Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BC Rich #4 - 'NJ Speedloader Virgin'

This is the guitar with about the naffest 'stop sniggering at the back' name you could imagine. It even came with a terrible tacky 'have you plucked a Virgin?' ad campaign when launched.

Oh well this one was pretty cheap.

This is very very similar to my Warlock, the upper bout is similarly shaped and the neck is probably identical apart from the truss rod cover.

I have no intention of keeping this. It has been bought to steal the Speedloader tremolo from so I can fit it to my RS10V project.

The seller shipped it with the neck unbolted and when I put it back together it was pretty clear they didn't know how to set the Speedloader up as it was all over the place with some of the fine tuners wound right down. Now set up, I've played it for about half an hour and it's nice enough. These Korean NJs weren't cheap originally despite being bolt-on models and they're much nicer than the modern cheapo models. The body shape actually works well, it's light and pretty compact. Still a stupid name though.

The main feature is the Speedloader which is a piece of nicely finished US engineering. It's the sort of quality that you'd expect from Schaller or Gotoh and a massive step up in sophistication and precision from an original Floyd Rose.

Whether or not it's actually a good idea is debatable though.

Setting them up is super fiddly. Alternative tunings are nigh impossible (you might manage half a step either way, but I'm not going to try) unless somebody makes special string sets. Which they won't. Standard tuning strings are uncommon enough.

Once set up though, string changes are amazingly simple and can be done in seconds. The string starts at tension and you just need to fine tune it.

Tuning stability is great, but you'd kind of expect that.

If I manage to swap the Speedloader onto the RS10V, I think I'll just sell the carcass on. It'd make an ideal project for somebody to drill the headstock for machine heads and fit a standard tremolo.

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