Purchased from: Vintageandmodernguitars
Features — 10
This is the 2010 model and are still in production today in 2015. It has a 25.5" scale maple neck, two of Reverend's own award winning P-90 pickups, Solid wood construction throughout, with no veneer or plywood. The back, sides and center block are produced from one slab of korina which is routed from the top, and then capped with a solid spruce top. This gives the guitar phenomenal sustain and substantial resonance. It has a single volume and single tone knob (I like the simplicity of this but some players prefer having dedicated controls for each pickup) but it also has Reverend's own Bass Contour Control and this is where an otherwise simple guitar suddenly becomes feature packed. The guitar is also adorned with Wilkinson pin-lock tuners and tunomatic bridge & saddle.
If a guitar with individual controls, coil tapping, phase switching, automatic robotic tuners and every gadget under the sun gets a score of 10, I give this guitar an 8: it's simple but the features it has are all very well thought through and the guitar doesn't feel lacking in any way. The Bass Contour Control adds a whole new realm of versatility from the addition of a single knob/pot.
Sound — 10
Right, I've been playing 17 years and previously owned an Ibanez SZ550, Epiphone SG400, Fender Mexican Jaguar, Fender Custom Shop Strat and a Gibson Les Paul Studio. I play through a 1x12 6l6 valve amp made by Ibanez (called the TSA15, check out the reviews on these, they're the most underrated and surprising amps ever, ditched my Orange TH30 for it). The Club King 290 is the best guitar I've owned and one of the best I've ever played. I play funk, soul, rock, pop, blues and indie. This guitar covers all those bases very well. The Alnico P-90's have a slightly compressed sound that delivers a distinctive warm yet articulate sparkle. Thr Bass Contour Control allows you to re-voice the pickups on the fly, you can go from a thick full bodied P-90 down to a '60s strat single coil and have loads of sweet spots in between.
There is plenty of low end and warmth from these P-90's and this means a 1x12 speaker is a must as a minimum. Through my valve amp it's just chock full of character and complex harmonics generated by the resonant chambered body. I like to roll of the Bass Contour Control slightly fir rhythm and then crank it for leads. I just melt when I strum a diminished chord with a little reverb and let the increadible sustain of this guitar carry the notes through a spectrum of subtle frequency changes. It can be bright and sparkly ir it can be smooth, marm and creamy. I just love it.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
Every Reverend guitar is set up by their master luthier in america and has to pass their high standard of quality control. The quality of workmanship is what I would expect to see ona guitar significantly more expensive. It's in all the areas that matter... The neck joint, the routing, when you look inside the f-hole, the fretwork, binding and truss-rod action. It's all perfect. The guitar is meant to look retro and a bit simple. The neck finish is wonderful but the body finish is nothing special. A maple topped offering with a shinier finish as an upgrade would be nice. I didn't like the black pickup covers so I put some chrome ones on and now I think it's stunning.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The tuners, saddle, bridge, graphite nut and construction all make for excellent tuning stability and reliability. The neck feels lovely and my luthier loves setting it up when it goes in for its bi-annual service. I spank around playing funk fairly aggressively with this guitar and it is extremely resilient. I think the finish may wear slightly over time but that is the only issue, every other aspect of this guitar is perfect. I will be playing this live and will be totally confident it won't let me down.
Overall Impression — 9
It appears Reverend have managed to make a guitar that is very unique, has a variety of sounds thanks to the versatility offered by the Bass Contour Control and plays/sounds like a guitar that would usually cost you upwards of 3 times the price. They have compromised slightly on the paint but that is a compromise I am happy to make.
I played over 100 guitars in the last 12 months whilst looking for this guitar and I can safely say that no Epiphone, PRS SE, Gretsch Electromatic or Gibson Les Paul under £1000 will come remotely close to this guitar. The resonance and sustain coupled with the tele-style neck along with the fat P-90 pickups is just a match made in heaven. Please, Please, PLEASE give these guitars the respect they deserve.