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: NGD - VS695-1983
PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr 2023 01:44 PM 
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Joined: Fri 07 Apr 2023 12:56 PM
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Hello everyone!

Really happy to have just found this forum. Here is a little backstory.. I recently have been looking for an inexpensive Alembic style/Jerry Garcia style guitar. I was looking at several "Wolf" types and they all looked cheap and bad.. I came across a gent on youtube who was playing a Vantage (VS600 I think). I loved the look although I didn't recall the brand (I live in U.S). I did some digging and found the Matsumoku story as well as the MIJ Vantage models. I did a quick search on Reverb and found the guitar below that had just been listed 10 days earlier. It looked great and had a couple of offers already. I probably overpaid a bit vs it's value but I took the plunge and received it a week later from BC-Canada.

Here are some of my thoughts and a question:
- I have tried some similar shaped 70's-80 MIJ Ibanez before and this Vantage plays much better, and pickups are much better
- Great feeling C shaped neck - about .96 at 12th fret. Other MIJ I have tried have that slim and wide feel which is impossible for me
- The pickups look original and they really are great. I had to lower the neck a bit as its quite bassy
- Love the coil switch and phaser options
- The frets have minor wear in first couple frets - the neck is amazing
- This guitar has 1 or two tiny dings.
- The tuners might need cleaning? or replacement - They are all original - I imagine I should try to keep them.
- Question - The guitar has a brass nut and saddles. From my research it looked like that came stock with higher models (VS795?). Would this have been an aftermarket mod or rather part of a "custom" order.

I just cant get over the quality of this guitar. I would also like to get a neck through model but not sure its really necessary at this point.

Cheers!
Andy


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Last edited by AndyL01 on Thu 03 Aug 2023 03:57 PM, edited 2 times in total.
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr 2023 05:20 PM 
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Location: Absolute Stupidity, Missouri
That's a beauty!

I wouldn't put to much speculation into the brass nut and saddles. On the bottom of nearly all catalogs of Mastumoku made models (Especially Aria Pro II) it states "Specifications subject to change without notice." They weren't just teasing, they meant it.

Another catalog here shows the brass saddles on the VS-695. It's hard to tell but it looks like that run had a plastic nut.

The catalog here doesn't specify the type of nut or saddles. In cases like this the best guess is they ran out of a type of part and grabbed what was suitable as a replacement. Or, as they promised, they changed the specs without notice.

Better hang onto this one!


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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr 2023 07:51 PM 
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Joined: Mon 19 Apr 2021 07:23 AM
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Very nice! Congratulations.

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My dog maybe
My Vantages never
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PostPosted: Fri 07 Apr 2023 09:05 PM 
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Thanks very much for the nice words and information on the nut/saddles

I just took off all the tuners and cleaned them (naptha) - they are functioning great now.
I confirmed the two pickups are the stock MMK-45.
The nut width is a tad over 1 11/16th, 1st fret - .79 12th fret -.96
Is it possible the neck is brazilian?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr 2023 05:46 AM 
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I'll guess no but I'm just a wanna be expert. The only Mats guitar that I know that had Brazilian rosewood was the Aria PE-1500.
I'd like to know if there were other Mats with Brazilian rosewood. Maybe someone here knows.

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My dog maybe
My Vantages never
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PostPosted: Sat 08 Apr 2023 08:33 PM 
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It would be a stretch to say if it were Brazilian, African or Asian. I've always thought "Brazilian" rosewood was a marketing gimmick. Rosewood comes from a number of regions and I'm sure there is both good and bad from all. Maybe there is a reference in a catalog somewhere that could confirm this (none here unfortunately). Just because coffee came from Columbia doesn't mean it tastes good if you know what I mean. :wink:

Some years back sellers were touting "Canadian Hard Rock Maple' as the wood to have for the cap on your Les Puke. Hmmm.... Seems it is also common in the Pacific Northwest USA. Exact same species. So, if you are 5 miles south of the Northern Washington State and Canada border and you drive 10 miles north the wood is "better?" Just a gimmick if you ask me.

The only thing that matters to a player is if they like how the fingerboard feels. If it does it is [insert your location here] Rosewood. :D

Now whether a fingerboard is Rosewood, Ebony, Maple (or Roasted Maple) or even Ebonite (on three of my high end guitars) it does make a difference.


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PostPosted: Mon 10 Apr 2023 09:07 AM 
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That is NICE! :love:
From what I can see, I would say the nut looks to be original. What does it look like from the sides?
That will be about the only way to see if its been replaced.

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Apr 2023 04:28 PM 
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Jorg wrote:
That is NICE! :love:
From what I can see, I would say the nut looks to be original. What does it look like from the sides?
That will be about the only way to see if its been replaced.


Thanks Jorg - I've been playing this guitar a lot - it plays so well, very versatile. Makes me want to buy more Mats guitars and sell my
"higher priced" ones.. : )

Here is the nut from side

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