Price paid: $ 950
Purchased from: www.monikerguitars.com
Features: Moniker Guitars is a custom guitar maker from Austin, TX. They're unique, because they give you the liberty to customize every aspect of the guitar straight from their site! You start by selecting a body. Then you choose from an array of paints for both the body, neck, and headstock and choose all the hardware you like. The site even gives you the ability to add text or upload a picture. The price of the guitar goes up depending on how much you customize it.
This particular guitar I ordered is beautiful and features:
- My custom design, built in 2012
- Alder wood body, painted Baby Blue & Agent Orange
- A maple wood neck, with 22 frets and beautiful action upon arrival
- Gold hardware, with Seymour Duncan Alnico II single coil pickups
- Pearl tip volume and tone knobs // 10
Sound: My playing consists of blues, and hard rock - with influences like Joe Walsh and Dave Gilmour. For this guitar, I wanted to get that nice Telecaster twang from the "Dixie" model Moniker offers. I tweaked it a little and gave it an maple fretboard. The pickup combination and the Alder body give this guitar a familiar sound with a unique playability.
The sustain on this guitar is impressive. When playing clean tones, I get beautiful fender-like sounds. When playing distortion, the tone range on the pickups allows me to dial in to any taste. This guitar will play "Hotel California", like it was meant to be played. There is very little hum for it being a single-coil, and it all depends on how much gain you use. Overall, I'm definitely impressed by the sound and would compare it to any top-dollar Telecaster. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was delivered 6 weeks after I ordered it. It arrived, packaged carefully, and ready to play. Although every new guitar needs a proper setup, this one only needed a minor tweak to intonate and adjust to my liking. The guitar paint was very accurate to the baby blue and agent Orange color's shown online. The finish is very nice, and vibrant. The neck is very smooth and the frets are easy to slide across. The nut was cut at a perfect height. All in all, this guitar was set up exceptionally well. // 10
Reliability & Durability: I have only owned this guitar for three months. I ordered this guitar with strap-locks, and they are built in well. I have no doubts that this guitar will be a dependable instrument for a live setting. The paint is brilliant, and the strings (I use .11's) fit comfortably on the guitar. I will give Moniker the benefit of the doubt that given the proper care and maintenance, this guitar will surely play well into my 80's. So, I'm awarding them a 10 here. // 10
Overall Impression: My intention for this custom guitar was to make it a soulful lead guitar. This guitar has a long sustain, and smooth playability. I'm tremendously impressed with the way it was built, and the condition in which it arrived in. I have been playing for eight years, and have owned four Les Paul's, and three Tele's. This Moniker ranks just as high for playability, and tone, but deserves its own praise for the design and paint job.
My recommendation to anyone is to check out this guitar maker's website, and simply play with designs. Take my word on the quality of this instrument: it is a dime. I'm glad to finally own a custom guitar that didn't force me to sell an organ... Although I would trade a kidney for another one of these. // 9