Shiro Arai's early Guyatone produced guitars displayed problems when exported caused by the dryer climates in America: bindings became unglued, backs split, and necks broke just below the headstock.These issues were addressed early on with Matsumoku.At the time, Guyatone was one of Japan's leading musical instrument manufacturers.However, Guyatone could not meet Arai's production requirements, and in 1964, Arai and Company contracted musical instrument manufacturing with Matsumoku.The solution was to use wood that had been dried for at least two years, stronger glues with longer clamp times, and one feature that remained throughout Matsumoku's production: the 3 piece maple neck.
Matsumoto Musical Instrument Manufacturers Association is also the name of a musical instrument manufacturing cooperative, headed by Gotoh.) In 1951, Matsumoku was founded as Matsumoto Mokko ("Matsumoto Woodworking Company") by Mr. It was a family-owned woodworking business that specialized in building tansu cabinets and butsudan.
Matsumoku produced guitars, or parts of guitars, for Vox, Guyatone, Fuji Gen Gakki, Kanda Shokai (Greco), Hoshino Gakki (Ibanez), Nippon Gakki (Yamaha), Aria and Norlin (parent company of Gibson). Penney sold Matsumoku-built Skylark guitars through its catalog division.
American owned Unicord contracted Matsumoku to build most of its Univox and Westbury guitars. Louis Music Company imported Matsumoku built Electra Guitars. Matsumoku built many early Greco guitars as well as Memphis, Vantage, Westbury, Westminster, Cutler, Lyle and Fell.
Even so, 60% of the construction process was still done by hand, including planing, fretting, joining, and assembly.
This machine-cut yet hand-worked process offered improved profit margins at lower unit prices and yielded high quality instruments with unique character.