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 21 Nov 2023 01:10 PM 
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Power Chorder

Joined: Mon 20 Nov 2023 11:17 PM
Posts: 18
I am posting for assistance regarding the single coil pickups pictured below.

These are OEM pickups from the neck and bridge positions of a double-cutaway, hollow-body, acoustic-electric, archtop guitar made in Japan (likely in 1967-68, reportedly by Guyatone.) According to research, the guitar was distributed in Canada by Great West Imports under their "Raven" brand. The instrument was purchased new in 1969 as a gift for me.

  • Is there a recommended starting height when seeking to optimize string-to-pickup clearance?
  • What sort of field strength should the magnets display?
  • Is it feasible to restore the magnets in the pickups back to peak strength by placing them within the field of neodymium magnets?
    - If so, what is the recommended minimum strength of neodymium magnets?
  • What direction should the poles be oriented when the pickups are mounted to the guitar?
  • Who made the coil & magnet assemblies?
  • Were these assemblies only used under the p/u cover housing displayed below, or were the same units installed under a variety of cosmetic covers?

Image
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PostPosted: Tue 21 Nov 2023 04:49 PM 
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Virtuoso

Joined: Wed 05 Aug 2009 10:48 AM
Posts: 114
Location: NW Washington State
I'm not sure we can answer your questions, especially the details you're looking for. The first one for this forum would be if it's Matsumoku made; I have no idea.

The first challenge with these old Japanese guitars is making them playable. Nut, truss rod adjustment, fretwork, neck angle, anything you can do with the bridge. If you've got that right, then worry about the pickups.

I'd start at 1/8" below the strings and see what it sounds like. Then up or down to taste. Too close to the strings might cause too much magnetic pull and cause warble or "Stratitis".

For the magnetic questions, I'd go to a forum like: https://guitarnuts2.proboards.com/board/16/pickups I think I'd try the pickups as-is. You could try the old screwdriver test- stick a small screwdriver on the poles and see how hard it is to pull the screwdriver off vs. some other pickups. Then hold it just above the poles and compare how strong the pull feels.

If the pickup wires go through the top of the guitar, I'd mount them where the pickup wires seem to fit best. The 5.77K pickup might be for neck position. If the pole spacing differs, the wider pickup would be for the bridge.

No way to know who actually made the pickups or how many variations there were.

-Steve W.


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PostPosted: Tue 21 Nov 2023 06:08 PM 
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Power Chorder

Joined: Mon 20 Nov 2023 11:17 PM
Posts: 18
Thank you for the reply. I figure "Nothing ventured, nothing gained". All discussion on the topic is welcomed.

My ulterior motive is just as you suggest: get the instrument playable by addressing deficiencies with the aspects of the neck and bridge. Right now the neck is underset - a LOT. Even with the adjustable bridge down on its lower stops, action height is unreasonably high by contemporary standards. Along with this, the neck has a good deal of concave relief. Happily (sadly?), the 55 yo frets and fretboard are pristine. I led with the string clearance (and other) pickup questions because of the interrelationship here with resetting the neck.

The 1/8" initial clearance value is just the kind of assistance I was hoping receive. I have "Guitar Player Repair Guide" by Dan Erlewine which proposes similar starting values. But I was unsure whether his recommendations that appear to be aimed at more modern, sophisticated pickups installed on flattop solid body instruments were also applicable for the pickup on my hollow archtop.

The p/u wires DO go through the top of the guitar. They also pass through one of two holes punched in each of the base plates that the p/u coil assemblies sit on under the p/u housings (see sketches on the right side of each p/u in the image I attached earlier.)

Research suggests that the lower resistance coil is fitted to a guitar's neck position, while the higher resistance coil belongs at its bridge position. This coincides with the harness of my low resistance p/u passing through the neck-side hole in the mounting plate, while the harness of the high resistance p/u passes through the bridge-side hole of its mounting plate. Until proven wrong, I like to think that the respective harness pass-through arrangements were intentional memory aides for workers on the assembly line.

I appreciate the referral to another resource for answers to the questions about the magnets.


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PostPosted: Wed 22 Nov 2023 11:13 AM 
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Power Chorder

Joined: Mon 20 Nov 2023 11:17 PM
Posts: 18
I see today that the thread has been moved from "Tech Talk" to "Other JI Guitars" ??

Perhaps the initial post should have had "possibly MADE for Guyatone BY Matsumoko", or is it known with certainty that this archtop did not come from Matsumoko?


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PostPosted: Wed 22 Nov 2023 12:24 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Joined: Sun 15 Jan 2006 04:52 PM
Posts: 2222
Location: Absolute Stupidity, Missouri
Guyatone was made by Matsuki Seisakujo/Tokyo Sound Laboratory. The pickups and neck joint are definitely not Matsumoku.

The title of the post would have had no bearing as Guyatone was not made by Matsumoku.

Thanks for not posting it that way. We have to be careful here. We can't afford to be the source of unfounded rumor such as "possibly MADE for Guyatone BY Matsumoko". There's enough of that in online listings and "expert" blogs to choke an elephant.

An initial Google search for "who made guyatone guitars" returned these results among others:

https://uniqueguitar.blogspot.com/2018/ ... itars.html

https://www.guyatone.com/

https://www.scribd.com/document/4463922 ... ne-History


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