Ironbird Pro review by B.C. Rich

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 4
  • Reliability & Durability: 3
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 3
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 5.6 Decent
  • Users' score: 3.7 (27 votes)
B.C. Rich: Ironbird Pro
2

Price paid: C$ 799

Purchased from: MCDC

Sound — 9
Sounds great for metal and not bad clean. It's only got one pick-up and no tone control so you cannot really change the sound of this guitar. I've been playing through a Roland Cube 40 and a Metal Zone; it sounds great! I get feedback on on the high notes on the first three strings; it's probably something to do with the poor neck on this guitar.

Overall Impression — 4
I really wanted to like this guitar because it looks so cool and unique but the construction of it is awful! The grade of this guitar is below my expectations. If you're hell bent on getting a B.C. Rich get an NJ model made in Korea; the grade is better. Otherwise, buy something else. B.C. Rich's off-shore quality is terrible compared to competing brands. I've been playing for 6 years and owned about 20 guitars. I have this guitar on sale at my local shop - hoping to get some money back towards another axe. The poor sucker who buys it can either play with high action or hang it on the wall.

Reliability & Durability — 3
It all seems good but no matter how many neck adjustments are done the upper fretboard is still uneven. I've owned 20 guitars, mostly from Ibanez and ESP/LTD and never had one fret pop up. I'd only gig with this guitar if I was using it for one song and only playing the low strings.

Action, Fit & Finish — 3
The guitar looks killer but the set-up from the factory was terrible. The action was high. The frets were popping up from the fretboard and the high e string was getting caught under the frets. The fretboard is not entirely flat near the 15th to 24th frets and it causes buzzing. I've had it set-up about 4 or 5 times at my local shop but I'm still having problems with it. Also, the spalted maple top looks like a decal rather than actual wood. The back plates on the guitar are different materials. One is ruffly cut and looks terrible. The screws for the back plates are different as well with one being counter sunk and the other not. The input jack is not flush with the body of the guitar. I opened up the back of the guitar and the ground wire was also disconnected. On a lighter note, it's balanced pretty good and is comfortable to play sitting or standing. I also hate how it's stamped "MADE IN CHINA" on the back of the headstock - as if I want to be reminded.

Features — 9
The Ironbird was made in 2011 from China. It was not offered in Canada and was special ordered from the USA. It has one EMG 81 bridge pick-up, one volume control knob, and a real floyd rose tremolo bridge; essentially everything you need! The top on it is spalted maple. The back of the neck is painted. The neck is set-in. It has 24 jumbo frets and the scale is about 25" long. The wood is "nato" whatever that means.

21 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Menzaine
    Metallol666 wrote: They tried to copy the Razorback -.-''
    Are you for real? Ironbird has been around since the early 80's. That's just an idiotic thing to say.
    gman128
    This review is the perfect example to give to people who ask - why does everyone bash bc rich guitars? And it is because in their mid to low end guitars - hiding behind the crazy shapes, finishes and occasional use of emg pickups, lies a guitar that has poor QC and often plays so much worse than anything jackson, esp ltd, schecter, ibanez or even epiphone would produce at a similar price point
    Skuzzmo
    givemeajackson wrote: my warlock bronzewas my first guitar, i bought it for 100 bucks. i never had any issues and the action is pretty great. pickups suck tough.
    I've played some Bronze BCs.... they felt like they were made fom MDF or something... was not impressed at all....
    Twelda
    Why would anyone buy a Chinese-made guitar, especially one that costs that much?
    K!!LsWiTcH
    colm c wrote: One pickup is fine if you want, the lack of a tone knob gives you better signal strength, and if you're playing through a metal zone to get your distortion you should get a better (tube) distortion pedal. BC rich arent bad they just arent great.
    wrong. its that most bc rich are bad. with rich you really have to pay for quality, to the point where it isnt worth it.
    givemeajackson
    K!!LsWiTcH wrote: wrong. its that most bc rich are bad. with rich you really have to pay for quality, to the point where it isnt worth it.
    my warlock bronzewas my first guitar, i bought it for 100 bucks. i never had any issues and the action is pretty great. pickups suck tough.
    colm c
    One pickup is fine if you want, the lack of a tone knob gives you better signal strength, and if you're playing through a metal zone to get your distortion you should get a better (tube) distortion pedal. BC rich arent bad they just arent great.
    Metal_Master_0
    Why you'd pay $800 for that is beyond me. 1 pickup? Floyd rose? The only thing that it has going for it is the construction and that is the last thing you want to rely on with B.C Rich. To me that seems like a guitar you'd pay 400 dollars for - half of it for the EMG and the FR . Sorry you bought it man, should've stuck with your reliable brands in that price range like schecter, ESP or even Dean. Like I've said before, B.C. Rich is hit or miss under 1k - especially when MADE IN CHINA!
    Leather Sleeves
    Lol! Nice review (not sarcasm). BCs tend to be hit and miss. Personally, I wounld't go for a guitar with a floyd without a neck-thru construction. It does look cool though, might be alright for max $400 for someone who only play rythm guitar.
    Alfredo_La_Vipa
    Guys, I also bought the Warlock Deluxe NJ, everything about is good except the frets are popping up on it. It's like night and day between the Chinese and Korean factory. I've never seen frets pop on any of the 20 guitars I've owned other than one fret on my LTD H-400.
    widownz
    Okay I play a Warlock and a 5 string Widow bass,for one thing the iron bird has been around alot longer the the Razorback so who's the copycat. If you were going to buy a guitar as a player why would you only spend $700.00 bucks thats just cheap. N.J's arn't that much more expensive and you get a good quality guitar. if your buying a B.C.Rich always look for a guitar made in the U.S or Japan not China.
    spencer_darling
    BC Rich always looks cool but there construction is pitiful. I've played a Bc rich with a 500 dollars floyd in it, yet it had a plywood body.
    rockerwannabe
    I have bought about 30 guitars since 1984. I had an Ironbird back in the late 80's. It is the only guitar that I have ever sold. It was loud and it rocked but it was cheap. (BTW, I removed its tone control - that's what we did in the 80's!)
    chaoticfables
    "I really wanted to like this guitar because it looks so cool and unique but the construction of it is awful!" It looks awful. If the construction is also awful then you wouldn't bother with it would you? Seriously they look ugly as hell.
    Blargaha
    Nato is another species of (and a substitute for) mahogany. It really is just as good, it's only the name that is different.