Before I write another word, I need to say … this is a positive story. I love my Moniker Guitars custom Reedsdale guitar. I wish I had an opportunity to order another guitar from Moniker Guitars. Sadly, I can’t. Nobody can. Moniker Guitars is no more. This makes me lucky—I already have one.
Having said that, there’s a part of my Moniker Guitars custom Reedsdale story that I’ve never shared with anybody. Mostly because there’s never been a reason to share this story. Recently though, I was feeling nostalgic and decided to return my custom Reedsdale to its original form.
To my knowledge, nobody ever noticed a few little changes that my custom Reedsdale went through in its early days. They were subtle changes and they were implemented with total cooperation with the staff at Moniker Guitars.
There’s a subtle hint in the image above. It’s a lot more obvious in the image below.
I ended up with two necks for my custom Reedsdale from Moniker Guitars.
The first neck had imperfections and the team at Moniker Guitars provided me with a replacement neck free of charge as soon as they became aware of the imperfections.
The neck felt amazing and the setup was perfect for me. This was never a problem. The imperfections were all purely cosmetic.
It seems that during transit from one hemisphere to another, the machine heads became insanely tight and the paint finish developed fracture lines on the headstock—you can see these in the images above and below. It was the only negative to an otherwise ecstatic experience for me.
Moniker Guitars shipped a replacement neck as soon as they could and there were no questions asked. At no stage was I ever asked to not mention this by the way. It was simply never relevant.
One of the reasons I decided to put the original neck back on the guitar was the slight difference in the paint colour in the two necks. The original paint finish was aging on the neck at the same rate as the body was—which makes sense as they were painted together.
I have a feeling that the paint process was being perfected in the early days of Moniker Guitars and the paint finishes were becoming slower to fade. I prefer the quick aging process the original finish is experiencing.
Another reason for the change was the nut colour. The original was black. This was one of the subtle changes that nobody seemed to pick up on in the many photos I shared on my Instagram channel over the years.
There were also slight differences in the branding applied to the back of the headstocks on the two necks. The original neck only had the 1/1 written on the neck—see above image.
Having a guitar that is 1/1 will never get old for me.
Another thing I loved on the original neck was the way my name—the Scarebear handle that is—was written with the date of the guitar’s manufacture. If I hadn’t received a replacement neck, I probably would never have seen this.
The same is true for the neck cavity in the guitar body. I am assuming that my guitar build was the 68th for Moniker Guitars. That’s cool if true.
The immature person inside me wishes I had guitar 69.
One other thing that was better on the original neck was the nut height. The replacement neck was a fraction too high in the nut. I could have fixed that easily, but I never got around to it. Still, the black nut is just more my style.
Knowing that there won’t be any more Moniker Guitars, I wanted to return my guitar to its original form. It’s imperfect. So am I. It’s aging just as I am.
I’d not realised it until recently, but it’s an unintentional bonus the original neck held for me. The paint finish fracture lines look like a perect match for the font I’d chosen for the headstock branding as well as the word Scarebear on the back of the neck.
The guitar looks well played and it looks like it’s meant to be played. Both of these are already very true today.
The spiral design is still one I love and having the original neck back in place makes me happier than an attempt at cosmetic perfection. I could have kept the replacement neck on. I could have improved the nut height. I could have kept this story to myself. But the story is one of positivity and nostalgia for me.
The folks at Moniker Guitars were absolute legends. They cared about what they were producing and they genuinely wanted their clients to be happy and satisfied in the knowledge that they were spending money wisely on a custom guitar build. I certainly felt that way.
Secondly, my custom Reedsdale is a perfect fit for me. It always has been. It plays beautifully and it looks exactly as I’d dreamed it would when I first came up with the design on the Moniker Guitars online guitar customiser.
It now looks road worn. Not because I paid for it to look like that, but because it’s aged naturally and it has its own battle scars from its time in the depths of the international courier system.
I’d have it no other way now. This guitar will be with me for a long time to come.