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B.C. Rich Mockingbird Contour Deluxe
PROS: Great sounds, excellent playability, quality construction.
In the 1980s B.C. Rich was one of the standard hair metal, day glow, go-to guitar companies. Most don’t know that in the 1970s they offered a high quality custom instrument that was an excellent alternative to the standard fare of the day. The Mockingbird Contour Deluxe is a return to that classic-era form.
It’s constructed with a mahogany body and a quilted maple top, seamed together with a nice 3-ply binding. The 24 5/8” Les Paul-style scale mahogany neck has a rosewood fingerboard that sports the traditional ’70s B.C. Rich pearl cloud inlays, jumbo frets, and a comfortable “c” shape with a 12” fretboard radius. Combined, it really gives it a classic vibe that ends with the traditional 3 per side headstock.
The bridge and tailpiece are the usual tune-o-matic style, but the pickups are new “rich hot hex” models, and feature a volume control for each pickup, a master tone control and a 3 way toggle switch. The tone knob is a push-pull, splitting the humbuckers into single coil mode (a nice touch for added tonal variety).
Even with the somewhat unusual design it balances well, and feels comfortable with no neck dive. The neck shape feels familiar, and our test guitar came with an excellent setup, with an even feeling across the entire fingerboard, and low action that makes for a very slick and fast feel, while still being able to really dig in. The set neck joint (which at first we thought was thru-designed but turned out to be a clever long-set construction) is super smooth; shredders should have no problems accessing the higher frets.
B.C. Rich’s of the ’70s had tons of knobs, switches and on-board pre-amp options, so seeing a standard control setup on a classy-looking Mock like this is odd, but each pickup sounds great, in full humbucking mode it really rocks, responding like a vintage pickup that’s been given just enough oomph, without getting too tight or compressed. In single coil mode, it can cover some Tele and Strat type clean tones easily. It feels and acts like a rock guitar should, with power and definition, while not going over the top. In higher gain settings, it can really get into the metal zone, with plenty of low end, while still cutting through the mix.
The street price is under $500, and for that, it’s a lot of guitar. Style wise it may not be fashionable to take to the local pub’s blues/jazz open mic night, but for a guitarist that’s in a good hard rock/metal band, it’s sure to get attention for its looks and sounds.
Long-Set Neck Construction
Pearl Cloud Inlays
Rich Hot Hex Humbuckers
Tripe Ply Body Binding
Modern C Shaped Neck Profile