BC Rich JrV NJ Deluxe

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by Edika, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Location:
    Londonderry, N.Ireland, UK
    Features
    Starting with the specs of this guitar you can see that it is quite impressive of what it offers for the price:
    Body: Mahogany
    Neck: Maple
    Fretboard: Ebony
    Frets: 24 jumbo
    Scale: 25.5'
    Binding: Abalone and white binding
    Bridge: OFR
    Tuners: Grover mini
    Headstock: Reverse inline
    Pickups: EMG81 bridge, EMG85 neck
    Colour: Onyx black
    Controls: 2 volumes, 1 tone, 1 3way switch

    For a medium priced guitar it has a lot of features. When the reverse headstock model had come out it was advertized as a Mahogany body rather than the Nato that appears on the current version. If it ever was Mahogany or if it was Nato I don't know. Anyway I bought this guitar at February 2009 from the US as I couldn't really find it in Europe or the price difference was quite high. It came with a hardshell case and decently packed. Back then the other possibilities with specs were 300-400$ more expensive buying from the US and you don't want to know how much more expensive here.

    Sound
    My initial impressions were not very positive for this guitar but this has more to do with the next session. When the guitar was setup as it should it sounded very good. I liked the EMG's quite a lot for metal stuff. I had this guitar tuned to drop C and it was performing really well. Natural and artificial harmonics were a breeze, quite good sustain, very quiet pickups and really powerful sound. I found the 85 a bit too bassy and boomy for solos especially when using lower strings.
    They get a 3 however for the reasons everyone is complaining about, the compressed sound and kind of lifeless cleans (the 85 in this case was quite good). A bit of chorus and delay made it better but they were still no were near passives. Plus they covered faults in my playing, which while sounded cool when I was playing on this guitar, I was really disappointed when I changed to one with passives.
    I haven't had the opportunity to change pickups in this guitar to see how much the EMG effect everyone has been speaking about affected the guitar, or how it sounded with other pickups.
    In conclusion this guitar was more of a one trick pony. A really good metal sound but not much else. Sounds kind of strange since this is meant to be a metal guitar mainly, but I wanted to mention the general attributes.

    Action, Fit and Finish

    The trip over the Atlantic didn't help much the guitar and I am sure that the guys at Musicfarm didn't really do any setup on the instrument before shipping. If they did that means that it was quite affected from the trip. The case had on metal leg pushed in but that was due to shipping. The guitar upon arrival came with a lot of buzzing on the low E and A strings. The action was high which had a very negative impact to the sound of the EMG's, they sounded like wet farts. After two failed setups from "luthiers" I did my own setup to the action and while it had a bit of a buzz it wasn't that bad, the action was low and it sounded really good.
    One thing I didn't enjoy was the neck. It was rather round, thick and really glossy. My first guitar had a natural neck and my second a glossy but this one just didn't feel that good. Not that it was impossible to play but it just took some time to get used to it. The jumbo frets helped make things easier along with the EMG's. I would get tired faster and when playing with my other guitars it felt like weights were off my hands.
    The guitar in my hands initially felt a bit cheap. It was rather light with neck dive and there were some cosmetic imperfections. The abalone binding wasn't as pronounced as the Schecter and LTD models, maunly because the guitar is black, but it got annoying after a while. In close inspection you could see that the abalone strips were not continuous in a lot of places which was a bit of putting. On the back of neck heel there was an area that seemed to be not painted. I think it was beneath the lacquer, because it felt smooth on top. It was like a thin line that followed the contour of the heel. The gloss would get smudged a lot and with the Onyx black it would show easily. The fretboard was dyed black which I found out from the first time I played the guitar and having black residue on my fingers. That stopped after a couple of months and the colour didn't become light or brownish. Maybe some of them were lighter and they just dyed everything for good measure.
    I found very annoying the screwed on battery cover. I didn't have to change batteries too soon fortunately.
    I would say it is a guitar that is more visually stunning from afar.

    Reliability
    The finish, hardware and electronics held up very well the four years I had this guitar but it stayed at my home all the time. Not tour, rehearsals or live shows. I knocked a couple of times the pointy ends but there was no chipping so all was good. Everything held up good. However I am not sure how it would do in a rougher environment, hence the 4. I didn't have any issues with the neck after I set up the guitar so it seems it wasn't too prone to climate changes.

    Customer Support
    Didn't use it so no idea.

    Overall Rating
    To conclude in this section (and sorry for my ramblings). It is a quite good mid priced guitars targeted to metal players. Not much more you can do with this guitar. I wouldn't recommend it to people that are used to thinner necks and flatter fretboards but it's not unmanageable. It just needs some getting used. Fret access of course is very good since it's a neckthrough and a V. There are some imperfections in these but they are solidly built, even if they feel a bit on the light and flimsy side at first. The aesthetics is a personal matter. I liked them at first but got a bit tired of them after some time.
    If you are on a budget it's a good choice and could go up with a bit pricier guitars, even though if I had to choose again I would probably fork the extra dough for a MIJ Jackson V. It could be used as a workhorse guitar and mainly for live use as the sound is very good. For people upgrading from low priced guitars it would be a good upgrade. I sold it because I needed the money and had to move to another country otherwise I would have kept it. It was however the first guitar I was planning to sell if I wanted to sell any gear.
     

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