Discussion:
Robert Mattingly Guitars
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n***@gmail.com
2014-10-26 17:09:11 UTC
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I was fortunate enough to hang around World of Strings in the early '70s when I got out of the Navy and was living in Long Beach. Bob Mattingly was both a superb craftsman and a gracious host to anyone visiting his shop. Bob studied the physics of musical instruments, and applied his knowledge to the instruments--both guitars and lutes--that he made, which is why they sound and play so superbly. I had the great good fortune one day to have him explain why lutes had fallen out of favor (compared to guitars, they were quiet), and then have him pick up and play one of his lutes. Built to his own design based on his studies, that thing had all the power and volume of a quality 12-string guitar--perhaps more. Bob made, if I recall correctly, about 25 instruments a year, and all were lovingly made. I did some black and white photography of him in the shop and presented him with a couple of 16 x 20 prints. In return, he replaced the original, worn-out tuners on my 1964 Martin 00-21NY (which had made a couple of deployments to Vietnam with me), gratis. Those tuners are still in place and are a wonderful reminder, every time I pick it up (these days I usually have to pry it out of my wife's hands!), of a warm and gracious man and an amazing craftsman.

John Snyder
hank alrich
2014-10-27 04:46:41 UTC
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Post by n***@gmail.com
I was fortunate enough to hang around World of Strings in the early '70s
when I got out of the Navy and was living in Long Beach. Bob Mattingly was
both a superb craftsman and a gracious host to anyone visiting his shop.
Bob studied the physics of musical instruments, and applied his knowledge
to the instruments--both guitars and lutes--that he made, which is why
they sound and play so superbly. I had the great good fortune one day to
have him explain why lutes had fallen out of favor (compared to guitars,
they were quiet), and then have him pick up and play one of his lutes.
Built to his own design based on his studies, that thing had all the power
and volume of a quality 12-string guitar--perhaps more. Bob made, if I
recall correctly, about 25 instruments a year, and all were lovingly made.
I did some black and white photography of him in the shop and presented
him with a couple of 16 x 20 prints. In return, he replaced the original,
worn-out tuners on my 1964 Martin 00-21NY (which had made a couple of
deployments to Vietnam with me), gratis. Those tuners are still in place
and are a wonderful reminder, every time I pick it up (these days I
usually have to pry it out of my wife's hands!), of a warm and gracious
man and an amazing craftsman.
John Snyder
There is an R L Mattingly hanging for sale at Luke Wilson's Wolf Note
Studios in Nevada City CA. Seems quite a nice instrument.
--
shut up and play your guitar * HankAlrich.Com
HankandShaidriMusic.Com
YouTube.Com/WalkinayMusic
a***@gmail.com
2018-01-10 07:10:09 UTC
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Can anyone give me some general info on Robert Mattingly and his
guitars. I am looking into an older one built in the early 1980's.
Thanks.
I knew Bob from the very early 60's while stationed with him aboard the USS Frontier AD-25. While deployed to Hawaii he would spend most all of his off duty time in the Ford Island base wood shop building guitars. Always a very gracious guy willing to talk guitars as he worked and even occasionally play when asked. Very sorry to hear of his passing.
t***@gmail.com
2020-08-18 04:56:16 UTC
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I met Bob at the wood shop on Ford Island in '63 when he was headed home aboard the USS Frontier. He was building a card table, a gift for his wife. We became fast friends and he even taught me some basic CG. He took a liking to my Sony reel to reel recorder and offered to trade me his #14 for it. I quickly agreed and still have it today. He was a great artist/craftsman and a pretty doggone generous and wonderful guy. I was shaken when I learned of his untimely death. Nobody knows of the debilitating pain the of RA, but one who has it.
Did Bob ever tell you how he came to build his first payable guitar?
dsi1
2018-01-11 02:06:56 UTC
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My guitar teacher owned (and still owns I hope) Mattinglys, all of which
are strangely characterized by the use of red and green in the rosette.
They are wonderful sounding guitars. His "working" model had a naturally
aged shimmering spruce top the equal of which I've yet to see. I had on
occasion played it and it seemed very warm, rich, and quick. By quick I
mean both the action and the way the sound projects off the soundboard.
When playing arpeggios the notes are distinct yet finely intermeshed
without causing any strange harmonics. They are awesome instruments. I
think the one my teacher brought to work everyday should now be about 18
years old.If you could somehow not hear the attack you would think you
were listening to a bowed string instrument.
Kuan
Hi Kuan! Just in case you're still around and not dead, I have to say that you're the first guy I've heard that has described a top as "shimmering." I too have seen this effect - little fleck of color sparkling off the top. It's a most wondrous sight to behold but nobody else seems to have observed it. Shit, I'll probably die without any explanation of the physics of this phenomenon.
o***@gmail.com
2020-03-03 09:39:17 UTC
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Robert was a friend of my sisters and gave her a 1971, #99, Brazilian rosewood back but the sides look different and the front and neck are of different wood as well. My sister died in 1982 in a car accident and I have been blessed to play this instrument. If anyone could just help me with how much it might be worth I’d be ever so happy. It’s in its original case from World of Strings and had his label, seal and signature. Thank you. Robin
Gerry
2020-03-03 17:20:30 UTC
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Post by o***@gmail.com
Robert was a friend of my sisters and gave her a 1971, #99, Brazilian
rosewood back but the sides look different and the front and neck are
of different wood as well. My sister died in 1982 in a car accident and
I have been blessed to play this instrument. If anyone could just help
me with how much it might be worth I’d be ever so happy. It’s in its
original case from World of Strings and had his label, seal and
signature. Thank you. Robin
I don't know anything about this guitar but the guys at guitarsalon.com
(877-771-4321) might be able to give you a rough idea.

https://www.guitarsalon.com/store/blog/?p=9066
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