History/Memory Lane.


Master Member
Visted Thunder Road Guitars in Seattle yesterday. Came upon two very special specimens of history. These are two BC Rich guitars made in 1983, as per the hand stamped Serial Number designation. These are Neal Moser era instruments, as per several features. Neal and I are friends, so I texted these pics to him and we had some catching up with one another. Neal Moser worked at BC Rich guitars from 1974 to 1985, and these handmade instruments have some features that are unique to his involvement and creative input there. Neal designed the circuitry seen here, which includes a Baritone (multiple capacitor settings for the tone control) coil splits, phase, and 2 stages of boost. These were meant to be studio workhorses in an era where high gain amps were not yet the norm. Additionally, this era features at 1.5 degree neck angle to accommodate the Leo Quan bridge which sits up off of the surface of the body face. The neck is a one piece for the most part, with a scarf joint evident at the top of the headstock, and a veneer has been affixed to the face of the headstock. The top picture below is of the Eagle model, which in this specimen, features Neal's original fretwork as it left the factory in the San Fernando Valley of Southern California in 1983. I learned my fretwork techniques by Neal Moser and Ken Warmoth through many discussions over several years, and constant practice, and it's their fretwork techniques which have become normative for my own, which is what I am starting to get a reputation for in the Pacific Northwest. I owe that to these two gentlemen.

The Mockingbird picture, has had a refretting applied to it. "How do you know?" You might ask. Good question, here is the answer. Fret Sprout. Fret sprout occurs when an instrument built in a higher humidity environment departs and arrives to a lower humidity environment. The wood shrinks, and the fret end barbs get exposed "sprouting out" and then slices up your fingers as you run your hands up and down the neck. Ideally, guitars made in Southern California do not sprout when they enter the Pacific Northwest. Now, if this were vise versa, a guitar made in the Pacific Northwest, and then later shipped to Southern California, then this could occur. This particular Mockingbird had the re-fret done when the humid season was at its highest. It could stand to have the fret ends dressed further, and I would always recommend doing this in the summer time if the dressing is done in the Pacific Northwest.

Both of these specimens had their string action set slightly higher than they would have left the factory at. These had a string action at the 12th fret of about 1/16" or just above. They would have left the BCR factory at about 1mm on average.

My good friend Tim Cullen/Athanasia (1981/1987) had a Mockingbird pretty much identical to this one in the early/mid 80's that played flawlessly, and this is what caught my attention to BC Rich guitars, which is were I eventually saw a picture of the Bich Model, which inspired my TFS6.

When I met Neal Moser in 2003, it was then that I discovered in our conversations that he designed the Bich and Seagull models for BC Rich.

Neal is now residing in Prescott Valley, Arizona, where Neal Moser guitars is thriving and the company has passed on to other leadership with Neal remaining as a trainer, and production manager in preps for retiring as he is now 80 years old.


  • Moser Era BCR Eagle_Thunder Road Guitars.jpg
    Moser Era BCR Eagle_Thunder Road Guitars.jpg
    392.6 KB · Views: 17
  • Moser Era BCR Mockingbird_Thunder Road Guitars.jpg
    Moser Era BCR Mockingbird_Thunder Road Guitars.jpg
    420.9 KB · Views: 17