JRV Pat O'Brien Icon Signature review by B.C. Rich

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 9.1 (15 votes)
B.C. Rich: JRV Pat O'Brien Icon Signature

Price paid: A$ 900

Purchased from: Ebay

Sound — 9
I play metal and only metal so the Active EMG 81 is a no brainer for this style. I won't bother describing the tone as you can look at an EMG 81 review for a more detail description. Simply great for distortion/overdrive, not so good for a super clean and clear tone (overall sounds awesome to me). This is the only pickup Pat uses in his guitars as he states in the DVD included with Evisceration Plague. I mainly use a Fender 15g practice amp and a MT-2 and straight out of the box, with a quick tune this guitar sounds awesome with the usual hum and strange amp noise (not feedback). It's not as quiet as some other guitars I own or played. Sustain about 7.5 to 8 out of 10. Excellent harmonics with the addition of an EMG 81 and using the Original Floyd Rose makes this guitar scream. This guitar came with 9-42 gauge strings in Standard tuning so tone was still awesome if a bit twangy'. I changed the strings to DR Dimebag 9-50 gauge and tuned to Eb and the tone obviously got deeper but still bright, which is excellent for my chosen style of musicMetal.

Overall Impression — 8
I play metal only and I'm a big fan of Cannibal Corpse, Pat O'brien and flying V's and his signature model looks and plays awesome. I'm sure you can play something boring and soft on this guitar but why would you? It was built as a replica of Pat's original custom shop which he uses to play metal or more specifically death metal. Having said thatit is a guitarso you can play whatever you want on it. If it was lost or stolen I might buy this again because it was cheap and has excellent features. You could criticise the fact of the single pickup but I have found that I rarely use the neck pickup on my other guitars. I do wish BC Rich made an import replica of his Baritone custom shop model but oh well. Bottom line Great guitar for metal, a bit neck heavy, access to the 24th fret is restricted a bit by the body, no neck pickup and overall a 7.5 to 8/10 guitar. Also do your research into any guitar you buy because the seller does not know everything (eBay seller was appearing to play the ignorant seller about the inlay issue). I've owned this guitar for over a month and played it every day so I hope I have done this guitar justice in the review. Thanks for reading.

Reliability & Durability — 8
If you look after your guitar it will last, its just common sense. The strap buttons are solid and in a nice position for a proper standing V guitar position, but like all my guitars, I have replaced them with Schaller strap locks. It is a bit neck heavy though but not as bad as my Ibanez XPT700XH. I would gig with guitar but would have a back up in case of Sting breakage, as most guitarists would do if they had a guitar with a Floyd. The paint on this guitar seems fine to me, but like all guitars, if it you drop it etc, it will chip or break something off.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was superbly setup with the usual 42-9 gauge strings; intonation and string action could be very minutely adjusted but I didn't bother, even when I changed the strings to 9-50 gauge I didn't adjust anything besides for the usual balancing act of the Floyd Rose and the string height to stop buzzing. The string height is pretty much optimal at the moment but still buzzes slightly when I bash out a cord on the low E and A strings. The finish of the guitar 99% perfect except for a minor paint scrape on one of the tips of the headstock errlower pointy bits? There is two bubbles or sand underneath the paint in between the two main headstock horns. Other than that it was excellent. The neck is painted which a bit of a pain as it tends to be fast when it's clean and sticky when it has hand smudges all over it, depending on what and how you're playing. Overall the neck is a bit c' shaped but more towards a u' shaped profile. The ebony fretboard is always a good choice for fretboards because it is shiny, this helps playing by having very little friction between the fingers and fretboard while playing i.e. faster playing. Access to the 24th is a bit strained due to the body being in the way (look at a picture and you will understand), but the bevelled heel helps to overcome this problem, but not much. The ebony is not as dark as my Edwards Al-166 (practically black glass); it is actually a bit transparent in places. Now the Inlaysand paint. I've seen two different sizes of inlays, and different paint finishes of this guitar. On the BC Rich website the rendered drawing and video of this guitar shows the Diamond inlays are stretched to almost to the edge of the fretboard and the there is no extra red painted horn', on the headstock. Then there is the version that has inlays that are half the size of the ones on the BC Rich website with the extra red paint horn' on the headstock. I got the version with the smaller inlays when I wanted the version with the larger oneslong story. The seller is in contact with a BC Rich representative about this issue of two versions and is still ongoing so I will post the results when I get them. The volume knob could be a bit closer to the pickup for easier access, but this is just personal preference.

Features — 8
Pat O'brien is a guitarist from Cannibal Corpse. All his BC Rich guitars are custom built and are significantly different from this commercially built version. The custom shop version of this guitar is Baritone and has an extra little horn in between the two horns of the beast headstock, a widow fretboard, and the input jack is under the top horn where as this model is not baritone, lacks the extra small horn, the widow fretboard, and the input jack is located on the back of the top horn. Also there is a difference in the inlay size and finish differences which I will address later. Specifications Jr V model Icon Crafted in Korea Black with Red bevels Construction: Neck through Body: Mahogany Neck: Maple Tuners: Black Grover Super Rotomatic Fretboard: Ebony with Diamond inlays and a crown inlay at the 1st Fret Frets: 24 Jumbo Scale: 25.5" Bridge: Black Floyd Rose Original Series Tremolo Pickups: EMG 81 Controls: 1 volume Came in a cardboard box with foam to hold it in place with the usual Allen keys and spare tremolo spring.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Very nice review. I just picked one of these up myself at a steal of a price! Excellent guitar! Mine came lightly used with an EMG HZ instead so I may swap the pickup for a Duncan, Dimarzio, BKP; don't know yet. I've got mine set up with Dunlop Heavy Core 11-50 gauge strings and it's one bad ass guitar.