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: Re: Arbiter Flying V
PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec 2021 06:00 AM 
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Joined: Thu 16 Dec 2021 10:37 AM
Posts: 8
I always wondered what it must be like to own an ES-335 too... I absolutely adore the colouration in the harmonics on my Dot (Epiphone's version of the 335). i never knew what I was missing until I started noodling on that guitar.

I Really like the MM for its simplicity and purity. Its so light and accessible, always the guitar to have by the side of your desk to just grab any time of day and de-stress. Unmistakable tone.

And yes, synths are my creative outlet! I have a Moog Mother32 and a Behringer Pro-1, so I can recreate those old warm, gigantic analogue sounds. I use Strymon's excellent delay and reverb guitar stomp box pedals to make things sing. An Elektron Digitone would complement those 2 mono synths quite nicely with its mad FM synthesis, polyphony and serious sequencing capabilities and one finger operation!

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But we are going off topic, do you still think the V is probably not a Mats then? I have read conflicting info on serial numbers, with quite a few saying the digits are meaningless in terms of identifying the production date.

Cheers,

Si


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 Post subject: Re: Arbiter Flying V
PostPosted: Sat 18 Dec 2021 10:16 AM 
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Joined: Wed 29 Apr 2009 12:32 PM
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
Good stuff! You don't need any coaching from me then! :D

I have the ES330 model which is completely hollow, with a trapeze tailpiece, and the P90's are the icing on the cake. It's a fantastic (and light) guitar but it is prone to feed back if you're not careful. But that can also be an asset for some R&R stuff! It's extremely versatile and can play some sweet jazz tones too.

The 335's, and your Dot, have a solid block of Maple down the centre which eliminates the feedback problem as well as providing a solid anchor for the bridge and stop tail. That adds to the sustain tremendously. Both are amazing designs.

I don't know of anything else which might identify your Vee. If it is a Mats then the serial # interpretation I gave you would be correct (1981). Around that time Mats was producing guitars for Aria, Westone and a few other labels.

I don't know what their production capacity would have been for many other 'white label' guitars but they did make a Flying Vee under the Vantage and Aria brands. Perhaps they also made some previously in the late 70's?
:dunno:

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"A little song, a little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
Guitars: https://legend.barryeames.com
Music/Pix/Videos: https://getback.barryeames.com


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 Post subject: Re: Arbiter Flying V
PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar 2022 06:14 AM 
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MATSUMOKU SERIAL NUMBERS SOLVED!

Hi, I finally got to the bottom of the mysterious Matsumoku serial number via an email conversation with Franck from https://www.vintagejapanguitars.com.br/en/

After I sent pics in an email he responded:

+++++++++++++++++

Hello Simon,

Beautiful FV indeed. Mine is a 77 Greco FV600 build by Fujigen.
So, the neckplate is a typical Matsumoku one. The serial number of your Arbiter is 1051027. It's not easy to decipher a Matsumoku serial because there is no sequence.
Nevertheless, Matsumoku serial with 7 digits starting with 00, 01 and 10 are from late 60's to mid 70's. The 10 is common for Aria FV guitars (also Matsumoku). In some cases but not always, the third digit indicates the year, i.e. 0-7 for 70-77. Third digit of yours is 5, so probably made in 75.
The original pickups are certainly Maxon with a serial on the backplate that can indicate more about the year. There is an article on my blog to read the maxon serials, please refer to it to know more.

Hope that can help.

F

+++++++++++++++++

It the best info ive had to date. The guitar was actually sold two weeks ago to a really great new owner who knew exactly what he was looking for.

Cheers

S


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 Post subject: Re: Arbiter Flying V
PostPosted: Wed 09 Mar 2022 11:09 AM 
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Joined: Wed 29 Apr 2009 12:32 PM
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Location: St. Catharines, Ontario Canada
Not so fast there partner! :blink:
I was the creator and Administrator of the WestoneGuitars.net website for 9 years (it has since changed hands) as well as an Admin on the Westone Forums. (Westone was the "house brand" of Matsumoku.)

In that time we were fortunate to have Tom Presley, the head American designer and marketer for Westone/St Louis Music, join the Forum and answer a lot of production and design related questions.

The serial info below has been confirmed as correct and puts your build (if it is indeed a Mats) as stated earlier:

Quote:
7-digit serials are the most common:
The first digit = the year it was made

For example: a serial number beginning with 2 indicates a guitar made in 1982
It is possible that the second and third digits give the month.

Addendum November 2014:
6-digit serial numbers:

Several Westone forum members have recently presented guitars with 6 digit numbers. Although not as common they do exist. Looking at dating information compiled by our friends at the Matsumoku Forum we note that 6 digits was in use until mid to late 1981.

We presume that the interpretation for those instruments is the same for early Westones, until the 7 digit scheme was applied:

The first digit (0 or 1) = the year
The next 2 digits = the month

5-digit serials appear on some models:
The first two digits = the year
The last two = the month

It is important to note that these are not really serial numbers, just production dates, and are not unique…84009 is extremely common!

8 digit serial numbers:

These appear from late 1987, in the format NN NN NNNN (eg 87 10 0001).
We think that:
the first two digits = the year
the second two = the month

Any guitar with this sort of number was probably made in Korea.

Later models (1987 onwards) have no obvious serial number and may have originally been on a sticker on the guitar.
These are also Korean made.

Letters in the serial number

Many early 80’s models are also seen with a letter prefixing the number.
These represent the production month and are interpreted as:
A = Jan D = Apr G = July J = Oct
B = Feb E = May H = Aug K = Nov
C = Mar F = June I = Sept L = Dec

So, a serial number like D810040 would indicate that the guitar was manufactured in April 1981.

_________________
"A little song, a little dance. A little seltzer down your pants." -Chuckles the Clown
Guitars: https://legend.barryeames.com
Music/Pix/Videos: https://getback.barryeames.com


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