Featured Used

David John Morse Custom Built "Moonlight"

David John Morse

SKU: 42009

1 in stock

Between 1978 and 1993, this Santa Cruz, CA luthier made fine guitars for clients worldwide at a production rate of only two to three instruments made per year. 

This one-of-a-kind David John Morse Custom built arch top guitar was named "Moonlight" when it was created December 14th, 1979. The super rare and unique beauty is the finest example we can find with many features even David Morse did not commonly add, and it is here on consignment by the original owner.


  • Individually carved & tuned, and unbelievably figured curly maple neck, back, and sides
  • Individually carved & tuned, quarter-sawn German spruce top
  • One million year old mastadon ivory nut
  • Hand-carved tension-adjust ebony tailpiece
  • Gaboon ebony fingerboard
  • 23.5" scale length 
  • Body length: 21.5"
  • Lower bout width: 16.5"
  • Depth at side: 3.25"
  • Handcrafted etched custom inlay work on Head stock, Fingerboard, Bridge, Pick guard and Tailpiece.
  • Adjustable neck truss rod
  • Pickup: Bartolini Hi-A floating pickup
  • Violin style purfling
  • Violin-style f-holes
  • Extremely rare Morse Telegrapher Bracing System to control tone balance response with internal adjust ability of the tone braces and achieve an "unprecedented variety of sounds".
  • Morse custom violin varnish. Read more about his "success with a “very good” formula" in this SantaCruz.com article "In Soquel, A Luthier’s Mystery Solved"
  • Custom handmade ebony volume knob
  • Custom Handmade ebony tuning keys
  • Case candy includes original order brochure with glossy photos attached
  • Includes original Arched Tolex Hard Shell Case

More Specs:

  • String Spacing: At bridge 1.25"
  • String Spacing: At nut 1.536"
  • Nut Width: 1.75"
  • Peg Head Pitch: 15 degrees
  • Bridge Height at 6th string: 1.25"
  • Bridge Height at 1st string: 1.0625"
  • Action at 12th fret 6th string: 0.078125"
  • Action at 12th fret 1st string: 0.0625"

Factory Upgrades: Original ebony pick guard bracket (not included) was replaced by David Morse with a metal bracket. Original non-functioning Armstrong Handmade Adjustable Floating PAF is in the case but David Morse replaced it with a modular attachment Bartolini Hi-A floating pickup (5.96K DC resistance). Two extra ebony bridges also included. 

Minor Condition Issues: Hairline crack in D-string tuning key. Some minor top wear near bridge likely from previously used bridge. Label is a little shredded but handwritten serial, model, and date are legible as well as general logo being visible.

*** Local Pickup or this fine Instrument will only be shipped fully insured and with Adult Signature required. ***

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