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Maton TE1 Artist Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Review

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Maton TE1 Artist Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Review

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: John Tracey

In a tossup between a handmade Avalon and a Maton TE1, I went for the Maton in the end because I knew I’d need a robust, awesome-sounding guitar for live gigs.

Avalon guitars are things of sheer beauty and beat every other guitar brand I’ve heard/played, but the Maton TE1 had the edge that I was looking for this time round.

…a powerful guitar for rhythm, fingerstyle, and especially alternate tunings. The TE1 produces great results no matter what I play on it…

Features:

It’s a cutaway dreadnought made with a solid AAA Sitka Spruce top and solid Indian rosewood back and sides. It has a maple neck (which looks really nice against the rosewood body) with rosewood fingerboard.

Since this is the Tommy Emmanuel signature model, it also features a few cool additions, made according to Emmanuel’s own specifications. On the fingerboard is the renowned ‘CGP’ inlay (which stands for ‘Certified Guitar Player’, an award given to only a handful of guitarists by the late and great Chet Atkins), and it also features a Tommy Emmanuel signature pickguard.

In terms of electronics, the TE1 boasts the mighty AP5 pickup, which Maton themselves make.

Ease of use:

The TE1 is a really nice, sturdy, well-made guitar, which plays beautifully. Straight out of the case I was quite pleased with the action, although I did adjust it to suit my playing after the initial few hours.

The neck and fingerboard are very playable, although the frets are a little on the thin side; think almost vintage frets. It’s a very handsome, understated instrument; no bells or whistles, just a lovely, woody, top quality acoustic.

Unfortunately the ‘CGP’ stamp doesn’t mean you’ll automatically sound like Tommy!

Sound Quality:

Nothing like the typical over-middy, woody, ‘Maton’ sound. Bass is deliciously warm and loud but perfectly crystal clear, no muddy tones or boom. Mids are punchy and clean. The high end is nice too; not just as sweet as the rest of the guitar’s range, but it is most definitely not lost in the overall sound.

If you’re used to playing a small-bodied guitar with very responsive mids and highs, this might take you a while to adjust to, as it shines lower down the range. Harmonics and sustain are killer! A powerful guitar for rhythm, fingerstyle, and especially alternate tunings. The TE1 produces great results for me no matter what I play on it.

As for the pickup, it’s quite easily one of the best acoustic guitar pickups on the planet – and it comes as standard, how’s that! It features Volume, Bass and Treble sliders, a Mid sweep and a Frequency sweep, so it’s extremely easy to get the sound you want with minimal fuss.

Maton’s pickups need to be played/heard to be believed. Highly responsive, and loads of headroom too; max the pickup all out and you’ll still never distort!

Picks up percussive hits on the guitar body too, so it’s one to consider if you’re into that style of playing.

Reliability:

I feel I could do some serious damage with it and it would hold up without a problem. Maton make very, very sturdy guitars, and I’ve no doubt this will last for decades.

Check out Tommy Emmanuel batter his TE1… if it can stand up to that abuse, us mortals have very little to worry about.

Overall Rating:

It’s simply a great guitar with a great pickup. An all-rounder; good at everything and sounds awesome no matter what you throw at it.

It’s not an exquisite handmade guitar to be cherished and polished every day, it’s a workhorse guitar designed to deliver again and again on stage and off, that will meet the requirements of the working guitarist or professional, and then some. Thoroughly glad I decided to purchase one.

This review was submitted by Guitar Jar contributor: John Tracey

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1 Comment

  • That guitar looks seriously nice, good review too!

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