Customer Testimonials

Handmade Guitars

I make classical and acoustic steel string guitars and everything I do is about achieving the greatest sounding and playing guitars for you to make music.

To achieve this each guitar is individually handmade from tonewoods that I critically select with various processes to find the ideal balance in strength, weight and resonance relationships.

The models are based on designs of selected Master made Spanish and American models which I have encountered through my experience in guitar repair of 30 years

Tone is subjective though have found for guitars to be effective and convincing at expression they must excel at the following characteristics:

  • Clarity
  • Balance
  • Sustain
  • Colour
  • Dynamic range
  • Harmonically rich timbre
  • Adequate power

Fine tuning and adjusting resonances are part of an important process as the instrument first settles.

For optimum setup I calibrate each of my guitars to obtain even playability and accurate intonation over the entire fretboard that suits your technique

The Audio/video samples below help demonstrate the tonal qualities and colours I am able to achieve with these precious woods in the hands of some of Melbournes finest musicians.

Audio/Video samples https://www.youtube.com/user/matheasguitars

You are welcome to arrange a visit to listen, view and feel the difference for yourself,

Sincerely,

Jim Matheas

 

Photo Gallery 

  • Photo 1 of 50Matheas D Style Custom Cutaway Acoustic Guitar

    Sitka Spruce/Rosewood

  • Photo 2 of 50Matheas D Style Custom Acoustic Guitar w Cutaway

    Dovetailed Mahogany neck with bound Ebony fretboard and Abalone position dots

  • Photo 3 of 50Matheas D style Custom with Venetian Cutaway

    Rosewood binding with maple pinstripe purfling

  • Photo 4 of 50Matheas Custom Guitar

    Hand cut Abalone logo in Brazilian Rosewood

  • Photo 5 of 50Reinforced Mahogany Headstock

    Ebony buttons on Deluxe Gotoh tuners

  • Photo 6 of 50Custom neck shape

  • Photo 7 of 50Matheas Custom Cutaway Acoustic Guitar

    Pinless bridge and custom saddle with Feiten intonation system

  • Photo 8 of 50Feiten intonation on pinless bridge

  • Photo 9 of 50Matheas Custom Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

    Sitka Spruce/African Mahogany

  • Photo 10 of 50Matheas Custom Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

  • Photo 11 of 50Matheas Custom Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

  • Photo 12 of 50Matheas Custom Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

  • Photo 13 of 50Matheas Custom Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

    Recycled African Mahogany 100 years

  • Photo 14 of 50Matheas Custom Jumbo Acoustic Guitar

  • Photo 15 of 50Hand polishing Nitro cellulose finish

  • Photo 16 of 50Completed high gloss Nitro Cellulose finish

  • Photo 17 of 50Completed high gloss finish

  • Photo 18 of 50Matheas Concert Classical

    Rosewood/Cedar, French polished with shellac varnish

  • Photo 19 of 50Matheas Concert Classical

    Assisting in tone the French polished shellac varnish is 0.02mm (0.0008") thick.

  • Photo 20 of 50French Polishing process of Matheas Classical

  • Photo 21 of 50veneers for mosaics

    Satinbox and Ebony

  • Photo 22 of 50Bending Herringbone

  • Photo 23 of 50Making the Rosette

    Inlaying designs made from natural woods

  • Photo 24 of 50Completed Wheatsheaf rosette

    Holly,Maple,Rosewood,Jarrah

  • Photo 25 of 50Matheas Traditional Classical Rosette

    Rosewood, Holly,Silky Oak,Maple

  • Photo 26 of 50Matheas Spalted Rosette

    Ebony,Holly,Maple,Satinbox,Paduak,Spalted Blackwood

  • Photo 27 of 50Matheas Spalted Rosette

    Ebony,Holly,Maple,Satinbox,Paduak,Spalted Blackwood

  • Photo 28 of 50Matheas Spalted Rosette

    Ebony,Holly,Maple,Satinbox,Paduak,Spalted Blackwood

  • Photo 29 of 50Hide Glue, assisting in achieving tonal clarity

  • Photo 30 of 50Hand bending Rosewood waist on Jumbo model

  • Photo 31 of 50Installing side reinforcment on Jumbo Model

  • Photo 32 of 50Matheas Jumbo soundbox

  • Photo 33 of 50Installing end graft wedge

  • Photo 34 of 50Glueing Purflings

  • Photo 35 of 50Fretboard surfacing

  • Photo 36 of 50Fret milling with string tension simulation jig

  • Photo 37 of 50Highly figured Rosewood side set

    circa 1962 pre CITES

  • Photo 38 of 50Aged Rosewood circa 1962 pre CITES

  • Photo 39 of 50Rosewood Bridge Material

    Recycled from old table legs

  • Photo 40 of 50Mastergrade soundboards

    Splitting wedges for straightest grain longest fibres and increased strength

  • Photo 41 of 50Trade Mark Logo

  • Photo 42 of 50Headstock crown marked to be cut out

  • Photo 43 of 50Cedar Classical Guitar Neck

    Wedge cut to accept well fitting sides

  • Photo 44 of 50Glueing of struts

  • Photo 45 of 50Cedar struts layed out on Rosewood Back

  • Photo 46 of 50Classical sides scraped

  • Photo 47 of 50Matheas Classical soundbox showing fan strut layout

  • Photo 48 of 50soundbox ready to be assembled

  • Photo 49 of 50Classical soundbox

  • Photo 50 of 50Matheas Custom Electric Guitar

 

Acoustic Guitar Models

  •  Concert
  • D Style
  • J Style

Classical Guitar Models 

  •  Cocert in Cedar / Rosewood
  •  Concert in Spruce / Rosewood

 

Sample Specifications for my Acoustic & Classical guitars

Model D Style Acoustic Traditional Classical
Soundboard Sitka Spruce circa 1945 German Spruce circa 1970's
Back and Sides Rosewood 
Rosewood

Neck

Reinforced Mahogany Reinforced Cedar
Fretboard Ebony Ebony
Binding Rosewood with Maple line Rosewood with Maple line
Purfling Rosewood,satinbox holly & maple Rosewood,satinbox holly & maple
Rosette Individually made wheatsheaf Wheatsheaf and spalted blackwood
Fretwire * Stainless 2.6mm wide x 1.4mm tall German Silver 2mm wide x 1mm tall
Machine heads Gotoh 510 or Alessi custom made Alessi, Scheller or Gotoh
Case Hiscox Artist
Hiscox Artist or BAM Hightec



Bracing Modified X bracing Fan strutting
Bracing material Sitka, European or Adirondack Spruce
European spruce or Cedar
Adhesive Hot Hide Glue Hot Hide Glue
Finish Nitro Cellulose French polished varnish
Scale length 25.5 inch (647.7mm) 650mm
Neck width-Nut * 45mm 52mm
Neck width-12th
55mm 62mm
String spacing-Nut * 37mm 41mm
String S-Saddle *
57mm 60mm
Intonation settings

Pefect octave set at nut and saddle or Buzz Feiten System

Compensated fret spacing & perfect octave settings at nut and saddle

*For your preferred specification

Rosette

 Are individually made using wood like spalted blackwood, ebony, rosewood and satinbox, padauk and other precious materials like silver and pearl.

Options

Cutaway -  Pinless bridge - Personalised neck profile - Fretboard radius - String spacing at Nut & Bridge

Fretwire size and material

Soundboard; European spruce of  German - Italian - (FSC) Swiss origin

WR Cedar, Old 1940s Sitka spruce, Engelmann & Adirondack red spruce soundboards.

Back & side; Indian rosewood - 1960s Pre CITES rosewood - Mahogany - Cypress - European Maple - Wenge

Recycled tonewood is also used to make components including back and sides;

African Mahogany - Honduran mahogany - Rosewood - WR Cedar

Australian Woods incl. Blackwood - Red cedar - Cypress

 

 



Videos of Happy Customers