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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PostPosted: Sun 16 Jan 2022 04:26 PM 
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Power Chorder

Joined: Sun 16 Jan 2022 01:22 AM
Posts: 13
I recently received my first Aria Pro II, a 1983 PE-60. I posted more details about it on a different section of the forum (viewtopic.php?f=1&t=13601).

Something else I discovered about it: the nut had been replaced by a Graph Tech NuBone by a previous owner.

My only real beef is that the fret ends feel quite rough to my hands, although this may be due to age-related shrinkage of the fretboard or binding rather than any manufacturing/QC issues at the factory. Otherwise it plays like butter.

Some questions:
  • What do you recommend for replacement pickups if I desire a warmer sound than the stock ceramic MMK-45s?
  • I've heard conflicting reports regarding the 2 mini-toggles. Some say they are series/parallel switches, some say coil taps/splits, and some say phase switches. Which is correct?
  • What's the difference between the PE-60 and the PE-R60? (I can't find an answer on the Web.)
  • Is there much of a build-quality/attention-to-detail difference between the PE-60 and the higher model numbers (PE-R80, PE-R100, etc.)? Or is it just a matter of trim/features?

Thanks so much!


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PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan 2022 05:27 AM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Wed 05 Jul 2006 03:40 PM
Posts: 2596
Location: Mount Hunter, NSW, Australia.
Tonerider, Kent Armstrong and GFS are all reasonably priced and perform admirably… at least they have when I’ve used them!

The reason I like them is the relative value; if you buy a set and don’t like them, then you’re not out an great deal of money!

Read widely, and figure out what noise you’re after e.g. Peter Greens LP… Angus’ SG… Slash’s LP… and so on, and then chase that sound!

Enjoy the journey!

_________________
FWIW, an after market esoteric nut is a solution to a problem that doesn't exist, and a great way to convert your money into someone else’s.


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PostPosted: Tue 18 Jan 2022 04:34 PM 
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Power Chorder

Joined: Sun 16 Jan 2022 01:22 AM
Posts: 13
Thanks Corsair for your reply! In all fairness, it was the previous owner (or maybe the one before him?) who replaced the nut. Perhaps the original one wore out.

But at any rate, whoever installed it did a heck of a job. It appears to be seated, slotted, and cut really well.

I will check out those pickups you mentioned.


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PostPosted: Wed 19 Jan 2022 08:19 AM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Sat 12 Oct 2002 09:20 AM
Posts: 1038
Years ago I bought a PE-60 that had Seymour Duncan SH-1 in bridge and neck position. Those sound great and I never felt the need to change them to something else.

There is not much difference between a PE-60 and a PE-R60 when you read the specs. From the ones I know, the PE-60 tend to weigh a little more. I never checked, but maybe the body of the PE-60 is slightly deeper.

Most PEs with mini toggles I've seen are wired for serial/parallel switching. When you use the original pickups, my favorite setting is the bridge in series and the neck in parallel. In series wiring the MMK are a bit too muddy for the neck position, but in parallel they work like a charm. Besides that, the MMKs are not sounding good with one coil switched off.

The higher end models are different beasts... the pickups are not the high output types used in the PE-60. The bodies are a three layer sandwich (instead of the two on the PE-60). The back is carved, so they weigh less (except the Supra).
Anyway, I wouldn't worry about high end or not (speaking about PEs from 1980 to 1986). The interesting part is that some of the PEs start to speak to you when you pick them up and others don't. From my experience with this has very little to do with the price tag.


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