I shared the following on Jerry's forum:
I was pretty stoked on Saturday when the new issue of Acoustic Guitar magazine (October 2014, Ani DiFranco on the cover) arrived in my mailbox and above the nameplate in the upper left hand corner I see "MIKE AULDRIDGE."
Oh boy! I flip open to the table of contents and there's a photo of the body of a sunburst Beard MAS with a "Lotus" coverplate and on page 18 is an article by dobro buddy, multi-instrumentalist, teacher, and journalist Orville Johnson entitled 'Bells' Toll for Mike Auldridge.
Of course I devoured it immediately. Great job Orville! Quotes from Jerry and Rob regarding Three Bells, and Paul Beard on the story of the MAS guitars..
Funny thing is, Mike apparently didn't care for most of the sunburst versions of his signature model. That is, until Paul built one in a tobacco sunburst scheme, more like one would find on some Gibson flattops. He brought it with him to Resosummit 2010 and upon seeing it in Paul's Torture Chamber for GASaholics at the Scarritt Bennett Center in Nashville, I fell in love it with it and it also sounded fantastic.
I congratulated Paul on what a great guitar it was after taking it for a test drive and we talked about how Mike didn't care for the sunubrst schemes. This was Mike's final ResoSummit, and Paul said "when you see Mike please tell him how much you like this one."
I think it was the next day at lunch where I was sharing one of the tables with Mike and a few other guys (as a life long 49ers fan this was like the time I sat next to Joe Montana at a local Quizno's several years ago and we were talking football while eating our sandwiches) and I mentioned to Mike about the tobacco 'burst MAS. He told me it was the first one he actually liked.
So it's ironic that in the article they are showing a cherry burst MAS. Maybe he changed his stance and came around to the cherry burst model later...
If you're not a subscriber, you are going to want to pick up this new issue of Acoustic Guitar.