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View Full Version : Maton Tenor Ukulele...........



M3Ukulele
07-28-2017, 12:40 PM
I'm wondering why these aren't sold in North America at all. At least to my knowledge. I saw the concerts a few years ago and thought... perhaps a tenor would be nice as I'm a tenor player. Well, they have it now. Our Canadian $ is close to par. I see Southern Ukulele Store in UK sells them. Am I missing something?

Spec are Australian Blackwood body with Queensland Maple neck and rosewood fret board. Sound sample seem good........ Blackwood in in the acacia and koa type family and I see custom builder in Australia using it.

I'd personally like to pick one up and try it out but guess I have to go to Australia or UK.

Anybody own one or have experience with them? Any reason they are not sold in North America?

robinboyd
07-28-2017, 12:45 PM
I'm wondering why these aren't sold in North America at all. At least to my knowledge. I saw the concerts a few years ago and thought... perhaps a tenor would be nice as I'm a tenor player. Well, they have it now. Our Canadian $ is close to par. I see Southern Ukulele Store in UK sells them. Am I missing something?

Spec are Australian Blackwood body with Queensland Maple neck and rosewood fret board. Sound sample seem good........ Blackwood in in the acacia and koa type family and I see custom builder in Australia using it.

I'd personally like to pick one up and try it out but guess I have to go to Australia or UK.

Anybody own one or have experience with them? Any reason they are not sold in North America?

I think you'll find it's rather difficult to export things from Australia.

For what it's worth, I was thinking about buying one a little while ago, but decided against it because I didn't like the sound. Blackwood is a lovely wood though. We have a dining table made from it.

Booli
07-28-2017, 04:09 PM
I've never seen a Maton guitar in a music shop in the USA in the past 37 yrs. I know that Tommy Emmanuelle plays them, but other than his use of them, they seem pretty obscure here in the USA.

I'd think that finding their UKES here, would be like finding a unicorn.

SoloRule
07-28-2017, 05:46 PM
Camsuke ( a long time UU member) owns a maton guitar and a ukulele. They sound pretty good . They are reasonably priced. I think they do ship outside Australia. I can ask if you want or you can PM him.

kubotaso
07-28-2017, 10:01 PM
Oops, I posted wrong one. Sorry

anthonyg
07-28-2017, 10:16 PM
I don't like to say this as an Australian but your not missing anything regarding the Maton Tenor. Its OK but it sounds "tight". My brother owns one and it wasn't setup that well either. One day I'll work on and make it better but honestly its no better or worse than any other overbuilt ukulele.

robinboyd
07-28-2017, 10:39 PM
I don't like to say this as an Australian but your not missing anything regarding the Maton Tenor. Its OK but it sounds "tight". My brother owns one and it wasn't setup that well either. One day I'll work on and make it better but honestly its no better or worse than any other overbuilt ukulele.

Tight is a good way to describe it.

turtledrum
07-29-2017, 02:49 AM
Maton ukuleles were sold at Artisan Guitars in Nashville, perhaps two or so years ago. I don't think they are carried there any longer. I believe Artisan used to carry a concert model made of bubinga. I've never played a Maton, nor have I any experience with bubinga wood. I will say though that I adore the sound of blackwood and consider it one of my favorite woods. Scott Wise, Allen MacFarlane, and Dennis O'Neil are Australian luthiers who do use blackwood in their builds. All three produce fine sounding instruments.

KanePono
07-29-2017, 03:06 AM
I've never seen a Maton guitar in a music shop in the USA in the past 37 yrs. I know that Tommy Emmanuelle plays them, but other than his use of them, they seem pretty obscure here in the USA.

I'd think that finding their UKES here, would be like finding a unicorn.

Music Mart, in Solana Beach, CA is a authorized dealer for Maton Guitars. Perhaps they could acquire Maton ukulele also if there was much demand. Tommy likes to use his instruments for percussion, lead, and rhythm, simultaneously. I suspect he uses Maton because they can build him instruments that will take his abuse without falling apart. It wouldn't surprise me to discover that their ukuleles are built strong, which may hamper acoustic resonance. One could check with Peter at Music Mart to see what is available to him.

M3Ukulele
07-29-2017, 05:15 AM
Thanks for all the input. I'll pm Camsuke to get his opinion after owing and playing. I am aware that Scott and Alan build with it. Been on the fence for a few years on getting a Baron River......mostly just saving up. For BR..... my spec would Blackwood Back and sides and adi spruce most likely. I'm curious, about Maton cause they are a big name in Australia.......but then Fender has only made a token attempt at the Uke market. Kala with their experience and now the Kala Elite would likely be a safer bet, especially purchased from HMS. I do like to try different woods. A comment from a player who has one would be helpful. Thanks All

Zorba48
07-29-2017, 11:11 AM
I have a Maton concert that I bought in February this year, and I like it a lot, but since I bought my tenor from Scott Wise, I rarely play it. My wife started to play this year, and has taken possession of the Maton, and she seems to like it. It looks well made, and probably a bit over built, has no pickup which I think would change the sound of the instrument. It comes with an awesome case, stays in tune etc. I don't know what the Maton tenor is like.

anthonyg
07-30-2017, 04:52 AM
Maton ukuleles were sold at Artisan Guitars in Nashville, perhaps two or so years ago. I don't think they are carried there any longer. I believe Artisan used to carry a concert model made of bubinga. I've never played a Maton, nor have I any experience with bubinga wood. I will say though that I adore the sound of blackwood and consider it one of my favorite woods. Scott Wise, Allen MacFarlane, and Dennis O'Neil are Australian luthiers who do use blackwood in their builds. All three produce fine sounding instruments.

The wood that some Matons (and other Australian instruments) are made from is Bunya Pine. Bubinga is an African wood.

I played ONE Maton Concert ukulele once that sounded fantastic. It was very lively and open. I was hoping that Maton had turned the corner but I've never seen another one like it. The Maton tenors are a disappointment to me. No life at all.

mountain goat
07-30-2017, 08:14 AM
Aussie speaking too...
I've owned Maton concert and tenor ukes, and 3 Maton guitars.
The git fiddles sing like the birds at dawn.
Dead be the ukes.
Don't chase one mate,
a Kala or Ohana (or anything) sounds more alive.

turtledrum
07-30-2017, 10:14 AM
The wood that some Matons (and other Australian instruments) are made from is Bunya Pine. Bubinga is an African wood.

I played ONE Maton Concert ukulele once that sounded fantastic. It was very lively and open. I was hoping that Maton had turned the corner but I've never seen another one like it. The Maton tenors are a disappointment to me. No life at all.

Yes! Thanks, Anthony! My mistake on that one.

Nickie
07-30-2017, 02:52 PM
Aussie speaking too...
I've owned Maton concert and tenor ukes, and 3 Maton guitars.
The git fiddles sing like the birds at dawn.
Dead be the ukes.
Don't chase one mate,
a Kala or Ohana (or anything) sounds more alive.

Which hints at a supposition, that a great guitar builder isn't necessarily a good ukulele builder. There must be something about shifting scales...
I've been to 2 of Tommy Emanuel's concerts, and yes, those Maton guitars take quite a lickin' and keep on tickin'. (He's my favorite guitarist, even though I prefer Classical and Bluegrass style pickin')

M3Ukulele
07-30-2017, 03:13 PM
I was a little suspicious of the over built Uke thing. Also, as Nickie points out......guitar builder not necessarily good Uke builders. I'd have to play one. Maybe they are just to early in development of their ukes or don't see the market. I'd suggest they talk to Andrew and his crew at HMS if they really want to get serious with exports. Saying that, I have heard a few good sound samples but nothing like playing one. When Larivee got back into ukes I recall some comment from reputable sellers saying they needed to thin their tops. All good fodder for discussion. The point from down under is understood, don't chase a Uke when lots of other good ukes out there. Still would like to see a big successful maker like Maton get the ukes right!

DPO
07-30-2017, 10:10 PM
Maton ukuleles were sold at Artisan Guitars in Nashville, perhaps two or so years ago. I don't think they are carried there any longer. I believe Artisan used to carry a concert model made of bubinga. I've never played a Maton, nor have I any experience with bubinga wood. I will say though that I adore the sound of blackwood and consider it one of my favorite woods. Scott Wise, Allen MacFarlane, and Dennis O'Neil are Australian luthiers who do use blackwood in their builds. All three produce fine sounding instruments.

Except ONE of them 's a Kiwi :D

turtledrum
07-30-2017, 11:35 PM
Except ONE of them 's a Kiwi :D

My apologies, Dennis! Of course. I know this, of course, but this is my second error in the post. No more posts from me for the good of the order. Promise. :)

Strumaround
04-25-2018, 08:50 AM
Just reviving this thread with some very subjective thoughts on my Maton Tenor.

I came from a guitar background and I bought a Maton Tenor and found it very 'guitar-like', in the sense that it was extremely well built and 'solid'. Not 'feather-light', like some ukes I tried, but not heavy either. It sounds very much like some mahogany ukes I tried - deep and woody would be how I'd describe the tone. Loud also. But it never seemed as harmonious with re-entrant tuning and bright strings, in the way that other more 'traditional' Tenors I tried did (not bad, just a bit brash for my liking). However, when I put a wound low G on it (soloist), accompanied by Worth Browns, it sounded absolutely gorgeous (to me). All four strings are well balanced and the intonation is spot on. It's beautiful to finger-pick folk tunes with and I'd love to hear someone with some serious flamenco or blues skills play it, I imagine they could really make it sing.

Anyway, my 2 centsworth. Your mileage may vary.

Jerryc41
04-25-2018, 10:33 AM
I think you'll find it's rather difficult to export things from Australia.

For what it's worth, I was thinking about buying one a little while ago, but decided against it because I didn't like the sound. Blackwood is a lovely wood though. We have a dining table made from it.

The Duke 10 is sold by an Australian company, but they (banjo ukes) are now made in China. Maybe shipping from China is easier, although he was selling his banjo ukes - made in Australia - before introducing the Duke 10.

Strumaround
04-26-2018, 01:04 AM
I've tried the new age Maton ukes just recently and agree that they still have a fair bit of development work to do before their instruments have the wow factor, only time will tell I suppose. :D

Here's one I've had for many years, it's a Concert Ukulele No.4 built in the 60s, and I love it very much :D

That 60s one looks great. Thanks for the pics.

I'd be interested in what kind of development the new ones could do with? I am now considering getting a new Uke and am weighing up a number of options.

I originally tried the Maton alongside about 4 others including a mid-range AnueNue, a couple of Corodobas and a Pono. I liked the AnueNue very much, but it felt rather fragile. The Cordobas had a decent sound, but not as good as the Maton. I was very disappointed with the Pono, which surprised me, as it seems to be a favourite amongst many people. I found it even 'stiffer' than the Maton and it had a very brash, almost harsh sound. I also found the neck to be quite top heavy and unbalanced.

I recently tried a Koaloha tenor and it was the most magnificent thing I've ever played; feel, intonation and general sound was wow. Obviously, the cost is more 'wow' than the other ukes above also. ;)

anthonyg
04-26-2018, 04:21 AM
Unfortunately as you can read, many Australians look down on local products in favour of stuff from North America and East Asia. Especially those wanting to make an impression on a North American based bulletin board.



That's a bit harsh Bill. My main ukuleles that get LOTS of play time are a Scott Wise Solo Tenor and you know Scotts work well and a Copley Tenor built in Canberra by John Copley.

Maton have lots of experience with Guitars and Ukuleles and if you want to be taken seriously as a builder of fine instruments for professional players then you need to take the criticism of professional players.

No kids gloves for Maton. And I'm disappointed with the Maton Tenor. Its overbuilt, pure and simple. Either they didn't bother asking for the advice of experienced players in the first place or they did, and then ignored it.

The World doesn't need another overbuilt Tenor ukulele just because someone can make it. My brothers Maton Tenor also came from the store with a VERY high action.

Its a $1000 instrument which has it up against the Opio Tenor here in Australia. The Opio is just a better instrument for the money and Maton need to lift their game.

No kids gloves.

Strumaround
04-26-2018, 09:41 AM
Interesting conversation. I suppose I don't really understand what's meant by 'overbuilt' in this sense. Mine is Australian blackwood, although I have seen a 'custom' cedar. I did pay a luthier to do a set-up, as the action was a little high (although no worse than the Pono I tried) and it sounded and played fantastic after that.

BTW, I didn't pay anywhere near $1,000 for mine, although that is the list price I rarely see it sold for that.

Anyway, no idea where on the official scale of greatness the Maton sits, but it plays very well and makes a very great sound with the string setup I described upthread. Interestingly, at the same time that I played that marvellous Koaloha tenor, I tried a Kamaka tenor and hated it. I found the neck too narrow and the action difficult to play and the sound unimpressive. Probably a sign that it's horses for courses. But what do I know? I'm a fairly mediocre musician. :)

Strumaround
04-26-2018, 10:08 AM
Also, just to add to the guitar builders getting into Uke building theme (although perhaps this ought to be a separate thread), how do people feel about the Pepe Romero and Cordoba products, for example?

I've not played Pepe Romeros, but I've seen some of them described as 'guitar-like' in build and sound. The Cordoba ukes I tried certainly had a bit more of a guitar 'feel' to them.

I wonder if this is all really just a matter of personal preference? I like the Spanish guitar sound and am not so keen on the more percussive traditional soprano ukulele sound. So perhaps that explains my liking for the Maton?

Then again, I loved the Koaloha tenor so, once again, what do I know?

M3Ukulele
04-27-2018, 10:51 AM
Looks like I will be going to Australia in the fall , so during my travels I will seek out some Maton tenor's and give them a spin. I will post opinions. I think I will take my TT solid top/laminate sides. Its a very light ukulele to travel with and sound great. I've heard good things about their guitars.......perhaps sales don't dictate that more refinement be made to their ukes. Mixed responses above so I guess playing one, if I can find one is the way to go. Hope to seek out Baron River while I'm down under.

Strumaround
04-28-2018, 05:00 AM
I'd certainly be interested to hear your thoughts.

Interesting how different people have different impressions. Loudness and projection are the least of the problems with my tenor, it's why I stuck the Worth Browns on it and predominantly finger-pick it. Tone, sure. It could be described as rather plain or guitarish, rather than ukeish (are those real words?). And, as I said, it doesn't have that sweet Koaloha sound. Of course, different samples could produce different results.