He’s one of the world’s greatest players and he’s been loyal to the same brand for 58 years. Tommy Emmanuel talks us through his Maton TE Personal model.
Made by Maton
“This is a Maton guitar, made in Australia and this is my guitar of choice for live and also all studio stuff. If you look through my albums I always put what guitar I used for which track and you’ll find Maton is featured everywhere.
"I got my first Maton guitar in 1960 so it was a long time ago, and they just keep getting better and better. It now has a custom shop at the factory in Melbourne and it’s run by a young man called Andy Allen, who hand builds my guitars.”
“This model here is based on the [EBG808] model that Maton has been making for a long time. This one is called the TE Personal; in other words it was personally made for me. And most of my guitars have that on the inside.”
“This one is a prototype and I loved it from the moment I got it. Andy was trying different bracing and different woods. The wood in this is called Queensland maple. Even though it’s maple it sounds more like mahogany to my ear.
"This guitar is different to all the other Maton guitars that I have - the [body] is thinner. Andy thought he’d experiment to see what it would be like to build a guitar that was a little thinner and actually it’s a bigger sound and it’s louder than my other EBG808.”
AP5 Pro pickup system
“It has the AP5 Pro pickup [system] in it with a microphone and that is on an arm so you can move it around.
"Sometimes when I’m playing a big rock club in Germany and the PA might be massive, as big as a building, there might be a frequency where my soundman might say, ‘Can we just try moving the mic a little?’ And I’ll just move it towards the centre of the guitar or something and we might solve that problem just by moving the mic.
"This system is very powerful but it’s very transparent and tells your ear that it’s an acoustic guitar. When you hear me play, you don’t really hear the pickup so much, you hear the guitar. And that’s what I like about these particular systems.”
“As you can see I’ve marked up the face a little here, which is unfortunate, but I need it if I’m going to make the sound of brushes. And the reason I do that is that sometimes when I play Merle Travis’s Nine Pound Hammer, I’ll do a breakdown and sing and play bass and drum [parts] and I need it to be rough there so the microphone picks that up. If you do it on a smooth surface you don’t hear anything.”