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A Guided tour over Maton Guitar FactoryOn 20 April 2017

Members from the Probus Club of Donvale Hill Incorporated met at the Maton Guitar Factory, Box Hill for a guided tour.The guide for the tour happened to be Linda Kitchen who was the daughter of Bill May the founder of the factory 71 years ago. The factory was originally based in Thornbury.
The name Maton was derived from two words “May” and “Tone”, and is still a 100% family owned business by both Linda and Neville Kitchen, Bill’s Son-in-Law. Bill was a jazz musician, woodwork teacher and a luthier when he decided in the early 1940’s to build his first guitar.Shortly after this, Bill established a custom guitar manufacturing and repair business that was known as “Maton Stringed Instruments and Repairs”.This was was so successful that that in March 1946, Bill was able to convince his older brother Reg to join as a full time guitar maker which led to the Maton musical instrument company being born.
The success of this Australian icon is largely due to the inspiration and creativity Bill May possessed and was able to reproduce in the instruments he made. This led to Maton Guitar Factory becoming   world-wide known as Australia’s longest running and most successful guitar manufacturer. Bill pioneered the use of many Australian species in guitar manufacturing, and is regarded by many Australian luthiers as the foundation father of the industry. His contribution has been recognised with an induction into the Australian Music Association (AMA) Hall of Fame.
Maton Guitars specialises in creating superb guitars from Australian timbers such as Blackwood, Queensland Maple, Bunya, and Satin Box, etc. whilst still meeting quality craftsmanship guidelines that were set over 60 years ago.
Maton manufactures its own pick-ups, which is considered essential to having control over the sound of their acoustic instruments within the internal amplification systems.
A further innovation occurred over the past few years, when in conjunction with Tommy Emmanuel, the AMPIC system was developed.
The AMPIC system is in both Maton’s high end models, and of late in some of Maton’s Custom models.
Maton is currently consolidating its growth through increased shipment to export markets.At present 40% of business involves exporting overseas and it is hoping to continue increasing this.Countries contributing to this growth include New Zealand, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, United States, as well as throughout Asia.
Overall an extremely interesting guided tour.
Robert Milne