Tony "GuitarNerd"s Maton Flamingo

You've seen Tone's name around here a lot 'cause not only is he a good friend, he does all of my artwork and design stuff. He runs a site called Guitar Nerd and LOVES old Matons. I've worked on his stuff for ages and these weird little Matons just keep on comin'

I had this little Flamingo lying around the workshop for a LONG time and figured it was time to go to a good home and since Tone loves these things, it seemed fitting. With guitars like this I'd rather just give them to people who are going to appreciate them. I can't remember how much I paid for this, I don't wanna sell it, but I wanna see someone use it. 

 

It was in reasonable condition but needed work to get it playing properly and since Tone wanted to use it, and it wasn't a collectors item, we decided to rebuild it to suit his playing. He also had another Flamingo, in the same model that didn't have any hardware so the original parts off this one could be used as a donor to rebuild that one. 

 

 

He decided on what he wanted in a "player" and I set about making it. It was stripped completely as not much of the original Maton was staying. It had been refretted at some stage and the neck was in great shape. There were no structural issues so away we went.

 

The scratchplate was cracked and fell to pieces when I took it off. I needed it to trace a new plate so glued it back together and traced it onto a blank sheet. Tone wanted completely different pick ups too so we needed a new plate to accommodate the mini humbucker and the lipstick we were going to use.

 

With the new plate cut and all the hardware assembled it was time to start putting this thing together.

 

The Bigsby tailpiece and bridge were used for that vintage look and Tone was pretty keen on a vibrato. I'm a huge fan of these aluminium Bigsby bridges for tone, as long as you can get that intonation right. The scratchplate was cut to fit the new pick ups and everything was lined up ready to go.

 

I used Naptha, patience and a razor blade to get the old stickers off the old scratchplate and then a little bit of glue to put them on the new plate. They REALLY make the guitar look ...... authentic so I'm glad I was able to get them off in one piece.

 

These little Maton solidbodies can be pretty ...... dinky but this one played, and sounded REALLY good. It's got a great little neck on it and the mini HB and lipstick work really well in this combination. The intonation was great and the it felt surprisingly solid. I've owned and played a heap of these 60's Matons and like most manufacturers, there's good ones and avaerage ones. This is a good one.

 

 

 

 

  

May 28 2014 Written By: Tim Brennan