A long lost Maton prototype? No! Another creation by Ian.
Guitarnerd has let me meet some pretty cool people, who love guitars almost as much as I do. (I said ALMOST.) One such person is Ian, whom you may remember as the creator of the original Flamingbyrd… a heavily (and tastefully) modified 60′s Maton Flamingo. (check it out here.)
In November, I received an email from Ian saying he was starting up a very ambitious project… a guitar based on 4 or 5 different classic Matons.
I was pretty damn excited. This wasn’t just a copy, this was something new. It was like a lost prototype from Maton’s golden era. Over the next few months, Ian sent me detailed progress photos, and each time I was blown away. This was such a cool idea.
First up was cutting out the body shape. The body is a mix of Flamingo, sharkbite Fyrbyrd, Wedgtail & Goldline. And I think it works. It’s kooky in a Maton Ibis kind of way.
Next up was starting the routing. One cool element was sinking the Bigsby into the body, like the Wedgtail. To achieve this, Ian extended the end out, which was pretty clever and adds another cool design element.
Ian prefers P-90′s, so this guitar gets routed for a triple set. Also, being a Maton, it needs a rotary switch, which is routed from the back. Ian had help figuring out the 6 position switching from Paul Gomes (USA)… a wiring guru. It runs Neck,neck & middle,neck & bridge, middle, middle & bridge and bridge.
The scratch plate design is part Fyrbyrd and part Flamingo. It suits the shape perfectly. You can start to see what the finished design will look like, and by this stage I was getting very excited. I was also amazed how quickly Ian was putting this together. I’m used to luthiers taking a year to build their guitars! This was all getting done within a month.
Now, the fun bit… paint. I asked what colour Ian was thinking of… I suggested white with a red guard, but Ian had decided on black with a white guard, which was also nice. The main element was that the edges were gold, as per the Goldline. Black & gold go great together.
It so happens that Ian owns a Goldline, so you can see what a great tribute this guitar is.
By this stage I was losing my mind. I couldn’t wait to see this guitar finished. It didn’t take long… A few weeks later and Ian sent me the following pics.
The P90 covers are just for until Ian tracks down some metal versions. That will really drive the Maton look into overdrive. For the headstock, Ian went for the Wedgtail design. Although a Fyrbyrd style might’ve been my pick, this design suits the overall ‘lost prototype’ feel of the guitar.
Ian is still sourcing some knobs that will suit. Those, along with the pickup covers and the guitar is done! Congratulations Ian on some really outstanding work. Instead of it just being a Maton clone, you’ve created something new that slots right into the Maton Byrd family tree.