Mockingbird Special X review by B.C. Rich

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 6
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 7.8 Good
  • Users' score: 6.5 (38 votes)
B.C. Rich: Mockingbird Special X

Price paid: $ 449

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 8
My style goes from slowhand Blues to older Thrash using a variety of amps and effects. The Rockfields have a nice thick Vintage sound (for mass produced pickups) that still allow for piercing harmonics when you want them. Also toggle switch is solid and holds up to switching abuse I've sometimes given it. It also holds a very good sustain, just short of my Mocking bird ST and easily equal to or longer then guitars I've played in this range. (-1 for Not having as good as a Mock ST, -1 for nothing's perfect)

Overall Impression — 7
This is a really nice guitar. Just not at the price I'm seeing it at normally. If high fret access is not a big deal (or you're willing to force your hand over the top), you're looking for a HardTail, and you're an LP-type guitar fan that's looking for something different, this might be for you. Just shop around, because as of this review there's great deals to be had on the discontinued models (And at that price it is a steal.) As it is the fret access problem is really obnoxious and I'll probably give this as a gift to any would-be guitarists in the family that seem like they'd put some work in. My eyes are currently on the Exotic Classic Mockingbird, which although may have the same fret-access problem, (the pictures hint at it, but like my ST, I won't know until I rip it) the 24 frets might very well be enough to balance it out since I rarely go above the 22nd. But I may very well yank the pickups since I like them that much. (Rating is for what I paid, knock off 2 or so for the fret access problem for sellers asking close to Standard rate.)

Reliability & Durability — 9
I haven't owned this guitar long enough to give an informed opinion on it's long-term durability, but as I remarked previously it's held up well so far. Everything's solid as it should be and seems like it will stay that way. When I was cleaning it a bit ago it slipped and smacked into a table. Comparative to the impact and imagined damage it only creased the neck binding and left a dent in the neck. No paint chipping or loss of gloss. And the Ebony fretboard didn't give way. Nice.

Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Not sure if BC Rich sets them up very well in the factory or the sellers just do a good job, but the action was good, with amazingly spot on intonation. It also stays in tune. The bridge pickup was in a nice spot but the neck pickup was a bit low and flat for me. Five minutes and it was pretty well where I wanted it. Even as a discontinued model, it was in perfect shape. And unlike a certain BC Rich Bass, the finish was nice and sturdy. I'm somewhat surprised they discontinued this color as it's a good variation to just a solid black. (Keep in mind, however, that Mocks typically have thick LP style necks. This is not normally a shredder's choice, which can be a letdown for some Who like the bodystyle.) Some people don't care for the cloud inlays, but for me it's an interesting variation. Unfortunately (at least for me), the shape of this guitar causes problems with ideal access to the highest frets of the (Low) E, A, & D strings, and good tremolo effect for all strings in that range. Which really tosses half the reason for a neck-thru. And I have long, thin hands & fingers. I'd venture to say anyone with anything near "workman's hands" would find this incredibly frustrating. I'm not sure why (and haven't broken out a ruler) but it's not at all like that on my Mock ST - even on its highest frets. (Base 8, with 2 points off for fret access problems - especially since this is not a 24 fret model which might've given allowances.)

Features — 9
Construction - neck through, Body wood - Nato (Eastern Mahogany), Top style - Arched Top, Top Wood - 1/2" Map cap with Quilted AAA Maple Veneer, Body Binding - White Multi-Ply, Body Side Thickness - 39.48mm (1.55"), Body center thickness - 51.57mm (2.03"), Headstock binding: White 5 Multi-ply, Headstock tilt: 14 degrees, Tuners: Grover Super Rotomatics - Model 109C, Neck wood - Mahogany, Neck radius - 12, Back of neck - stain to match, Neck width at 12th fret - 2.062, Fretboard - ebony, Inlay - Cloud White, Frets - 22 jumbo 2.7mm (.10"), Scale - 24 3/4, Bridge type - Tone Pros tune o matic, Tailpiece type - Tone Pros stop bar, Pickups - 2 chrome covered Rockfield SWV Vintage humbuckers (Passive), Controls - 3way Toggle SW+2 Volume+2 Tone, Colors (currently available) - Cherry Sunburst, Tobacco Sunburst. This full review is for a discontinued color of Ghost Black (2008? Model) made in Korea (with a generic case) that I quipped on in another review. (My rating here is purely arbitrary as this is what it is and I did my homework looking all this over before buying it. Also, my other ratings are based against other guitars in a $400-500 range and my Mock ST since buyers may be eying all the Mocks available.)

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    That's a nice review. Not like all the others, where kids just rate it OMFG 10!!!!!111oneone all the way.
    MT in Austin
    BC Rich makes quality guitars (I have an SLP that is great). They also allow their name to be used on inferior products (I have a Bronze Bich bought as a "beater" guitar for my son). They should have a "step child" line ala LTD, Epiphone and Squire to protect their brand-name. That's not to say all LTDs, Epis and Squires are all bad, just cheaper than their "big name" parent company products. Chances are you are not going to get a new top of the line guitar cheaply no matter what name is on it. You may however find the occasional diamond in the rough.
    St. Fixxxer
    Be nice if it were flame topped. They should make a wider cut away at the lower cut away, but in heavy metal(the genre it's made for) you hardly ever play the D, A, ane low E high frets. I don't like the bridge the guitar in the picture, string thru is the one for the B.C Rich Mockingbird.
    i have a mockingbird special. thats pretty much the same as this one but with a plane top. i have to agree with what u said about the fret access its really hard but still rocks.