Ultimate Mattocaster Thread


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Dan_5893
08-19-2010, 07:42 AM
Matthew Bellamy. Idol to many, myself included. The frontman of Muse has his guitars custom built by Hugh Manson, and within them he has incorporated many weird and wonderful innovations to make his guitars truly unique.

There are a lot of "How to make a Mattocaster" threads posted here, so I feel it might be a good idea to create a thread dedicated to helping people build them, or mod their existing guitars to be a Mattocaster.

Matt has several regular Mattocasters currently in use(not including double neck casinocaster or keytars):

- 007 Black Manson
- Mirror
- Chrome Bomber
- M1D1 Black
- Ali Top
- Glitterati
- Seattle
- Mirror Kaoss

The rest can be found here:
Matts Guitars (http://musewiki.org/Manson_Guitars)

Shape

These all have the same basic shape, which is essentially a Tele with a pointy horn, and a slightly fatter bit on the opposite side of the neck to the horn:
http://musewiki.org/images/EarlsCourtManson.jpg
^Mirror Manson

Modify a current shape


One of the simplest ways to get the mattocaster shape is to take a guitar that already has similar looks;

Fender/Squier Telecaster (or any number of knockoffs)
Yamaha Pacifica 120S (Discontinued, but can still be found)
Carvin SC90 (Very expensive if you decide to do this - you'd probably ruin a beautiful custom guitar if you did too :/)
Schecter Solo 6 (less so than the others but not a bad option)
Godin Triumph

And then alter the shape of said donor guitar so it looks more like the mattocaster. Usually this involves shaping the horn so it is a little sharper, and this is quite simple and quick to do. A great example of someone making a mattocaster this way is here:

http://soft.com.sg/forum/gear-guitar/128061-mattocaster-replica-custom-guitar.html
The shape is almost exactly the same as the mattocaster.

Make your own

However, if you're keen on making a body from scratch, using the exact woods (Mahogany for the guitars with less onboard circuitry or Alder for the newer Mattocasters), the best way to obtain a template is to either take a tele template and draw on the modifications, or use this image (for body shape only):

http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQcDXxBDADt5kxLhG_8GB39g1jD7MSomh39rchs0J5hdn63Kqc&t=1&usg=__IYoYu0eMgBTQsEt_23IVteOOjwo=

From there you can map out the pickups as you would for a normal guitar. Matt's guitars are all 25.5" scale length, bolt-neck creations.

Finishes

Matt's guitars all have fairly unique finishes, but the two most popular (and easier to do) are the Red Sparkle "Glitterati" Manson, and the Black "Delorean" and "Seattle" Manson finishes.

Black

The black finish is simply Matte black, nuff sed.

Glitterati

The paint is called "Triumph Red". The glitter is applied when the paint is still wet, by sifting it over the paint, and then blowing off the excess, much as you would make Christmas cards. Then, the whole guitar has clearcoat applied.


Other, somewhat cooler finishes

If neither of those finishes satisfy your needs, then the more exotic finishes await you. The mirror finish is simply the entire front of the guitar covered in Mirror Acrylic, mounted in a similar way to a pickguard.

The cracked mirror finish is done also with mirror acrylic, but in several pieces that interlock to look cracked.

The bomber finish is interesting. Hugh Manson actually went out and found a large piece of sheet metal from a B29 bomber and used that to cover the entire guitar. Not something for the faint hearted, but if you're good at metalwork and can bolt the metal finish to the guitar, then by all means go for it. The blue streak is obtained by using a blowtorch to sear the metal.

Interesting stuff next post.

Dan_5893
08-19-2010, 07:42 AM
Ok, interesting stuff:
Hardware

Bridges

Matt uses Tune-o-matic with stopbar tailpieces, or Ibanez LoPro Floyd Rose tremolos on his guitars. These would be installed in the same way as on any other guitar. HOWEVER, if you are putting in the XY Midi control for a Kaoss pad, use a fixed bridge, it leaves more room for the control pad. Also, use the TOM/Stopbar combination for any fuzz factory containing guitar, simply because the fuzz factory controls will not fit if you use a trem.

Tuners

Matt uses Kahler Locking Tuners, all one one side of the headstock (6 in a line)

Pickups

Matt's tone mainly comes from his use of Seymour Duncan Hot P90s or Bare Knuckle Mississippi Queen P90s in the neck position, and Bare Knuckle Mississippi Queen P90s or Manson MBK2 or Bare Knuckle Nailbombs in the bridge. Several of his newer (post 2005) guitars have Fernandes Sustainers FSK-401s built in, in the neck position. This sustainer pickup acts as a single coil when sustainer mode is not on.

The pickups are installed as in any other guitar. It's the stuff that comes now that makes mattocasters different....

Special Circuits

Ok. This stuff isn't easy to do. Some of these things are practical to install oneself, but others require some degree of luthiery experience.

- Killswitch

Matt has a killswitch in some of his guitars. Refer to:
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1288038
For help with Killswitches.

- Fuzz Factory

The fuzz factory is synonymous with M Bellz. This is actually one of the easier things to implement in the guitar. Soldering and routing experience is a definite must though.

To install, you need to remove the circuit from the FF case, and route a hole in the guitar below where the bridge is. You also need to unsolder the jacks from the fuzz factory, and remove the Stab and Comp pots, and insert short wires between the pots and their original connections on the circuit board, and solder them all up. All of the other pots (gate, drive, volume) must be replaced with trimpots of the exact same value (hence the need for good soldering skills). Then, replace the stomp button of the circuit board with a DPDT throw switch.

Now, drill holes through from the cavity, large enough to allow the 2 pot stems, and also the throw switch, to the front of the guitar. Install the fuzz factory in the cavity, and solder the wires that would go to the output jack of your guitar to the input of the FF, and the output of the FF to the output jack of your guitar. Set the trimpots to your favourite setting, and cover the cavity.

Done.

- Phase 90

Matt has a phase 90 in some of his guitars. This is installed in much the same manner as the Fuzz factory but is simpler because of there only being one control.

- Wah Probe.

The 007 Black Manson's "Pickguard" is actually a ZVex Wah probe cut to size and shape. This isn't recommended to be done at home because cutting the plate messes with its magnetic field so it doesn't work as well. However, it can be installed in the same way as all the other pedals, but instead of routing for pots, you detach the plate of the probe from the rest of the pedal, and run the wires through a hole in the body to the circuit assembly, mounting the plate on the body.

- Midi Controls.

This is the difficult stuff. Let me get a few things clear first:

MATT DOES NOT HAVE A KAOSS PAD MOUNTED ON HIS GUITAR.

He has an XY MIDI control pad which is linked via MIDI to the Kaoss pad in his rack system.

MATT DOES NOT HAVE THE WHAMMY MOUNTED ONBOARD HIS GUITAR

The whammy is once again linked by MIDI to a linear MIDI control from a keyboard mounted above the pickups on the 007 Black Manson.


Now we've sorted that out.

MIDI controls are hard work to install, requiring extra wiring, jacks and an onboard power source. However, this excellent thread:

Kaoss Pad installation
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1015058

Will show you how to install an actual Kaoss pad in your guitar.

Matt also has, on some of his guitars, a Roland GK-2A Synth Pickup. This can be used as a MIDI Pickup, if you also have a Synth unit handy. There is a tutorial in the Useful Links as to how to install this, but essentially you can use your guitar to play the MIDI keyboard.

Thats essentially it to Mattocastering really. You simply need to decide which combination of stuff you want in your guitar (The Mirror Manson template is a good start, Fuzz factory is the only special circuit that is on board, no sustainer, no killswitch, finish is up to you really) and get going!

If anyone has anything that should be added to here (like links to other successful builds or better tutorials than I have given/listed, or any questions, post them below :)


USEFUL LINKS

http://www.matsumin.net/diy/jisaku1...tory_layout.gif
http://membres.multimania.fr/davpse...rs/image020.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_y4AYtND8H...orkingtotal.gif

Fuzz Factory schematics, helpful when it comes to soldering the connections up (thanks Halvies)

http://www.kramerforum.com/wiring/sustainer.html

Installing the sustainer. Very detailed information

http://www.guitarsite.de/p140.htm

Installing the Roland GK2a synth driver Matt has on some of his guitars (mostly non-Manson builds), that can be used to drive a MIDI unit. Probably one of the easier ways of turning your guitar into a MIDI capable beast. (Be aware that you need an external synth device for this to work, the output of the pickup is analogue, not MIDI)

Muse are pwoper awesome.

Have fun!

halvies
08-19-2010, 07:47 AM
ossum!

I suppose we better post links to some of his modifications

Fuzz factory layouts:
http://www.matsumin.net/diy/jisaku1/fuzz_factory/fuzz_factory_layout.gif
http://membres.multimania.fr/davpseudo/ffactorx_fichiers/image020.jpg
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_y4AYtND8Hz8/TCINTn3D6JI/AAAAAAAAAY0/wBxmQy75fJ8/s1600/knownworkingtotal.gif

And here's a kit for the FF:
http://www.musikding.de/product_info.php/info/p2192_The-Factory--germanium-fuzz-kit.html

Enjoi :)

And i also think that the two knobs on his guitar are the Comp and stab. Don't quote me on that though :p:

GameSkate
08-19-2010, 08:24 AM
Lol, wish I had some of this guitars.

BKMC
08-19-2010, 08:38 AM
I wish i had a matt-o-caster

salgala2000
08-19-2010, 10:51 AM
I think someone should PM invader jim for him to put this in the essential links thread

Skinny91
08-19-2010, 11:15 AM
Nice thread, I really like the mattocaster shape. One day it might even be up there with les pauls, but I like the way its almost a "bootleg" shape atm :)

TomG10-7
08-19-2010, 05:21 PM
Awesome, alot of work went into this. Well done :golfclap:

I will soon make a Mattocaster, Ill post it when its done. I will finish mine in a dark shade of British Racing Green, one of my all time favourite colours :p:

Dan_5893
08-20-2010, 06:22 AM
OP Updated with some more links and info on the Roland GK-2a Synth driver pickup he has installed in some guitars.

Shinozoku
08-20-2010, 08:26 AM
The shape makes me think of some of the Schecter Solos as well, in case you were looking for other guitars to chop up ;)

Dan_5893
08-20-2010, 10:31 AM
More info added to OP, thanks for all the suggestions and stuff guys. Hopefully this will get stickied soonish :D

Emperor's Child
08-20-2010, 12:31 PM
I think a link to Musewiki is in order!
And...
Delorean?
Lazer?
Bomber?
M1D1?
Delorean 3.0?
Rust Relic?

Dan_5893
08-21-2010, 08:40 AM
I know I omitted several from the list. Rust relic and Delorean 3.0 were never played by Matt. Lazer and Mirror are the same guitar but different finishes, Bomber is the same as chrome bomber. Delorean and Ali Top are the same guitar (Ali is just newer with different pups).

I'll add a link to the OP for the list of guitars he has.

GameSkate
08-22-2010, 04:22 AM
What about a double-neck guitar which Matt uses to play a "Resistance"?

BTW I was yesterday on Muse gig and THEY PLAYED ****ING BLISS WITH ****ING FALSETTO AND ****ING BEST OUTRO EVER!

Invader Jim
08-22-2010, 04:27 AM
I think someone should PM invader jim for him to put this in the essential links thread
If this is popular enough, I'll think about it. We have WAY too damn many ultimate threads in this forum as it is.

Dan_5893
08-22-2010, 04:42 AM
Sounds cool Jim, it's just really a resource thread to help get rid of questions like "how'd I put a FF in my guitar" or "how do I put Kaoss pads in my guitar?" etc. Hopefully people searchbar, see this and then don't need to post a thread asking a question thats been asked hundreds of times.

TomG10-7
08-22-2010, 01:41 PM
This can be a hive for all us MB lovers :heart:

MusicmonkeyTyke
08-22-2010, 02:11 PM
I muthatruking love this thread Im aiming to make one in the future once I get some experience and the right equipment. Matt bellamy is just awesome arguebly the best guitarist of the decade, I really love how he has this unique signigture shape too + Take note of the guitar effects he uses from my knowledge he use a digitech whammey (should be pretty obv if your a big fan with basic effects knowledge), Roland ev-5, Roland Vg-8, Line 6 dl-4 delay modeler and I think it all goes into a marshall DSL head.

Dan_5893
08-22-2010, 10:45 PM
^ Above is mainly true, except he no longer uses the DSL head, that was mainly for OoS and Absolution, he uses a Diezel VH4 mainly now, with some other random amps for recording.

salgala2000
08-23-2010, 09:51 AM
Sounds cool Jim, it's just really a resource thread to help get rid of questions like "how'd I put a FF in my guitar" or "how do I put Kaoss pads in my guitar?" etc. Hopefully people searchbar, see this and then don't need to post a thread asking a question thats been asked hundreds of times.
Too bad there's already an ultimate kaoss pad thread :rolleyes:

Invader Jim
08-23-2010, 05:51 PM
That thread is ancient and needs to be removed from that list anyway. thanks for reminding me.

Dan_5893
08-24-2010, 07:40 AM
Yeah, its not really relevant to mattocastering, since he doesn't have the actual pad in his guitar, its just a MIDI controller for the pad. I included it in there anyway because I'm not sure how I'd word the MIDI controller installation, it can get a little bit tricky to explain without pictures, which I don't have.

TomG10-7
08-24-2010, 08:11 AM
Oh, one question. When you say 'Mattocaster' are you talking just about the shape or the thing as a whole, e.g fuzz factory etc etc?

Dan_5893
08-24-2010, 09:31 AM
Usually i'm referring to the guitars as a whole.

TomG10-7
08-24-2010, 09:50 AM
Usually i'm referring to the guitars as a whole.

Okay, thanks for clearing that up.

salgala2000
08-24-2010, 11:38 AM
That thread is ancient and needs to be removed from that list anyway. thanks for reminding me.
Yup.

Viper_93
08-24-2010, 05:57 PM
manson's would make alot more money selling templates i think :L I know so many people who want the look, but could never afford to buy the real one.. The people who would buy the real one would still buy it anyway....but the wannabe manson players could still contribute to the manson kitty then.... What i would give for an accurate template :L

Btw, you put up a template image.......how would a person go about making a template of that to size??

Dan_5893
08-25-2010, 05:18 AM
The quickest way to do that would be to blow it up to a normal guitar size on Photoshop or something and print it like that, though I imagine it'd become pretty blurry.

The other option is to print onto a projector slide, then get a large piece of design paper, attach it to a wall, and project the image onto the paper, and move the projector back so that it is the desired size.

I wouldn't trust that image itself, because it will undoubtedly blur as you expand it. This Image (Warning, large) (http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSrl4GC9ab8eMnvM0976M3Gy37upyr_7AGRUSqlqBuu-clxrq0&t=1&usg=__KVe8Jte-G3T-GK7gDv6EYHafMDA=) will probably be better. You just have to trace the shape and use a bit of intuition to know where to put the neck pocket and pickup routes.

PhiLam64
09-11-2010, 02:38 AM
The bomber finish is interesting. Hugh Manson actually went out and found a large piece of sheet metal from a B29 bomber and used that to cover the entire guitar. Not something for the faint hearted, but if you're good at metalwork and can bolt the metal finish to the guitar, then by all means go for it. The blue streak is obtained by using a blowtorch to sear the metal.


Just to clarify,

By the way great thread. Everything is accurate and perfect for people making Mansons.

One correction, the metal wasn't from a B29, the rivets were. The metal was done by Sims Custom, and it was imperfectly done. The Blue Streak was obtained by a type of air brush paint. The goal was to make it LOOK like a B29 bomber's sheet metal, but it's quite easier to send to off the Sims and drill in rivets like it's actually done.

Cheers,
Phi

Skinny91
12-25-2010, 09:22 AM
I thought I must revive this thread for my love of the Mattocaster :)

Plus I just got my hands on one for christmas (Not a manson sadly, haha, NGD thread a bit later...)

I was wondering if Manson would be ok sending it to them to do the Pup swap? It's probably a bit iffy to be honest because of the shape and all, but I don't really have experience with any companys that can do something similar and I don't trust my local shop, haha.

salgala2000
12-25-2010, 11:40 AM
Changing pickups is easy. Do it yourself.

I would e-mail Manson if you REALLY want them to change it.

Skinny91
12-25-2010, 11:53 AM
Changing pickups is easy. Do it yourself.

I would e-mail Manson if you REALLY want them to change it.

I don't really have any tools and such, but I've just been looking it up and aparently soldering irons are pretty cheap so its probably something I should look into.

MonkeyLink07
12-25-2010, 02:22 PM
it's really simple, and if you spend the money on a soldering iron now, you'll save money over the course your guitar carrer instead of sending your guitar away for every single pickup or wiring change.

mattocaster99
12-25-2010, 03:44 PM
I feel so honored to have my own "Ultimate Thread"! Thanks everyone for the recognition after all this time!

That said, despite not being a total Bellamy fanboy, as an effects slut, his guitars are pretty awesome.

Viper_93
12-25-2010, 06:52 PM
If anybody knows where an irish fella could get his hands on a nice mattocaster shaped guitar on the cheap, link me please??:) Would do the work but i have developed a major allergy to wood dust...woodworking really isn't something i can do anymore..