Virgo Vintage Celtic
3-R4Z0R, on december 16, 2009 3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 375
Purchased from: Seedamm Music Store
Features: My guitar has been made in China, presumably in January 2008 and I bought it in March 2008. It has 24 jumbo frets on a 25.5" scale. The fretboard is made out of ebony, the body out of mahogany, so it's quite luxurious. The neck has detailed celtic style inlays (endless knots symbolizing the eternity of the world) and a rather wide fretboard (compared to my beginner's Strat-clone). The fretboard has a very big radius and is almost flat, perfect for fast playing. The whole woodwork is pitch black, covered in a piano like finish. The body has a flat top and features a well crafted Tune-O-Matic bridge with string through body. The electronics are passive (B\.C\. Rich BDSM Humbuckers) and there's a volume control, tone controle and three way pickup switch. The tuners are B\.C\. Rich branded tuners. As all other metal parts on this guitar they feature an aged look which fits perfectly to the guitar's intention and style. Since I bought this guitar as-is, there were no included accessories at all. // 10
Sound: As I read somewhere on the internet before buying this guitar, the sound was really versatile. When the neck pickup is used and the tone knob is cranked up to the maximum I get both heavy and cutting metal sound through a high gain distortion (like Line6 Insane sound on max). When keeping silent, there isn't lots of noise at all (less than in a higher priced Ibanez JS-series guitar of a friend).
Turning the tone dial down enables a very bright blues or rock sound when using the crunch effect and switching to bridge pickup makes it warm and smooth, perfect for clean blues or jazz (RHCP Californication was the first song I played with this guitar... And it sounds so natural). All in all I am very happy with the sound of this guitar, though I might switch to a Q-Tuner bridge pickup to get even more pinch harmonics (even though they're very good as they are now... But hell, there's GAS too; ) ). I give it a nine because very good is not perfect. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar was well set up at the factory with no fretbuzz and well intonated, juste tune and start rocking. After some while I wanted slightly lower action (costing a slight bit of fretbuzz), but that's personal preference of mine.
All in all this guitar was very well crafted, no tiny scratches in the finish at all and as far as the construction is concerned there's nothing to complain about. One single flaw in paint was at the edge in the bottom cutout next to the fretboard, but from a distance of more than half a meter it can't be noticed anymore.
All the electronics were well made and very solid. Just the audio jack is of a bit lower quality than the rest, since after a while (a year of playing this guitar) there was a slight buzz in certain positions. It may be my cable too which is a tiny bit smaller than what is common.
All in all this is a very solid guitar and it has survived some rather hard bumps without a single scratch (just a mark where I slipped when adjusting the action... Screwdriver vs wood doesn't work well on any guitar). The horns have no marks at all.
There's one huge flaw with the design though: Because of the heavy neck and headstock the guitar cannot hang on a Standard strap, it just tilts down and the head touches the ground. On the platinum series there's a strap holder on the plate where the neck is bolted on, on this Standard series guitar that holder is in the top horn. My solution to this problem was to drill an extra hole next to the plate on the back of the guitar and attach both ends of the strap to that holder. Adding an Ernie Ball straplock that works like a charm and enables me to spin the guitar freely in front of me. In the end the flaw turned out to be a feature, more or less, but because of that I'll only give a 9, since sweep picking isn't easy when the guitar likes to follow the hands. // 9
Reliability & Durability: This guitar will definitely withstand Live playing, though I have not played it Live yet. It does not get out of tune at all (temparature crashes like when I open the window in winter won't even make it go out of tune). Only the audio jack will have to be replaced with something of higher quality, but anything else will work perfectly.
I'd say that I can depend on this guitar because the only thing that could break would be a string. And I won't count in things like crashing to the ground, since that would break any guitar. This guitar will definitely last me a couple of years to come, though I will add a second guitar with a tremolo system (yes... That's GAS). // 10
Overall Impression: Since I mostly play metal in most directions this guitar fits me very well, both the looks and the hardware. Additionally I like practising really hard technical stuff, which will work well on this guitar as well (I've been playing guitar for two and a half years now and I can do quite some sweep picking already). Just barr chords are tricky because of the almost flat fretboard, but you can't have both a flat and a curved fretboard.
This guitar combined with the great effects in Line6 Spider3 15W (first amp) or Line6 Spider Jam (current amp) is just wonderful. As far as the gear I could play anything with this, now I just need to practise to get to the same level as the guitar.
I really love this guitar, because it can do everything I want it to do and when I can't do something it's me not being good enough yet. If it were stolen I would definitely get one again, no but's here. I love the looks of it, the feel and how well it fits me. My favorite feature is the strap attachment mechanism I made up for the guitar with the single strap lock, though sometimes I don't like that because sweep picking gets a bit harder but not impossible. And sometimes, but only sometimes the looks get annoying, because they're extreme. For me it's just to look away a second and then back and then it's really great again. That's probably the hardest one to take, because it just really doesn't fit when you play wonderful jazz or rock music with it.
When I was looking for a new guitar I just could not decide, but when I saw this one I just couldn't resist and after checking up on the internet it was a no-brainer to buy this guitar.
Though sometimes I wish it had a tremolo... But that's another story and will later be another guitar for me. =) // 10
Virgo Vintage Celtic
Phoenix V, on august 09, 2012 2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Price paid: A$ 299
Purchased from: eBay
Features: The guitar I bought was made in China in 2008 and have had it for about 6 months now. Overall I've been playing around 6 years now with a focus on various metal, rock and blues. If you're interested in specific bands you can check my profile. Not going to rehash all this here. I've had the Virgo long enough now to have put it through its paces
The stats are as follows: BC Rich - Virgo Vintage Celtic
- Construction: Bolt-On Neck
- Body Wood: Mahogany
- Top Style: Beveled
- Headstock Style: BC Rich Beast
- Headstock Colour: Black, Gloss finish. BC Rich Logo in white
- Body Colour: Black, Gloss finish
- Tuners: B.C. Rich Diecast
- Neck Wood: Maple
- Fretboard: Ebony
- Strings: 6
- Inlay: Celtic Knot
- Frets: 24 jumbo
- Scale: 25.5"
- Bridge Type: Tune o' matic
- Pickups: B.C. Rich B.S.D.M.
- Controls: 1 volume, 1 three-way toggle and 1 tone
- Hardware Finish: Aged Pewter
The first thing I noted is that it is quite light in weight. Lightest of all the guitars I own. It threw me at first and still feels a bit odd months later. All my other guitars are mid to heavy weight and just have that comfortable solid and sturdy feel. The finish in black gloss was flawless and buffs up beautifully to mirror finish. There were no accessories that came with this, but for the price, it didn't detract from anything. // 8
Sound: Th Virgo suits metal, pure and simple. When I feel in a metal mood I reach for this. I have other guitars that I reach for if I want to sound more 'authentic' with other genres such as blues and rock. Not to say the Virgo cannot be used for other genres, it's just not optimised for them. In this regard it's one or at most two dimensional. If you want a more rounded guitar that can slip between blues or rock and metal, this wouldn't be my first choice. The tone and sound on the bridge setting is on the bright end and lacks some of the low end growl and crunch which isn't unexpected from a light body guitar, however it does have a relatively tight punchy sounding palm mute.
The bridge pickup is what I can only define as medium output suited for higher gain amps. Straight up plugged into my JCM800 it's decent crunch sound (for the price). The Virgo clean was surprisingly crisp and defined for slow arpeggios but lacked individual note definition on fast string skips or Chord strums. In comparison switching it into my Vintage Modern it needed some EQ pedal and added clean boost pedal love to fine tune a heavy crunch tone. I could adjust for the lack of bottom end and the sound came through, full and rich. Neck pickup, to me, sounded slightly muddy straight into the amp. A bit of tuning the amp settings or guitar settings could get me clearer defined low end notes but the muddiness never really went away. The high end has ok definition and tone. Personally I'd consider switching the pickups if you're looking to make this a main guitar.
Good style guitar for metal, probably better suited towards a beginner. Deducted points because you can use it to play other genres, but other manufacturer guitars can deliver a more 'authentic' tone. The pickups are ok, not great, just ok. If you're looking to make this a main guitar, pickup change is recommended. // 7
Action, Fit & Finish: The setup when I received it was stock string height and relief. No fret buzz and the frets were all quite well levelled. So straight up stock factory setup. No complaints, just a higher action than what I'm used to. I was able to adjust the action to get a lot lower and just tweak the neck a bit straighter by slightly adjusting the relief. The guitar intonates very well and I was able to match the intonation from open string to 12th fret harmonic and up to the 24th fret harmonic quite close to each other, which surprised me as this is a relatively cheap guitar. It was setup to allow fast playing, and still came away with no fret buzz anywhere on the neck. The feel of the neck is quite comfortable, but again it all just feels very light to me. Slides feel like they glide across the back of the neck and finger pressure to fret requires only a very light touch. Great for fast alternate picks and shreds if that's your thing.
The tuning pegs while workable and hold tune relatively well. Good hold, but not great. The tuners also came with some play within them. It takes (what feels like) about 1/8 rotation on any of the tuners before the peg actually rotates and acts on the string. This makes it easy to overadjust if you're not used to the feel of the tuners. But for the price, this is a minor complaint. Good overall action fit and finish, but had to deduct points due to the almost toy like weight of the neck and play within the tuners. If you're looking to make this a main guitar, tuner swap is recommended. // 7
Reliability & Durability: I haven't played it in a live gig environment, so far only jams with friends. I don't have the confidence to take it to a gig without a backup, but that's because it's unproven as yet and I take a second guitar to my jams by default. The electronics feel solid and the pots have a nice smooth glide to them but the strap buttons, straight up I'd just recommend strap locks if you're going to go live with this. I've had a strap slip off at the butt end just jamming and bashing around a bit. It didn't take much for the strap to come away. You don't want this happening in a live gig. // 7
Overall Impression: This is a good guitar for metal. For a beginner, the price makes it most attractive. If you're wanting a guitar for blues or rock, you can probably get a guitar that is better suited to those sounds for the same price. For the seasoned player, they will notice the light weight and almost toy like feel immediately. It is by no means perfect, but for $299.00AUD its quite cheap and plays well, the action makes your fret hand glide and the finish is immaculate. It looks great and the pots and switches feel solid. If I had the time and inclination I'd switch the tuners and pickups. The bridge saddles are fit for purpose. However, depending if you like aesthetics (I do), switching the hardware will degrade the whole 'distressed metal' look if that is something you value. // 8