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|Founded||1969Los Angeles, California, United Statesin|
|Founder||Bernardo Chavez Rico|
|Products|| Electric guitars |
B.C. Rich is an American brand of acoustic and electric guitars and bass guitars founded by Bernardo Chavez Rico in 1969. The company started to make electric guitars in the 1970s that were notable for their atypical body shapes. In the following decade B.C. Rich gained a broader exposure with the popularity of heavy metal and has since often been linked to that music scene. The high-end B.C. Rich instruments are custom-made in the USA by Ron Estrada whereas the mid- and low-budget models are produced in different countries in Asia. The company briefly switched owners in the 1990s before being acquired in the 2000s by Hanser Music Group, a distribution company based in Hebron, Kentucky. B.C Rich was later licensed to Praxis Musical based in Orange, California until 2018.
On July 21, 2019 the official B.C. Rich Facebook page announced a change in ownership, with a new USA custom shop featuring unnamed "master luthiers" who have previously worked for the company, a new high spec import line, and a reintroduction of legacy models such as the IronBird and Stealth.
Initially the pickups were Gibsons, rewired as four-conductor and potted. Later, Guild pickups were treated the same way. In 1974–1975, some custom guitar models, and from 1975–1982, many production bass guitars were fitted with innovative, adjustable-pole humbucker pickups, designed by Sergio Zuñica.
In 1975, DiMarzio agreed to build wax-potted, four-conductor pickups for B.C. Rich, and these were used until B.C. Rich began designing their own in the late 1980s. Early in the 1970s, Neal Moser was brought on board to design and supervise the electronics. His contribution was a wiring harness with coil taps, a phase switch, a Varitone, and a defeatable active preamp (or two in some models). This electronics package continues to this day on higher-end models.
Serial numbers began as a stamped 6 digit number starting with the year and ending with the number of production (500037 would be the 37th guitar built in 1975).Most references to BCR serialization miss this point. Beginning in 1976, the numbers started with the year then the number of production (YYXXX). Since more than 1000 guitars were produced many years, the numbers became increasingly inaccurate through the 1980s, ending up about 4 years behind (i.e. a 88xxx serial number guitar would have been built in 1984). After the company was purchased by Class Axe in 1989 production of the hand-made, neck-through models was halted for several years, although GMW (Neal Moser) supplied some stock made from rejected then repaired bodies handbuilt through the years. After Class Axe took over there were a number of different serial schemes designated for the American, Asian and Bolt-on guitars.
A somewhat oddly shaped guitar designed by Bernie Rico. It became a stage favorite of Dick Wagner.[ citation needed ]
The Seagull shape was uncomfortable for some to play due to the sharp upper point, and the sharp lower point that dug into the leg sitting down. It was redesigned several times to include a smoother lower point, and a Junior version with simpler electronics, then a pointless version which is quite rare. Finally it morphed into the Eagle shape with no sharp points.
This model was made popular by Brad Whitford of Aerosmith and Neil Giraldo, who played his Eagle on some of the early Pat Benatar albums and videos.
The Mockingbird model was designed by Johnny "Go-Go" Kessel. It was made popular by Joe Perry of Aerosmith. The Mockingbird experienced a resurgence in the early 1990s through Guns N' Roses lead guitarist Slash after he played one on the Use Your Illusion world tour. David Ellefson of Megadeth played a Mockingbird bass in first years of the band.
The B.C. Rich "Bich" ten-string guitar was developed by Neal Moser, a sub-contractor for Bernie Rico (B.C. Rich) from 1974 to 1985. During his time with B.C. Rich, Moser conceived, designed, and built the first Bich prototype. The design was never owned by B.C. Rich, rather licensed from Moser. The guitar was introduced as the "Rich Bich" at the 1978 NAMM Show as a custom-order model.
The original Bich is a six-course instrument, but with four two-string courses. The top E and B strings are strung as unison pairs, and the G and D strings as pairs with a principal and octave string, in the manner of the top four courses of a twelve-string guitar. The A and lower E strings are single-string courses. This unusual stringing was said to obtain the brightness of the twelve-string guitar, while allowing higher levels of distortion before the sound became muddy.
The Bich had a conventional six-string headstock for the principal strings, with the four extra strings tuned by machine heads positioned in the body, past the tailpiece, with a large angled notch allowing access to the tuners. This radical body shape also countered the common tendency of coursed electric guitars to be head-heavy due to the weight of the extra machine heads.
The design was moderately successful, but many players bought it for the body shape alone, and removed the extra strings. B.C. Rich eventually released six-string models of the Bich body shape. All Bich variants are hardtail guitars with through body necks and two humbucking pickups. The ten-string models differ from each other in finish and control details.
A lawsuit between Neal Moser and HHI Holdings Inc./B.C. Rich was settled, giving Moser Custom Guitars and HHI/B.C. Rich the right to produce their own versions of the Bich ten- and six-string guitars, with Neal Moser retaining ownership of the original body templates. The Moser Custom Shop "Moser 10" and the BC Rich Bich "PMS" models are the closest representations of the original pre-1985 "Rich Bich" body design. The "Moser 10" models have an "M" inlay on the headstock, compared to the HHI/BC Rich "R" headstock inlay.
Notable users of the ten-string Bich include Joe Perry (Aerosmith), Dave Mustaine (Megadeth), Chris Poland, also of Megadeth, Manny Charlton (Nazareth), and George Kooymans (Golden Earring).
To celebrate the 25th anniversary release of the "Rich Bich" 10-string guitar, HHI/BC Rich contracted the original BC Rich luthiers Neal Moser and Sal Gonzales to produce 25 true hand-built reproductions of the original prototype to the Bich 10-string model. These hand-carved guitars were built from Neal Moser's original 1978 body templates, using the same exotic woods (black African walnut, maple and Brazilian rosewood) as the original prototype model.
Due to contract issues between Neal Moser and Hanser Holdings, only 16 of the PMS models were produced. These have become highly prized by BC Rich collectors due to the limited production number. The original prototype is currently owned by Dan Lawrence.
Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) was known to use the ten-string variant of the Bich throughout the early 1980s, although with the four additional strings removed. The guitar was reportedly pawned, without Mustaine's knowledge, by Megadeth lead guitarist Chris Poland, which led to his dismissal. The current whereabouts of the guitar are unknown.
The introduction of the Warlock model in 1981 helped push B.C. Rich into the heavy metal music genre. Notable early players included Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx of Mötley Crüe, Lita Ford, Paul Stanley of KISS (featuring a broken mirror top), Randy Jackson (Zebra), Craig Goldy of Dio and Giuffria, and a young pre-Les Paul playing Slash. Its popularity continues with players such as Slayer guitarist Kerry King.
A variation on the Warlock design, called the "Warbeast" has also been produced. The Warbeast features a more heavily bevelled body, longer body horns as well as an additional horn in the upper middle section. The Warbeast was also produced exclusively with the "3-in-line" headstock design, and with Floyd Rose bridges included as standard, except on the cheapest models.
Designed by Joey Rico in 1983, the Ironbird gained some popularity amongst heavy metal guitarists, including Trey Azagthoth of Morbid Angel. The original model had a pointed reverse headstock, whereas the 21st Century version has a regular pointed headstock.
These guitars are made completely of acrylic and their bodies are transparent, making the electronics inside visible. The original run of the acrylic models featured a standard bolt-on maple neck with wood headstock, but later models featured an acrylic headstock, matching the color of the body and making the overall appearance of the guitar more attractive. Acrylic is more dense than most woods (specific gravity of acrylic is 1.18 g/cm³ while that of lignum vitae, contender for the most dense type of wood, is approximately 1.23 g/cm³ ) which makes the guitar heavier.
Like Rickenbacker and Jackson, B.C. Rich used a "neck-through" body design in many of their instruments. In 2006 they introduced the IT (Invisibolt Technology) series, which combines elements of bolt-on and neck-through designs: The neck is bolted inside the body to make the guitar look much like a "neck-through", but the neck joint is still visible. B.C. Rich also pioneered the heel-less joint.
Some models used custom battery-powered active electronics – pickups and tone controls inside the guitar. These electronics were originally designed by Neal Moser [ citation needed ], who had been helping with bone crafted parts and many set ups in the custom shop. He added the feet on winged guitars like the Rich Bich, which was one of his designs.
B.C. Rich guitars come in a variety of shapes, ranging from more conventional styles (e.g., the Telecaster-styled Blaster) to unusual styles such as the Fat Bob, which has a body in the shape of a Harley-Davidson gas tank.
An electric guitar is a guitar that uses one or more pickups to convert the vibration of its strings into electrical signals. The vibration occurs when a guitar player strums, plucks, fingerpicks, slaps or taps the strings. The pickup generally uses electromagnetic induction to create this signal, which being relatively weak is fed into a guitar amplifier before being sent to the speaker(s), which converts it into audible sound.
The guitar is a fretted musical instrument that usually has six strings. It is typically played with both hands by strumming or plucking the strings with either a guitar pick or the fingers/fingernails of one hand, while simultaneously fretting with the fingers of the other hand. The sound of the vibrating strings is projected either acoustically, by means of the hollow chamber of the guitar, or through an electrical amplifier and a speaker.
Ibanez is a Japanese guitar brand owned by Hoshino Gakki. Based in Nagoya, Aichi, Japan, Hoshino Gakki were one of the first Japanese musical instrument companies to gain a significant foothold in import guitar sales in the United States and Europe, as well as the first brand of guitars to mass-produce the seven-string guitar and eight-string guitar. Ibanez manufactures effects, accessories, amps, and instruments in Japan, China, Indonesia and in the United States. As of 2017 they marketed nearly 165 models of bass guitar, 130 acoustic guitars, and more than 300 electric guitars.
The Fender Stratocaster is a model of electric guitar designed from 1952 into 1954 by Leo Fender, Bill Carson and George Fullerton, and completed by Freddie Tavares. The Fender Musical Instruments Corporation has continuously manufactured the Stratocaster from 1954 to the present. It is a double-cutaway guitar, with an extended top "horn" shape for balance like the Precision Bass guitar. Along with the Gibson Les Paul and Fender Telecaster, it is one of the most-often emulated electric guitar shapes. "Stratocaster" and "Strat" are trademark terms belonging to Fender. Guitars that duplicate the Stratocaster by other manufacturers are usually called S-Type or ST-type guitars.
The Fender Jaguar is an electric guitar by Fender Musical Instruments characterized by an offset-waist body, a relatively unusual switching system with two separate circuits for lead and rhythm, and a medium-scale 24" neck. Owing some roots to the Jazzmaster, it was introduced in 1962 as Fender's feature-laden top-of-the-line model, designed to lure players from Gibson. During its initial 13-year production run, the Jaguar did not sell as well as the less expensive Stratocaster and Telecaster, and achieved its most noticeable popularity in the surf music scene. After the Jaguar was taken out of production in 1975, vintage Jaguars became popular first with American punk rock players, and then more so during the alternative rock, shoegazing and indie rock movements of the 1980s and 1990s. Fender began making a version in Japan in the mid-1980s, and then introduced a USA-made reissue in 1999. Since then, Fender has made a variety of Jaguars in America, Mexico, Indonesia and China under both the Fender and Squier labels. Original vintage Jaguars sell for many times their original price.
The Jazz Bass is the second model of electric bass created by Leo Fender. It is distinct from the Precision Bass in that its tone is brighter and richer in the midrange and treble with less emphasis on the fundamental frequency. The body shape is also different from the Precision Bass, in that the Precision Bass has a symmetrical lower bout on the body, designed after the Telecaster and Stratocaster lines of guitars, while the Jazz Bass has an offset lower bout, mimicking the design aesthetic of the Jaguar and Jazzmaster guitars.
Jackson is a manufacturer of electric guitars and electric bass guitars that bears the name of its founder, Grover Jackson. Owned by the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation, Jackson has manufacturing facilities in the US, Mexico, Indonesia, and China.
The KKV, also known as the Speed V, is an electric guitar designed by Kerry King of Slayer for B.C. Rich guitars. Its shape is based on the Gibson Flying V but with sharp points.
The King V is an electric guitar made by Jackson Guitars.
The Fender Lead Series was produced by the Fender/Rogers/Rhodes Division of CBS Musical Instruments. The series comprised Lead I, Lead II, Lead III and Lead Bass models.
Neal Moser is an Arizona-based luthier.
Mason Bernard guitars are primarily stratocaster-style solid body electric guitar and electric acoustics made from 1990 to 1992 by Bernie Rico, the founder of B.C. Rich, and feature the "M Bernard" branding on the headstock. It is believed that about 225 guitars were made, but there are examples of Mason Bernard guitars with serial numbers as high as 352 and at least one acoustic model has been discovered in the wild.
The Jackson Rhoads is a model of electric guitar, originally commissioned by guitarist Randy Rhoads and produced by Jackson Guitars.
There are many varieties of ten-string guitar, including:
Yamaha Pacifica is the name of a series of electric guitars manufactured by Yamaha. The line was originally designed in Yamaha's California custom-shop by Rich Lasner, working with guitar builder Leo Knapp. Initially intended by Lasner and Knapp as a test project, Yamaha Japan chose to produce the instruments.
Duesenberg is a brand for electric string instruments founded in 1986 and located in Hannover, Germany. Duesenberg is part of Göldo Music GmbH and is widely known for their classic and distinctive Art Deco designs. By 2004, the company opened a new branch in Fullerton, California.
The ESP LTD "M-series" short for Mirage, are superstrat style solid body electric guitars manufactured by ESP.
The Fender Telecaster, colloquially known as the Tele, is the world's first commercially successful solid-body electric guitar. Its simple yet effective design and revolutionary sound broke ground and set trends in electric guitar manufacturing and popular music. Introduced for national distribution as the Broadcaster in the autumn of 1950, it was the first guitar of its kind manufactured on a substantial scale and has been in continuous production in one form or another since its first incarnation.
Dingwall Designer Guitars is a manufacturer of bass guitars and electric guitars based in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. It employs the fanned-fret system started by Novax Guitars for manufacturing basses, increasing the scale length of the strings on the bass side of the guitar compared to the treble side. This design is more akin to a piano or harp, giving the bass strings length that increases the sustain.
This page uses content from GearWiki at Rich BC Rich. The list of authors can be seen in the Rich&action=history page history. As with Wikipedia, the text of GearWiki is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.
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