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: Mon 25 May 2020 05:46 AM 
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Hi

This is my first post here. I have recently bought a bass. I believe it may be Masumoku (I am a bit of a fan, I have a couple of others). I am hoping this one is too. It is built beautifully and is a joy to play. After a little cleaning up, it you’d hardly know it is nearly 40 years old. A real beaut.

The reason I think it may be Matsumoku, apart from the way it is made and plays, is that the headstock is the same shape as a few 6-string guitars I have seen, which are Matsumoku. I can’t find any information about it online, so I am hoping someone can enlighten me a bit. The brand name is Martinez and it is a fretless 4-string bass. Other than that I have no idea. There is no obvious serial number anywhere. All I know is that it is and 80s Japanese made bass.

This is a link to the sellers image of it when I bought it https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Martinez-Made-in-Japan-FRETLESS-Bass-Vintage-Rare-80s-through-neck/223931679339?hash=item34235e426b:g:dSoAAOSwvxBeR-6P&entryapp=dlp

The only other ref I can find to one is here: https://www.gumtree.com/p/guitar-instrument/martinez-fretless-bass/1301238081
(scroll down, the pic is still on that page)

Many thanks in advance for any light you can shed on this one.


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PostPosted: Mon 25 May 2020 10:15 AM 
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Welcome Sprout.
That's a very nice looking rig but I'm not sure it's Mat. My first thought, other than "where have I seen that before?", is Cort.
Check this post from a while back. On page 2, tell me if that looks familiar. viewtopic.php?f=20&t=13376&hilit=cort
Possibly Chushin?

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PostPosted: Mon 25 May 2020 05:36 PM 
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Thanks for that. However, what made me think it might be was I saw a tempest guitar with the same headstock. This site says the tempest were Matsumoku. Have a look at the second image down on this page…
https://jedistar.com/tempest/

Also, aren't Cort Korean? This says Made in Japan on the back of the headstock.


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PostPosted: Mon 25 May 2020 11:56 PM 
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Yes, I was thinking Cort by its design but I did see the MIJ sticker. That's why I said possibly Chushin. There is another one I'm thinking of that was posted by forum member K9 but I can't find it. Possibly we lost it in the recent crash.
I'm sure it's possible but I've never heard of Tempest nor have I ever seen that headstock to my knowledge.
Neither of the guitars on that page have I ever seen branded as anything known to be Mat.
The closest I can think of is the AP2 YS but it's not the same. http://www.matsumoku.org/models/ariaproii/ys/ys.html
If you can find some, share them with us. We're always looking to learn more.

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PostPosted: Tue 26 May 2020 01:46 AM 
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Thanks. It is a bit of an odd one isn’t it? That’s partly why I took a punt and bought it, as I had never seen anything quite like it before. It definitely doesn’t look and feel like a low-end instrument and Although it has a different feel to my Arias, it has a similar, ‘cared about’, ‘crafted-ness’ about it.

The problem these days is that Matsumoku is known enough, generally, that people seem to be claiming Almost everything built in Japan before 1986 is Matsumoku.

I will keep searching, as I’d love to find out its history. I’ll let you know if I do find out anything definitively.

Thanks again for your help.


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PostPosted: Tue 26 May 2020 08:42 AM 
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I would have bought it as well, regardless of its origin. Even from the pics I can tell what you mean about the "crafted-ness".
It may take a bit but hopefully I'll find the info I was looking for on another guitar that looked almost identical to a Mat guitar except for very small details. I'm almost certain we had pinned it to Chushin as it had the same nuances as known Chushin rigs. I did find the member's name is GD K9, not just K9. I was looking through his posts last night but have yet to find the one I'm looking for.
Keep us informed if you do find something. If it turns out to be a Mat we certainly want to celebrate it.

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PostPosted: Tue 26 May 2020 09:29 AM 
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I think it's likely a Chushin too, a top quality builder of that era.
Pretty much all the manufacturers had similar approaches and hardware touches, but still Mats seems to stand out.

I think it's mainly because of their attention to design aesthetics and details. Always something a little different and wonderful about their work.

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PostPosted: Tue 26 May 2020 09:57 AM 
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I found one of the posts I was looking for... viewtopic.php?f=36&t=7923

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PostPosted: Wed 27 Sep 2023 10:11 AM 
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It has been quite some time since I posted last. Apologies for the hiatus in replying.

I have been – on and off – trying to find any more information on this Martinez. The more I look, the more I am left feeling it is Matsumoku. All the other alternatives feel quite different. This one is, undoubtedly a little different to the usual Matsumokus, but it has all the same attention to detail. It definitely has that special something that they have and there are definitely some similarities.

In the intervening time, I have seen a couple of other things come up that are the same body shape and build, but with a different badge. Namely a couple of Asama basses, which are exactly the same shape. A lot of the other suggestions I have had are similar, but not the same. Some have suggested it is Korean and Cort, but they look different and besides this still has the ‘Made in Japan’ sticker on the back of the headstock.

Anyway, in the meantime I will keep hunting for definitive proof, but given the others I own and have played in the past, this thing just has that feel that it was built there. If not, then there was someone else who cared as much. It is so beautifully made and the more I restore it, the better it gets. I am nearly there with it, but it has taken a few years of slowly working at getting the gloopy nicotine off it and finally the mahogany is beginning to shimmer the way mahogany should.

I have uploaded a few pics of its current condition and will post another once I have finally finished. Almost there.


Attachments:
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martinez.jpg [ 47.61 KiB | Viewed 343 times ]
Martinez1.jpg
Martinez1.jpg [ 71.71 KiB | Viewed 343 times ]
Martinez2.jpg
Martinez2.jpg [ 66.98 KiB | Viewed 343 times ]
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PostPosted: Wed 27 Sep 2023 08:04 PM 
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Dang that looks nice. :love:
I can only imagine what it looks like in person.

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