Price paid: $ 350
Purchased from: K&C Music Products
Features — 9
This is a sweet axe with some great features new for 2015. These include:
- Unique finish, Gold w/ Carbon Fiber Strip
- Warlock shape with long set neck, contoured heel, and Widow headstock
- 24 fret neck with a single "R" inlay at the 12th fret
- factory specs below;
- Construction Long Set-Neck Slim Heel
- Material Mahogany
- Thickness 40mm
- Binding None
- Material Mahogany
- Finish Painted
- Shape Modern "C"
- Binding None
- Fretboard Rosewood
- Fretboard Radius 12 inch
- Fret Size Jumbo
- Inlays B.C. Rich R on 12th Fret
- Headstock Widow
- Scale Length 24 5/8 inch
- Truss Rod Type Dual Action
- Nut Material Graphite
- Nut Width 1 11/16"
- Tuning Keys Rich Diecast
- Bridge Type Quadramatic
- Hardware Color Black
- Control Knobs Steel Dome
- Electronics Bridge Volume, 3-Way Toggle, Neck Volume, Master Tone
- Neck Pickup Fat Pole Extra-Hot BCR Humbucker
- Bridge Pickup Fat Pole Extra-Hot BCR Humbucker
Sound — 8
I tried two setups, one as a "gigging" setup, and one as a "practice" setup. Both using with Boss MT-2 distortion pedal and the built-in effects respectively; Line 6 Spider II 150W Half-Stack with 4 speaker Crate cab (gigging setup), and a Marshall MG30CFM 30W (practice setup). It sounded pretty similar through both; I was able to get some versatile tones out of it. Now I play heavy metal/metalcore/progressive metal/goblin metal/etc. so I down-tune a lot and while the tuners and bridge hold tuning great, the pickups just can't handle it. On the low strings (E, A) it just sounds muddy. Now granted, these pickups are better than normal BCR stock pups, but they just can't go lower than standard tuning. I will probably switch them out for a set of EMG 81/85 active pickups in the near future. However, in standard tuning they are a little better, and believe it or not, this with the stock pups actually sounds better on a clean setting. And in standard EADGBe it can do distortion, bit just not up to how I play. Pick squeals are a bit harder to pull off, for example. Since it is a long set-neck it resonates very well. I don't know why they put in the carbon fiber, but it doesn't affect it. I'm only giving it an 8 because of the pickups. It's a shame that with such a nice guitar and even on their higher end of the BCR spectrum they cheapes out on the pickups.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
From the factory it was set up great. Nice low action, but the pickups were a bit high, almost touching the strings, but that's just an easy fix. Absolutely 0 flaws anywhere in the paint and it seems to be great quality materials. The contoured neck gives easy access to the higher frets without the heel there. It is also balanced very well. I put on a strap and the guitar was sitting at a comfortable 40-45 degree angle, ideal for playing. The neck is arrow straight and pre-string with D'Addario strings, shat else could a guy ask for? Overall action is perfect and the finish is flawless.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is definitely a gigging guitar. It seems very durable and the paint has yet to wear off or chip anywhere. I would depend on it at a gig. Depending on what style of music I am playing, that is. I have to say, for the money, this is probably the best deal I've ever gotten. Its right up there with my most expensive custom guitars. The hardware seems like it will be around for a while too, the tuners are enclosed and have strong gears, the bridge looks unique and different from my other guitars and its such a simple and effective design, they made it perfect. The knobs and switches are also on there pretty tight, all 3 knobs have screws you need to take out if you want to get them off. For reliability and durability I have to give it a perfect 10.
Overall Impression — 9
Being a Warlock it's suited for metal, but I'd consider a pickup change before cranking the distortion. I have been playing for about seven years and out of my 6 other guitars, this is one of my favorites (as far as quality). In my tests I compared it to a Dean Vendetta 4.0 Custom Shop model (similar specs, the only difference is my custom shop has EMG's), and for de-tuning tests, I compared it to my RG3EXFM1 with locking tuners, and with the stock tuners this was just as good. I tuned it down to drop-A at one point, so for that I compared it to my Jackson JS32-8Q 8-string Dinky and of course the 8-string sounded better, but this held a tune that low just as well, I was very surprised. If it was stolen or Los I would definitely buy one again. I may buy another just because I liked it so much! (and swap the pups). I love how balanced it is while standing, the contoured neck, the 2 volume/1 tone/pup selector switch lets me have an Ace Frehley type killswitch, the stock hardware, and my favorite feature is the carbon fiber strip. No purpose as far as I know, it just looks cool haha. I wouldn't say I hate the pickups, but when I have the chance I will swap them out. This is pretty much the perfect guitar if you want a neck-thru type bada-s looking axe for under $400. I'm only giving it a 9 because of the pickups. They may be great for someone else, and I do like them for clean, but for heavy distortion they just don't cut it.