B.C. Rich NJ Deluxe Warbeast Guitar, Onyx Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Saturday, October 15, 2011

B.C. Rich NJ Deluxe Warbeast Guitar, Onyx
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I bought this guitar because I missed my last one (a B.C. Rich "Warlock"--Bronze series), which I sold over a decade ago. Back then, I didn't have the EMG pickups, but wanted them. When I saw that B.C. Rich had put EMG pickups into their guitars, it made it all the more important that I get a new one. I deliberated between this guitar and the VERY similar B.C. Rich NJ Deluxe "Warlock", and ultimately chose this one. I'm very happy with it.

It is well worth the money. The quality is extremely high. The pearl binding all around the edge of the guitar is safe behind the ultra-glossy surface, and accented by white. To me, it looks like the whole guitar was originally white, with the black painted on top of it--and, of course, the pearl put on.

The fretboard is Ebony, which is said to be very hard-to-work-with (for craftsmen making things). It's highly polished, smooth, and I don't know if it was painted or if it was soaked in stain, or what, but it's very nice and black. The guitar has Grover tuners (best possible tuners for guitars), and an original Floyd Rose tremelo. The EMG pickups are the "81" and the "85". Though the sound of a guitar is altered by what you put it through (amps, effects, and so forth), all I can say here is it just sounds professional and it seems the pickups do a great job of getting it from the strings to the amp. I bought a Line 6 combo amp, and it has all kinds of effects (clean channel, metal, crunch, insane; reverb, phaser, tremelo, chorus...) and through all of those, this guitar performs well.

The sustain is incredible! It is so cliche' to say "Sustain for DAYS!" haha (as I've heard many guitarists say that), but it's true of this guitar. It has to be the neck-thru-construction. It's a single piece. Don't expect a bolt-on with this guitar--this one is a higher class, and you can't see a seam in the back where the neck meets the body, because there isn't a seam. It's all smooth and one sloping piece.

It's a guitar that should last for years and years. Some reviews I have read (over on another Musician's store site) commented about the edging flaking off. Frankly, I can't see how they could say such about this guitar--or what they must have been doing to it to get that to happen (if it did at all), because the gloss is very thick. I doubt I will ever have a problem with that. It could have been a fluke (that theirs did that), and|or the company might have started putting more clear coating on it. Whatever the case, I sure don't see that potential here, unless one bangs it around against something hard.

My guitar arrived safely, double-boxed (the inside box being one of those almost triangular shaped boxes, generally form-fitting the guitar). I was worried about it arriving unscathed, but had no need to fear. the inner box had blocks of styrofoam glued in place around the guitar, and the inner box was taped shut with packing tape. There was a large quantity of brown wadded paper around the inner box (inside the large one). The shipping invoice or data says 40lbs, but it didn't feel like it. Everything arrived safely, and on time. It came fully stringed and tuned (though I re-tuned it). I don't know what brand strings they put on it, but it seems like it comes with 'nines'. Something rather light, in any case; if not medium. I had bought GHS Boomers ('nines') in preparation for it, but haven't had to use them yet.

There's not a whole lot else to say, except: B.C. Rich, EMG Pickups, and high quality! The price is great. With EMG pickups each going for about $120 (give or take), by the time you consider the $240 of that, and the $800 price of the whole guitar, it has to hit you that you're getting their higher quality level guitar here for an astounding price. This guitar retails for $1,200. B.C. Rich does have a higher level (where they make the guitars by hand), and those cost a few thousand. This one was made in Korea, and says so right on the back of the headstock (where it also has a unique serial number), all embedded under the glossy coat. On the front of the headstock is the familiar logo--this one reflecting the pearl design--as well as the 'Warbeast NJ DLX' to denote the model.

One volume knob (for both pickups) and one tone knob on the front of the body; as well as the three-way toggle switch to select either pickup, or both at the same time. A tremelo ("whammy bar") screws on. All hardware is in black.

There are three black plastic panels on the back. Access panels. Behind one, the compartment where you can add the extra (fourth) spring if you want more tension on the tremelo (it has three on there already). Behind another, access to the knobs|electronics. Behind the third and last panel is a 9-volt battery, since these are "active pickups", giving a boost to the sound. When the battery runs down, all you'll notice is that the sound gets quieter. Active pickups add more punch. The EMG pickups are enclosed in epoxy resin, sealed tight, so no dust will ever get in there, and they won't corrode.UPDATE: It's been a little over a month since I ordered and received this guitar. And playing it has been a pure pleasure! :-)

I have to add this: this B.C. Rich guitar sure does stay in tune! Every so often, after really wailing and shredding on it, I'll go plug in the cable to the chromatic tuner I have, only to find out it either doesn't need any tweaking, or the required tweaks (at the tremelo) are VERY minimal at best.

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Product Description:
Neck-through, EMG Pickups and a Floyd Rose Original Tremolo…..Want more? We've also added an ebony fretboard and full pearl binding on the neck, body and headstock!

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