I worked for Brian Moore Guitars for many years. During that time, I became friends with some of the people who worked there, and became great friends with a guy named Ryan. We had gone to the same guitar school and were living in the same apartment complex, so jamming was a regular thing. I was playing a PRS at the time and he had the heaviest Les Paul Custom I had ever played. After years of friendship, and leaving behind the memories of his great talent, humor, and style, Ryan passed away.
One of the unfortunate tasks we had to complete was cleaning out his apartment. Tucked away with his guitars was a beautiful piece of Canadian Red Cedar that he had brought with him from guitar school. I had built a Brian Moore for myself, but it wasn't quite me. This time I was determined to make something truly exceptional. With Ryan's top being a little different than the quilted maple tops that Brian Moore's are famous for, I went in a new direction.
This was to be the everything guitar. One guitar to rule them all. I wanted a guitar that could play a jazz gig one night and a metal gig the next. I came up with this -
Ryan's Canadian Red Spruce top, a one-piece mahogany back and a Hawaiian Koa neck joint cap were used on the body. It's convex on top, flat on the back, and hollowed out everywhere except for under the bridge and pickups where a solid block was needed. A mahogany neck, with a hand-picked Brazilian Rosewood fret board, bound in Hawaiian Koa complete the basic construction of the neck. Later, a matching cedar head stock cap and quilted maple scroll spiffed up the look of the head stock.
The frets are Dunlop 6105's, and the fret board has a compound radius. The guitar is wired with Piezo for acoustic tones, and originally had two Benedetto pickups. After a couple of years, I replaced the bridge Benedetto with a Jeff Beck Humbucker (the most awesomest pickup that ever was) to give the guitar a bit more aggressive range. The pickups are controlled with a 5-way mega-switch, and the Piezo is engaged by pulling the push/pull switch. The Piezo can be blended or run parallel via a mono/stereo output jack.
The body and neck are satin finished and the rosewood fret board is gloss finished. This is great because.... well, for starters, it's different. Bodies are usually polished to a high gloss, while satin finishes can only become glossy by way of thousands of hours of playing. Rosewood fret boards are not usually finished because the finish can wear over time, but this was just what I wanted.
I've been playing this guitar for over 10 years and there have been wonderful changes. The fret board shows the wear of a million notes. The guitar body is now hand-rubbed to a high gloss, but only in the places where the guitar is used most. It's a great reminder of the years gone by, the music I've made, and the friends who shared the journey.