Bernie Rico Jr. Neck Thru Hesperian CS 7 String

Discussion in 'Guitar Reviews' started by kmanick, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. kmanick

    kmanick Contributor

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    Ok, I've had this guitar for almost 3 months now so I feel like I can give a more honest objective review of it.
    This is the first neck thru Hesperian 7 (that I know of ) with the first "Retro" headstock as a reversed 2/5.
    I ordered this in the last week of November 2009 and I recieved it the 3rd week of November 2010.
    I wanted something a bit more "traditional looking but I still wanted the playability of a BRJ.

    We reshaped the headstock once and reshaped the horns so that added a couple of months on to it.

    I ordered this thru Zimbloth who was great to deal with thru out the entire process.
    I'm lucky in the sense that his store is literally 10 minutes away from my house so if I need to get a hold of him it's usually pretty easy.:cool:


    Was it worth the wait? I think so:agreed: I'll go over this pretty thoroughly.
    #1. build quality.
    I never really had any worries here. I had played all of Nicks (Zimbloths)
    Vixens and a couple of Jekylls that passed thru his shop. The build quality on all of them was gorgeous. With mine it is no different.
    The frets are beautiful, level, polished (SS) no gaps or glue around the
    inlays or the binding, the quality of the quilt looks to be at least AAA, the mahogany has a nice grain and it's not too heavy, not too light.
    The grain on the ebony board is nice and tight and dark. When you pick it
    up it immediately feels like a high quality expensive guitar.
    Specs
    Mahogany neck/body
    Maple top
    Ebony board
    hand cut Ablalone diamond inlays
    6100 ss wire
    bound neck and headstock
    2 hum CR/LF combo
    OFR.
    #2 Playability.
    This was a little touchy at first. Bernie uses a 20" radius on his 7's which is
    very flat. I wasn't used to playing that flat of a fret board, so initially it
    felt a little "different" to me. Now that I'm used to it I really like it.

    The fret board is also a touch wider than say an Ibanez fret board.
    Again this is a good and bad thing. It's good becasue you don't have to
    worry about any string pulloff on the edge of the fret board (on either
    side) the bad? if you have small hands you will notice it once you get up
    past the 12th fret. Lucky for me I have fairly good sized hands and string
    pulloff is a big complaint of mine with 7's. I look at the JP7's I see in pics
    and that high E string always looks like it's right on the edge of the fret board :realmad:
    with my old J-custom and my Carvin it was always an issue I had to deal with.
    The frets on mine are 6100 SS frets they feel great , the flat radius makes for effortless bending and because it's so flat there is no "fight" when you bend, you have to feel it to "get it". the action can get crazy low if you want with zero fret buzz. It's a really easy guitar to play once you get used to the flatter wider fret board. The upper fret access is great no complaints there either. The OFR trem is radiused perfectly to the radius of the fret board. Bernie does good work :yesway: I play much better on this guitar now , than any of my others.
    #3. Sound
    I ordered this with the Crunchlab/Liquifire combo.
    Since I play thru a mark IV I figured it would sound great.
    Well it sounds "pretty great". I am an old school kind of player that likes to
    play lead on his bridge pickup. The Crunchlab is very tight and punchy,
    great for rhythm playing (really good), not so great for lead playing.
    It's not a very warm sounding pickup (at all) so what makes it great for
    tight rhythm playing makes it not so good for lead playing.
    I have a BK on order to replace it as I am more of a 7 string rock /fusion
    player than a Death metal Djenty type of player, so Ceramic bridge pickups and me don't relly get along. the Liquifire on the other hand is
    very nice in the neck No complaints there at all, it's very smooth and ...well "Liquidy" sounding :lol:
    that pickup will stay, I've ordered a Rebel Yell and a Holy Diver (one for this guitar and one for my RG7CT). I'm undecided on which will go where , but I think the holy diver will be going in here.

    #4 Overall bang for the buck.
    Well these things ain't cheap, but I knew I wanted something exactly to
    my specs so I didn't mind paying for it. If I had the cash I'd order a couple more in different configurations. It really is a sweet playing guitar.
    Bernies pricing seems to be right in line with most other Custom shop
    builders these days. These days I have to make myself play my other
    guitars, I love the feel of this guitar so much that I end up playing it 99% of the time that I play.

    My buddy who doesn't really play 7's hated it, he liked the RG7CT a lot more, but he's an old school strat player, so I'm not surprised the wide flat neck wasn't his thing. (plus he's not a 7 player and he's got little girly hands so fuck him :fawk: )
    Anyone ordering one of these needs to keep that in mind, it is a different feeling guitar (at least initially), now that I'm used to it it's a non issue.
    I find it a total joy to play.
    A couple of guys took it for a spin at the Axe-Palace get together and didn't seem to have any problems playing it. (maybe they can chime in here as well)
    On to some pics (lots of them)
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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  2. DiGoth

    DiGoth SS.org Regular

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    very well :yesway::shred:
     
  3. The Analyst

    The Analyst SS.org Regular

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    Very good review, sir. Great pics as well:yesway:
     
  4. ntroulis

    ntroulis SS.org Regular

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    great review for a beautiful great guitar.
     
  5. CRaul87

    CRaul87 SS.org Regular

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    sorry to bother but I have to ask cuz I see something odd in the pictures...
    It seems to me that not all the inlays have the same relative size and that some are a tiny bit miss aligned... Am I seeing wrong? can you confirm pls?
    I am planing on buying a Bernie Rico Jr. myself in the near future btw, I heard a lot of great things about them, how much did this cost you exactly?
     
  6. simulclass83

    simulclass83 Yes, pancakes.

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    How long was the wait?
     
  7. kmanick

    kmanick Contributor

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    the inlays are fine, they are multi colored abalone (hand cut) so they may not be exactly perfect but they are close enough, it may appear they are off but they are not.
    this took 11 months to get to me (we had several changes along the way) but be prepared for at least an 8 month wait.
    pricing for one of Bernies neckthru Hesperians will run anywhere from $2,000-3,000.00 depending on what you select for options.
    You can talk to Zimbloth and get quotes (bursts etc are more, solid colors are cheaper etc).
    I've had this guitar now since November (5 months) and I play the crap out of it and it still blows me away everytime I play it.
    I wish I had cash to burn, I'd order a couple of more guitars from him.:agreed:
     
  8. Undivide

    Undivide SS.org Regular

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    nice guitar
     
  9. kmanick

    kmanick Contributor

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    thanks :hbang:
    4 years later and still the best playing 7 I've ever laid my hands on
     

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