M5 review by Maton

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 0 (0 votes)
Maton: M5

Price paid: $ 900

Purchased from: Secondhand

Sound — 9
This guitar is great for jazz and blues, and has a great sound through any amp. Flatwounds are almost required, but if you're trying to shred on this, you have the wrong guitar. Unfortunately, due to the archtop design, it will feed back. You can put foam in it or do any of a number of other things to fix the feedback, but it feels to me like that would cheapen the guitar so I just deal with the noise. It's very quiet overall though, with almost no audible hum. It does one thing, but it does it very well.

Overall Impression — 10
Like I said before, for jazz and blues, this guitar is perfect. I've been playing for a while now, I believe 5-7 years (I'm not quite sure on when I started) and this is easily the best guitar I've ever played, let alone owned. If it was stolen, I would be incredibly angry, since it is a very rare guitar, and I got it for an admittedly low price. Originally I was debating between this and an Epiphone Joe Pass, and this won out simply because the Joe Pass wasn't available anywhere near me to try. For what I play, this guitar fits perfectly, and if you ever have the opportunity to play/buy one, don't pass it up.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would absolutely trust this guitar in a live situation. As I said before, it is incredibly sturdy, and I haven't found any new scratches on it despite bringing it too and from school, lessons etc. every day. The strap buttons are solid and I trust them to keep my guitar up. I would probably bring a backup to a gig, but that would be more my paranoid Nature than mistrust in the guitar.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Since I got this guitar second hand, I can't speculate on how it was set up from the "assembly line", but in it's current state it plays wonderfully. The action is low enough to play well without buzzing, and the only flaws I can find are simply age related (chips and what not).

Features — 10
This guitar was handmade in the early 1980's in Australia. It has a Standard archtop shape, and a beautiful color and finish. I believe the neck is rosewood, but some people have said it looks like ebony. It has only the one pickup, a PAF, but it's more than enough and it sounds great. The hardware is brass, I believe, and the guitar overall is very sturdy. In fact, the biggest flaw I can find is in the placement of the knobs. Since they're positioned on top of the pickguard, which is floating, adjusting them quickly or roughly can push around the pickguard, which doesn't seem to feel right. All in all it's a beautiful guitar.

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