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BC Rich Warlock Review and Guide

BC Rich Warlock Review and Guide

There are many guitars that are perfect for playing metal, but many say the B.C. Rich Warlock is the best metal guitar. The B.C. Rich Warlock is a great metal guitar, and for reasons other than its extreme design. The Warlock is one of the most unique lines that B.C. Rich has ever produced. Even today, in this BC Rich Warlock review, we’ll see how this guitar is coveted by various players and B.C. Rich enthusiasts.

But does the Warlock live up to its hype? Here, I will review the Warlock and will give my recommendation. I will also mention some other guitars and B.C. Rich models you can play as an alternative.

Bottom line up front: B.C. Rich is a guitar company that’s popular among metal players. While their guitars are on the pricey side, they all have amazing designs and build quality. The 24 jumbo frets and thin necks are especially popular among lead guitarists since they can easily play solos. Even though this guitar has a high output, its refined sound gives the player more control and flexibility. However, it’s still an aggressive-sounding guitar thanks to the humbucker pickups.

Features

  • 24 jumbo frets
  • B.C. Rich BDSM Bridge Humbucker and B.C. Rich BDSM Neck Humbucker
  • Controls: 2 tone knobs, 2 volume knobs, 3-way selector switch
  • Unique body design
  • Expensive guitars are made of walnut and mahogany

BC Rich Warlock

Pros

  • Jaw-dropping design
  • Perfect for metal guitar playing
  • Double-cut body
  • Thin neck
  • Lightweight
  • Construction is spot-on
  • Can upgrade your pickups
  • Fun to play

Cons

  • Single-coil tones don’t fit with this guitar
  • Not everyone will like the thin neck
  • Expensive

About B.C. Rich Guitars

BC Rich Warlock

B.C. Rich Guitars is a guitar brand that makes both electric and acoustic guitars. Founded by Bernardo Chavez Rico in 1969, they have crafted their legacy as one of the finest guitar companies in the world. They’re most famous for making metal guitars, such as the Warlock. B.C. Rich started as a small guitar shop and caught the eye of players quickly for their radical guitar bodies and designs.

Today, B.C. Rich guitars have been played by some of your favorite metal musicians, such as Chuck Schuldiner (Death and Control Denied), Blackie Lawless (WASP), and Andy LaRocque (King Diamond).

About the Warlock Model

The B.C. Rich founder, Bernie Rico, created the Warlock design in 1969 during the company’s earliest days. However, production for the Warlock didn’t begin until 1981. Rico thought the guitar was ugly; notable 80s metal musicians thought otherwise and the guitar was in demand.

Today, the Warlock is one of B.C. Rich’s most famous models. There are various editions that feature 6 and 7-strings. Even though the Warlock is pricier than other B.C. Rich models and competitors, players still worship this guitar.

Some famous players who play the Warlock include:

  • Kerry King (Slayer)
  • CC DeVille (Poison)
  • Max Cavalera (Soulfly, Cavalera Conspiracy, ex-Sepultura)
  • Paul Stanley (Kiss)
  • Craig Goldie (Dio)
  • Blackie Lawless (WASP)
  • Mick Thomson (Slipknot)
  • Niki Sixx (Motley Crue)

Specs

  • Tonewoods: mahogany neck and body and rosewood fret
  • Fretboard: 24 jumbo frets
  • Neck construction: set-in neck
  • Controls: 2 tone knobs, 2 volume knobs, 3-way selector switch
  • Pickups: B.C. Rich BDSM Bridge Humbucker and B.C. Rich BDSM Neck Humbucker
  • Bridge: B.C. Rich Custom Tune-O-Matic bridge and stop bar tail-piece
  • Tuners: open-gear die-cast tuners

Sound Quality

BC Rich Warlock

The Warlock is more than just looks. Its sound is refined yet has a high output. Its electronic circuits, humbucker pickups, set-in neck, and fine woods all make this guitar sound fierce.

How It Plays

As stated previously, the Warlock sounds refined but still keeps an aggressive sound. This is a metal guitar player’s dream; you can play heavy while keeping your sound tight. Whether you want to sound clean or add all of the distortion in the world, the Warlock is versatile enough to meet all of your needs.

If you’re a lead guitar player, the powerful tremolo will make your solos defined. With all of these aspects combined, the Warlock is a huge advancement over other metal guitars.

Keep in mind, many players say the budget models aren’t as clean as some of the better quality ones. However, if you’re playing more extreme metal with lots of gain and distortion, you may be able to get away with a cheaper model.

Electronics

The guitar includes two B.C. Rich humbuckers. However, the more expensive models have two DiMarzio Super Distortion dual-coils.

They’re passive bobbins designed to play heavier styles of music, specifically metal. There are two volume and tone knobs as well as a 3-way pickup selector switch. This makes the guitar sound more versatile but is still designed for heavy music. Keep in mind, the cheaper models have only one volume and tone knob.

Overall, B.C. Rich used the 1958 Les Paul as inspiration for this guitar’s electronics. That’s to ensure the guitars had a robust sound but were still noise-free.

Build

BC Rich Warlock

I’m not going to lie, describing the appearance of the Warlock is very difficult. That’s probably because there isn’t a guitar that quite looks like this one.

The Warlock features a unique design; there are many jagged edges and harsh angles. This distinct and eye-catching shape has made it a more attractive guitar to metal guitar and bass players. The Warlock is available in different finishes, such as black, purple, natural, black cherry, white, and more.

Body and Neck

The Warlock is made of fine tonewoods. Its neck and body are made of mahogany with a rosewood fretboard. The fretboard isn’t sharp and contains no inlays or dots. This makes the guitar look even more sophisticated. There are 24 jumbo frets on a 25.5″ scale. It has a slim neck of 13.75″ radius. The set-in neck is impressive, so you always have a full and heavy sound.

We will discuss this more in another section, but all of these factors make the guitar very playable. With the bold aesthetics combined, metal guitar and bass players definitely found their perfect instrument.

Hardware

While the expensive Warlock models have impressive hardware, you may be disappointed by some of the cheaper models. The Tune-O-Maty Bridge and stop-bar tailpiece give the guitar a stable yet precise sound. However, you may be better off replacing the non-locking die-cast tuners. They’re okay, there are just better ones out there.

All hardware, including the humbuckers, have chrome-plating. The control knobs are knurled dome buttons, which make the guitar look even more extreme.

Feel

BC Rich Warlock

There are pros and cons to playing the Warlock. I’ll discuss the cons first. While the design of the guitar is unique, it is a little awkward to play with those jagged edges.

It does take a bit of getting used to. Fortunately, the guitar itself is light and balanced. Once you grow accustomed to the odd shape, the guitar is very comfortable to play. Surprisingly, you can also play this guitar while sitting down without the design’s angles poking your legs (rest the lower cutaway on your leg).

The Warlock is the perfect guitar if you play fast. The neck is smooth and thin, so you can easily reach notes and you can travel your hands up and down the fretboard with little effort. While the Warlock guitar is ideal for all guitarists who play heavy, soloists will definitely experience the most benefits.

The other downside is the jumbo frets. Personally, I have typical small girl hands. Those frets would be too big for me, especially on the bass. If you don’t need to stretch your fingers as much, this guitar shouldn’t be a problem for you. However, if you have small hand problems like me, you should consider one of the other guitars in the “Alternatives” section.

Different Warlock Guitars

BC Rich Warlock

Right now on the B.C. Rich website, they have a variety of Warlock models for you to choose from.

Downsides

First, if you don’t play metal or other heavy music genres, this guitar isn’t for you. It doesn’t offer the versatility that other guitars offer. The Warlock series is also on the pricey side. If you do buy a cheaper model, then there will likely be some imperfections. This is due to B.C. Rich outsourcing the guitar manufacturing to various East Asian countries (understand that most guitar companies do this, though).

When you receive the guitar, I recommend making some changes. For example, you’ll want to change the strings since the stock strings aren’t as good. If your guitar has the B.C. Rich pickups, you may also want to switch out the pickups to ones that you prefer playing.

Alternatives

There are many reasons why you may want to consider another guitar other than the B.C. Rich Warlock. B.C. Rich has a variety of other guitars that may suit you better. There are also other guitar brands that offer great quality products at cheaper prices. Many of these guitars are also more versatile than the Warlock.

B.C. Rich Bich

B.C. Rich Bich

B.C. Rich Bich is a model of guitars with an interesting history. They were first designed by Neal Moser, who was a sub-contractor for Bernie Rico during the 70s and 80s. He developed the first prototype and then licensed the design to B.C. Rich, who dubbed it the “Bich.”

The original Bich was a ten-string guitar. The point of the design was to allow the player to achieve bright sounds with plenty of distortion, without sounding too muddy. While the model was successful, many guitar players at the time didn’t need the extra strings. B.C. Rich re-released the guitar with six strings.

B.C. Rich Mockingbird

B.C. Rich Mockingbird

The Mockingbird is one of the most B.C. Rich guitar models out there.

While it’s not one of their prettiest guitars, it’s packed with more features than other B.C. Rich guitars may not offer. Looking at the ST, this guitar offers Rockfield Mafia pickups, through-neck, and a genuine Floyd Rose. There are tone and volume knobs, as well as a varitone and various knobs for the pickups. It plays hard for sure and I think it’s more versatile than the Warlock (though I still think this is more of a rock guitar).

B.C. Rich Stealth

This guitar means a lot to me because my favorite guitar player, Chuck Schuldiner of Death and Control Denied, played a B.C. Rich Stealth. He even has his own custom model.

If you play heavy metal and want another B.C. Rich option other than the Warlock, I suggest trying the Stealth. Good-quality Stealths are made with the same DiMarzio Humbuckers for a more detailed sound. Stealths have a slim neck with easy access to the high frets, perfect for playing solos or just for playing fast in general. The body shape is also striking but doesn’t feature the awkward angles that the Warlock has.

Ibanez RG Series

Ibanez RG Series

Ibanez guitars are popular due to their high-quality and low prices. When I was playing bass, I played an Ibanez. Lots of metal guitar players love Ibanez and their RG series is one of the best for metal. The guitars have a distinctive look yet are sleek. These guitars also perform well and have a heavy sound.

Ibanez RG Series RG7421 7-String Electric Guitar | Guitar Center

The RG is the most recognizable and distinctive guitar in the Ibanez line. Three decades of metal have forged this high-performance machine, honing it for both speed and strength.

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Schecter Omen 6

Schecter Omen 6

Schecter also has the Omen 6, which has similar specifications as the Warlock. For example, these guitars have a mahogany body, rosewood fretboard, and a thin neck. Schecter also makes guitars and basses designed for metal. While the look of these guitars isn’t as distinctive as the Warlock, this is still a great guitar for riffing.

Schecter Omen Extreme-6 Electric Guitar | Amazon
$499.00

Providing an array of tones for every musical mood, the Schecter Omen Extreme Electric Guitar is loaded with everything a guitar player could need to take their sound to the extreme.

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10/01/2022 12:48 am GMT

FAQs

Question: Does B.C. Rich make good guitars?

Answer: Yes and no. B.C. Rich makes distinctive guitars with a powerful sound. However, players have complained over the tone and general quality issues. That’s why some players collect these guitars as novelties and don’t play them seriously. This doesn’t make B.C. Rich bad at all, but it does put them as a mid-range brand. Still, many professional guitar and bass players use B.C. Rich.

Question: How much is the Warlock guitar?

Answer: The B.C. Rich Warlock runs between $200 and $1,500. Basic models are usually between $200-$300 while the seven-strings increase in price to around $350. High-end Warlocks vary between $1,000 to $1,500, depending on the vendor and the exact version of the guitar.

Question: Is B.C. Rich still in business?

Answer: Yes. But in 2019, the company onboarded a new owner. Since then, B.C. Rich has been re-releasing some legacy models, such as the Stealth and Ironbird.

Bottom Line

The B.C. Rich Warlock is one of the best guitars for metal. Its sharp angles make it an eye-catching guitar and lots of metal guitar and bass players love this guitar.

The 24 jumbo frets, rosewood fretboard, and thin neck also make it the perfect guitar for soloing. Its design and build are jaw-dropping, making this one of B.C. Rich’s best guitars.