Phil Manning is an Australian blues player who played in legendary Australian band Chain, amongst others. He was known as ‘Australia’s Eric Clapton’, and at the peak of Chain’s popularity in the mid 70′s, Maton & Phil designed this beast of a guitar.
In 1976 this guitar cost approx $1800 Aussie dollars. You could’ve easily bought a family car for that. So this guitar was always meant to be a locally made alternative to the elite Fender & Gibson models which were impossibly expensive in Australia at the time. And it was designed to do everything – from blues & soul to psychedelic, to chicken pickin’, to heavy pub rock and everything in between.
How many guitars do you know of that give you full stereo or mono, with bass and treble switching, a master volume control, coil tapping, phase inversion, plus quality Aussie and Canadian woods?
There were only 260 made, and this one #193, from around 1976. Solid mahogany body with a carved maple top, and acoustic cavity construction with solid centre block to support the neck, bridge and pickup mountings. Gloss lacquered ebony fingerboard. And it was made in Australia.
We have included the original specs and marketing blurb in the pics.
The body is a great piece of wood, and this one shows considerable natural wear. But t has not been abused.
The knobs look very Guild, which makes sense. While some folks may suggest this is Maton’s Les Paul, we think it’s more Maton’s Guild Blues Bird. They have a similar body & cutaway shape, plus they’re both semi hollow.
While the Guild’s hollow chambers are hidden, Maton did something really special. The chambers are full of a quite amazing wiring fitout and covered with beautifully cut pieces of maple. It has beautifully sculptured neck heel, plus it has that great laquered fretboard, which is very Rickenbacker.
The original frets are showing some wear in places but do not compromise playing – plenty of life left we think. The original ABR style bridge, tailpiece and solid Schaller tuners are all in place.
It’s true that some Maton PM models were kinda heavy, but at 8.2 lbs this one is in comfortable Les Paul territory.
And does it sound good – why YES. You can dial up so many sounds with the selections available. But even if you just run it in mono and utilize the coil tapping, you have a palette of very useable options from tough humbucker to funky Stat type tones. But the phase switch really works as an option too, and the master volume makes things mighty easy in the heat of battle.
An Aussie classic that has some miles on it, but is structurally sound and certainly willing to go for another 12 rounds.
Comes with a decent gig bag in good condition.