Ryoji Matsuoka was known as one of the great Japanese guitar-makers and entrepreneurs of the twentieth century. He brilliantly modified techniques and designs by Ramirez, Hauser, Kohno, and others to produce wonderful guitars under his own name as well as doing occasional work with Aria and other companies. From 1975 to 1980 the company produced their own lines of guitars: the Concert, Artist, and Artisan series.
In the late 1990s models M65 and M75 with Cedar tops were added to the production line, mostly with laminated back and sides. Please note that there have been frequent changes in specs and model numbers, especially after the mid-1980s.
Since 1986, the Matsuoka Company was managed by Ryoji’s son and also great luthier Toshiaki Matsuoka.
As far as I can determine, this RYOJI MATSUOKA M75 was made in 1991. This guitar’s label has the model number “M75” and includes the full serial number.
As a very informed seller of Japanese guitars has pointed out, “Calling this construction ‘laminates’ would actually be very incorrect and quite misleading. This genuine Japanese invention has really nothing in common with modern era cheap particle-board laminates. This construction is nothing but two solid wood plates glued together, hence in fact nothing but reinforced solid woods. Such plates perform no different from solid woods, don’t crack as easily, are much easier to work with, and allow for much lower prices of these instruments….[In fact,] guitars with backs and sides made from high grade Brazilian Rosewood laminates sound very close to guitars with solid Brazilian Rosewood.” And of course, this one cost thousands of dollars less.
This guitar is made based on a Ramirez blueprint with some modifications designed by Ryoji Matsuoka. The most important part of Matsuoka guitars is his original bracing of the soundboard, which greatly enhances the volume and the sound quality. This guitar has a very unique and rich sound, with clear trebles and deep basses, with excellent sustain and decent volume. It is definitely comparable with many guitar models available on the US market for prices ranging up to $5000.
The neck is apparently solid mahogany and the fingerboard appears to be Brazilian Rosewood (please see the photos). The neck is straight, and the action at the 12th fret low E is the classical standard 4/32.” Cosmetically, this guitar is in excellent players’ condition, but it is not perfect. Minor scrapes and such, but nothing really stands out, see the pics. The guitar is structurally great, and will be an excellent performer for decades to come, whether in the studio or in performance.
Please check out the pictures and ask any questions you might have before offering to buy it.