Mockingbird ST Review

manufacturer: B.C. Rich date: 03/22/2015 category: Electric Guitars
B.C. Rich: Mockingbird ST
Equipped with neck-through construction, a Floyd Rose tremolo, Rockfield Mafia Pickups, coil tap switches, reverse phase switch and Varitone knob this axe is ready to shred and slash!
 Sound: 9
 Overall Impression: 9.1
 Reliability & Durability: 8.1
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9
 Features: 9.4
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
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reviews (8) pictures (3) 106 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: hammyguitarist9, on january 08, 2008
15 of 17 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 693.57

Purchased from:

Features: This guitar was made in 2007 and made in Korea, it is part of B.C. Rich's new line of 2007 guitars, and for the price this guitar has a lot of excellent features. The guitar body is the Mockingbird and seems very similar to Slash's Mockingbird that he some times uses. It has a 24 jumbo fret ebony fret board with Diamond inlays and a 24 5/8 scale. The neck is made from maple and is a neck through construction with ebony stringers, the body is made from Koa wood (eastern Mahogany) and has AAA quilted maple veneer, the finish is trans red. The Bridge is an Original Floyd Rose, not a Licensed Floyd Rose, and the locking nut width is 43mm. Also it has Grover super romantics tuners. Onto the electronics, The Pickups are Rockfield Mafias, extremely good pickups, very crisp and clear and has a very smooth tone. It has a 3 way pickup selector, individual pickup volumes and a master tone. There are also individual coil tap switches for each pickup and a reverse phase Switch, finally it has a 5 position varitone which does come in very handy, all of these are passive. Because of the amount of features and the quality of them I will give the features a 10. // 10

Sound: I play almost any style, from heavy metal to blues, this guitar will do almost any style because it is so versatile with the different amount of settings you can have. I am running this guitar through an audio technica wireless kit and a Morley Power Wah into a Peavey Valveking 212 with Celestion v30's, tung-sol preamp tubes and JJ power tubes. This set up compliments this guitar almost perfectly but it did take a while for me to get the right tone. This guitar works extremely well through the clean channel and makes hardly any noise and is full of warmth if you EQ it right, it also can make a beautiful crisp bright sound if you use the coil taps. So you have the warmth of humbuckers and the brightness of single coils. Through the lead channel it performs equally as well with lots of warmth and smooth distortion. The varitone helps to mould the tone as well, it can go from tight and very neat sounding to loose and good for rhythm work. there is one complaint I have that when the coil taps are used on the lead channel it gives a lot of fizz and humming which can get really annoying, other than that the sound is really good but it takes a while to get the right tone. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Finish was perfect, very smooth on the neck, no noticeable dings on the body and it just looks awesome. It felt really nice to play straight out the factory but it wasn't perfect. The intonation was spot on and the OFR was set up almost perfectly. Pickups are in just about in the right position but I might move them closer to the strings to see if I can get a tiny bit more output, probably won't work. All the controls were fitted perfectly, nothing was loose, and the wiring was very well done as well. I can't really find any complaints on the finish but I did have to adjust the action a bit, nothing a bit of guitar Maintenance 101 can't handle. So overall a good factory set up and finish but only needs a slight bit of tweaking. The action I got it to in the end was perfect for me but could be a bit high for some people. Also the neck is thicker than some people might like, but no where near as think as a les Paul neck, it has a nice compromise which I am very happy with. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is absolutely solid at the moment but I haven't had it long enough to say nothing will go wrong, but first impressions make it seem like it will last a long time. Unlike some of the Cheaper B.C. Rich models the hardware will last a long long time, no worries about anything falling off. The strap buttons are bigger on this guitar are bigger and more stable than others and doesn't need strap locks. This guitar will withstand Live playing I am for sure, but when a string breaks with a Floyd Rose, which can happen at any time, you are basically doomed, so you would need a back up guitar just in case that happened. But the quality is good enough so I wouldn't worry about it packing up or falling apart. It isn't too heavy in weight so it doesn't take too much out of you when standing up. And the finish is very well done so I don't feel I need to worry about being damaged it will last. // 9

Overall Impression: Well as I am playing almost any style this guitar most defiantly does it, I mostly play hard rock/metal, I can safely say with the right EQ you can get that sound easily. I have only played this guitar through tube amps and it has performed very well, but I don't how it will perform through a solid state but I am sure it will sound just as good. I don't hate anything about this guitar, I just love it, and everything on this guitar is my favourite feature, it is just so versatile. I have been playing for probably 7 years now, so I have quite a bit of experience, this is the best guitar in the price range I have ever played, the features like an OFR on 400 guitar is amazing and neck through construction. I am not sure there are any other guitars with these kinds of features for under 400, the only reason why I would say people wouldn't like this guitar is the body shape and also the reputation B.C. Rich has for it's cheap guitars. If this guitar were lost/stolen I would defiantly buy another one. lastly I would like to say is that I think that B.C. Rich 2007 series is a lot better than previous years, even the cheaper models, they are now using OFR on virtually all their guitars, which use Floyd Rose trem systems, and are using Rockfield pickups on a lot of the guitars. In my opinion the 2007 B.C. Rich guitars are the best value for money guitars, there is something for everyone (well nearly everyone). // 9

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overall: 9.8
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: Jamestcotton, on march 21, 2012
2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 600

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: I purchased the trans-red ST made in Korea in 2011. It has 24 jumbo frets on a 24 5/8" scale. This is one of coolest Korean made axes on the market in my opinion simply due to the neck thru the body construction and all of the great tone options. Neck is North American Maple that runs from the tip of the head stock all of the way through to the strap pin on the end of the body. The side "wings" are mahogany and the guitar has a Beautiful AAA quilted maple veiner top. The neck through design allows for easy access to the highest frets. The controls look intimidating but, once you familiarize yourself with them, its a nothing. The pickups are active Duncan Design (H-103S I believe) and the guitar has 2x volume and 1x tone control. There is also a notch filter (the chickenhead switch), two coil taps (one for the neck pu and one for the bridge pu) and a phase inverter sitch. The bridge is a Locking Floyd Rose 1000 which is an actual Floyd Rose made to spec with the original Floyd Rose but manufactured in Korea. Works Great. No tuning issues. // 10

Sound: This guitar covers alot of tonal ground. I play it through my pedal board (VHT Valvulator - TU-2 Tuner - Menatone Red Snapper - Fulltone Full Drive II MOSFET - Ibanez BC-9 Bi Mode Chorus - Fulltone SupaTrem - Line 6 DL4) and into my Mesa Boogie Mark IV. It does everything I need it to do. It is not noisy at all and has a very bright tone... A little too bright at times. Consequently, I am changing he pickups to the DiMarzio Breed Pups this week. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Perfect action. Perfect set up. Flawless finish. Couldnt have asked for a better guitar for the money. Its loud, has INCREDIBLE sustain and does all that I could ever ask it to do. The Floyd Rose Trem is set up perfect. The locking nut holds everything in tune perfectly. I actually spent about 30 mins trying to make it go out of tune. No dice. That is a huge selling point for me. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Perfect so far. No issues what so ever. It feel VERY solid and it will withstand live playing. All of the hardward is black and of high quality. The strap buttons are solid and are not a concern. I could gig with this guitar alone. However, I always have at least one backup. You never know. However, I would feel just fine if I didn't have a backup. The finish is beautiful and should last or many years to come. // 10

Overall Impression: Once I get the Breed pickups installed, this will be my main ax. I've been playing for over 25 years and I play just about every style (except country). I own a Music Man Petrucci, two American Strats, a PRS Custom and an ESP H-207 7 string. This feels better, and sustains better, has more flexibility than all of the above. If it were stolen, I'd go out and buy a new one. // 10

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overall: 9
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: unregistered, on june 03, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 410

Purchased from:

Features: Made in 2007, according to the b.c rich website. Assembled in korea, 24 jumbo frets, Diamond inlays, 24 5/8 scale, ebony fretboard, nato(eastern mahogany) body with AAA quilted maple top, neck through construction with ebony stringers. Also has an original Floyd Rose trem system, rockfield mafia humbucking pick-ups(passive), two volume ctrls, one tone, varitone, coil taps, out-of-phase Switch. didn't get a case which is kinda annoying! // 8

Sound: I'm playing mostly hard rock/metal (Alter Bridge, Guns And Roses etc an bands such as At The Gates, Lamb Of God, Shadows Fall and others) and this guitar does perform well but because of the amount of controls and coil taps you can get great, clear and bright clean tones.when I first got it I was running it through my Peavey bandit amp and a DigiTech "the weapon" pedal which was ok but I would have liked a smoother sound. I am now running it through a Marshall Dsl 401 going into a Marshall cab and thetone I'm getting is excellent.again I mainly play on the bridge p.u but the neck p.u gives you a nice smoother almost bluesy tone that wouldn't sound out of place on a rory gallaugher album(R.I.P). Again like I said because of the amount of controls on this guitar you can get a variety of tones. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Factory action was fine, came set up with 10-45 strings which I had to change almost immediately, OFR was perfect, no problems at all with setting it up after changing strings either. Pick-ups were a bit low for me personally so had to raise them a good bit, not a single flaw and was very well packaged(had to be delivered to ireland)cant really fault GAK at all, very well delivered. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar can easily withstand the gigs I've played so far anyway.the hardware is top quality and I've no problem with the floyd at all! Which is a change from my Ibanez(edge 3=useless)strap buttons are also fine quite chunky, you have to remember that this guitar is actually quite heavy(about 8 kg) and the hardware seems to holding up with the Live shows very well. Finish is again well done and does look quite thick so the tone may change over time and use but obviously not drastically. // 9

Overall Impression: Overall I am impressed with this guitar both as a gigging guitar and simply as an instrument. It is a good match for the type of music I play simply because you can tweak the sound and tone to match what you need, I personally get a great tone and it was simple and didn't require very much tweaking!. I've been playing for just over 5 years now and this trounces the Ibanez, certainly bridge-wise anyway. If it did get stolen I would find them and impale with the ibanezs headstock! And obviously take the bird back! There's nothing I hate about it except that the neck is a bit thick than what I'm used to other than that it is perfect, favorite feature has to be the OFR on a guitar this price?, f---g amazing! I did compare it to a couple of other models that I had my eye on such as an ESP ltd mh250 and a Gibson Les Paul but after realizing that this encompassed the features I wanted from both of them(trem and sustain)it was an easy choice. // 8

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overall: 9
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: String-Dancer, on december 08, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: C$ 1000

Purchased from: Morris Music

Features: This guitar is made in Korea, it has 24 jumbo frets, a quilted maple top with a glossy finish. This mockingbird has an original Floyd Rose tremelo and passive rockfield mafia pickups. Controls include a revererse phase switch, two coil taps, 5 way varitone filter, 2 volume and a 3 way toggle pick up selector. Tuners are grover rotomatic locking tuners and I bought a B.C rich hard case along with it. // 9

Sound: I play metal in it most extreme forms ranging from, Iron Maiden to Metallica to Slayer to Arch Enemy and this guitar handles it great. The pick ups are very high output and are great for heavy chunky rhythms and screaming leads. I am running it through a 75 watt Peavey Vypyr and this thing is great, if your into metal and want a wide variety of sounds shoot for this guitar. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action factory set up was far too high for my liking, but nothing a little twist on the truss rod couldn't fix. I was able to lower it extremely low this no fret buzz, a great aspect for sweeping picking and lightning fast leads! The guitar contained no flaws whatsoever from the factory as well, which really shows the quality of the B.C Rich company. // 9

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is built solid, it would definetly survive any sort of gigging or Live playing, I wouldn't second guess myself to take this guitar on tour. I took a look at the hardware and it is wired extremely well, dosen't need any replacing or reinforcement of the sort so I'd say yes it will last a very long time. The strap buttons are very big on this guitar, you might not even need strap locks. To gig I would like to say I'd use it without a back up but with the Floyd Rose I would have to have another guitar with me. Like I said earlier this thing is built like a rock so the finish is great for live playing. // 8

Overall Impression: For any sort of metal this guitar is one to go with, its played better (for me) then any other "metal" guitar and I would never sell or part with it. I have been playing 2 years and have owned a low quality warlock, a Ibanez rg series, and an Epiphone korina Flying V so this guitar blows all of those guys out of the water. I have no regrets with this guitar and if it were stolen or lost I would buy it again, no questions asked. This guitar leaves me feeling great and confident, I feel I can play cleaner and better with this axe and I would not trade it for any other guitar in the world. If you really really want a guitar that just feels so great for metal, go with this one. // 10

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overall: 8.6
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 01, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 699.99

Purchased from: ebay

Features: This guitar was made in Korea with 24 frets, and what feels like medium frets. The body and neck is Mahogany with ebony stringers. The fretboard is also ebony. I got mine as red finish. It has a original floyd rose (which I had to get used to) it has passive Rockfield Mafia pickups. There are two volume controls, a tune knob, reverse phase switch, coil tap, and a 5-varitone knob. I was amazed at all the hardware. It was one of the main reasons I bought this guitar, because I thought it would be very adaptable for different types of music. // 9

Sound: I play general rock and metal (such as canon rock) and it suits it very well. I am using a beginner practice amp that came with a 100 dollar guitar, but I have used it with a Marshall amp and it sounds very good. I found that I can get much better and stronger distortion sounds with the humbuckers, at least at the style of music I play. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The action was pretty low, I had fret buzz at high E first fret. The fretboard kinda looks damaged but maybe ebony just looks like that, overall it was all good. // 9

Reliability & Durability: Well I've had this guitar for about 3 months and I have been experiencing some problems with the hardware. I usually play at the bridge pickups but when I switch to neck pickups, I have found that the volume setting on the bridge pickup affects the volume on the neck pickup, it is quite an inconvenience. And I also noticed that the neck pickup is initially weaker sounding when switched. The input jack is also wobbly and I have to screw it back in. I take very good care of this guitar because it is one of my most prized possessions, and I play at church twice a week and don't remember bumping it into anything. // 7

Overall Impression: I'm a relative beginner being playing for about an year now. The only other guitar I own is the beginner guitar "Kalos by Cecillio" I found that this guitar with quite the thick fretboard was appropriate for my large hands and found I play better on it. I bought this guitar because I'm a fan of mockingbirds after X Japan's "Hide", and it serves my purpose well. I really don't use the coil taps or the phase shifts, but that's mainly because I don't play those types of music yet. // 9

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overall: 9.2
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: EmiRizzi, on october 01, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 590

Purchased from:

Features: The guitar is US made and has a maple neck through construction with 24 jumbo frets (5/8" scale). The neck through allows really easy access to all the frets. It has a beautiful beveled top with a gorgeous transparent cherry finish. And an AAA quilted maple veneer top wood. The head is Nato (eastern mahogany) with ebony stringers and onyx (on top) headstock colour and rosewood (on the back and sides of the head). The Grover Super Rotomatics Tuners are extremely easy to operate and just look fantastic. The ebony fretboard and onyx headstock make the cherry red stand out even more. It has pearloid Diamond inlays, I would've loved mother of pearl sharktooth inlays but admittedly that's more a Jackson V look. It features a floyd rose bridge (and grover locking tuners) and 2 fantastic sounding passive Rockfield Mafia humbuckers. All the hardware is black. It has the following in switches: - 2 volumes - 2 tones - a three-way toggle switch (for the pickups) - 5 way tone knob - a tone knob - 2 coil switches - and a phase switch. // 10

Sound: This Guitar fits EVERY SINGLE subgenre of metal. The 5 way tone switch allows you to get Santana warmth or Judas Priest solo aggression. I love it. And this is without even touching the tone-knob. what's cool is that one could easily get a Strat sound, if one wanted to, with the coil-switches. There are two switches that allow you to play with a single coil of both Rockfield Mafia pickups. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: As soon as I got the guitar it was absolutely perfect. No fretbuzz and great action. Although not as low as for example, the ESP M1000. Nevertheless very good. I prefer to have the bridge pickup higher than the neck pickup so I had to readjust them, but that's just how I like it. I'm guessing for someone else it would've been perfect. There were no flaws in the construction. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I have to be honest. The hardware seems somewhat fragile. When selecting a lot between the bridge and neck pickup, the signal on the bridge pickup sometimes cuts out (as in only the treble come through). This although, I believe is only on this specific guitar, I doubt that every Mockingbird ST has this issue. It must be a bad connection between electrical components. Its an easy fix but still, should've been looked at in the factory. Apart from that everything's perfect. // 7

Overall Impression: As I said before, this guitar is perfect for any genre of metal. For that matter any genre out there that has electric guitars in it. It is so extremely versatile with all the choices in toneswitches etc. I own all of the new TC Electronic line (Toneprint) of pedals and the guitar sounds absolutely amazing with any of those effects. And you godda admit... It looks absolutely effin' cool. there's no other way of putting it. I mean the shape just adds this coolness about anyone who plays it. What I would've loved is if it had a killswitch. Where when you press it it cuts the signal. With that it would pretty much have every single button and switch one could think of. But you can't have everything. // 9

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overall: 8.2
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: lukcuturic97, on march 22, 2015
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 532

Purchased from: Thomann

Features: 2013 Trans Red made in Korea (from the same factory as Chapman PRS SE, ESP LTD, Schecter etc) B.C. Rich Mockingbird ST. It's the second generation with both a mahogany neck and body, neck-thru construction, quilted maple veneer top. 24, 5/8" scale length (bit shorter than your average Les Paul and a tiny bit longer than a PRS Singlecut 245) with 24 medium jumbo frets on a fantastic ebony fretboard with diamond inlays. The neck is much wider and thinner than a Les Paul neck, it feels more like an Ibanez neck than a Gibson neck. It's like the Wizard II's chubby brother, but I dislike thin necks. Traditional 3+3 B.C. Rich headstock with the script logo and black Grover Super Rotomatic tuners which are the most precise tuners I've ever used. The bridge on the ST is a black Floyd Rose 1000, which is the same thing as an Original Floyd Rose but only made in Korea. As opposed to the first generation ST's which had an OFR made by Ping.

The pickups are Duncan Designed HB-103 pickups, which are Duncan Distortions made in the far east. Down to the control section we find 3 top hat style knobs, 2 volumes, 1 for the bridge and 1 for the neck, a master tone, 3-way pickup selector switch, a chickenhead knob to control the 5-position varitone, 3 mini switches: 2 coil splits, one for the bridge pickup, 1 for the neck pickup and a phase switch. These electronics are very similar to the USA/Moser electronics, but the USA/Moser are active and have an onboard boost and a 6-position varitone, whereas the production line models have a 5-position varitone and a full passive circuit. My model was a B-stock, but it did come with a few extra strings and some allen keys (but not the right one to unlock the locking nut...) and it did not come with a case or gig bag. // 10

Sound: What you might think is that this guitar is a one trick pony, but you'll be so wrong. The extended electronic circuitry makes this one of the most versatile guitars available. With the pickups split it sounds identical to a Telecaster, I compared it with the sound of an actual Tele. It's a very twangy sound, even with a shorter scale lentgh. The clean tones are so rich and beautiful, great for Gilmour sounds or just strumming chords. Good thing too is that the splits are audible even when using a very high gain setting. It also helps to clean up the sound even more when rolling back the volume. The varitone is a nice and audible addition but I don't use it too often, but it does change your sound a bit, which is what it was made for. It does however cut a little volume when switching to any of the other positions, but this volume cut could be used to create a rhythm sound when using high gain or just to clean up the sound even more. The phase switch gives you a nasal sound which is perfect when using both pickups in single coil mode to play funk or to recreate Jimmy Page's sound from "Achilles' Last Stand." I don't play clean with humbuckers so I'll move on to distorted sounds.

As I mentioned earlier, there is an audiable difference between the humbucker and split mode, which makes me able to switch from an Alter Bridge sound to a Hendrix sound by literally a flick of a switch. The pickups have a lot of clarity, even when using too much gain. They are high output pickups so they clearly work for metal and rock, but also for indie and especially ambient! The sound could be a little tighter though and when using a lot of gain with a solid state the pickups can get a little muddy. With the shorter scale length the neck humbucker gives a very soothing fat sound whick sounds amazing whilst soloing. The guitar is not noisy, except when you switch to single coils, then you get a 60-cycle hum but that's normal. Other than that, it fits every possible style, from funk, jazz and ambient to alternative rock and heavy metal and even noisy pornogrind if you want to. With all the switches there is no style of music you couldn't use this guitar for. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: Since my guitar had to be shipped over from Germany to the Netherlands it was carried from truck to warehouse to truck over and over again, but surprisingly the only adjustment that had to be done was to level the Floyd Rose with the body. The action, intonation, pickup height and the truss rod were adjusted perfectly. Also the frets weren't sharp and there are no dead fret whatsoever. The only flaw is that the volume pots aren't good. The neck volume cracks a little bit when around 7 but that's not a big deal. The bridge volume however started to cut off the sound when you touched it, which happened to me live when I was playing the "solo" from "R U Mine." I later replaced the pot and now there are no problems anymore. The other electronics work perfectly. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I've used this guitar live a couple times now and apart from the sudden volume cut one time it hadn't let me down. The Floyd on it is a 1000 series which stays in tune perfectly, it even stays in tune when the bridge is not completely aligned with the body. I use strap locks on every guitar I use live so I can't really tell how the original strap buttons were, other than that they were screwed well into the body and that they felt solid. You an really depend on this guitar but you should never play live without a backup, especially when you have a Floyd Rose equipped guitar. So if I need another tuning or if it ever happens, I have my Les Paul as a backup. The finish is surprisingly good, I only have tiny almost invisible scratches on the back of the body because of belts or buttons. // 7

Overall Impression: This guitar suits me perfectly. I play ambient, alternative rock, progressive rock, hard rock and alternative metal, this guitar does everything. I've been playing for almost 5 years now and alongside my Epiphone Les Paul Standard I play it through my Roland Cube 15XL at home (which I will replace with a Blackstar HT-5 with a 2x12 in a couple months), a Peavey Bandit Transtube 112 at rehearsals and sometimes live with a Hook El Captain 34 100W head through a 4x12, which sounds immense. My pedals are a Behringer TU-300, Electro-Harmonix LPB-1, Danelectro Fab Delay and a Behringer DR-600 digital reverb. What I love about this guitar is the neck, which is the best neck I've ever played, the looks, electronics and the ebony fretboard which complete this guitar. What I both like and dislike is the shorter 24, 5/8" scale length; soundwise I like it, but the 23rd and 24th frets aren't very usable. I someone stole this guitar, I'd hunt that person down, get the guitar, make sure (s)he gets a death penalty and sue his/her parents for not using a condom.

Overall, a both classy and aggressive looking, amazing sounding, extremely well playing and versatile guitar for a pretty affordable price. I'd recommend this guitar to everyone. If you like to hear "Damn, that's one very nice looking and sounding guitar!" when you get off stage, then this is the guitar to get. // 9

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overall: 8.6
Mockingbird ST Reviewed by: sunburstshredde, on april 28, 2014
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: Motor City Guitar, Waterford, MI

Features: This guitar was made in Korea in 2012. It's got 24 jumbo frets on a 24-5/8 inch neck with diamond inlays on an ebony fretboard. Both the body and the neck are mahogany with a transparent glossy finish. The bridge is a neck through B.C. Rich quad, similar to those found on Gibson guitars. It's got two Duncan Designed HB-103 humbuckers, which are lovely. There is one master volume for each pickup and one master volume, a three way selector switch, coil taps, a reverse phase switch, and a five way varitone knob. The tuners are Grover Super Rotomatics. My only complaint was that it didn't come with a gig bag. With the vast array of features and quality hardware and electronics, what's not to like about this guitar? // 9

Sound: I play classic and modern rock, blues, jazz, and some metal, and it suits each of these styles well. Hell, with the reverse phase switch on using both pickups, you can get some Telecaster-esque tones for country. I am playing through a Fender Hot Rod DeVille using the following effects: Dunlop Crybaby, Boss SD-1, Electro-Harmonx Big Muff Pi, Ibanez CS9, and MXR Phase 90. Using the coil taps you can reduce the output to make the pickups sound like single coils. On the plus side, I've found that combining one pickup with the coil tap on with the other off can produce gorgeous clean tones. However, using the taps with distortion produces hum, but that's to be expected. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory setup was pretty good overall. The action was close to where I wanted it to be (somewhat high), to my surprise. However, there were a few things that needed correction. The neck pickup was a bit uneven (the end near the low low E string was higher), the intonation needed some adjustment on the lower strings, and the bridge saddle was slightly crooked on the high E string. Fortunately, correcting these issues was no big deal. Afterward, it was some time before the strings went out of tune. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I haven't played any gigs since purchasing this guitar, but I am confident that it will hold up well. The hardware seems like it will last for years. I have no worries about not bringing a backup for this as long as I bring a stand as this guitar is difficult to stand upright. The strap buttons are adequate, but I have replaced them with the Dunlop Dual Design Strap System. It's probably too soon for me to comment on the finish, but i will say that it's very glossy, so it will likely scratch easily on the back side, not that anyone will look there. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing for 7 years; I also own Fender MIM Strat and a Gibson Les Paul Studio, and I would be worried if I were them because I haven't put this thing down since buying it a month ago. If this guitar got lost or stolen I would buy a new on as soon as possible, but I would consider the version that has Floyd Rose tremolo. I chose this because it's comfortable to play, has a very smooth neck and a lot of tone possibilities, and it's a very unique, eye catching body style - it's just plain sexy as hell. If you're looking for something that's affordable, sounds great, and is different from what your friends are using, check this out. // 9

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