Maton Guitars <em>SRS70C</em> designed 2012–18; ABS, bone (cow), chrome plated brass, electronic circuitry, mother of pearl, nickel, silver, piezoceramic, phosphor bronze, polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride, Sitka spruce (<em>Picea sitchensis</em>), streaky ebony (<em>Diospyros crassiflora</em>), Victorian blackwood (<em>Acacia melanoxylon</em>), Queensland maple (<em>Flindersia brayleyana</em>). Courtesy of Maton Guitars<br/>
© Maton Guitars Pty Ltd

Maton Guitars

Maton Guitars
(est. 1946, Melbourne)

Maton Guitars is Australia’s longest running and most successful guitar manufacturer, and pioneered the use of Australian wood species in guitar construction. Established by Melbourne-born jazz musician, woodwork teacher and luthier Bill May, who is regarded by many local luthiers as the founding father of the Australian guitar-making industry, Maton remains 100 per cent family-owned and Australian designed and made.

The Maton SRS70C, designed in 2012 and updated in 2018, is a guitar created for the working musician, providing great acoustic tone and high-quality, dependable amplified sound in live performance. Wood parts have been designed to fit together without heavy clamping pressure, allowing all components to vibrate to their maximum potential. Unlike previous models, which would often have to be ‘played in’, the SRS70C reaches full tonal capacity from the first use. The guitar was designed to complement Maton’s innovative AP5 Pro, a pick-up system for amplifying the acoustic guitar.

The SRS70C incorporates sustainable materials wherever possible, with the back and sides made from Victorian blackwood selectively harvested to ensure minimal enviro‑nmental damage; the neck from Queensland maple, harvested from south-east Queensland plantations established in the 1930s; and a fingerboard and bridge made from streaky ebony. The instrument uses wood that, in traditional grading methods, would have been regarded as wastage. Since its release in 2012, demand for the SRS70C has grown consistently, with 8000 produced by mid 2022.

Maton founder Bill May was posthumously inducted into the Australian Music Association’s Honour Roll in 2001, in recognition of his contribution to the history of Australian music. Working alongside his brother Reg, May opened Australia’s first major guitar-making factory in Canterbury in 1949, where the company created over 300 models, before moving into larger facilities in Bayswater and later Box Hill to satisfy increasing sales. Its guitars are beloved by musicians including Tommy Emmanuel, John Butler, Paul Kelly, Neil Finn and Keith Urban. Maton is now operated by Bill’s daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Neville Kitchen.