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A Brief History of B.C. Rich Guitars

Aug 17, 2007
The B.C. Rich Company has its roots in a classical and Spanish style guitar repair shop owned and operated by Bernardo Chavez Rico. He later expanded to guitar making and his early models were inspired by the Les-Paul guitars. Some of these early styles include the Mockingbird and the Eagle.

Over time, B.C. Rich, then called B.C. Rico, desired to make more mass produced and inexpensive guitars. The name was eventually changed to B.C. Rich after a lawsuit. The guitars manufactured were known to have exceptional quality and they developed a following of devoted players.

But, Rico made a business move in the 1990s that nearly damaged this reputation. He gave a manufacturer named Class Axe the rights to make guitars under the new brand name. These guitars were a disaster because they were of poor quality. Once Rico learned of this, he stopped the production of these guitars and went into hiding until the issue was sorted out. Because of this, they lost a lot of their loyal following.

Despite this brief disaster, B.C. Rich will always be known for the many innovations they contributed to guitar manufacturing. They became one of the first companies to construct using a neck through body setup and they included pickups and other hardware inside the guitar to enhance the sound and tone. They also have a guitar that is made of acrylic and is completely see through.

Today, the Class Axe disaster is in the past. And though they hardly make the neck through construction guitars any more in favor of the bolt construction (to appeal to a different audience) they are once again a more respected company.

Some of the brands of guitars you can find now include the Assassin/ASM, Dagger, Mockingbird and Mockingbird II, Zombie, Widow, Wrath, Seagull, Jazzbox, Nighthawk, and the Gunslinger. For a complete listing of all the guitars check with your local dealer or look online.

Over the years, B.C. Rich guitars have made quite an impression on professional artists. These include Kerry King, Steve Smyth, Tracii Guns, Craig Ross, Dearborn, Acey Slade, Christy Kane, and Terrence Hobbs.

Here is what one person has to say about B.C. Rich guitars:

Seems like it should withstand live playing. I will be sure to get straplock though. The tuners don't look really sturdy. Probably as good as old Les Paul tuners, bridge, tailpiece, etc. I think I would need hotter pickups or a preamp for live since I usually play loud musics.

The finish seems to be a tough polyurethane. Would I use it without a backup? Probably not. But then I always bring a backup no matter what I am playing.

Excellent aggressive thundering tone with plenty of top end bite & cut thru. Best suited to heavier metal and such music. Good variety of useful tonal range by adjusting each pups volume. Neck thru body design gives excellent sustain, attack & fullness to the voices. Balances well on strap with no neck dive.

Want to Rock like there is no tomorrow. B.C. Rich may be a good choice for your guitar.
About the Author
Guitar Warehouse is your place to Buy Guitar and other musical gear. We also offer a wide range of
B.C. Rich Guitars
and Free Guitar Lessons.
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