MS500 Mastersound review by Maton

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 10 Gem
  • Users' score: 8.9 (11 votes)
Maton: MS500 Mastersound

Price paid: $ 1784

Purchased from: Music Mart

Features — 10
Beautiful solid body in vintage sunburst 2 tone gloss finish. The finish doesn't seem to think and plastic like some can be. 2 volume, 1 tone, 3 way selector (Cool, Midway, HiFi) plus a coil tap. Neck PU is a P90 style single coil and bridge is a splittable humbucker at roughly 14k. Tune-o-Matic bridge (I think Maton uses Tone Pros), Grover pearl button tuning keys. It came with a beautiful tweed case with brass Maton name plates and lovely fluffy purple-ish interior. I'm not sure of the exact year on this but it's the 50th Anniversary model with 1958 inlaid at the 12th fret. I would assume 2008-2013. I purchased it in Dec. 2013.

Sound — 10
This guitar would probably suit just about any style of music including metal. I've been playing everything from country to metal with it since I got it. It will squeal nicely with pick harmonics and chunk rhythm with the best of them. The bridge humucker is nice and fat sounding with plenty of sparkle and articulation like the best vintage Gibson pickups. How did they do that? It's not noisy at all really but for high gain stuff, best to use the bridge humbucker with the coil tap off. I've been using this mostly in the studio so far with a Fender Roc Pro 1000 and a Fender Pro Fr. It also sounds good with amp modeling software on my Macbook Pro.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The finish and setup on this guitar are among the best I've ever seen on a new instrument. Action was just right from the factory. I changed the factory strings for a new set and checked the intonation. It was spot on. Perfect. It also stays in tune better than most guitars I've owned including expensive Fenders and Gibsons. This is a very very well made instrument. The body seems to be one piece so it's fine looking. The yellowish sunburst 2 tone is nice visually and has a nice calming appearance. It looks and feels like it was made with the utmost care. There aren't enough words to describe how nice this guitar is overall. Not a flaw in workmanship or setup I could detect.

Reliability & Durability — 10
As well as this is put together, I seriously doubt it will give me issues. That said, I've only owned it short time. The strap buttons seem solid and have a nice design that should keep me from having to change them to strap locks which I do not like. The bridge and hardware are high quality and shouldn't tarnish or rust too much. I don't have corrosive sweat like some people so this isn't something that's likely to become as issue for me. The finish, though it doesn't seem overly thick and plasticy still seems tough and should last if it's well cared for.

Overall Impression — 10
I've played guitar for over 30 years and have owned more guitars than I care to take time listing. I currently own 3 Gibsons, a vintage Electra Outlaw, and a '77 Alvarez. I have played everything from funk to metal over the years. I think this guitar would do any style I would ever need and then some. It's extremely versatile in tone and plays just awesome! I love the fact that the Australian Silver Silkwood is light and beautiful with this finish. The neck shape and width are perfect for me. The only other guitars that matter to me are Gibsons and this is right up there with them... or possibly better. I think the finish is a little nicer and the setup slightly better. If I lost this or it was stolen, I would do everything I could to get it back and would buy another if I had to. These aren't that easy to get in the US so the thought of losing it scares me quite a bit!

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I have a sunburst MS500, 2004-ish. An excellent guitar, incredible value for money when you compare its quality against the big name production line stuff.