Virgo Vintage Celtic review by B.C. Rich

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  • Sound: 7
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 7
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 7.4 Good
  • Users' score: 7.1 (65 votes)
B.C. Rich: Virgo Vintage Celtic

Price paid: A$ 299

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 7
Th Virgo suits metal, pure and simple. When I feel in a metal mood I reach for this. I have other guitars that I reach for if I want to sound more 'authentic' with other genres such as blues and rock. Not to say the Virgo cannot be used for other genres, it's just not optimised for them. In this regard it's one or at most two dimensional. If you want a more rounded guitar that can slip between blues or rock and metal, this wouldn't be my first choice. The tone and sound on the bridge setting is on the bright end and lacks some of the low end growl and crunch which isn't unexpected from a light body guitar, however it does have a relatively tight punchy sounding palm mute. The bridge pickup is what I can only define as medium output suited for higher gain amps. Straight up plugged into my JCM800 it's decent crunch sound (for the price). The Virgo clean was surprisingly crisp and defined for slow arpeggios but lacked individual note definition on fast string skips or Chord strums. In comparison switching it into my Vintage Modern it needed some EQ pedal and added clean boost pedal love to fine tune a heavy crunch tone. I could adjust for the lack of bottom end and the sound came through, full and rich. Neck pickup, to me, sounded slightly muddy straight into the amp. A bit of tuning the amp settings or guitar settings could get me clearer defined low end notes but the muddiness never really went away. The high end has ok definition and tone. Personally I'd consider switching the pickups if you're looking to make this a main guitar. Good style guitar for metal, probably better suited towards a beginner. Deducted points because you can use it to play other genres, but other manufacturer guitars can deliver a more 'authentic' tone. The pickups are ok, not great, just ok. If you're looking to make this a main guitar, pickup change is recommended.

Overall Impression — 8
This is a good guitar for metal. For a beginner, the price makes it most attractive. If you're wanting a guitar for blues or rock, you can probably get a guitar that is better suited to those sounds for the same price. For the seasoned player, they will notice the light weight and almost toy like feel immediately. It is by no means perfect, but for $299.00AUD its quite cheap and plays well, the action makes your fret hand glide and the finish is immaculate. It looks great and the pots and switches feel solid. If I had the time and inclination I'd switch the tuners and pickups. The bridge saddles are fit for purpose. However, depending if you like aesthetics (I do), switching the hardware will degrade the whole 'distressed metal' look if that is something you value.

Reliability & Durability — 7
I haven't played it in a live gig environment, so far only jams with friends. I don't have the confidence to take it to a gig without a backup, but that's because it's unproven as yet and I take a second guitar to my jams by default. The electronics feel solid and the pots have a nice smooth glide to them but the strap buttons, straight up I'd just recommend strap locks if you're going to go live with this. I've had a strap slip off at the butt end just jamming and bashing around a bit. It didn't take much for the strap to come away. You don't want this happening in a live gig.

Action, Fit & Finish — 7
The setup when I received it was stock string height and relief. No fret buzz and the frets were all quite well levelled. So straight up stock factory setup. No complaints, just a higher action than what I'm used to. I was able to adjust the action to get a lot lower and just tweak the neck a bit straighter by slightly adjusting the relief. The guitar intonates very well and I was able to match the intonation from open string to 12th fret harmonic and up to the 24th fret harmonic quite close to each other, which surprised me as this is a relatively cheap guitar. It was setup to allow fast playing, and still came away with no fret buzz anywhere on the neck. The feel of the neck is quite comfortable, but again it all just feels very light to me. Slides feel like they glide across the back of the neck and finger pressure to fret requires only a very light touch. Great for fast alternate picks and shreds if that's your thing. The tuning pegs while workable and hold tune relatively well. Good hold, but not great. The tuners also came with some play within them. It takes (what feels like) about 1/8 rotation on any of the tuners before the peg actually rotates and acts on the string. This makes it easy to overadjust if you're not used to the feel of the tuners. But for the price, this is a minor complaint. Good overall action fit and finish, but had to deduct points due to the almost toy like weight of the neck and play within the tuners. If you're looking to make this a main guitar, tuner swap is recommended.

Features — 8
The guitar I bought was made in China in 2008 and have had it for about 6 months now. Overall I've been playing around 6 years now with a focus on various metal, rock and blues. If you're interested in specific bands you can check my profile. Not going to rehash all this here. I've had the Virgo long enough now to have put it through its paces The stats are as follows: BC Rich - Virgo Vintage Celtic - Construction: Bolt-On Neck - Body Wood: Mahogany - Top Style: Beveled - Headstock Style: BC Rich Beast - Headstock Colour: Black, Gloss finish. BC Rich Logo in white - Body Colour: Black, Gloss finish - Tuners: B.C. Rich Diecast - Neck Wood: Maple - Fretboard: Ebony - Strings: 6 - Inlay: Celtic Knot - Frets: 24 jumbo - Scale: 25.5" - Bridge Type: Tune o' matic - Pickups: B.C. Rich B.S.D.M. - Controls: 1 volume, 1 three-way toggle and 1 tone - Hardware Finish: Aged Pewter The first thing I noted is that it is quite light in weight. Lightest of all the guitars I own. It threw me at first and still feels a bit odd months later. All my other guitars are mid to heavy weight and just have that comfortable solid and sturdy feel. The finish in black gloss was flawless and buffs up beautifully to mirror finish. There were no accessories that came with this, but for the price, it didn't detract from anything.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

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    Viking_Swede666 wrote: what's so Celtic about it?
    This. I played one. Pretty nice to play, it feels right but hate the way it looks. Despite loving metal I have never been a fan of spikey, obviously metal guitars.