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BC Rich basses - look good, but are they really?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Miritalner, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Miritalner


    Oct 16, 2005
    I've seen them everywhere. Damn sharp-looking things. Make me feel like I want one. But I've heard a lot of people say that apart from the look you don't get much. Others insist that Beast and Warlock are the best heavy-metal tools of war we could ever hear of; plus, famous bands like Slipknot use them too... From all that I've gathered that it would be a good idea to get a used Rich bass for the sake of the design and fill it up with some decent electronics... But what do you think? I'm not experienced in basses at all, so I'm sort of looking for an advise.
  2. I'm not an owner, but I played an aquaintance's Warlock once. What I took out of that experience was some pretty bad neck dive, and the body felt way too small to me to be comfortable. I didn't like the overall feel of it.

    This are all fairly subjective things, but I didn't really like it.
  3. I have an NJ Beast, and honestly I haven't touched it in 2 months. Coincidentally that's also when I got my new Schecter Stiletto Elite. :D Seriously, when you compare the playability, the Schecter wins hands-down. The tone of the Beast was good, and I did like it for the metal band I was in. I think my Schecter has a better range of tones, more suited for a variety of musical styles like I play now. IMHO, the beast is too heavy and too pointy for anything but metal/thrash/etc. If you're still interested in a BC Rich, I could probably be persuaded to sell my Beast for a decent price, and aside from a couple nicks in the paint, it's as good as new.
  4. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    The one (and only one, for whatever that's worth) was terrible. It was admittedly pretty old, but it was a worthless instrument. Heavy as can be, and zero tone. I'm sure there are better examples of their work, but my one experience (a friend's bass, I played it for months) was miserable.
  5. mksolid


    Jan 4, 2005
    It was the first bass that I had. I bought it off a friend pretty much brand new because he bought it and hated it and sold it to be for next to nothing. All I can remember is that the action was nothing special and the horrible neck dive is ridiculous. It's just designed for looks... there is no attention payed to action, weight balance, or tone.

    It's like someone who wants to start playing electric guitar buying a flying v.
  6. Miritalner


    Oct 16, 2005
    Well, looks are important on stage... But so far, from what I've read, I figure that it's better to send the beast where it came from (HELL!) and consider more effective but less "cheesy" guitars.
  7. Slipknots guitarist USED to play a warlock, now he plays an ibanez,a nd their bassist never played a bc rich he plays a warwick.
  8. Fealach

    Fealach Guest

    Apr 23, 2003
    Gone to a better place
    Old US made ones are excellent, but not cheap. The cheap imports you see in Guitar Center are cheap imports. Play one and see for yourself. I had one of the cheap ones, thought it was decent for the money. I now have one of the US ones, it is wicked. There's also the NJ series neck through basses, mid priced, I haven't played one but people like them better than the super cheap bronze and platinum series ones.
  9. crapusername


    Sep 26, 2005
    North Kent.UK
    endorsing artist: Dean guitars, Marshall , Rotosound strings
    the deal with the body is that they use a guitar body - something that Suzi Quatro started in the 70's. This leads to neck dive, especially with the newer massive headstocks.

    I used to have a reverse headstock warlock that had the most awesome tone. it did suffer with neck dive, but i adapted my playing style to cope. To be brutally honest, i would still be playing it 15 years later if some wonderful human being hadn't decided they wanted it more than me and stole it.

    oh well, we always move on to bigger and usually better things. In my case Fender, Ibanez and Dean!
  10. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    Their custom shop stuff is incredible, however the production models are bollocks.
    maves75 likes this.
  11. Oxblood

    Oxblood Banned

    Apr 17, 2005
    Baltimore, MD
    Damn are you serious? I can't believe he got rid of his Warlock. I loved that thing... had "HATE" written on the fretboard, that thing was bad. And yes, Slipknot's bassist has always played a Warwick. Warwick Thumb I do believe.
  12. Thumbs and Corvettes, The thumbs are 4 strings and I think one of his Corvettes is a 5 string, but he doesnt really uses it as he says he cant get used to the feel. I dont like Slipknot t all, I just happened to be dragged along with a female to see them... Worst 2 hours EVER :scowl: .
  13. diptixon


    Oct 29, 2004
    I own 2 American Neck-thru Handmade BC Riches - an '84 Mockingbird and a 96 Eagle.. they are awesome...
    I'll try to find a pic of the Eagle...

    Attached Files:

  14. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Sweeeeeeeeeeeeeeet Mockingbird! :bassist:

    I have been playing BCR basses for over 15 years now and still love them. I own a '90 NJ Innovator 4 and a NJ Virgin 4.

    Both play exceptionally well and have worked for me tonewise playing classic rock up to anything metal. The Innovator has zero neck dive (traditional shape) and the Virgin did have neck dive. The problem on most BCR basses is due to the location of the forward strap button. I have relocated the one on my Virgin and all is well.

    I also had no problems with the electronics of either of them. They both had the same setup. P/J EMG Selects with V-B-T controls.

    For what its worth, I love both of these basses and will not sell either one of them.

    The newer BCR line does not appear to be built as good as my two. The Bronze and Platinum series are to be avoided at all cost IMO. The NJ series are still good instruments but I don't like a few of the changes that have happened over the years. The neck feels more like a "P" neck instead of mine which are like a "J". No biggie but I like "J" style necks more. The one true fault of the newer ones is in the electronics. I think BCR is having someone build copies of the EMG Selects but not making them as good. Also, the fact that you can only get a P/P or soapbar type pups (no P/J!) stinks IMO.

    Even with those problems I still have been considering buying an NJ Mockingbird. Now if I can just find one in the translucent red finish, hmm.................... :D
  15. Unchain

    Unchain I've seen footage.

    Jun 20, 2005
    Tucson, AZ
    See, those rule. The production models are awful.
    maves75 likes this.
  16. Miritalner


    Oct 16, 2005
    Cool, but... what's the neck dive?

  17. Yeah but his ibanez still says HATE
  18. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    Neck dive is when you are playing your bass (slung ofcourse) and when you let go of the neck it dives (or drops) toward the floor.

    Some basses are real bad about this. BCR basses , by nature of their design, tend to have neck dive problems. Basses with small bodies, large headstocks, short or no upper horn, and poor strap button placement can all cause neck dive.

    My BCR Virgin would dive to where the headstock was about a foot below the body when I let it go. I made a bracket that relocated the forward strap button and now it balances perfectly. Some would say "Why add an ugly bracket?" but on my bass, when I'm playing it, you would never notice it.
  19. 69Vette


    Sep 21, 2004
    Burbank, CA
    I don't know about the '96, but the Mockingbird pictured above is a production model. I had a '77 Eagle 20 years ago and an '81 Mockingbird that I foolishly sold a year ago. Both great basses. I always wanted a white reverse headstock Warlock with black binding and finally found one from Japan. When they started production there in the early 80's, they had a Japan only line that was pretty much the equivalent of the U.S. models. That's what I have now. Sounds just as nice as the other ones I had and plays even nicer (slightly smaller neck profile, which I prefer). People make a huge deal about neckdive but they aren't that bad. I don't even notice any with this one.

    The early electronics were pretty sophisticated for their time and there are some pretty good tones to be had from them if you experiment a little. I have no experience with any of the newer BC Rich stuff but most of the lower end 80's and 90's lines were crap. Any high end U.S. made BC Rich from the 70's thru 80's in decent shape is a bass worth owning. The prices are only going up though, so get one while you can...



    my '81 Mockingbird:


    An old friend's Warlock (a US reverse headstock painted by Screaming Leaming):

    maves75 likes this.
  20. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I don't think I've ever heard a gimmick shaped bass that sounded good except a Steinberger and a Gibson Thunderbird. I've heard lots of gimmick shaped guitars that sound good, but never a bass. There's something about the rounded shapes that makes a better-sounding acoustic tone, whereas angular shaped basses always sound poor and cheap acoustically to me. I always wanted one, and I'd play every one of them when they'd come into stores, and I even bought an Ibanez Destroyer once because it was a good deal and I just joined a hair-metal band, but all those odd shapes sounded cheap. Except for the Thunderbird, which was too heavy and unwieldy for me, and the Steinberger, which was too expensive for me.