Mockingbird Special X review by B.C. Rich

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.5 (38 votes)
B.C. Rich: Mockingbird Special X

Sound — 10
I play metal, and I don't mean Iron Maiden metal (although I do like to play them now and then) I mean As I Lay Dying, Trivium, Dark Tranquility, In Flames, Children Of Bodom, The Interbeing, this mix of Djent, Industrial, hardcore, death, melodic death metal is my playing style and yes those Rockfields blew me away away when I used them through my Line 6 Spider IV 75, So clear and muting them was easier and the palm-muted sound was much better than my old Telecaster copy. I do like to slow it down and and drop the gain quite a lot though. Most recently I've started playing things like Incubus, Weezer, and a bunch of folk music on it (I've been told I have the weirdest music taste ever cause I go from Death Metal to folk music then to classical, then back to hardcore metal). I usually switch to the neck pickup for my clean sounds, I've always found it to have a warmer sound (best with a Telecaster neck pickup). So yeah, I can go from the nice treble happy distortion of Trivium and the heavy distortion of As I Lay Dying to the warm and rich cleans of Incubus and my own folk music, I've been playing it alot more recently becuase I've grown to hate the sound of my acoustic so it's been capo'd and even had Pink Floyd played on it. This is a versatile guitar but It is made for metal. Metal music is where it shines and if you don't get the levels right between guitar and amp for the cleans then you still get that little bit of distortion coming through.

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is very well suited for metal and apparently I suit the guitar (my friends and my family have said I suit it, like wearing a new suit or something) and I have to say I've always loved the mockingbird shape since I first laid eyes on it December last year. I've been playing guitar for 5 years now and this is my first "quality" electric guitar and by that I mean, my other guitars (except my good bass which is a Vintage) all have either very bad quality brand names or brand names that you have never heard of. I also have a Jackson Rhoads COPY made by Swift, That guitar is now screwed beyond repair just by hanging on a hook, I barely even played it and have been trying to fix it for months because it has a floyd rose. My Telecaster copy is made by Alba, never heard of them, So when I finally got this B.C. Rich I was happy. If I lost it or it was stolen I would buy another one in a heartbeat, But it would have to be the same model in the same finish or the Mockingbird Special in white. My only complaint about this guitar is that the part that sticks out on the bass side of the body, the back corner of it digs into your ribcage a bit when your sitting down otherwise it's perfect. I had to decide between this and an Epiphone Les Paul Custom, I chose this guitar because the store's branch I was in didn't not have the Epiphone in stock, It was in a different store and I was not making any extra trips. I wish this guitar had EMG Pickups, 85 in the bridge, 81 in the neck with an EMG Afterburner for that extra gain boost during solo's, I am planning to buy the pickups in the future but not the afterburner as it would mean drilling a new hold in the guitar. I though of this pickup combination a while ago though, If anyone has any comments or thought about this one please let me know: hi-gain humbucker in the bridge (for lead), Telecaster neck pickup in the neck (for cleans). Thanks for reading, hope this review helps possible buyers, I will most likely be a Mockingbird fan for life and if my new band or solo career takes off I will be hoping to build a signature model with B.C. Rich.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have not used this guitar live yet. Mainly because I have only owned it for 2 weeks and in my current band I play drums. But it seems like it will last. I have never played with a backup guitar before mainly because I only had the 1 guitar, now that I have 2 guitars I may consider using my Telecaster copy as a backup but I would confidently play this guitar live without a backup. It has those oversized strap buttons, I couldn't get my strap locks over them so those are not on the guitar but my strap is staying on very good, I play this guitar hours on end every day and most of the time I'm standing up and I haven't had a problem yet (except my dodgy lead) The strap buttons are solid and hold the strap very well.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar came fitted with .009 D'Addario strings. I had to change them when I got home to a set of .012 Ernie Ball. I've always hated .009's I can never play them properly and with me playing in Drop C they wouldn't stand a chance, I wouldn't affect the rating with this factor because the company can't predict who will be buying it. After re-stringing the guitar I had to lower the action for my playing style quite a bit and also the pickups had to be lowered aswell. Even though I like my action low, it was quite high to begin with, I'm sure anyone but a slide player would say it was too high, for that I say the rating looses a point.

Features — 10
Not sure what year it was made, as much I ma a guitar nut I'm not sure how to read serial numbers (D01102033) but I think it was 2010/2011. It was made in china I know that much (It says "Crafted In China" on the back of the headstock). All in all this guitar feels really nice to play with a 24 3/4 scale neck-thru design, access to the highest frets (22) is easy and doesn't hurt your hand as much as a set neck or a bolt-on would. This specific model of Mockingbird features a TonePros Tune-O-Matic HardTail bridge and holds it's tuning very well with the Grover Super-Rotomatics tuners. In terms of electronics this model features a 3-way pickup selctor to switch between two Rockfield SWV (Select Wound Vintage) passive humbuckers. The controls on this guitar are similar to any dual humbucker equipped guitar, 3-way pickup selector, 2X volume 2X tone. My particular guitar is finished in Smokeburst which is not shown on the offical B.C. Rich website. This transparent finish compliments the Quilt-Maple top beautifully. The reverse is black and the front of the guitar features a hite binding all the way from the bottom of the body to the tip of the headstock, I felt like there's a really posh feel to it.

10 comments sorted by best / new / date

    I find it funny when ESP LTD players say that BCR is shit, little do these dumbfounded idiots know that the Korean models are made in the same factory. The reason for BCR being inexpensive is because they are not a huge brand name nowadays.
    metal warrior
    Yawn yawn yawn BC Rich guitars suck. Blah blah blah. Seriously dudes it entirely depends on what you are willing to pay and the guitar that suits you. I have have an ibanez rg1527 with stock pickups and while it cost slightly more than my B.C. Rich neck thru nj assassin(also with stock pickups) both play nicely and are comfortable.(The ibanez pickups do sound better admittedly) I've always thought that B.C. Rich should develop a cheaper 'budget line' of guitars with different branding as the bronze series and their ilk have given the company bad name. A custom shop model is some top craftsmanship and to say otherwise is just frankly misinformed. To the guitar in the review, I have never played this model so I can't judge. But please stop bashing the company for the sake of it.
    Jackie Lawless
    the only bc rich i give credit to. and its well deserved, these can be awesome guitars. every other bc rich is so sub par...
    Vince Sixx wrote: ExOblivione wrote: K!!LsWiTcH wrote: MT in Austin wrote: They should have a "step child" line ala LTD, Epiphone and Squire to protect their brand-name. so then how bad would their step-children be? ^This. BC Rich is shit. I'd pick a $400 Ibanez over a $2000 custom BC Rich without a second thought. For one, they don't make a 2k BC Rich. Second, you should probably actually play a high end BC Rich before you open your mouth. I've played a Mockingbird Special X, 600 dollar guitar, played beautifully. Hell, my Warlock SE plays excellently. They have some great quality (except in the paint job from what I've found), and they can produce some awesome sounds. Wheras I've never seen a Neck-Through Ibanez for less than 800 dollars, this guitar, and others, are Neck through construction with ebony fingerboards for cheap, and if you upgrade the pickups, they're awesome guitars.
    600 dollars buys a high end BC Rich??? And.. Neck thru Ibby for not less than 800 dollars? Don't think you're looking properly...
    not too fond on the look of it, but then a few people don't like the look of my double neck , whatever suits you man.....
    Vince Sixx
    Skuzzmo wrote: snip* *600 dollars buys a high end BC Rich??? And.. Neck thru Ibby for not less than 800 dollars? Don't think you're looking properly...
    Yeah actually, that's what I paid for my warlock SE.
    I may trade in my ESP Ltd AX-50 for a Mockingbird. Anyone with an expert opinion on this?