#1
Hi folks,

Looking at getting a new guitar for metal. I'm going to put/keep an EMG 60 in the neck for clean and lead, and a Blackout in the bridge for rhythm and possibly leads as well.

I love the body style of the Mockingbird, I like the fact that it is solid mahogany, and the feel of an ebony fretboard. I also love the look of a neck thru, and the black and gold stylings of the Pro X is pretty nice to look at.

I mentioned this plan to a friend, who told me that Mockingbirds are made overseas and are poor quality. He said I should get a Les Paul instead. I don't care where something is made, as long as it is high quality work.

A Les Paul is more money than I want to spend, but I could save up for longer and get one. It's not outside the realm of possibility for me.

Just not sure what I should do here. I was leaning towards the Mockingbird, but are they really that poor quality?

Guitar is going to be tuned to c standard, with either 12s or 13s. My main problem with guitars in the past is when I play higher on the neck the pitch will go sharp, even after repeatedly being intonated by a professional. I want to avoid that issue at all costs. I also want to avoid fret buzz at all costs, and I don't mind playing with high action.

Also I like the feel of both a Les Paul or a Mockingbird, although I lean more towards the Mockingbird in that regard.

Any advice would be helpful.

Thanks!
#2
Where a guitar is made is kind of an indicator of quality. It isn't 100% accurate, but in general, the hierarchy goes something like:

USA/Canada/Japan/Western Europe
South Korea/Mexico/Eastern Europe
Indonesia
Everyone else.

Those are all gross generalities. You can find makers in any country making fantastic instruments, and anyone can potentially make a good guitar. Additionally, some makers can produce gems and garbage from the same factory.

Buying a guitar and upgrading it is not a bad idea. However, one thing you really shouldn't do is buy a cheaper guitar and immediately upgrade it with things that are available standard on other guitars. The only time you'd want to do such a thing is if you have some special reason for buying the cheaper guitar beyond mere price- aesthetics, ergonomics, certain other key mechanical features, etc.

So, regardless of the actual quality of the Mockingbird Pro X- which I have no clue about- your plan to immediately swap out its pickups for EMGs is, IMHO, a non-starter. Look for a guitar that already has the pickups you want, even if that means waiting a bit to save up money for it.

So...

What is your budget?
Where do you live?
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#3
Well...the Mockingbird already has the 60 in it, so I would just be swapping out the 81 for a blackout, since the blackout is basically an drastically improved 81 to my ears.

AFAIK there is no guitar that has a 60/blackout combo stock.

That's the only upgrade I was planning on doing. (besides strap locks of course, which are indispensable.) My budget is 1k, but could go higher if really desired.

Located in WA, USA.

Thanks!
#4
Well, you're right about the pickup mix. However, just a thought- have you looked at the Schecter ATX guitars? They come with Blackouts stock, and they're in your price range.

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/search.php?s=Schecter+atx&Go=Search

Might be cheaper to swap out the 60 in that LPclone- if you don't like the SD in the neck- than getting that BC Rich or some other LPclone with EMGs.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
Replacing the EMG's for Blackouts is dumb when you consider that many Schecters come stock with Blackouts among a few other brands. Buying hardware and pickups from a third party is always going to cost more than spending extra to get them stock in a guitar. There's only a few guitars and guitar brands where investing a significant amount of money in mods makes financial sense based on what most metal players want from their guitars these days.

Its also dumb (imo) because there is nothing stopping you from doing the 18v mod on the EMG's. Such a mod costs pennies to do and it vastly improves how 81/85's sound. There's really no excuse to not explore that avenue first and honestly, I think 18v modded EMG's sound better than Blackouts.

Also, before investing money in pickups, consider if getting a new amp is going to be more helpful to you.
Guitar is going to be tuned to c standard, with either 12s or 13s. My main problem with guitars in the past is when I play higher on the neck the pitch will go sharp, even after repeatedly being intonated by a professional. I want to avoid that issue at all costs. I also want to avoid fret buzz at all costs, and I don't mind playing with high action.

I hate to crush your expectations, but no guitar can ever perfectly intonate. Its just an inherent flaw of fretted stringed instruments. Notes will go more and more sharp the higher up you go on the guitar, no matter what guitar it is, because action will always increase on the higher frets. Having a higher action (or having any degree of action whatsoever for that matter) is going to make your notes sound sharp because you're essentially bending the string into the fret in the very action of fretting the instrument. But some degree of string height must be present for the strings to vibrate freely.

In other words, string height and intonation are proportional to one another. The lower the action, the better your intonation, but the more fret buzz you'll get. The higher the action, the less fret buzz, but the worse the intonation. You cannot have your cake and eat it.

For that matter, you're also making your guitar go sharp by plucking the strings. A vibrating string is essentially 'bending' back and forth in order to create changes in air movement and changes in the electromagnetic field of the pickups, in order for them to produce an output. This 'bending' effect so-to-speak, means that if you eliminate all other variables, your notes will always sound a little sharp. And the wider the string's vibrational pattern, the sharper the strings will sound. You can hear this effect if you pluck a string softly vs. plucking it very hard and hearing how the pitch of the note changes over time, as the string has less and less energy, and its vibrational pattern gets narrower and narrower.

With these factors in mind, the best situation to be in is to accept that guitars are not perfect instruments, and to adjust the guitar in such a way that strikes the best compromise of the temperament of the instrument itself, and the way that you play your guitar.
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Last edited by T00DEEPBLUE at Mar 17, 2015,
#6
2 different feeling guitar for sure. i haven't played a Pro X yet but am a BC Rich fan and have played many other mockingbirds. the neck has a wider board than on a LP which throws some players off. higher end BC Rich guitars are usually made in korea and are excellent guitars. most people have only played low end cheapies from BC Rich and yes they often aren't very good. personally i don't get along with LPs playing wise and actually use a BC Rich NJ Classic series Eagle for my LP needs. sounds very much like one. it also has a very nice ebony fretboard.
#7
New line of Jacksons have the blackouts stock.
But don't know any in the $1k mark. (I'm English)

Personally I like the look of the mockingbird, im assuming its Indo made though.

You could get a LP and swap the pickups out but finding an LP you like is gonna be the hard bit.
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#8
I think the Pro X Mockingbirds are Japan made. they don't make any USA models anymore though
#9
Quote by trashbeast
I think the Pro X Mockingbirds are Japan made. they don't make any USA models anymore though

Nope. They're Korean. BC Rich's haven't been made in Japan for a long time.
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#10
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Nope. They're Korean. BC Rich's haven't been made in Japan for a long time.


this is correct. for the record you can still get MIA BC Rich's but they are custom shop only and very expensive.
#11
Quote by monwobobbo
this is correct. for the record you can still get MIA BC Rich's but they are custom shop only and very expensive.

Gotcha - Thanks guys. I have actually been looking into getting a Rich after 10 years of playing and it looks like I missed the boat on better quality BC Rich Products. I was hoping at least the top couple models of each body style were still being made in Japan.. How is it that their amazing handmade USA Line has disappeared? how do they stay afloat on just korean imports and custom shop..? I would be all over a production USA Mockingbird with all the fixins for around 1800-2200 if they still made them...
Last edited by trashbeast at Mar 17, 2015,
#12
Quote by trashbeast
Gotcha - Thanks guys. I have actually been looking into getting a Rich after 10 years of playing and it looks like I missed the boat on better quality BC Rich Products. I was hoping at least the top couple models of each body style were still being made in Japan.. How is it that their amazing handmade USA Line has disappeared? how do they stay afloat on just korean imports and custom shop..? I would be all over a production USA Mockingbird with all the fixins for around 1800-2200 if they still made them...


well the company got sold a couple of times so that has something to do with it. BC Rich just kinda went out of fashion for a number of years so i guess it just wasn't worth producing in the US any more.

don't knock the higher end korean stuff till you try it though. i'll put my Eagle up against MIJ guitars and MIA and not come out a loser. BC Rich makes some pretty decent guitars at the upper end of the line and the Koreans really have learned to make nice guitars. my Eagle is neck thru and has an ebony fretboard, not cheap features.

hate to say it but the original NJ series guitar weren't that great. back in the day they were kinda considered as 2nd rate. i had a US made mockingbird back then and the japanese version couldn't touch it in qualty. most of them were bolt on and the pickups weren't bad but not great either.
#13
In most cases, Korean made guitars are good enough that most people couldn't tell them from the higher-end models of the same type in a blindfold test. (Most of my axes are USA or Korean made.)
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#14
I already have a spare Blackout laying around, so don't worry about that side of things.

I've played a Hellraiser C7 and a Damien 6 FR in the past. I love both of these guitars but I'm tired of mucking about with the FR. I put a 817/607 in my C7, and an 81/60 in my Damien. Did the 18V mod to my Damien. It sounds good, but the Blackout is just no comparison to my ears.

Sounds like the Korean made stuff is pretty high quality then!

Glad to hear that. I'll almost certainly be going with the Pro X.

Thanks!
#15
Quote by dannyalcatraz
In most cases, Korean made guitars are good enough that most people couldn't tell them from the higher-end models of the same type in a blindfold test. (Most of my axes are USA or Korean made.)


I've played a lot of Korean made instruments and a lot of them (Not all) are solid and beat things like the Japanese Caparisons which I tried and were absolutely awful and I was shocked to see the price for the build quality and sound.
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