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Powys-based luthier and airline pilot Neil Morgan is a regular contributor to the MusicRadar forums. In his previous incarnation, Morgan Custom Guitars, Neil specialised in finely-crafted instruments with classic stylings that garnered a cult following and soon saw a long waiting list develop due to the sheer volume of custom orders.
2010 sees Neil rebrand with the launch of Morgan Guitar Works and the Bird Of Prey; a futuristic V-shaped instrument that has already found some very famous fans. Across the following pages, we take a look at the Bird Of Prey and find out how one found its way into the hands of Mastodon riffmeister Bill Kelliher. In addition, we get the inside story on how Morgan Guitar Works came about...
"As Morgan Custom Guitars I got to design and build a lot of very highly spec'd unique custom guitars using exotic woods and finishes," Neil explains. "[This was] very exciting and rewarding but each one was effectively a prototype requiring a lot of test set ups and proof of concept mini-builds which ultimately took a lot of time, required multiple suppliers and a lot of stock holding for the size of the endeavour at hand.
"This in turn led to a huge backlog of several years which whilst I was obviously happy at attracting the customers, meant I spent a lot of time communicating with them and managing their expectations and frustrations at such long lead times. I also believed that you can only truly refine a design by building multiples thereof."
The Bird Of Prey also seems to hint at a love for all things rock: "I work to music, all the time I'm in the workshop the music is playing, I can't always hear it but it's there. It's loud and hard, some classic rock but mostly hard rock and metal. This is where my heart lies and where I'd like to my instruments to make their music."