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Moriah Guitars

Moriah Guitars - John Mark Hampton is an American luthier whose career began in 1978 when he studied mandolin construction as an independent research project at Wilmington College, based in Wilmington, Ohio.   The project, which resulted in his building two A-style mandolins, unlocked the door to a life- long love affair with stringed instruments.   He continued his education by attending the Guitar Research and Design Center in Vermont, where Hampton studied under, and was mentored by, George Morris and Charles Fox. While there, Hampton built both electric and acoustic guitars. In 1979, Hampton was commissioned by noted guitar builder Keith Roscoe of Roscoe Guitars, to build a host of i... (view more)

Moriah Guitars - John Mark Hampton is an American luthier whose career began in 1978 when he studied mandolin construction as an independent research project at Wilmington College, based in Wilmington, Ohio.   The project, which resulted in his building two A-style mandolins, unlocked the door to a life- long love affair with stringed instruments.   He continued his education by attending the Guitar Research and Design Center in Vermont, where Hampton studied under, and was mentored by, George Morris and Charles Fox. While there, Hampton built both electric and acoustic guitars. In 1979, Hampton was commissioned by noted guitar builder Keith Roscoe of Roscoe Guitars, to build a host of instruments, including three electric guitars, a bass guitar and a double-neck guitar. During that time, Hampton met Ken Hoover, who was the resident instrument technician at the shop. That chance meeting flourished into a strong collaborative friendship, and in 1980, Hampton joined Hoover in the launch of Zion Guitars and Zion Music Service. While the company initially became a sought after guitar setup, modification and repair source, it soon launched a line of set-neck, double-cutaway guitars and basses, it also earned a national reputation as one of the cutting-edge, custom guitar shops in the nation. By 1981, the company was busy building custom guitars for local and national artists. In 1982, Zion debuted the now highly acclaimed TLZ Powerglide, a custom guitar that paid tribute to the venerable Telecaster. That next year, the company was commissioned to build a custom, white TLZ for Kerry Livgren, one of the founding members of the iconic rock band, Kansas. In 1983, Tom Wheeler of Guitar Player Magazine, commissioned the company to build a custom set-neck Strat-type guitar called the Sliverbird. This guitar was featured on the cover of the June 83 “special equipment” issue. Hampton pulled out all the stops on this guitar, which sported prototype stacked coil Seymour Duncan single coil pickups as well as a pre-production, tunable Floyd Rose locking tremolo and a breathtaking custom paint job from artist Wayne Jarrett. By 1985, Hampton left Zion to pursue a worship and mission ministry in Scotland. In 1992, Hampton was commissioned by Hoover to design and build the Zion Primera prototype, which went into production a few years later. Just one of the guitar's fans is guitarist Phil Keaggy, who signed a number of the first Primera models. In 2002 Hampton was commisioned by a friend to design and build the Keneniah double cutaway model, which was a for-runner for what Moriah Guitars would become. In 2008, Hampton launched Moriah Guitars, which today has earned a national and international reputation as a fully equipped custom shop offering custom built electric and acoustic guitars as well as offering modifications, set ups, repairs and much more. (view less)

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