A Brief History of Brian Moore Guitars
1. Start up period
2. Custom Shop expansion period
3. iGuitar and i2000 expansion period
4. About the iGuitar
Start up period
Brian Moore Guitars was founded in June of 1992 by Patrick Cummings,
President, Brian Moore and Kevin Kalagher.
The first part of Brian Moore Guitars history begins in 1991, when Brian Moore, who was working as an assistant to Ned Steinberger, at Steinberger Sound, met Patrick Cummings, who was hired by Gibson Guitars, as General Manager of several Gibson divisions including Steinberger.
Brian Moore, a non-guitarist, had began at Steinberger several years earlier after completing his education Furniture Design. He began doing basic production work at Steinberger and gradually moved towards the 'manufacturing engineering' area of Steinberger, assisting Ned Steinberger in design and tooling projects.
Patrick Cummings was hired by Gibson Guitars in 1991 as General Manager of 'Gibson Labs' which included the Tobias, Oberheim and Impulse divisions as well as Steinberger. He is a skilled and versatile guitarist with a background in Electrical Engineering and Business Management.
The second part of Brian Moore Guitars history also occurs in 1991 when Patrick Cummings met Kevin Kalagher, who owned a successful commercial business in Connecticut who was doing printing work for Steinberger. In addition to being a successful businessman, Kevin Kalagher is also a serious musical instrument collector.After doing several printing projects for Steinberger, Kevin Kalagher approached Patrick Cummings and wanted to 'buy' the Steinberger division from Gibson. Gibson was not interested. Later, when Gibson moved Steinberger from New York to Nashville, Brian Moore did not want to make the move, he spoke with Patrick about a "design concept" for a guitar.
Patrick called Kevin Kalagher about a start up opportunity. The next day, Patrick, Kevin and Brian met and discussed the idea. Patrick wrote a business plan. Kevin agreed to provide the start up capital. In addition to funding the company, Kevin Kalagher is a creative driving force behind the many innovations at Brian Moore Guitars. He inspired Brian and Patrick to 'create something new' in the guitar industry while pushing the company towards the 'high end custom market'. He is constantly asking the question "Why not?" and always said "There are no rules."
The first year and half of the companies existence was spent in the R&D and experimental phase, testing different composite materials and wood combinations. The goal was to find the perfect balance between wood and composites for a completely new instrument. Much time was spent to develop the specialized tools, jigs, fixtures and production methods for manufacturing.
Custom Shop expansion period
The Company was originally conceived as a manufacturer of high end custom made electric guitars that blended the "strength and sustain" of advanced composite materials with "tone and beauty" of wood, specifically, highly figured wood tops.
The first instrument design was the MC/1, a joint design effort between Moore and Cummings, (hence the "MC" model name). Brian created an ergonomic neck thru 'form' made of advanced composite materials with a simple curved top. Kevin Kalagher continued to push the company towards the 'high end' guitar business. He encouraged to Patrick refine the design of the guitar for the most discriminating players. Only the highest figured tops were used and only using the finest components such as Seymour Duncan pickups, Sperzel tuners and Wilkinson vibratos. Other design refinements include the "innovative rear output jack" and "sculpted headstock".
After looking at a variety of guitars in the market, the original Brian Moore headstock design was lacking. After much discussion and experimentation, Patrick suggested to keep the original shape but 'create the illusion' of a different headstock by leaving a sculpted area of the natural wood showing on the face of the heartsick (just as it is done to create 'natural wood binding"). This resulted in the current trademark "sculpted" headstock design.
In September of 1993 the company tested their idea at a small guitar show in NYC. The original marketing plan was to sell direct to the consumer. The response from the players was great.
In October of 1993 the company attended a second guitar show in NYC. The response from the Dealers and International Distributors convinced them that they should change the business plan from selling direct to the customer and attend the NAMM show in California, setting up a USA Dealer and International Distributor Network.
The company was officially launched at the 1994 NAMM show and began to build their Dealer and Distributor network. In mid 1994 the company hired production manager and inlay specialist Ray Memmel. Ray has created many 'original' inlay designs that are available in the "Custom Shop".
By mid 1995, dealers, who liked the MC/1design, began asking for an "all wood version" at lower prices points. Most guitarists are still very traditional and prefer the tone of an all wood instrument.
The company introduced the "all wood bolt-on" C-Series guitars at the 1996
NAMM show. The C-Series echo many of the innovative designs including the "comfort contoured top", "sculpted headstock" and innovative output jack location. The C-Series guitars quickly became over 80% of the companies sales.
Late in 1996 the company introduced the RMC Piezo and Polydrive system. This 13pin system uses the piezo pickups as the MIDI or hex pickup for use with the Roland type 13 pin guitar synths. This was the beginning of the 'technology direction' for Brian Moore Guitars.The customer response to the models with Piezo and 13 pin technology was fantastic.
In January of 1997 Patrick Cummings teamed up with luthier and musician Tom Doyle, (longtime associate, luthier and sound engineer for the legendary Les Paul) to create the DC/1 model, an elegant single cutaway design that blended some of Toms' design ideas with the comfort contoured top and sculpted headstock.
Also in January 1997, Patrick Cummings teamed up with world famous bass designer Michael Tobias to create the TC/4 and TC/5 bass models. In addition, in 1997 Left handed models were introduced on the C-Series guitars at no extra cost.
The Custom Shop bodies and necks are cut out on CNC machines with very exacting tolerances. Each guitar hand is made from that point on "the old fashioned way", each wood top is hand picked and only the highest figured tops are used. They each receive a hand rubbed stain to enhance the wood grain and make it'pop'. Many hours are spent as the instruments are sprayed and sanded and buffed. There is a detailed checklist for each area of the production cycle specifically the final assembly and QC. areas. Each guitar receives a final setup including hand cutting the nut within 1/1000th of an inch for flawless intonation. Brian Moore has spent many years building their reputation for guitars that are set up and play incredibly well out of the box.
The "Custom Shop" continues to offer a wide variety of inlay guitars, "Fine Art" hand painted guitars, "Corporate Marketing" guitars and even "Special Graphic" designs.
As the company grew in 1998 and 1999, many retailers and customers who could not afford the custom shop guitar began to ask for a "more affordable or import" version of the Custom Shop designs.
The iGuitar and i2000 expansion period
The company continued to receive requests for a more affordable or import version of the Custom Shop designs.After evaluating samples from several Korean factories the company learned that there had been a lot of progress in the area of "precision manufacturing" and "quality control" on products manufactured in certain factories in Korea.
The company began to develop a vision of a truly versatile and affordable version of its' Custom Shop models with Piezo and 13pin capabilities.
The goal was to create a guitar with highly figured tops, excellent finishing and fret work, use 'real' Seymour Duncans, Sperzel tuners and target a price point at about 1/3 the price of Custom Shop guitars.
Patrick Cummings had a vision for the ultimate affordable 'technology based guitar' and thought "iGuitar" would be a great name. The company immediately filed for "iGuitar" trademark. (Many guitarists are still very traditional and shy away from guitars with technology. The iGuitar name seemed less threatening to the traditional guitarist, so they would be more likely to try one since it wasn't called the "MIDI-XYZ Guitar controller.) The company received the "iGuitar" trademark in USA, Japan and other countries. The affordable import guitars with piezo and 13pin capability would be called "iGuitar" or iGuitar.13. The standard models without piezo and 13pin would make up the rest of the i2000 Series.
Every i2000 and iGuitar include many of the features of the more expensive Custom Shop guitars including the "comfort contoured top", "sculpted headstock" and innovative rear output jack.The Seymour Duncan pickups are the pickups of choice and are the same as the Custom Shop models, neck: Alnico II humbucker, middle, Alnico II single, bridge, JB.
One of the major advantages of the i2000 series is very i2000 and iGuitar is inspected, set-up and shipped from the Brewster, NY, Custom Shop facility.
The i2000 Series begins with model i1.
The i1 is based on the original MC/1 design but is an all wood, neck thru design, 22 fret, HSH, with tremelo, ivoroid binding and gold hardware ($1495 list).
The i1f is the same as i1 but with Floyd rose trem and 24 frets.
The i2 is a single cutaway, set neck design, 22frets, tunomatic bridge, ivoroid binding and gold hardware ($1395 list).
The i2p is the as i2 but features the RMC piezo for true acoustic tone. ($1695 list)
Thr i2000 series features a four string bass model i4 ($1395 list) and five string bass model i5 ($1395 list). Both feature a 3 piece neck thru design, lightweight Ash body, 34" scale 24 fret neck and active electronics.
The i8 ($995 list) is the most affordable bolt-on in the i2000 series and include a 22 fret maple neck, HH. fixed bridge and chrome hardware.
The i8p is the same as i8 but features the RMC piezo for true acoustic tone. ($1295 list)
The i9 ($1195 list) is the top of the line bolt-on in the i2000 series and isbased on the Custom Shop model C-90, it includes a 22 fret maple neck, HSH,
standard trem and gold hardware.
The i9f is the same as i9 but with Floyd rose trem and 24 frets.
The i9p is the same as i9 but features the RMC piezo for true acoustic tone. ($1495 list)
The i9.7 is a 7 string version of the i9 ($1195 list) but with HH configuration and black hardware.
The iGuitar.5 models originally featured true 5 pin midi system manufacture by Midiaxe but they were discontinued due to supply problems from Virtual DSP the manufacturers of the Midiaxe system.
The iGuitar.13 models are by far the most popular and are available in the style of i2 as model iGuitar2.13 ($1695 list) and in the style of i8 as iGuitar8.13 ($1395 list).
Based on requests from many guitarists that were seeking an even more affordable 13pin type guitar, the company introduced model iGuitar88.13 ($1095 list) at the 2000 Nashville NAMM show. This model is the based on the 8.13 but has a plain mahogany or solid black top, standard tuning machines and import magnetic pickups. It is designed for the player who wants all three systems of magnetic, piezo and 13 pin but is on a limited budget and can do without the fancy figured wood top, Duncans and Sperzels.
On the business side of things, in December of 1999, the company hired music industry veteran Larry G. Volland as executive VP of worldwide sales and marketing, to launch the i2000 guitars at the 2000 LA NAMM show. Susi Cummings took over the operations and telemarketing effort. Several independent rep firms were appointed and the dealer base began to grow.
About the iGuitar
When asked what is the iGuitar all about, Patrick Cummings, Brian Moore president says, "We are putting guitar players back to work!" What is meant by this is, that with the iGuitar.13 models and latest Roland synths, guitarists now have all the tools they need to compete for the higher paying work in the music industry that was once only available to keyboard players. They can record keyboard sounds, strings, horns, flutes and a variety of other synth sounds and even blend them with the magnetic output and piezo acoustic outputs. It is an extremely versatile guitar and an extraordinary
These 'blended' sounds allow the guitarist to create new and interesting colors and even a unique voice to stand out in a world where many guitarists have the exact same tone.
We are bringing the guitarist into the modern digital recording studio. This includes writing and recording jingles, music for radio TV, cable and movie soundtracks. With the "iGuitar", one of the latest Roland synths (GR-33 etc), guitarists can control any MIDI studio. The only limits are your musical creativity and 'business persistence". Good luck!