Price paid: $ 850
Purchased from: MonikerGuitars.com
Sound — 9
I play both lead and rhythm. Mostly classic rock/jam style music. This guitar is so versatile that It is the only axe I need to bring to gigs where we play 3 hour sets consisting of originals and covers (everything from Allman Brothers to Phish). The tone knobs in this guitar are full range, you don't have a "Sweet spot" between the ice pick bright and mud (as I have found in sooo many guitars over the years. These guys use quality components. I actually got curious and opened up the control cavity cover and saw they use Sprague Orange Trop capacitors!
Overall Impression — 9
It really is great to see younger guys breathing some new life and technology into the stagnant guitar world. Their interactive website allows you to design your own guitar. My guitar arrived almost 4 weeks to the day after I placed the order through their website. My favorite feature is that I designed my own custom signature guitar and it only cost me $850. The finish they use it BETTER than both of my Gibson Les Pauls and Fender Jaguar. These things are beautiful and could easily sell for and rival $1, 500+. I love this company because they are the only company out there that allows you to graphically design your guitar online and have it built in the US within month! If you want your name on the headstock they will put your name on it (I'd like to see Fender or Gibson do that!) The only option I wish they offered was hollowbodies. At ACL they said hollowbodies were in development and would be released in early 2013. If they do release these, I think I may beed to get myself another Moniker, this time a Semihollow Dixie.
Reliability & Durability — 9
I play this guitar live at clubs/bars 2-3 times a week and its my go-to guitar (my only "backup" is a Baritone that I use on a few songs). Again, this has such a wide tonal range and all you really need. These are hand build in Austin, TX but very qualified guys. I met the two owners at their booth at this past Austin City Limits festival. Their entire team is very knowledgeable, enthusiastic and experienced. The components are all very solid, I opted for a mix of gold and chrome hardware and again due to the function of their site I was able to mix and match these to create a real custom look.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
This guitar came setup perfect, including a great fretjob, polished and played very smooth. The only flaw was that one of the tuner nuts had either not been fully tightened down or became loose when I was changing strings for the first time. This was easily rectified my hand tightening it then using a pair of pliers to get it snug. All pots were clean sounding and the 3 way toggle switched between setting without the "clicking" noise associated with cheap toggles. The guitar came setup with low action. No fretbuzz, and just a touch of relief in the neck.
Features — 10
- Made: 2012 - Body: Alder - Neck: 22 frets, 24/74" scale, Maple Fretboard - Finish: Metalic Green paint on body, metallic black on neck/headstock - Body Style: Reedsdale, based off Les Paul - Tune-O-matic bridge, stoptail piece - 3 way toggle switch, master volume, one tone control for each pickup - Pickups: Moniker brand humbuckers (These BLEW ME AWAY) for "stock" pickups these sound amazing and feature Alnico 5 magnets. The guitar came with a featherlight case, which was a hard formed foam case (they were running a special where it came free with purchase).