Brian Moore Guitars’ i2000 line of guitars offer some fantastic features and options, on instruments that have a unique feel and vibe while retaining certain vintage… uh… shall we say “properties?”
The mix of old and new includes classically inspired solidbody guitar shapes, but with a host of modern, updated twists, including midi/internet multi-pin connectors on some models. All are set apart by their contoured bodies and sculpted headstocks. And although they are imported from Korea, Moore’s specs – and the fact that every instrument is set up, inspected, and shipped from its stateside headquarters – eliminates from this guitar any negative element commonly associated with imports.
We took a test gallop with the i2p, a 243/4″-scale, single-cutaway Les Paul-style guitar. It features a three-piece mahogany set neck, figured maple top, RMC Piezo pickup, and a pair of Seymour Duncan humbuckers.
There is no single element of the i2p’s build and feature list that sets it apart from the majority of imported guitars. Rather, there are so many things that make you think “Can’t be an import.”
From a playing standpoint, its flat neck (slightly less chunky than most Les Pauls) has a slinky, broken-in feel, thanks mostly to its scale length, Elixir strings, and finely polished frets. And though the factory setup had super-low action, we experienced no choking-out whatsoever.
The contoured mahogany body (with figured maple top) looks dang cool from any angle, and helps keep the guitar’s weight down. Great access to the neck’s upper registers added to our all-around experience.
Unique to Brian Moore guitars is the backside-mounted recessed jackplate. At first glance, this is very cool feature. Practically speaking, it looks and works great, as long as you’re not using the new generation of all-in-one wireless transmitters.
Our test jaunt included running the i2p through a brand spankin’ new Bad Cat Wildcat amp, which is a versatile machine offering tones reminiscent of a Marshall combo, but with 6L6 power tubes (more on this next month). Plugged into the amp’s high-gain input, the guitar offered a nice, balanced overdrive with just enough bite and good note separation, likely due to the combination of pickups and the mahogany body.
Once in the mood to clean things up, we ran the Duncans through our Peavey Delta Blues amp, and considering that these are humbuckers, what we got was a quite bright, punchy set of tones. Granted, the coil-tapped pickups aided the effort…
The acoustic tone we set up through a 100-watt Peavey Ecoustic combo. It offered surprisingly good acoustic tone for a guitar with a metal bridge; glassy highs with nice, even mids and punchy low-end.
Though there is no separate tone control for the piezo, whatever RMC does to EQ its sound was wonderful. And the piezo signal can be blended with the Duncans.
If there’s a couple of nits we’d pick, they’d be that the separate volumes for the piezo and standard pickups make quick switches between the systems somewhat challenging, and the three-way switch will take some getting accustomed to, especially in regard to its position.
Still, the i2p’s fine points make it a great guitar, especially the outstanding fretwork, and acoustic/electric tone from the RMC piezo system. The high-quality woods, hardware, and electronics (including fully shielded cable in the control cavity) certainly add to the charm: the two-piece mahogany back on ours sported a beautifully straight match.
Brian Moore i2p
Type of guitar: Solidbody electric.
Features: Contoured body, scuplted headstock, set-neck construction, mahogany body, figured maple top, matching figured headstock, ivoroid binding, 22-fret, three-piece mahogany neck, Rosewood fingerboard, 24.75″ scale, 12″ radius, Seymour Duncan pickups, Sperzel tuners, tunomatic-style bridge with RMC Piezo.
Contact: Brian Moore Guitars, PO Box 540, LaGrangeville, NY 12540-0540, phone (845) 486-0744, www.brian mooreguitars.com.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s July ’02 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.