What ever happened to B.C. Rich?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Michael Jewels, Nov 27, 2001.

  1. I know that they still make guitars and basses because everytime I open a new M/F catalog they're in there, but, it seems all they make now are these crazy looking heavy metal axes, and they all seem to be about $400-$500. I bought an Eagle bass in 1982. This was such a beautiful bass. I forget the woods it was made of, but, it had such a comfortable neck. When I die, if I don't go to the hot place, I'm going to have to do some explaining as to why I sold this gorgeous thing. I paid $650.00 for it, which in 1982 was more than your average bass. Does anyone know why they only make moderately priced metal stuff these days?

    Mike J.
  2. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I don't know. I briefly had one of their basses in 1980 and it was a high quality instrument.

    Maybe there's more money in low end.
  3. Their USA custom shop is still around, and offers a variety of models (including non-pointy ones), but for the most part the company realizes that metal guys are its bread and butter.

    I always thought that BC Riches were ass-ugly anyhow, and a Carvin or Pedulla would probably be a much better instrument for the money.
  4. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    The 80's Eagle and Mockingbird were excellent playing basses. Also extremely flexible, a ton of switches and knobs;)
  5. Oh man, tell me about it! My Eagle had two P-bass pups, a three position switch, in or out of phase for each pup, a six position varitone switch, and high/low output for each pup! Whew. What a bass!

    Mike J.
  6. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Inactive

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    You forgot to mention the degausser toggle

  7. The US made Bernardo and Innovator series basses may be right up your alley!
    Check 'em out here! www.bcrich.com/uscatalog/
  8. barroso


    Aug 16, 2000

    look at the controls!
    and double P pickups!!
  9. Jodaka


    Jun 28, 2001
    Riverview, FL
    i have an innovator that i bought in '88 (my first 'real' bass). it's a fender-type bass (read = not pointy) w/emg selects (yeah, it needs new pups, but that's not the point). it was my main bass for years, and always got the job done. based on that, i wish they would concentrate more in that area. the bich and mockingbird might play well, but i can't deal with all them points...
  10. Actually I used to like B.C Rich guitars. The next was one of the fastest and easiest neck to play with. I was going to buy one when I visited the U.S in the early 1980's but dummy me, thinking that B.C Rich would make it to Singapore, when I asked my local guitar retailer, their answer was "B.C Rich? No B.C Rich?":rolleyes:
  11. I got a B.C. Rich American made 5, it kinda looks like a MusicMan without the pickgaurd. anyone know what model this would be?

    I bought it used back around 1990. the body is a lot like a P bass, and the head has just one hook type point, pointing down (if you were playing it).
    I made a quick sketch of the head, just imagine that head with a P bass body. (attachment below).

    it has a single MM style bartolini active pickup.

    I haven't played it in a while since it needs repair. the trussrod is either broke or stripped, I can't adjust it. it just turns in there and doesn't do anything.

    I was at a friends house a couple weeks ago, we used to be in a band together (he plays drums). we watched an old video of us playin a party and I got to hear that bass for the first time in a few years. man, did it sound good. that bart really has some sweetness to it. I need to get it fixed, it would be a sweet bass.
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Another ex-Rich owner heere. I had a frtless Eagle bass I bought in 82.

    It did have a very nice neck, the electronics were overly complicated and despite having literally hundreds of sound options only a couple sounded very good :( The onboard preamp had a dark compressed tone...proabbly good for the guitar models, you could use it as a booster for soloing, but for bass the sound was more open in passive mode.

    What happened was they did what a lot of companies do, after getting established with the high end models they tried to offer lower priced versions. First they did some US made bolt-ons with passive wiring, these were dropped in favor of the "B.C. Rico" line of Japanese imports. These soon were rebranded as "B.C. Rich NJ series" and came in three versions: neck through, set neck and bolt-on. Pretty soon only the bolt-on NJs were being sold followed by the Korean "Platinum" series which were VERY cheap (like $200!!). The imports sold well to beginners who wanted axes with radical shapes for playing metal.

    At some point, the company was sold by the Rico family and the new owners dropped the US models completely and cranked out the imports until they went bankrupt. The Ricos bought back the company in the mid 90s and are back at it, making US models (try to fiond one!) as well as cranking the imports again.

    The rise and fall of B.C. Rich is not unusual, many of the other builders who came up in the late 70s and early 80s along with them (Dean, Kramer, Spector, Steinberger, Tobias) suffered similar fates.

    What's sad is that the deluge of imports has destroyed the resale value of the very well made US models. When I sold my bass a few years ago it was still in near mint shape and I could only get $500 for it :rolleyes: