Signature Vortex 'Dimmu Borgir' Warlock review by B.C. Rich

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 3.5 (20 votes)
B.C. Rich: Signature Vortex 'Dimmu Borgir' Warlock

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 8
I play mostly metal and rock for bandwork and a little bit of random funk when I'm messing about. The tone of the guitar is really nice through my Line 6 Lowdown LD15. It has a really nice punchy sound to it and it's capable of all sorts of different styles with the amp. Metal, funk, blues... anything really. Obviously the bass was designed for metal, being the signature model for the former bassist for Norwegian black metal titans, Dimmu Borgir and that's where its really at its best. I don't feel my vocabulary is broad enough for me to describe this bass in a way to do it justice, but it's just fantastic. It roars, it growls and thunders, just the way you'd hope for from a BC Rich. The higher end notes aren't too bad. But not brilliant. But if your looking to buy a bass such as this, you're most likely not looking to invest to much of your time using it for the higher frequencys.

Overall Impression — 9
This bass fits perfectly with what I play. In the band I'm in, that's mostly modern metal, things like Trivium, Killswitch Engage and the likes. But it also does good for death metal, black metal, really anything heavy to be honest. I've only been playing bass for very almost a year. I really wanted to upgrade from my starter bass and I wanted to try out a 5 string and this bass is working out great for me. It really does dazzle people when they see it, because of its extravagant shape and eyecatching finish. If this was stolen, I'd be pretty raging, but I don't think I'd get the same one again, because when the chance comes, I prefer trying new things, plus it isn't easy to get hold of one of these, especially not for the price I managed to get it for. I really love everything about it. The sound, the look, the feel. It's perfect for me. Not the first choice for many others, but I feel right with this bass in my hands and thats what matters to me. I didn't actually try this out before buying it, which I realise now was awfully silly, but I was lucky to get a good quality model. I do wish it had better strap buttons on it and maybe it was more compatible with guitar stands, but you have to take a bit of bad with the good :)

Reliability & Durability — 8
The guitar would most certainly survive live playing. The hardware and electronics are all good enough quality to perform with. Im confident everything is capable of lasting a while, but there are a few upgrades I'd like to make. Strap locks and some higher quality pickups for instance. Maybe even a fancy new bridge, if I'm feeeling crazy. I can depend on it for almost anything, but I would never, ever gig without a backup. That's just silly and irresponsible. The finish, I think is there to stay. This guitar is heavy. Like... 7/8 Kilo's. So it will be a challenge playing long sets with. But I prefer having a heavy piece of machinery in my hands rather than a little light thing. I've always felt that basses should be heavy to coincide with the sound they make. I guess I'm just odd like that.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I didn't actually get the guitar straight from the factory. There was a slight cosmetic flaw (The headstock has a small chip in it) So it from a company that mainly bought these blemished guitars that couldn't be sold by the guitar maker due to its small flaw, hence I got it for quite a good price. However, when I did get the guitar, it was all set up fairly well. Although, the guitar came to my house a few months before I actually got to use it, as it was being stored away for a birthday present, but upon recieving it, the bass was still in tune, despite being shuffled around and bumped often. I've not yet had to make any adjustments, but I may in the future. Obviously with it being a BC Rich, it's a little neck heavy, but that can be easily fixed by moving the strap peg to shift the centre of gravity to the body more. There's zero buzz, great action and everything else seems great. The finish is one of this basses strongest point lies. It's just damn beautiful. The red vortex pattern over the body is really nice. Smaller little vortex patterns are used as fret markers, all of which are red, apart from the larger inlay on the 12th fret which is white. There's no inlay on the 9th fret, as to allow more space for the white one. Despite being a warlock model, it has the BC Rich Warbeast horned headstock, which I like more than the traditional Warlock headstock. The neck and headstock have a nice red binding around them, all very visually pleasing. The only negative things I can say about it here is that, because it's a bolt on, the last few frets are a little difficult to access and due to the shape of the guitar, it's really hard to find a stand for it! Due to the build of my house, my walls wouldn't be able to withstand having a bracket fixed onto them, especially not with the weight of the bass resting on it. So I've had to resort to using an old, soft, leather recliner to let it rest on for now, I may have to just invest in a small beanbag or something, unless anyone else has any idea's, as it certainly won't rest comfortably on a 2 pronged guitar stand.

Features — 9
I'm not exactly sure when this bass was made, but it was most certainly in the last few years. Not sure where it was made. It's a 5 string, has a 35" scale and it has 24 frets, as I feel all basses should have, one of the reasons I chose this over other models. The bass is made of basswood, which I'm not brilliantly familiar with, but the guitar itself has a matte plastic feel to it. I'm not sure if that's what basswood is like of if it's some sort of laminate. The neck is madeof the same material from what I can tell. Fretboard is ebony, which I quite like. It has BC Rich's own pickups and tuners. I'll probably replace the pickups when I get some money, because I know there's much better out there. The hardware (knobs) are BC Rich's own black ones. There's 4 of them on the signature model of this bass, on both the 4 and 5 string. 1 volume, 1 blend, 1 bass active and 1 treble active, which is pretty sweet, considering many guitars just have the two. I personally prefer the look of guitars with 3 or 4 knobs on them.

16 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Also, Henkka. I'm not sure what shapes you like, but I guarantee you that there will be people out there who think that your preferred shapes are ugly and 'stupid'. Ease up on the useless comments, yeah?
    Actually, this isn't the Dimmu Borgir Signature Warlock... There's no such thing... It's I.C.S Vortex's custom bass!
    What? You want to have 24 frets, but you're not looking to spend time playing the highest frets?
    I got a BC Rich bass once for the looks and instantly regretted it. Unless you're in a well known metal band that uses a certain image on stage, it will be hard to take you seriously with this instrument. Just saiyan...
    EpiExplorer wrote: tonally a bit bland across the spectrum but thats just lousy american business planning for you. But whats to hate about it?
    quoted for understatement of the century, pretty much all of the BC Rich's I've tried have sounded like rotting bum farts.
    Plagueheart wrote: I got a BC Rich bass once for the looks and instantly regretted it. Unless you're in a well known metal band that uses a certain image on stage, it will be hard to take you seriously with this instrument. Just saiyan...
    Not super then?
    super collasal
    I really dig the red spiral but every other aspect of this guitar just makes me laugh, never buy a warlock their dumb and they make you look like your trying to hard
    sewoo55 wrote on 12/09/2011 - 10:16 am / quote | that bass is just butt ugly... your face is butt ugly!!!!!
    So ugly. Warlocks are just tacky garbage to begin with, then they slap this shit paint job on there and manage to make it look even worse.
    Is this a joke? That thing is ridiculous! From the stupid looking warlock body to the hilariously unimaginative paintjob! And somebody bought that! OH WOW. I mean I wouldn't get a bass just based on the looks but I would NEVER EVER buy a B.C. Rich in the first place.
    I'm not one to usually review things, but I'd been wanting this bass for a bit and I couldn't find a review for it anywhere online. I'm a massive fan of Dimmu Borgir personally, which is why i wanted it, but I'm not one for caring if other people like it or not (: And 'daheck1210', thank you, I'll actually be able to put it somewhere safe >,< cheers man
    I dont mind this, but I dont get everyones hate towards BC's. Visually not everyones thing but I've played quite a few in my time, I own a V, used it for everything. The necks are smooth, very playable, very light guitars, easy to play in general, tonally a bit bland across the spectrum but thats just lousy american business planning for you. But whats to hate about it?
    I have 2 Warlocks and due to the shape of the body, mine rest on the average guitar stand. The inside of the bottom cutaways will hit the stand before the guitar touches the floor. Just make sure the stand has an adjustable neck so that you can make it stand higher to support the neck of the guitar.
    Although BC Rich guitars tend to be fairly low quality, i've heard their basses are much better. Obviously it's still overpriced,but they are certainly not as bad as their guitars (low end ones at least)