Mike’s Endorsements…

McPherson Guitars

mcph_redwood“After more than 30 years as a professional guitarist I can confidently tell you McPherson Guitars are the best acoustic guitars in the world. I gave up a 20 year endorsement deal with Taylor to exclusively play McPhersons.

The art and technology of the offset sound hole and cantilevered neck deliver depth of tone, sustain and volume that no other acoustic can match. The neck always feels like an old friend and somehow McPherson makes every neck feel like the others.

To this day I have a challenge: when I see my McPherson’s in my studio and pick one up, there goes another hour (or 4)… I honestly can’t put them down! The tone and playability get me every time.

One of the very cool things about McPherson Guitars is their use of some exotic tone woods. I currently have three McPherson’s:

  • A 4.5” Brazilian Rosewood and Bear Claw Sitka Spruce;

  • A 4.0” Striped Macassar Ebony and Redwood

  • A Camrielle made of Flamed Port Orford Cedar and Bear Claw Sitka Spruce. This is my “Toby Guitar.” Toby Axthelm was my best friend growing up, we learned to play guitar and do shows together, and at 15 years old we were in a bicycle accident in which Toby died in my arms. He remains my inspiration and when McPherson made this Camrielle for me, I had them engrave Toby’s name at the 12th fret.

In touring the McPherson factory – ok, it’s really a nice shop – I got to observe each luthier’s amazing attention to detail. It takes at least five months to make each McPherson by hand, which I suppose is why, unlike larger brands they make only 150 per year.

I look at it like this: Taylor, Martin, Laravee… these are good guitars, comparable to Lexus, BMW and Mercedes. McPherson is Rolls Royce and Bugatti rolled into one.

When you’re ready to play the best go to www.mcphersonguitars.com or call my friend, Larry Klenc at McPherson and talk with him about what you want. They are a small, personal, group of artisans located in Sparta, WI. Also, Mathew McPherson is not only an art and design genius, he is an amazing humanitarian giving literally millions of dollars per year to worthy causes. This is a Godly, socially conscious company with a true moral compass… and I LOVE that!” – Mike Rayburn

Elixir Strings

elixir-logo“I have endorsed and used Elixir Strings exclusively for more than 15 years. And if that’s not testimony enough, I bought them long before I had an endorsement deal with them. They are simply the best. Their tone is brilliant, but what I love most and is especially important for a hard touring guy like me, they last significantly longer than any other string.

I use Elixir Phosphor Bronze mixed light/mediums, .012-.056. For electric I use .010-.046 on both my classic, stock 1959 Fender Stratocaster and my American-made 1990 Strat Plus.

But don’t just take my word for it. Most of the best brands of acoustic guitars, including McPherson and Taylor, recommend and deliver their guitars with Elixir Strings. In my opinion all other brands pale in comparison.” – Mike Rayburn

ClaytonPicksLogoClayton Picks

“I have played guitar for more than 40 years, more than 30 of them professionally in every setting imaginable. I have tried and used every kind of pick including all the famous ones you know, glass, tortoise shell, (bread bag clasp, matchbook, and quarter :-).

I have finally settled on the best and it’s Clayton. Clayton Picks are so good I now have them personalized: “Mike Rayburn What If…?” Pick choice is obviously a personal preference but of all the choices please put Clayton at the top. They work wonderfully for me!” – Mike Rayburn