We've had a few vintage Maton Supremes through here, but this was the oldest one yet (until I imported #656 from New Zealand in mid October 2009). The Supreme was made both as an acoustic (F240) and electric (EG240) archtop, which was made between 1953 and 1962 (serial numbers 304 to 1691). Serial number on this guitar - 759 - indicates a likely 1956 build.
This vintage electric archtop guitar has a Mahogany body, with a laminated Maple top. Neck is laminated Mahogany and Maple, and the fretboard is either Rosewood or an Australian equivalent.
This guitar has just come back from a full checkover, fret dress and service with Jim Cargill, and ready for another fifty-something years of playing! Neck set is great, and action and playability superb. And it's a REAL archtop, with a full 17" wide body (depth is 3 1/2") and a 25 1/2 inch scale. Maton's marketing at the time said, "The slim, smooth neck and low frets make playing effortless and fast". This one's certainly effortless and fast! Neck angle is superb - a completely no-issues vintage Maton archtop.
I love the pickups on these very early EG240s - a great single-coil bar-magnet pickup completely floating in the cavity, suspended from a bracket just as the original Charlie Christian pickups as first used on Gibson's ES-150 models in 1936. This pickup is normally hidden under the cool plastic cover, but I have photographed the one on my '55, and can be seen here.
The guitar is in good, totally original condition, with no cracks, and only some (quite numerous) scratches to the finish. The tailpiece has been engraved at some stage with what looks like a previous owner's licence number (quite hard to see), and a strap button was once located into the side near the neck. These can all be seen in the 'more pictures' link below.
The guitar comes with its original case, the main structure of which is in surprisingly good condition, considering It has been protecting the guitar for more than 50 years! The hinges have come away from the case, requiring new screws or panel pins to be fitted - I'll see if I can find the time to see to this before the guitar sells - and the handle is missing, but the overall structure of the 'fibreboard' (cardboard) case is still surprisingly firm and robust.
This guitar was being retained by me for my own use, as it is one of the best-sounding electric archtops I have ever come across, whether plugged into a vintage valve amp or my AER AcoustiCube3 solid-state acoustic amp. It is only the fact that I just imported an identical and slightly earlier guitar from New Zealand that has made this guitar now available for sale. You will love it!
Sold to Barry