Purchased from: Derringers Music Adelaide
Features — 10
This guitar was made in January 2014 in Australia. It has 21 frets with a scale of 25.5". It is a fully solid acoustic, with Sitka Spruce top, Tasmanian Blackwood b&s, and a Queensland Maple neck. The body is of Dreadnought shape, with a soft cutaway for upper fret access. Nut and saddle are both constructed from bone. Grover tuners come standard, and they are not locking. The finish is Maton's patented satin nitro. For the electronics, it has the brand new Maton AP5-Pro pick-up system, which combines an under the saddle piezo as well as an adjustable microphone mounted near the sound hole. Finally, the only included accessory is a case.
Sound — 9
Where to begin on sound? This baby sings. It has deep, rich lows; full, pronounced mids; and beautiful ringing highs. The harmonics are spot on across the whole neck, and they ring with pure clarity at the 5th, 7th and 12th frets (and I mean really, really ring). The acoustics of this guitar are quite nice, but by no means is it a super loud guitar. It has quite a bright tone, however that will develop into a fuller tone as the wood matures. In the time I have owned it, it has already started to become richer and deeper through constant play!
This guitar really comes into its own though through the brand new AP5-Pro system. As many of you would know, the AP5 is regarded as one of the best pick-ups in the world and, somehow, Maton made it better! Never have I heard a pick-up project the natural acoustic sound without any of the typical piezo "twang" inherent to acoustic/electrics. The bass and treble sliders are very responsive, providing good depth of sound options, and the mid-sweep provides the option to boost or cut at your desired frequency. The piezo/mic blend is also a novel idea, opening up a whole new range of tonal possibilities.
This guitar would suit the tonal palette of almost anything you could throw its way. From soft, melodic finger style; to hardcore strumming it handles it all exceptionally well. Overall, with its rich lows, punchy mids and crystalline highs, this guitar would have something for everyone.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
In store, the action on the guitar was a little too high for my liking. However, when I bought it I asked for a saddle adjustment to lower it and now it is perfect. I have an action of 2 mm (at the 12th) currently and I get no fret buzz, even when laying into it with a good hard strum. Apart from the action, everything else was spot on; nut was good, frets were good, tuned properly, etc. The wood in this guitar is 100% quality, and the grain features are exquisite. I love how it is made from quality Australian timber as well, just for that extra special touch. Construction on this guitar is fantastic, and as far as I can see, there are no flaws.
Finally, the satin nitro Maton use on these guitars is very nice to the touch, and you can even feel the wood grain under your fingertips! No poly gloss to deaden tone or gather fingerprints around here! The only thing I will say is that it is a little soft, so if you were to play percussive guitar using your nails, expect a mark or ten.
Reliability & Durability — 10
If I were to ever play live I would rely on this bad boy 100%. Maton is quality, and I know every component on/in this guitar will last. Strap buttons are solid (although if you play standing, get strap locks), and the pick-up is flawless (although if you intend to blend inbuilt mic with piezo, get a feedback eliminator - I learnt that the hard way). This guitar was what I bought with 21st money from my Nana, knowing full well I could keep it forever. This is true Australian quality, and I intend to hang on (and use) it forever.
Overall Impression — 10
I play all sorts of music, and this guitar meets my needs for everything thus far. In the 2 years I have been playing, never before have I seen, heard or used a guitar that looks and plays this well. If it were to be stolen or lost I would get another one, no questions asked. It blows everything else in its price range out of the water. In fact, it even snipes guitars selling for twice as much (a.k.a. Gibson's) off their lofty pedestal.
When shopping around I compared this to a Maton EM325C, a Cole Clark FL2AC, an Epiphone Masterbilt DR500MCE, various Gibsons... basically whatever I could get my hands on. The Maton SRS70C blew them all away for value, playability, uniqueness and quality. I could not be happier with my purchase, and I highly recommend you play one if you get the chance. TL; DR - this guitar is fantastic. Get one, you know you want to.