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  #1  
Old 08-26-2006, 10:27 AM
hawtin47 hawtin47 is offline
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Default Matao Guitars?

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
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  #2  
Old 08-26-2006, 04:41 PM
Jeff M Jeff M is offline
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by hawtin47
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.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2007, 12:38 AM
nuntius nuntius is offline
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I've got a Matao acoustic, too. Unfortunately, I can't find any history on it either.
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  #4  
Old 02-04-2008, 06:58 PM
yiotta yiotta is offline
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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....
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2008, 12:16 AM
Buck62 Buck62 is offline
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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.

Last edited by Buck62; 02-05-2008 at 12:21 AM.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2008, 12:28 AM
nuntius nuntius is offline
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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?
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  #7  
Old 02-05-2008, 01:04 AM
Buck62 Buck62 is offline
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Not off hand, information on the lesser-known Hoshino brands is limited.

The Ibanez guitars get all the glory in that respect.
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  #8  
Old 02-05-2008, 11:11 AM
yiotta yiotta is offline
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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.
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  #9  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:58 PM
yiotta yiotta is offline
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Here are some pictures of my Matao.
It is a model MW-401 Dreadnought, about 43" long....











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  #10  
Old 02-06-2008, 09:27 PM
Buck62 Buck62 is offline
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Wow!...Very nice!!!


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

http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/msg/565422915.html
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  #11  
Old 04-13-2008, 09:52 PM
infinitigirl18 infinitigirl18 is offline
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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
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  #12  
Old 04-14-2008, 09:20 AM
yiotta yiotta is offline
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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.
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  #13  
Old 04-14-2008, 09:29 AM
lizdarocker lizdarocker is offline
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Great pics! Beautiful guitar.
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  #14  
Old 12-30-2009, 11:50 PM
sbiggs sbiggs is offline
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Red face Matao Guitars

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
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  #15  
Old 01-14-2011, 11:52 PM
JohnSingsToo JohnSingsToo is offline
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Default I own a Matao bass

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.
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