Manta Ray 290 review by Reverend

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  • Sound: 9
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 6 (12 votes)
Reverend: Manta Ray 290

Sound — 9
I play a wide range of music from jazz to pop punk to djent and metalcore. The bridge pickup is actually quite HOT when you play it through some decent distortion. For any sort of metal or punk I play through a Jet City JCA 50 (Great amp) and for the cleaner bits I have a VHT Special 6 (any sort of British invasion/blues/jazz). Both pickups are very well balanced and clear. They may be the best thing about this guitar. You can really get any tone you want from them (last night I played some Meshuggah and Django Reinhardt on the same guitar!). The Korina body with a maple top also add very nicely to sound and the semi hollowness only helps more.

Overall Impression — 9
This guitar is beautiful and can play about anything. Charlie Christian to Fredrick Thordenal. I absolutely love it. It looks and plays like guitars twice or even three times it's price. If I lost it... I'd be pissed because I have no money to go and buy another so I'd probably go on a mad rampage to find it. Despite a couple stupid flawsvon Reverend's part, this is one of the best guitars I've ever played. P.S. Remember to put bigger strings on it so you get a full sound. I recommend D'Addario fat bottom skinny tops because I still love to have some light strings.

Reliability & Durability — 8
It's semi hollow so it won't be as tough as say a Les Paul, but this guitar is very well built and as long as you're not being really violent with it; I can't see anything going wrong. I've gigged with it once and I didn't bring a backup nor was I worried at all while playing. The tuners and input jack are solid so you never have to worry about that either. I will replace the straps with locking ones when I get some more money that's just my preference. Only live downside of this guitar is that it's neck heavy like an SG so you have to keep you're hand on the neck to hold it up.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar came with 10's but I quickly replaced those with fat bottom skinny tops (10-52) which sounded much better. The action was far too low when I bought it and I spent about a week going back to the shop to get it set up. I'm not a huge fan of jumbo frets just because of all the buzz, but after putting those new strings on it I finally got it all sorted out. The neck is built very similarly to that of a Gibson Firebird. Wide and medium thickness. (A little on the thin side) Also those 6230 frets make it feel even more like a Firebird. Absolutely great neck. It's fast and very comfortable.

Features — 8
This is a 2011 Reverend Manta Ray with 22 jumbo frets, 2 P-90 pickups, a tone cut for treble and bass, and some useless locking tuners. I want to start of with saying this guitar is relatively simple. It's a maple top on Korina (very cool) with a shooting star f-hole on top (semi-hollow) and some diverse pickups. There's not a huge amount you can do to mess with this guitar other than select which pickup to use (I don't use the tone controls except for jazz). But honestly this is a wonderful guitar. I wish they hadn't put locking tuners on it just because it makes stringing the guitar with enough string tension a bit of a hassle, but everything about the guitar is sold sounding and working. Only complaints were a few minor flaws on the lower horn, not something I'd expect at this price, but it's not a big deal.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Your comparisons on price drive me insane. You talk about the price numerous times during your review, never mentioning what the actual price is. That said, not a terrible review.
    This is be far the WORSE guitar I have ever owned. I had it for one day and made them take it back, the sound was thin and "flimsy" with no real guts. You couldn't give me one. I personally think it's the worst guitar in the Reverend Lineup