Moniker Dixie Solid
Price: $849 (base)
Moniker Guitars recently launched a line of customizable electric guitars that players design using an online configurator.
Customizing a Moniker begins with selecting among three body types: the LP-style Reedsdale, Tele-style Dixie, or Jaguar-style Zuma (all in alder and available as semi or solid). From there, options such as finish, graphics, pickups, and hardware are selected using a clickable palette, and Moniker fields personal requests via e-mail. Beyond tuner and pickup choices, options are essentially aesthetic; buyers can choose between a maple or rosewood fingerboard, for example, but there are no options for neck profiles, fretwire gauge, or nut material. This may be a downside for those seeking true custom-shop flexibility, but let’s face it – the majority of players aren’t seeking deep-tissue customization.
VG opted for a Moniker T-style Dixie solidbody in Electric Blue finish with maple fingerboard, a surf-themed pickguard, pearl-capped black Volume and Tone knobs, and chrome for the bridge-pickup surround, control plate, and Schaller locking tuners. Moniker-branded humbucker and single-coil models are standard, but we chose a pair of Seymour Duncan Vintage single-coils at an upcharge.
Moniker made good on its advertised promise of a four-week turnaround, and the finish and workmanship were pristine, the parts of high quality. The 24.75″ scale-length neck was a solid handful: C-shaped, 111/16″ at the graphite nut, 22 frets, and bolted on through a four-screw backplate. The back of the neck had the same glossy finish as the body, which made for a nice, soft feel in the palm.
With a small tweak of the truss rod, the Dixie’s action could be set low without producing fret buzz or creating dead spots; it’s not a lightning-fast neck, but comfortable for light lead work, and full six-string chords were easily fretted all the way up to 12th position. It took just a little muscle to get some edge and that signature Tele spank from the moderate-output Duncan single-coils, which was consistent with Moniker’s description of a pickup set with Broadcaster-like tones – slightly snarly leads from the bridge pickup, and warm lows/mids topped by airy highs from the neck.
Moniker is all about enabling players to make a dream design real and putting it in their hands at a reasonable price. They stamp the company name on the back of the headstock and hand-write the serial number “1/1,” making it official that the guitar you’ve designed is one of a kind.
This article originally appeared in VG April 2014 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.