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.