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: Tue 26 Apr 2022 09:05 AM 
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Virtuoso
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My bad, link fixed. :doh:

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PostPosted: Tue 26 Apr 2022 09:56 AM 
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Jorg wrote:
The bridge looks to be the same as the one in this link which makes me think it could be factory.
https://www.soft.com.sg/forum/showthrea ... uitars-MIJ

Most CS guitars we normally see are '80 - '82. My CS Deluxe was an '83 and it had a Fender style bolt in neck rather than the typical Mat bolt neck. The neck was also set into the body deeper than my earlier CS guitars. That was the reason I didn't like it as much, the upper frets were not easily accessible. Have we determined the year on this one yet? To me, this looks like a later model that has "evolved" if you will.
The other links in Numbfingers post also lead me to this conclusion.


My 82 and 83 CS-350s have the upper frets fairly easy to access. I had a CS-400 set neck and needless to say I didn't keep it long. I've seen several CS-250s and those had the easy access necks as well. I've never seen a 200 or 300. Never had a chance to play a Custom either.

One other thing I noticed about that 200 is it is a one piece maple neck where the 250 and 350 were 3-piece maple.

To be honest I think I prefer that bridge over the ones on my CS-350s mainly because saddles are impossible to find. I have replaced them with Strat Plus offset pull saddles on past projects but had to run them all the way up as far as action goes. I did have some longer height set screws for the Strat Plus saddles specifically for this reason but somehow misplaced them some years back. The mass of the cast bridge does have the advantage of better sustain but not so much I'd notice it easily. On one I replaced the stock bridge with a Schaller flush mount roller bridge after I plugged the rout.

http://www.therathole.org/guitar/gone/i ... /pics.html


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PostPosted: Wed 27 Apr 2022 08:03 AM 
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Yeah, I agree on the bridge saddles. They're impossible to find replacements without some type of alteration.

I have a theory on the "dropping the bridge below deck" practice of early Mat guitars. . .

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PostPosted: Thu 28 Apr 2022 11:41 AM 
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You can find a complete but beat Cardinal, steal all the saddles, and replace them with something else. :) I had some saddles with the correct orientation that came from a likely MIK tremolo bridge, but they're lost in my garage. :(

What's your theory on the recessed bridge?

I like the original CS saddles because I can lightly rest my palm on them for muting. No setscrews sticking up. String break can be pretty sharp which might be a good thing, or maybe it just makes strings and saddles more likely to fail.


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PostPosted: Thu 28 Apr 2022 02:35 PM 
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The mass of the CS bridges and similarly equipped guitars is about twice that of a normal flush mount hard-tail bridge. Sustain may have been a consideration.

When I used the Strat Plus offset saddles there were no set screws sticking up at all. I had to run them all the way in to get the action high enough but they did work. All but one I bought longer height set screws. Here are a few links to get you started. I feel the cast saddles were the biggest flaw of that bridge. Both my CS-350s have the original saddles but if one breaks this is the route I'll go. If I have to replace the stock saddles it won't be with the same.

Saddles (You can find em everywhere)
https://www.amazon.com/Fender-American- ... B0002KZE7M
https://www.guitarpartsresource.com/sad ... rstrat.htm
https://www.stratcat.biz/099-0840-000.shtml


Set Screws
https://www.stratcat.biz/4-40-saddleheight.shtml
https://www.amazon.com/Guitar-Saddle-Br ... 7LR83&th=1
https://www.amazon.com/KAISH-Stainless- ... 61B8W?th=1
https://www.ebay.com/itm/111405811550


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PostPosted: Mon 02 May 2022 02:28 PM 
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That's exactly what I would do. Those are so easy for palm muting as well. I used them on most of the guitars I hand built which brings me to my theory on recessed bridges...
This may be totally off but I can see it happening.

Uncle Mat is busy trying to get his 1st guitar put together so he can test it out. He gets it done and figures out he didn't design enough neck angle into it. Now the bridge is too high and, since its a neck thru, no way to change it. Or is there... ?
He determines how low the bridge needs to go and recesses it into the body to compensate. Not only does it correct the neck angle issue, now it's a unique design feature.


Ever since I bought my RS600 back in '81, I've felt there had to be a reason for recessing the bridge and tail that far in. It does make for a sleek looking guitar but, I just get the feeling it was originally a "flaw". I feel like the knobs would be recessed a bit if it were intentional like on a PE-R.

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PostPosted: Mon 02 May 2022 02:39 PM 
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I've had quite a few one-piece hard-tail bridge guitars. Which has the best sustain? Three guesses and the first two don't count. They are the only one-piece hard-tail bridge guitars I still own. :D I did have a CS with a Schaller surface mount bridge on but that thing was also massive and weighed a ton compared to the Fender style one-piece bridge.

The CS series came into existence later in the game so I doubt it was a mistake. Most everything Matsumoku did was with purpose. The CS bridges, Accurate Bolt On System, Heel-less cutaways, phase switching and the list goes on.


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PostPosted: Mon 02 May 2022 02:42 PM 
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Not that the use of it was a mistake. I think they probably stumbled across it in early designs and "kept it in their back pocket for future use". :D

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PostPosted: Mon 02 May 2022 07:43 PM 
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Jorg wrote:
...Uncle Mat...determines how low the bridge needs to go and recesses it into the body to compensate. Not only does it correct the neck angle issue, now it's a unique design feature.

Sounds very plausible to me Chris.
Having interacted a bit with Tom Presley (of Westone/St Louis Music/Alvarez fame) when I was maintaining the old WestoneGuitars website, he shared stories of just how many innovative ideas actually came about by serendipity or just plain accident.

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PostPosted: Thu 05 May 2022 12:05 AM 
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If I would have to make a guess on the design...

N. Hayashi never liked to do things in a way everyone before him did. If you check out his current company (Atlansia guitars) you should get a pretty good idea why a lot of Matsumoku made guitars are a little outside the norm.

He might have been gone from Matsumoku already at the time certain models were designed, but his heritage is still visible (even in today's Aria guitars).


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