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Upgrades to Matsumoku Sheraton

#1 User is offline   Winston67 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 12:51 PM

My first and most loved guitar is a wine red Matsumoku Sheraton from around 1982. It is distinguished among other things by its frequensator tailpiece. A number of years ago I put '57 Classic pickups in it, and it plays and sounds great. One thing that isn't so great is the tuning stability - it just isn't as rock solid as I imagine a 335 would be. Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has modded a guitar like this - I would like to put some TLC into this guitar and am curious about what others have done, whether in terms of tuners, bridge, caps, wiring harness etc., and which things need no changing. Thanks.
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#2 User is offline   Parabar 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 02:22 PM

View PostWinston67, on 09 March 2018 - 12:51 PM, said:

My first and most loved guitar is a wine red Matsumoku Sheraton from around 1982. It is distinguished among other things by its frequensator tailpiece. A number of years ago I put '57 Classic pickups in it, and it plays and sounds great. One thing that isn't so great is the tuning stability - it just isn't as rock solid as I imagine a 335 would be. Anyway, I'd be interested in hearing from anyone who has modded a guitar like this - I would like to put some TLC into this guitar and am curious about what others have done, whether in terms of tuners, bridge, caps, wiring harness etc., and which things need no changing. Thanks.


A Matsumoku Sheraton like yours is a very high quality quitar to begin with. Unless the tuners are actually worn out, the tuning instability is more likely to do with either the nut or bridge slots binding the strings somewhat. A little graphite, nut sauce or filing by a competent luthier should solve the problem --- unless, as I mentioned, the tuners themselves have worn to the point they no longer grip properly. This is pretty rare.
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#3 User is offline   Winston67 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:13 PM

View PostParabar, on 09 March 2018 - 02:22 PM, said:

A Matsumoku Sheraton like yours is a very high quality quitar to begin with. Unless the tuners are actually worn out, the tuning instability is more likely to do with either the nut or bridge slots binding the strings somewhat. A little graphite, nut sauce or filing by a competent luthier should solve the problem --- unless, as I mentioned, the tuners themselves have worn to the point they no longer grip properly. This is pretty rare.


Thanks, will give that a try. The tuners seem quite loose (as in, less resistance/tension than on my G&L Tele), but they grip. No idea what kind they are, but they look like Grovers.
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#4 User is offline   spoonido 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 07:13 PM

My 1986 Sheraton is stock, and I can't see changing a thing except how well I play. For my rock and R&B gigs, it's the first thing I reach for. "Upgraded" pick ups? Not necessary, in my opinion.
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#5 User is offline   paradigm 

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 12:19 AM

Anyone care to post up pics of these fine guitars please?
You got me itching to see them!
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#6 User is offline   Winston67 

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 05:08 PM

View Postspoonido, on 09 March 2018 - 07:13 PM, said:

My 1986 Sheraton is stock, and I can't see changing a thing except how well I play. For my rock and R&B gigs, it's the first thing I reach for. "Upgraded" pick ups? Not necessary, in my opinion.


The pickups on your '86 may be different, but my experience in switching to Gibson 57 Classics was very positive. I like them much better than the original pickups (Maxon MMK 75's, I believe) and found the switch to be pretty transformative. Great guitar in any event. Amazingly comfortable neck and fretboard.
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#7 User is offline   Parabar 

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 09:06 PM

Here's one:
Posted Image

And another:
Posted Image
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#8 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 06:49 AM

!!wow!! I have never seen a Sheraton with a flamed top like that! Good lord, that is beautiful..
/Ray
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#9 User is offline   Pin 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 07:57 AM

View Postkidblast, on 12 March 2018 - 06:49 AM, said:

!!wow!! I have never seen a Sheraton with a flamed top like that! Good lord, that is beautiful..


Nor have I.

I want one!

Where did that come from Parabar? Year?
GUITARS: 1978 Gibson Les Paul 25 / 50; Gibson ES345 1959 Reissue; 1974 Yamaha AE12 jazz box; Yamaha SG2000: Fender "Roland Ready" Strat; Epiphone Les Paul '56; Epiphone SG400; HK Steinberger copy; Cimar Classical.
AMPS & EFFECTS: Various effects, synths and Mesa Maverick 1 x 12.
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#10 User is offline   tweed2 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:06 AM

Agreed, I think that's one beautiful guitar, and it's not even blonde! "You know who" will declare that a foto-flame finish, though.......
J P Patches Pal
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#11 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 09:44 AM

ha! he may have a point! That technique WAS used for a time, both by Fender, and Epi to name 2.

but really, as long as I knew the details and made my own decision. In other words, I'd still buy it, foto flame or not! :)
/Ray
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#12 User is offline   Pin 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 10:45 AM

Yeah, I remember now. Wasn't the Joe Perry "Boneyard" Les Paul a photo-flame?
GUITARS: 1978 Gibson Les Paul 25 / 50; Gibson ES345 1959 Reissue; 1974 Yamaha AE12 jazz box; Yamaha SG2000: Fender "Roland Ready" Strat; Epiphone Les Paul '56; Epiphone SG400; HK Steinberger copy; Cimar Classical.
AMPS & EFFECTS: Various effects, synths and Mesa Maverick 1 x 12.
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#13 User is offline   kidblast 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:08 PM

I was a frequent pest at a music store in the town I worked in back in the mid 90s. (bought a few guitars from this place, including my 95 LP Standard)

the owner was very a meticulous guy, and quite the aficionado.. he was the one that pointed out the foto flamed fenders he had, and mentioned that Epiphone was doing it as well. I did see one Epi a co-worker had about a yea after, His kid had damaged the top, (put a gouge in somehow.) you could see what looked like paper was underneath the finish. he asked me if I thought it could be fixed,, I looked at and realized then, it was probably a foto flame top too. I could only suggest a few repair techs that maybe able to do something about. Not sure he ever got it fixed.. we parted ways soon after.

Some argue Epiphone never did this foto falme thing, but that damaged EPI LP Standard sure looked like something was funky under that finish where the gouge was.
/Ray
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#14 User is offline   Parabar 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:46 PM

View PostPin, on 12 March 2018 - 07:57 AM, said:

Nor have I.

I want one!

Where did that come from Parabar? Year?


I just found the pics online, so not sure what year. I've seen flamed Sheratons like that before (love that dark burst!), and they are NOT photo-flame, but actual veneers. The Matsumoku Sheratons and Emperors were very high-quality instruments --- some would say on a par with the Elitist series --- so they didn't cut corners and costs with photo-flames and such like.

If you do a Google Advanced Image Search for "Matsumoku Sheraton," you may find more details.

I have a Karera thinline semi-hollow whose model number is SH-800-AN. The AN stands for Antique Natural, but I'm convinced this was made by Peerless using Sheraton specs (the "SH" in the model name) Notice the headstock logo which somewhat resembles a letter "P" for Peerless. This guitar is also all real wood veneers, including the pickguard, which I like a lot.

Posted Image

This post has been edited by Parabar: 12 March 2018 - 12:51 PM

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#15 User is offline   tweed2 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:55 PM

View PostParabar, on 12 March 2018 - 12:46 PM, said:

and they are NOT photo-flame, but actual veneers. The Matsumoku Sheratons and Emperors were very high-quality instruments --- some would say on a par with the Elitist series


Hey, you and I (and most every other sane person) knows that, just waiting for somebody to put in their 6 cents worth.....
J P Patches Pal
Posted Image
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#16 User is offline   Parabar 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 12:59 PM

View Posttweed2, on 12 March 2018 - 12:55 PM, said:

Hey, you and I (and most every other sane person) knows that, just waiting for somebody to put in their 6 cents worth.....


I find it kinda amusing when someone who hasn't actually seen or played certain guitars wants to argue with someone who has. Like a Chihuahua yapping his head off at a Rottweiler on the other side of the fence. Whaddaya gonna do?
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#17 User is offline   AldoMcD1 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 01:41 PM

Here are two of mine - both from 1983:

Posted Image Posted Image
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Epiphone Sheraton (ASB - 1983) | Epiphone Sheraton (ASB - 1983) | Epiphone Sheraton (WR - 1983) | Epiphone Riviera (WR - 1984)
Epiphone Sheraton (ASB - 1986) | Epiphone Hummingbird (CH - 1996) | Epiphone EJ-200 (NA - 2004) | Epiphone Sheraton E212T (CH - 2012)
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#18 User is offline   Winston67 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:31 PM

View PostAldoMcD1, on 12 March 2018 - 01:41 PM, said:

Here are two of mine - both from 1983:

Posted Image Posted Image


Nice looking guitars. Mine, which I think is from '81 or '82, has a frequensator tailpiece and does NOT have the E emblem on the truss rod cover or the pick guard.

Btw, I have lost a couple of the covers to my volume and tone controls - any idea where replacements might be found?
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#19 User is offline   Pin 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 03:06 PM

View PostParabar, on 12 March 2018 - 12:46 PM, said:

I just found the pics online, so not sure what year. I've seen flamed Sheratons like that before (love that dark burst!), and they are NOT photo-flame, but actual veneers. The Matsumoku Sheratons and Emperors were very high-quality instruments --- some would say on a par with the Elitist series --- so they didn't cut corners and costs with photo-flames and such like.

If you do a Google Advanced Image Search for "Matsumoku Sheraton," you may find more details.

I have a Karera thinline semi-hollow whose model number is SH-800-AN. The AN stands for Antique Natural, but I'm convinced this was made by Peerless using Sheraton specs (the "SH" in the model name) Notice the headstock logo which somewhat resembles a letter "P" for Peerless. This guitar is also all real wood veneers, including the pickguard, which I like a lot.

Posted Image


That Karera is one very nice guitar indeed. I particularly like the inlays going all the way up the neck like (IMO) they should do.

I would have been surprised that Maksumoto used photo-flame but I'm very pleased to hear it confirmed from people who know better than me that they didn't and don't.
GUITARS: 1978 Gibson Les Paul 25 / 50; Gibson ES345 1959 Reissue; 1974 Yamaha AE12 jazz box; Yamaha SG2000: Fender "Roland Ready" Strat; Epiphone Les Paul '56; Epiphone SG400; HK Steinberger copy; Cimar Classical.
AMPS & EFFECTS: Various effects, synths and Mesa Maverick 1 x 12.
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#20 User is offline   Parabar 

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:37 PM

View PostPin, on 12 March 2018 - 03:06 PM, said:

That Karera is one very nice guitar indeed. I particularly like the inlays going all the way up the neck like (IMO) they should do.

I would have been surprised that Maksumoto used photo-flame but I'm very pleased to hear it confirmed from people who know better than me that they didn't and don't.


It's a really fun guitar to play. The action is even and smooth, and the pickups are brighter and crisper than the humbuckers I have on similar guitars --- somewhere between a typical Gibson/Epiphone humbucker and a Gretsch Filtertron. It's even nicer because it only cost $275 brand new with hardshell case. A pawn shop in the midwest had several of them on eBay a few years ago --- for that price I took a chance and I'm glad I did.
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