I think we can safely say that if you like your guitars pointy BC Rich need no introduction. BC Rich make quality guitars heavily focussed on the hard rock and metal audience and this model the BC Rich Ironbird Pro unashamedly nails its colours to the flagpole of metal.
BC Rich was created by Bernardo Chavez Rico in the 1960s. Bernie, as he is known to his friends, was an accomplished flamenco guitarist and from the formation of the company to the mid 60s he exclusively crafted Flamenco guitars from his workshop in Los Angeles, California. However, in 1969 Rico produced his first electric guitars and basses. The guitars were based on the Gibson Les Paul with 10 instruments initially hand-crafted although few of these instruments still exist. From 1972 onwards Rico crafted more originally shaped guitars with the introduction of the Seagull. As well as its unique shape the guitar was the first to incorporate the now standard BC Rich neck through design, where the neck goes through the body of the guitar. Around 1978 Bernie set-up the BC Rico brand name so as to capitalise on the companies growing success as well as to start importing more affordable models from Japan. However, the name was changed to the now famous BC Rich after the Rico Reed company sued over the use of the name Rico. Today BC Rich guitars are world renowned as the guitar company that is most heavily focussed on satisfying the requirements of some of the top names in hard rock and metal.
So what do you get with the BC Rich Ironbird Pro?
First off we have to say that this guitar looks great, everything that you would expect from BC Rich. The finish of black onyx body with silver bevelled edges enhances the angular design of the guitar creating a look that will warm up any stage. The body itself is mahogany with a maple neck. The neck is constructed using the BC Rich neck through design, which gives greater resonance and sustain as well as better access to the upper frets and thus greater comfort in playing. This is possible because, due to the neck through design, more wood can be cut out of the body and neck at the neck joint, without weakening the construction of the guitar. This is simply not possible with a bolt on neck and gives the player of a neck through guitar a comfortable playing experience. The fretboard itself is ebony and has 24 jumbo frets.
In terms of hardware the BC Rich Ironbird Pro comes armed with all the essentials that you would expect of a guitar aimed at the heavier end of the musical spectrum. The tremolo unit is a Floyd Rose Original Series Tremolo which allows for some extreme whammy bar pyrotechnics without dropping out of tune. The pick-up is a single EMG81 humbucker, but the sound from this pick-up is so good that you won’t need anything else. There is a single volume control which keeps everything simple allowing all the tonal control to be driven by your amp.
When you first plug this guitar in the initial thought is turn the volume up hit the distortion and let rip but that would be to miss out some of the other qualities of this guitar. Using the clean channel on the amp allows you to really appreciate the sustain that you get when playing a guitar with neck through construction. The EMG81 also gives a great sound clean but my only criticism of this guitar is that there is no tone control. However, it could be said that too many knobs and switches would destroy the aesthetics of the guitar.
Now to the bit that I have been waiting for, what does the BC Rich Ironbird Pro sound like when the volume is cranked up. Well the EMG81 does not disappoint and you can see why the pick-up was selected. This guitar really shows its mettle and pedigree when distorted, it plays well and sounds even better. I loved the neck through construction, not something that I am used to, as it allowed unhindered and comfortable access to the upper frets. This guitar was really designed for the metal shredder in mind and it doesn’t disappoint.
To sum up this is a great guitar which should appeal strongly to the metal lovers amongst you. The guitar is well constructed, plays well and sounds even better. The price tag is not too bad for a guitar of this quality so if you are looking for a guitar with real impact then the BC Rich Ironbird Pro could be the guitar for you.
|BC Rich Ironbird Pro Electric Guitar|
|Bridge||Floyd Rose Original Series Tremolo|
|Frets||24 jumbo frets|
|Scale length||24 5/8"|
|Bridge pickup||EMG 81 Humbucker|
|Controls||1 master volume control|
|Hardware||Grover mini rotomatic|
|Recommended retail price||£645|
|If you love this guitar||Buy now for £535|
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