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hawtin47
08-26-2006, 11:27 AM
Greetings,

Curious if anyone here knows any of the history surrounding Matao musical instruments.

I've seen Matao bass guitars and Les Paul copies in pawn shops and an occasional Matao uke or banjo pop up on eBay, but recently my friend's nephew showed up with a Matao MW11 acoustic guitar - probably all laminate, but man...sweet little voice. Not loud, but very balanced and pleasing. Guessing approx. 30 years old. Sloppy glue work inside (as would be expected), but a real joy to play.

Decent guitars can show up in the chapeast of examples.

Marc

Jeff M
08-26-2006, 05:41 PM
Greetings,

Curious if anyone here knows any of the history surrounding Matao musical instruments.

I've seen Matao bass guitars and Les Paul copies in pawn shops and an occasional Matao uke or banjo pop up on eBay, but recently my friend's nephew showed up with a Matao MW11 acoustic guitar - probably all laminate, but man...sweet little voice. Not loud, but very balanced and pleasing. Guessing approx. 30 years old. Sloppy glue work inside (as would be expected), but a real joy to play.

Decent guitars can show up in the chapeast of examples.

Marc
FWIW, I've never even heard of them.

nuntius
10-24-2007, 01:38 AM
I've got a Matao acoustic, too. Unfortunately, I can't find any history on it either.

yiotta
02-04-2008, 07:58 PM
Looks like there is a group of us looking for some history.
I have a sweet Matao Acoustic, it is beautiful and it sounds great.
Picked it up in a pawn shop about 15 years ago and I still love it.
But I know nothing about it, I might take some pics and see if anyone else has any idea....

Buck62
02-05-2008, 01:16 AM
Matao guitars were manufacuted in Japan during the "copy era" of the mid to late 70's at the Hoshino factory. Hoshino also manufactured Ibanez, Penco, Elger, El Maya and Aims guitars, which were sold by Randall.

Matao's were sold exclusively by a small chain of guitar stores called "Music West" in Oregon and Washington state. If you look around on Craigslist, they still pop up fairly often. There's a Matao acoustic and Matao banjo for sale on Portland's Craiglist right now.

BTW, did I mention to you guys that I'm somewhat of an expert on vintage Japanese guitars? I've owned dozens of them over the years and know quite a lot about the many brand names that came out of Japan back in the day. :)

nuntius
02-05-2008, 01:28 AM
Ah, so the distribution of these were quite limited. That would explain the apparent lack of information on them.

Thank you for the info, it's quite appreciated. Do you know about any websites that talk about them?

Buck62
02-05-2008, 02:04 AM
Not off hand, information on the lesser-known Hoshino brands is limited.

The Ibanez guitars get all the glory in that respect.

yiotta
02-05-2008, 12:11 PM
ahhh, well that explains why I have one in Washington :)
I love the guitar, I am going to take it down for some work as the nut is a little high and the strings are also a bit high off the frets.... but I love the guitar, it has beautiful tone quality.
I have a model number and a serial number inside the guitar.

yiotta
02-06-2008, 09:58 PM
Here are some pictures of my Matao.
It is a model MW-401 Dreadnought, about 43" long....

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p273/F15DOC/Matao/006.jpg

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p273/F15DOC/Matao/009.jpg

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p273/F15DOC/Matao/008.jpg

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p273/F15DOC/Matao/016.jpg

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p273/F15DOC/Matao/018.jpg

http://i130.photobucket.com/albums/p273/F15DOC/Matao/020.jpg

Buck62
02-06-2008, 10:27 PM
Wow!...Very nice!!! :)


And speaking of nice Japanese copies, check out this one I found....

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/msg/565422915.html

infinitigirl18
04-13-2008, 10:52 PM
can you help me figure out what kinda i have and what's it worth. It's a matao electric bass bought by my dad long ago and he's not in my life and I was left with it and I know nothing about it

yiotta
04-14-2008, 10:20 AM
We can try, post some pictures and tell us everything that you can about it, try and get all the specifics you can from your dad. :)

lizdarocker
04-14-2008, 10:29 AM
Great pics! Beautiful guitar.

sbiggs
12-31-2009, 12:50 AM
Manufactured in Japan by the Hoshino Corporation from 1967 until they were discontinued in 1983 due to a lawsuit, the Matao guitar was sold at Music West stores in Washington and Oregon.
So far this is ALL I can find. I have a Matao Model MW9 I'd like to sell but don't know what to ask for it. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to email me at jbiggs_apc@yahoo.com
Thanks

JohnSingsToo
01-15-2011, 12:52 AM
I bought a Matao bass from a guitar shop in Seattle in 1982. It is a copy of a Fender. I bought it because it was really cheap. About $75 as I recall. I lived in the barracks at Ft. Lewis, WA and I wanted something cheap I could practice on but it wouldn't be a huge financial loss if it got stolen. In fact, when I bought it the salesman asked me if I wanted to plug it in and I told him no since I wouldn't ever use it for a show anyway. I wasn't going to risk my MusicMan Stingray bass in the barracks. Nobody I know had ever heard of Matao, and neither had I. I just happened to be in the Pacific Northwest at the right time, I guess.
I still have the Matao, and it still has the original strings from 1982. Ironically, my MusicMan Stingray did get stolen later. Now I have an Ibanez.