Mockingbird Special X review by B.C. Rich

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  • Sound: 8
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 10
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 6.5 (38 votes)
B.C. Rich: Mockingbird Special X

Price paid: $ 450

Purchased from: eBay seller

Sound — 8
This guitar time and time again makes me think "Les Paul", and the sound is the same way. The decently think mahogany body and humbuckers create a tonal array very similar to that of a Les Paul, but I think the contrast in weight doesn't give it the same fatness found in a Les Paul. It really is a great sounding guitar though; the bridge pickup gives me plenty of bite and snarl when I want to rip through some Slayer or something, and sounds fantastic for classic rock too. I've played stuff by Cream and Van Halen on it tons, and it nails it. It sounds just as good as anything else I've played for cleans. The neck pickup is one of the smoothest sounding neck positions tones I've ever heard on a guitar; I absolutely love it. It sounds fantastic for blues or jazz, surprisingly. It is one of my favorite things about this guitar. One complaint I do have on this guitar though is that, for whatever reason, there is no gradual fade in or out when I turn the volume knobs. It's either on or not. It really doesn't change volume wise, only slightly tonally, as I turn it between the range of 3 and 10, but once I get past 3 or so, the pickup is off entirely. That makes it extremely limiting and I plan to get that fixed as soon as possible. So three points off for the problem of fading, but I will return another point because I love that neck pickup so much.

Overall Impression — 8
This thing looks and sounds the part of the metal machine and hard rock guitar it is. I'm glad I got so lucky buying it off of eBay, I've loved it despite the flaws I mentioned. It if it were stolen or lost, I'd buy another Mockingbird eventually. Heck, I probably will anyways eventually. I love how it looks, sounds, feels, and the attitude of the guitar. I just wish it was more reliable over the year and a half I've owned it. It reminds me of a Les Paul as I've said time and time again. You'd see a lot of the same stuff I put in the features section on a Les Paul, it sounds a lot like one, and feels a lot like one. Granted, it's not the same caliber as a good Gibson, but this is a mid ranged guitar we are talking about. I love the guitar, I just wish it didn't have the problems it does.

Reliability & Durability — 6
This, sadly, is one of the least reliable guitars I own. I love it, I wish it were better about it, but I've had problem after problem with it. I have played it live quite a few times, and have had backups. Thank God I did when I was playing a series of shows, and the Mockingbird was my main guitar for them. About a week prior the shows, my strings started breaking constantly. By the time I realized that my bridge had burs and I needed a new one, it was too late to fix it before the gigs. I went through... 6 D strings in one week I think? Keep in mind we were doing a few hour long practices each day that week, and then the two concerts. I broke 3 of the strings during the shows, and thank God I had a backup. I've since replaced the bridge and no problems since. Another problem I have a lot is that the input jack is not very durable. I have to resolder it probably once every three weeks. I wouldn't trust it to hold up during a live situation; it's given out during band practices before and I don't have such problems with my other guitars to this degree at all. So I give it minus two points for coming with an awful bridge (they don't put the off-brand ones like I had on newer models, by the way. I think they made the switch in '06 or '07), and another two for the input jack.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar had a great set up when I got it from the previous owner via mail. I didn't have any problems with the strings staying in tune, action felt great, intonation was good, etc. I usually put strap locks on my guitars, but I've not needed to for this guitar. I've never had a problem with the strap buttons placement or their quality. The wood looks great, and the finish is beautiful. I absolutely love how this guitar looks and feels. Once again, it reminded me of a Les Paul; the neck is really similar, just slightly thinner. When I got it, there were a few places where the paint was chipped off (but granted, it was used) and on the metal "plate" on the headstock, there was red paint on it. Just barely, more like a slight mist if you know what I mean. I like it actually, but it's still a flaw. So a point off for each of those problems.

Features — 10
This gorgeous B.C. Rich Mockingbird boasts a: - Mahogany body - "Dragons Blood" finish with flamed maple top - Set mahogany neck with ebony fretboard and cloud pearloid inlays - Tune-O-Matic bridge - Rockfield SMV passive humbuckers - Two volumes and tone knobs and a three-way pick up selector just like a Les Paul - Grover tuners When I bought it, I bought it used off eBay for the price above ($50 shipping included in that price). It came with a white Coffin case and a red velvet strap, too. Wonderfully classy. I really don't know how much more I could ask for with this guitar, it has the features I wanted from it and surprisingly good hardware for a midranged guitar.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I am looking for an affordable (up to $100) case for a Mockingbird. Does anyone have any suggestions? I have looked at a lot of cases online, but I can't tell if the Mockingbird would fit in it. The Mockingbird will not fit in the generic case I already own. It can be hard or soft but no bags.