Maton Guitars

Maton Guitars: Handmade for the world stage

The Australian music community is a complex web of talented performers, promoters, producers, managers, technicians and support crew. It is also home to many small but mighty businesses who play a special role in facilitating music-making and distribution. The story of Maton Guitars is one of quiet achievement and dedication to craft. A proudly family-owned and run company since 1946, Maton has worked with generations of musicians to develop guitars that command centre stage both at home and overseas. Many of Australia’s most loved songs – The Easybeats’ ‘Friday On My Mind’, Paul Kelly’s ‘How To Make Gravy’ and Archie Roach’s ‘Took The Children Away’ – have been written on Maton guitars.

In 1946, Maton founder and woodwork teacher Bill May set out to make Australian guitars “as good as anywhere in the world”. A musician himself, May began designing and making his own guitars at a time when imported guitars and parts were expensive and difficult to source. By 1949 the business was big enough to move into its own factory in the Melbourne suburb of Canterbury where the company produced acoustic guitars to suit all musical styles, from jazz and classical to hillbilly and Hawaiian. In 1958, Maton released the Mastersound 500, the first of many electric solid body guitars to be added to their range.

During the 1950s and 1960s Maton guitars quickly transcended their suburban roots as Keith Richards, George Harrison, The Kinks and The Seekers all fell under their spell. Even Elvis Presley can be seen playing a Maton in the 1957 film Jailhouse Rock. Today, Maton guitars continue to be played internationally by artists as diverse as Tommy Emmanuel, Josh Homme, The Amity Affliction and Tash Sultana.

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