Michi Matsuda Guitars

See an interview with Michi on the review pages of this website.

Michi Matsuda moved from Tokyo to the US in 1997 to study at the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery. When he graduated he was chosen to apprentice with Ervin Somogyi. After three years with Ervin he studied guitar repair with Frank Ford of Gryphon Stringed Instruments.

In 2002 Michi opened his own workshop in Oakland California where he builds his outstanding and original guitars. He says;

“Pairing traditional woodworking skills with an innovative sense of design and construction, I build around ten to twelve guitars each year. I strive to make instruments that integrate fine materials with organic shapes and graceful lines. Each of my guitars is unique, personal, and individual, even if it is one of my basic models The guitar is the tool of the performer. Good guitars enable anybody to express themselves musically and artistically. But I start to think that guitars are not just the tool to make music, they are more than that. In the process of making the guitar, the wood becomes a musical instrument. I am the person who puts the voice into the guitar, and with my creative visual and sonic design choices, I am expressing myself artistically as well. My custom instruments not only meet the technical needs of the player; they are also personal creative works from my imagination.”




  1. Trevor's Visit to Michi Matsuda's Workshop.

    Trevor's Visit to Michi Matsuda's Workshop.

    After my visit to the Healdsburg guitar festival I was honoured to visit Michi in his workshop and become his representative in Europe. I spoke to many well established and up and coming luthiers at the festival, there was more excitement about the Michi’s work than anybody else. The guitar that Michi is shown holding with the extended bass E is our first Matsuda guitar, see below.



    I am working on a new design with him inspired by a photo he showed me with Malaysian a blackwood back with a sapwood center stripe. The intention is to continue the stripe all round the guitar with a vertical black sunburst on the top, light center strip in the fretboard and a rosewood/maple/rosewood neck. We will be creating it in two dimensions in the next few weeks… Ervin Somogyi dubbed it the skunk so we are thinking of adding a pungent aroma, that way I might get to keep it! (Due to an operation a few years ago I have no sense of smell).


    Trevor's Visit to Michi Matsuda's Workshop.Trevor's Visit to Michi Matsuda's Workshop.Trevor's Visit to Michi Matsuda's Workshop.
    Trevor's Visit to Michi Matsuda's Workshop.Trevor's Visit to Michi Matsuda's Workshop.

  2. Matsuda Mini African Blackwood

    Matsuda Mini African Blackwood

    Out of stock
    Wow! Michi applies the magic once again.

    I'm almost lost for words with this beauty. It has all Michi's usual touches, an incredible headstock and backplate, the rosette design that he pioneered and a sculpted heal for both thumb and fingers.

    The tone is sublime. It has a luxurious warmth and depth with rich overtones and fantastic balance and projection. The trebles are as fat, full and clear as every other note. It plays like the small guitar that it is but performs like a much bigger one responding equally well to to a light touch or a more enthusiastic style.

    • Italian spruce top
    • African blackwood back and sides
    • 14 frets to the body
    • 24 ¾”scale
    • 1 ¾” nut width
    • 2 ¼” string spacing at saddle
    • 12 7/8” lower bout
    • Mahogany neck
    • Rosewood bindings
    • African Blackwood headstock veneer
    • Wenge rear headstock veneer
    • No position markers (with side dots)
    • Custom fragmented rosette
    • Ebony fretboard
    • Ebony bridge
    • Gotoh tuners
    • Custom tuner buttons
    • Bone nut and saddle
    • Ebony bridge pins
    • No pickguard
    • Custom Cedar Creek case

    Matsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African Blackwood
    Matsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African Blackwood
    Matsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African Blackwood
    Matsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African BlackwoodMatsuda Mini African Blackwood
  3. Matsuda M1 'Skunk'

    Matsuda M1 'Skunk'

    Out of stock

    Matsuda M1 Skunk from acoustic music co on Vimeo.



    Michi now has a waiting list of over 2 years. If this guitar was ordered now it would be over £17000.

    Conceived in Michi's workshop after Healdsburg 2009, its here. If ever there was a worthwhile wait this is it. We had a mad hour swapping ideas and Michi showed me an African Blackwood guitar with a very straight sapwood stripe on the back and it occurred to me to continue the stripe around the whole guitar.

    After discussing the concept with Michi and talking about it with Ervin Somogyi he christened it the skunk. Its hard to put my excitement into words, this is a unique and wonderful guitar.

    It has the classic African Blackwood tone, very vibrant with strong, well defined bass and clear, ringing trebles and a full well balanced mid range.

    • European spruce top
    • African Blackwood back and sides
    • 14 frets to the body
    • 25 ¼” scale
    • 1 ¾” nut width
    • 2 ¼” string spacing at saddle
    • 15 ½” lower bout
    • Mahogany neck
    • Sharp cutaway
    • Maple/black/maple top border
    • African Blackwood bindings
    • Ebony with birdseye maple headstock veneer
    • Birdseye rear headstock veneer
    • No position markers (with side dots)
    • Birdseye maple rosette
    • Birdseye and ebony maple fretboard
    • Ebony bridge
    • Gotoh 1:18 tuners
    • Black chrome tuner buttons
    • Bone nut and saddle
    • No pickguard
    • Galalith bridge pins
    • TKL case

    Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'
    Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'
    Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'
    Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'Matsuda M1 'Skunk'
  4. Matsuda M1 custom extended bass USED

    Matsuda M1 custom extended bass USED

    Out of stock
    One of my favourite guitars ever, the owner traded it for another Matsuda due to his changed tone preferences. To order this now from Michi would take two years and cost over £15000.

    Wow! This is the kind of innovation that is getting recognition. Michi is an inspiring luthier, if you think it looks good you should hear it. I often talk of how a great luthier can combine definition/clarity and complexity, this amazing guitar takes it to another level.

    The base side of the fretboard has a 2 1/8” ; 2 fret extension, with built in spring loaded capo for the first fret. This gives endless opportunities for dropped tunings.


    Please click to listen:


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    • Italian spruce top
    • Wenge back and sides
    • 25 ¼ / 28 3/8” scale
    • 1 3/4" nut width
    • 2 ¼" string spacing at saddle
    • 15 ½" lower bout
    • Ebony headstock veneer
    • Myrtle rear headstock veneer (treble side)
    • Rosewood bindings
    • Abalone partial rosette
    • Bone scalloped nut
    • Bone saddle
    • Ebony/cocobolo fretboard
    • Wenge bridge
    • Abalone inlaid logo
    • Abalone dot position markers
    • Sperzel tuners
    • No pickguard
    • TKL American Vintage series case

    Matsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USED
    Matsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USED
    Matsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USED
    Matsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USEDMatsuda M1 custom extended bass USED
  5. Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011

    Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED 2011

    Out of stock
    Words fail me at Michi's artistry. This beauty comes with lots of special features, from the stunning headstock design to the heel and recess, truly a work of art. And tone to match, its incredibly well balanced and rich with the warm and well defined bass you would expect from the very best cocobolo, full and complex mids and beautiful clear and strong trebles. The balance and projection across the tonal range is truly remarkable.

    • Sitka spruce top
    • Cocobolo back and sides
    • 14 frets to the body
    • 25 ¼” scale
    • 1 ¾” nut width
    • 2 ¼” string spacing at saddle
    • 15 ½” lower bout
    • Mahogany neck
    • Scalloped recess
    • Rosewood bindings
    • Unique custom headstock veneer
    • Rear headstock veneer
    • No position markers (with side dots)
    • Custom rosette
    • Back strip
    • Custom heel
    • Ebony fretboard
    • Ebony custom bridge
    • Gotoh super 510 tuners
    • Gold tuner buttons
    • Bone nut and saddle
    • Ebony bridge pins
    • No pickguard
    • TKL case

    Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011
    Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011
    Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011
    Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011Matsuda Custom M1 cocobolo USED  2011
  6. Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED

    Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED

    Out of stock
    Spectacular Matsuda M1 made in 2004. In excellent condition with a top ding. To order this now would be over two years wait and about £15000.


    Please click to listen:



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    • European spruce top
    • African Blackwood back and sides
    • Mahogany neck
    • 25 3/8” scale
    • 1 3/4" nut width
    • 2 1/4" string spacing at saddle
    • 15 1/2" lower bout
    • Ebony headstock veneer
    • Ebony bindings
    • Custom unique rosette with spalted maple accents
    • Bone nut and saddle
    • Ebony fretboard
    • Wenge bridge
    • No fretboard position markers
    • Alessi tuners
    • Ebony bridge pins
    • No pickguard
    • Cedar Creek case

    Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED
    Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED
    Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED
    Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED Matsuda M1 custom African Blackwood USED
  7. Matsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USED

    Matsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USED

    Out of stock

    Matsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USED from acoustic music co on Vimeo.



    I'm lost for words. The work of a genius.

    Michi used a titanium truss rod on this guitar, he says it is the lightest instrument he has made. It is incredibly responsive with deep, warm and clear tone and has great balance with strong and well defined bass notes, rich and complex mids and full, clear trebles and the resonance of a bigger guitar. As I've said before it takes a master to combine qualities that would be either/or in lesser instruments. Built in 2010.


    • Sitka spruce top
    • Quilted sapele back and sides
    • 24.75” scale
    • 1 23/32" nut width
    • 2 ¼" string spacing at saddle
    • 14 5/16" lower bout
    • Titanium truss rod
    • Sculpted heel
    • African blackwood/Cocobolo headstock veneer
    • Rosewood bindings
    • Rosewood backstrip
    • Abalone rosette
    • Bone nut and saddle
    • Wenge fretboard
    • Wenge bridge
    • Maple/Cocobolo/Maple purflings
    • MOP/Abalone position markers
    • Waverly tuners
    • Ebony tuner buttons
    • Ebony bridge pins
    • No pickguard
    • Cedar Creek case

    Matsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USED
    Matsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USED
    Matsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USED
    Matsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USEDMatsuda M2 sitka/figured sapele USED

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