1961 Maton EG75 Goldline

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A tiny guitar with a big personality

As previously mentioned, I’ve been selling off guitars that I haven’t really played to add to my vintage Maton obsession. My “one for one” rule has actually been a great idea as I now have LESS guitars but BETTER guitars. Some I do miss a little (my korina ’77 Ibanez Iceman) but in the end, they’ve gone to good homes and are being played. And I’ve got another cool Maton… so it’s win win.

The subject of this article is a well played black & gold Maton EG75. It’s a very early serial number and is a model I’ve been chasing for quite a few years. They do come up, but usually the timing is wrong. With this one, a friend of mine had bought it to eventually move on so I put my hand up for when that happened.

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When I got it, she had been slightly modded with modern tuners plus the original wrap around trapeze bridge had been shortened and a tuneomatic bridge added. Both these mods made sense as the original bridge design is terrible for intonation and the tuners weren’t much chop. As it happened, I had the opportunity to buy a 60′s Bigbsy bridge and tremolo which was an optional extra on the EG75, so I could get her back to original with period correct parts plus she would play a lot better. Steve from Tym Guitars did a great job sorting everything out. She plays great! Plus with the Bigsby everything just ties in beautifully. It was meant to be.

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The pickups are the Maton embossed Moody pickups made in Sydney, which were originally built for slide guitars. They sit on top of the body so there’s very little routing. They’re very low output… about 3.5k but have a really big, full sound. Very expressive and lots of tone. Later on this model received the Maton Apollo “blackstrip” pickups which are also excellent.

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The body is quite thick and solid… this guitar has some weight, which makes a difference from the later featherweight Fyrbyrd’s and Flamingos. The neck is a log and has a slight V profile. I’ve seen other EG75′s with a “steel reinforced neck” sticker but there’s no trussrod adjustment anywhere. Luckily the neck is straight as an arrow and actually plays great. This was marketed for students with “smaller hands” which for a neck this size doesn’t make sense but I love it.

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The headstock’s wings are starting to separate which may need attention down the line but they’re holding up fine for now. The modern tuners aren’t period correct, but I’ve strung this short scale beast with 13′s… so they do the job. I may put on some white buttoned Klusons down the track. The unwound G is a pain for bends but I can live with it.

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The EG75 was the first Maton to feature the “sharkbite” and was the precursor of the Fyrbyrd. Next to each other you can see how much smaller the EG75 is but how many similarities there are. Both are totally different playing guitars but are really cool designs.

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I’m really surprised with how great this guitar is. I just wanted one as a box to tick on my Maton wish list but it’s more than that. This little thing is a mojo machine. The Maton Fyrbyrd has been the star of the Maton electric series and the EG75 has been pretty much forgotten… which is surprising as they made 500 of them (in slightly different formats). Through my Matra combo and Tym Guitars Skunk amp, this little guitar is a fantastic rhythm machine. I’ll be playing it a LOT.

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