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: Thu 10 Jun 2021 03:04 PM 
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Power Chorder
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Joined: Wed 02 May 2007 05:03 PM
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Location: Illinois
Just wanted to share a couple of before and after pictures of how I 'break in' my Aria's. The poly finish is usually checked, scratched, etc... so I simply clean the guitar with a mild soap/water mix. Then lightly wet sand with 600 grit, followed by #0000 steel wool.

The sand paper takes out most of the scratches and the steel wool softens (fogs) the finish. Personally I prefer the look as well as for playability... very smooth. This is also non-destructive (just don't sand through the top coat into the color) as you can always buff the original high-gloss candy coating back into existence. The more you play the guitar it actually starts to shine in those areas most in contact with the natural oils in your hands.


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PostPosted: Tue 06 Jul 2021 09:44 AM 
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Power Chorder
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I am a fan of the LS/LC copy series and the higher end versions basically mimic Gibson construction methods. It is with the lower end of the series (550 and below) I find more interesting yet somehow typically less desired by LP enthusiasts. Sure, a solid top may seem like the golden standard, but sonically these laminated tops are much louder and provide a larger/wider ring.

Here's a new member of the family where during tear down I noticed something not seen in my other guitars. Specifially the grid marks in the control cavity. After a bit of thought it appears that the top construction could have been first glued and stacked, the grid cuts made on the bottom, and then pressed or formed to create the typical les paul shape. Similar to the way ES guitar tops are made. Then the tops are glued to the mahogany backs. This older LC-500 also has a large squared channel route through the back which is common for a Gibson, but my other AP2's all have a drilled out channel (circle). Also two screws in the long tenon instead of one. Kind of cool, at least for me is the writing in the bridge cavity. Normally I see a number, like 43 or 60.

I could go on and on with all of the variants in specs (hardware, colors, etc.) which do not always adhere to the catalogs but in the end they are all special in their own way. Just seems like there were many changes as they were reverse engineering and or figuring out alternative methods for the same end goal.


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PostPosted: Tue 06 Jul 2021 02:07 PM 
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Virtuoso
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Location: Absolute Stupidity, Missouri
I have a PE-450 that is constructed something like that. It has a thin ply top arched over the body and there is a small cavity under the top.

Nearly all of the catalogs have "Specifications subject to change without notice" and they meant it. There were a lot of variations. Some were market specific such as Europe, Japan, and the US. There was a series of LP copies in Japan called "Leopard" and the lettering was the same as "Les Paul".


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PostPosted: Tue 06 Jul 2021 03:45 PM 
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Power Chorder
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Joined: Wed 02 May 2007 05:03 PM
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Crusty wrote:
I have a PE-450 that is constructed something like that. It has a thin ply top arched over the body and there is a small cavity under the top.

Nearly all of the catalogs have "Specifications subject to change without notice" and they meant it. There were a lot of variations. Some were market specific such as Europe, Japan, and the US. There was a series of LP copies in Japan called "Leopard" and the lettering was the same as "Les Paul".


I have seen quite a few of the "Leopard" logo/series guitars pop up. It would be cool to learn which models were produced/intended for the markets you mentioned. Every Aria 'LP copy' I've purchased has been sold from Japan.

So far I can say that the only consistent LS/LC construction method is the truss rod methods. Higher end models have a single rod with brass acorn style nut routed in the middle of the neck and two screw bell shaped truss rodd cover. Lower end models are routed the entire length of the neck and have a hex head adjustment and 3 screw truss rod cover. The truss rod covers really just match up with the routing method so nothing superior using one or the other,... just asthetics.

I've always seen the PE series as the more refined evolution of the les paul design. Just haven't been able to find one around the same price as these.


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