We’re proud folk us Australians.The kind of proud folk that claim constellations as our own and get them permanently stained to our bodies to make sure everybody else knows exactly how proud we are. The kind of proud folk who at sporting events crown the successful competitors ‘Honorary Australians’ because if we’re not going to win, it may as well be the honorary Aussies.
And the kind of proud folk that will buy Australian made over US made, regardless of the price. Depending on the person, some of these characteristics will be viewed in a positive and some in a negative light but one thing rings through regardless – we like to think we’re the best and the luckiest folk in the world.
Any Australian who reads this can relate to having at least once walked into a pub around the country to hear some guy in the corner, acoustic guitar in hand singing something along the lines of ‘My Happiness’ or ‘Eagle Rock’. On almost all of these occasions you may or may not have noticed that this person was holding an Australian made Maton guitar.
By a long stretch Maton Guitars are the most widely gigged instruments in Australia and this isn’t purely due to patriotic Australians refusing to explore different options. They are fantastic working guitars.
Maton guitars characteristically have a focused mid-range that really cuts through in a band environment. That accompanied with their AP-5 pickup and really solid build quality make for the perfect working instrument. What Maton’s do lack however is depth. The guy singing ‘Working Class Man’ in the corner of Bridie O’Reilly’s immediately exchanges his Maton for his Martin or Gibson the minute he goes into the studio, as these classic acoustic guitars offer a richer and grander tonality along with huge character that goes a long way in the studio. This is where Maton’s new model comes in.
It’s a rarity in Maton world that a new model comes along, so we were a touch excited when we got the news. Their new ER90C offers an acoustic guitar with a solid AA spruce top, AP5 pickup and solid Indian Rosewood back and sides; the characteristics of Indian Rosewood being the key ingredient here.
This timber is generally regarded as the most popular ‘up-range’ tone wood with characteristics that are dark but very rich. The low end is very pronounced and full but also with very clear tops, overall an extended EQ spectrum to that of other timbers.
Maton already offer a few different models with solid Indian Rosewood but at higher price points. The idea with the ER90C is that it fits the budget of the working musician but also has the rich tonal qualities that make it the perfect crossover guitar to take from the gig to the studio.
So does it hold up?
Whilst there is a deeper bellow to the guitar and it does host a richer tonal flavor than its closest sibling the ECW80C, it still doesn’t have the character of the aforementioned Martin’s and Gibson’s that are so often favored in the studio environment.
But it also doesn’t sell for nearly as much, nor do those guitars have a pickup and therefore aren’t useable in most live scenarios. So next time you’re finishing off ‘Most People I Know’ and are flustered by knowing you have to run home to get your other guitar before going to your studio session in Fairfield, maybe consider investing your Friday night residency cheque on an ER90C.