’94 Brian Moore MC/1

Brian Moore was Ned Steinberger’s right hand man, reportedly in charge of the moulding of the graphite resin parts. He broke away in the early 90’s and started making his own line of high-end guitars, launching with the MC1.

It’s clever because it uses a single carbon fibre/resin ‘monocoque’ floorpan, to which the headstock facing, fingerboard and exotic wood body front are all attached, creating a chambered, curved and very modern-looking solidbody guitar. It also has an innovative jack socket bevelled into an inconspicuous point high on the rear of the body at a very cable-friendly angle. Truss rod adjustment at the neck heel is also innovative, though regrettably rather less effective.

It seems that the company had a tough time in its early years – the instruments were very expensive considering their apparent ease of manufacture and their quite radical design didn’t seem to appeal to players, a notoriously conservative lot. I had the tone control modified before shipping so that the factory-fitted Seymour Duncan Hot Rails pickups in the neck and middle positions could be coil-tapped. These, and the JB humbucker by the bridge, offer a wide array of useful sounds. I recall the original frets being very high and sharp, so I had them dressed, which improved playability considerably.

The company lowered its sights, introducing models with bolt-on necks, less fancy woods and apparently less fibre/resin. Some time later, it seemed to find its feet again in the synth-ready and midi-equipped markets also well-exploited by Canada’s Godin Guitars.

All the earliest examples were hand signed by the maker, and this is a very early serial number, hardly into three figures. It was one of the first batch of five to be brought into the UK by Cranes Music of Cardiff, and one of only two hardtails.

The instrument feels quite different to conventional wooden instruments and sounds quite plinky when played unplugged. It only comes into its own at volume, when it can sing. It seems to want to play fusion styles. Looks are subjective, but I think it is distinctive and modern. It’s a fine piece of quilted maple too, and quite lightweight – comfortable for extended play.

4 Responses to ’94 Brian Moore MC/1

  1. Jay Wallace says:

    Hello,
    Is the MC1 For Sale?
    What is your Best Purchase Price for this MC1?

    I have owned quite a few MC1’s, MC1P’s and MC1.13’s. I currently only own one. A Quilted Copper Top MC1P, Ebony Fretboard with all Black Hardware HSH configuration with Passive EMG’s! She was my first and I will always have her.

  2. Rockbeare says:

    Sorry, not for sale!

  3. Rockbeare says:

    This really useful input just in via email from Frank :

    Hi,
    I made some research and found out the answer to my question, so I thought you might be interested in knowing about it.
    As you must already know, all the ones below serial 200 are constructed like a archtop guitar, the body is hollow and the the top is glued over the composite body.
    To remove the single coil pickups which are mounted from the inside, you have to first remove the bridge humbucker and then you will have an opening to access the inside of the body…
    If your guitar had a tremolo, you would then have access to the springs, etc.
    Although it’s a bit more trouble, I personnally find this a very neat and clever feature!
    Cheers!
    Frank

  4. Ken Fox says:

    I have an early MC/1 that I bought new but never play. I’m considering selling, or trade for other US guitar. Mine is #329. It’s natural (maybe slightly amber tint) quilt maple with ebony f’brd. It has 2 Seymour Duncans, JB at bridge & AH at neck, coil tapped for wide tonal range. Black hardware including Sperzel tuners and Wilkinson trem. It’s in excellent condition. I love the look, weight, sounds of this superb instrument. However, I’ve never got on with the flattish finger-board. I prefer my 7 1/4″ radius Telecaster and 9 1/2″ hardtail Strat. I don’t like vibratos either So the MC/1 is rarely used. And probably never will be. I’m building my own guitars now and may sell off the MC/1 to make room.

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