Price paid: $ 2000
Purchased from: Moniker
Features — 10
- 2013, Austin, TX USA - Solid Type - Semi-hollow Alder body, Maple Neck - Mint green body - Yellow pickguard - Les Paul style - Bigsby tremolo - Volume, tone, 3 way controls - Neck: Seymour Duncan Phat Cat - Bridge: Seymour Duncan SH-4 - Shaller Locking tuners - Can with a soft-side case
Sound — 10
I play all different styles of music and this guitar has been perfect for all. I play most often through a Fender Blues Jr, using a wide variety of pedals, but most often OCD, way huge swollen pickle. Has a great rich sound.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action and fit and finish are amazing. The attention to detail is evident.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is solid and I expect it to last a lifetime.
Overall Impression — 10
A trip to Moniker I Kickstarted the Moniker guitars semi-hollow body project in mid-April 2013. I selected the Guitar Building Class pledge level and flew out to Austin for a weekend in late August to assist in building my custom Moniker guitar. The details first: My guitar is a mint green semi-hollow Reedsdale (Les Paul shape) with Yellow pickguard, silver Bigsby tremolo, Rosewood Neck, Nickel Seymour Duncan Phat Cat (neck) and white Seymour Duncan SH-4 in the bridge. The guitar is both beautiful and plays amazing! The Phat Cat combined with the properties of the semi-hollow alder body create an amazingly rich tone and great sustain. Further, this is the first guitar that I have found myself drifting toward using both pickups at the same time. The mix of these two pickups makes a great sound with enough highs to be used on leads, but layering on the richness of the Phat Cat. Now on to why this guitar is amazing: The founders of Moniker Dave and Kevin are why this is such a great guitar. These guys have set out to make a totally custom guitar for an affordable price. What is refreshing is that they haven't gone back to the "This is just how it's done" well. From their selection in paint (developed for the Automotive Industry) to their choice of wood (alder), rather than take someone else's word for it or doing it the way that other manufactures do it, they are experimenting, drawing their own conclusions and pushing the envelope. Dave walked me through every step of the creation process. I wanted to help where I could, without impacting the quality of the final product. I sprayed the first two coats of paint, helped sand my guitar body, and sprayed the headstock logo. I learned a ton about the art of guitar building on the trip. It was definitely the amazing experience that I hoped for. These guys have hired or created relationships with a bunch of great guys to make sure that these guitars meet the expectations of the customer as well as their own expectations. This point is where I came away most impressed. I cannot tell you how many times I heard the phrase "This wouldn't really matter, but it's worth the extra 30 seconds"... These guys are tougher critics of their own work than I would ever be. The amount of time that my guitar was physically in someone's hands, manually having something done to it is another area that impressed me. No fewer than four other people over two full days worked on this guitar. Late on Sunday night, the guitar was finished. I was so giddy that every song, every riff that I ever knew fled my head. I noodled around a bit with a huge smile, but then it was time to give everyone else a try. Everyone still at the shop wanted to try out the final product. As a consumer that makes me happy, the fact that everyone was as excited to play the final product as I was. In short, buy a Moniker. You will have a one of a kind piece that plays amazing and is built by a great bunch of guys.