm. Might be they carry more traditional bells&whistles but..Like my old 1000 for instance.

Nah. This 130 is not only a VERY cool addition to my Aria Pro II collection but a very very usable such at that. Plays like butter after the small jobs invested - in my opinion.
Worth taking care of, to be used as well as handed TLC on occasion? Certainly so.

For the upcoming weeks, i rehearse twice a week with the two bands, it´ll be used and used hard. Verdict to come in short but thus far.. real pleasing piece of kit to work with - from many aspects.


Last edited by Racing on Thu 18 Mar 2021 10:42 PM, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar 2021 07:54 PM 
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Virtuoso

Joined: Wed 10 Sep 2008 03:05 PM
Posts: 2137
Location: Gothenburg Sweden
Image

Forgot.
Dare to be different as the saying goes. A clear acrylic pick guard. Cool enough i guess.


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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Thu 18 Mar 2021 09:00 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Wed 29 Apr 2009 12:32 PM
Posts: 3558
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
Jesper, so great to see you again! :wave:
You've been missed. I hope all is well with you in your part of this crazy Goddamned world.

Congratulations on this guitar man, that Jacaranda is just gorgeous and it sounds like you've got it singing like it was meant to be heard! Odd looking bridge pup for sure, but hey, if it puts out a sweet PAF sound what the heck.

And I hear ya on the P90's. Basically "grew up" on them with my ES330 so they're baked into my brain! I put the little buggers in whenever I can. A Les Paul + P90s = blues/rock n roll heaven. (Of course I also love my Danelectro's lipstick pups, so what do I know eh?)

The clear pick guard looks good on this guitar...the only spoiler is that you see the metal bracket.

Two bands!? Bloody show-off! :D

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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Fri 19 Mar 2021 03:20 PM 
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Virtuoso

Joined: Wed 10 Sep 2008 03:05 PM
Posts: 2137
Location: Gothenburg Sweden
Of course i am! :lol: :lol:
Good to hear Barry.

Uhu. Not an Aria but at least Matsumoku. Put yer money where your mouth is as the sayin goes. :wink:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qPzncJy7wU

Done with a cellphone so take it for what it is,at a local biker hangout.


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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Fri 19 Mar 2021 03:59 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Sun 15 Jan 2006 04:52 PM
Posts: 1566
Location: Absolute Stupidity, Missouri
Great to see you back around Racing! That is one sweet piece of wood there! :love:


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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Fri 19 Mar 2021 06:08 PM 
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Virtuoso

Joined: Wed 10 Sep 2008 03:05 PM
Posts: 2137
Location: Gothenburg Sweden
Ditto Crusty!! :D

Speaking of which...
Nah.
Not Mat at all but...whatever.. An Epi at least.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NY-21J5RUEw

Indeed.
Drunk&Disorderly.
Quality you can effin taste! :lol: :-? :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Fri 19 Mar 2021 09:17 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Wed 29 Apr 2009 12:32 PM
Posts: 3558
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
That's some righteous rock in the bar gig!
Great playing Jesper, and I love the tone on that Rainbow. :up: Which version is it?

Nuthin' wrong with Epi, they have a pretty good quality track record, even the Made in China ones. My Les Paul Studio is a favourite of mine. And sounds even better after a P90 transplant! :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Mon 22 Mar 2021 09:21 PM 
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Virtuoso

Joined: Wed 10 Sep 2008 03:05 PM
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Location: Gothenburg Sweden
It´s the first one up Barry.
Used it for a few gigs by now and what can i say? It´s a tone machine, that simple.

That said, from the looks of it this old PE-130 is bit by bit kind of turning out to be the same.

Thing is, as you might be aware or not, that i do not only service and repair old tube amps for a living, i design circuits as well.
My last one is the one used in the flick where we rehearse. In essence a two channel jobbie where the one channel uses a small signal pentode up front. In THIS particular case a rather old such, out of pure chance, by the name of EF-12.
Thing is that this build was based on a rather old Swedish made PA amp. A Champion GM-25, and as the ideas of mine had taken form and that EF-12 was already in there from the start when the thing was new.. well.
Ditto out back. No..no EL-34´s or 6L6´s but more so the grandad of the EL-34. The EL-12. Brings sort of a "coarseness" to the game.

Anyways. As i write above the more i play the more i tend to end up with either simple SC pickups or.. P90´s and PAF´s.
Sure. My NS for instance sports DiMarzio Super dists, but being me..that´s rather rare and tbh it comes down to that the guitar was setup that way from the beginning.

Well. As chance has it that PE-130, think of it what you will, with its rather funky looking bridge pickup, as i wrote above they measure out at approx PAF levels. Indeed sound the part too and the thing is, i guess, that they have proven to carry a rather healthy dose of top end.

Now. When i "play around" trying to find my way, an approach, for a given amplifier build i of course try a few different guitars. Now this PE-130 including which after a little work in the electronics dept turned out to be all that and then some to be blunt.

For various reasons, on the bench right now is a -79 vintage Fender Deluxe reverb that i came into. As classic as it gets i guess but...
Most of the silver face Fenders, what most players end up using is the "vibrato channel". Ie; the one with the world reknown Fender reverb and what not right.
Got me thinking.
Fender has NEVER made an amp with decent sounding distortion (maybe with the exception, to part, of the small Pro Jr) and see.. most that build/design seem to believe loads of "gain stages" is needed to make that happen.
An old Marshall JMP..to the 2203/04 and beyond right.

Well. A number of yrs back i came to challenge that with an old Italian Geloso G-3215. WONDERFUL little "18 watt amp" that carries with it a mere two stages (1 pcs of 12AX7 = two gainstages) that i turned into an overtone screamer by merely fooling around with the circuit.
..which got me thinking, why not do that to the "normal" channel of a Deluxe?!?

Said and done. Reset the entire normal channel of it and indeed.. Doing so using this PE-130 to check progress.
Idea is of course to sell the amp when done, but i DO have a habit over over working things on occasion.. :lol:
Where we´re at at the moment the thing has taken shape. No doubt. Now we have a small Deluxe with a stock vibrato channel doing what a Deluxe does, albeit being what´s called "blackfaced", while the normal channel would make any early style Marshall green of envy!

Much thanx to one specific Aria Pro II PE-130.

As it turned out with it´s electronics setup as our maker intended that LesPaul is one serious screamer when handed an amp that´ll let it.

So. Last few days i´ve been tossing various speakers in n out of that thing, trying to find a good match. It being a small open back combo, more of a challenge than one´d think.

We´ll get there though.

As far as the PE-130 in turn, couldn´t be happier and am real stoked i found a stocker in the condition it after all is in.
Still with even its stickers intact. :hyper:


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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Mon 22 Mar 2021 10:07 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Wed 29 Apr 2009 12:32 PM
Posts: 3558
Location: St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
Ah, that's the Racing I've been missing! Detailed amp surgery. :clap:
I only follow about half of what's going on but it's fun to see an enthusiastic man enjoying his passion!

Quote:
...the more i play the more i tend to end up with either simple SC pickups or.. P90´s and PAF´s.

I don't play in a band any more, haven't in quite awhile, my work as a guitar tech ended 5 years ago, and my arthritis makes playing more of chore than a pleasure. But I know what you mean Jesper.

I find more tonal satisfaction from Lipstick, P90 and lower output 'buckers these days.

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 Post subject: Re: PE-130
PostPosted: Tue 23 Mar 2021 06:28 PM 
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Virtuoso

Joined: Wed 10 Sep 2008 03:05 PM
Posts: 2137
Location: Gothenburg Sweden
Uhu.
In turn, got done and put that DLR up for sale on FB tonight.
That "effed up by Racing" deal.. long story short sold within an hour.


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