by Adam Husk
Want a splash of extra creative sauce without having to splash the extra cash? Reverend might be a new name to some, but the creative blood has been pumping through this company’s veins since 1997.
Joe Naylor is the man behind the guitars, inspired by the guitar destroying icon Pete Townsend, he has created some of the most durable products currently on the market. So let’s break down what makes these guitars stand out from the crowd.
It seems that with all the sexy images of tasty wood splattered across social media feeds world wide that the sound of a guitar is getting frequently overlooked. Yes those curves are undeniable alluring, and yes it is scientiﬁcally proven that by having a guitar wrapped around your neck you instantly become 130% more attractive, but if the sound coming from the instrument sounds how stale cereal tastes, then you are going to be leaving the gig with nothing but a sore ego. Luckily Reverend do not rely on their Instagram worthy bodies and have invested time, effort, and money to what truly matters.
As most people will be telling themselves after this season has reeked havoc on their bodies, it is what is on the inside that counts and inside these little beasts is a world of sonic splendidness.The pickups in this instrument have been designed by Reverend with very speciﬁc requirements. As most of you will know, there are many factors that play a role in the overall sound of the guitar but the pickups have the largest tonal responsibility. If guitar tone was a mince pie, the pick ups would be the mince. Mounted in the bridge of the Double Agent is a HA5 Humbucker style pickup. The HA5 has been wound to be a bit hotter than a vintage style pickup, whilst still retaining the warmer characteristics of a PAF. A bit like a grandma with a snapback. Vintage meets modern in all the right ways.
The neck position has been ﬁlled with a 9A5 P90 style pick up. Interestingly the pickup has been reverse wound to be hum cancelling when used along side other pickups. There is a large playing ﬁeld of possible sounds with this conﬁguration of pickups, but prepare to launch your sound palette into a new dimension with this next neat little trick. Reverend have implemented some cool and quirky elements into their wooden offspring and perhaps one of the most unique is their bass roll off circuit. Controllable from a standard knob, the bass roll off allows you to tighten the low end on what ever pick up you desire. So you can take that fat P90 sound, and by using the bass roll off to squeeze its balls, you are able to take it down to that single coil sound you might ﬁnd traditionally mounted in a Strat. The passive circuit really does open up a lot of options to play with.
Some other subtle circuitry such as a treble bleed has also been added to maintain top end when rolling back the volume. All of these small factors have come to together to create a guitar that sounds good in every possible setting. So what is the pastry on this mince pie analogy? Reverend have chosen a body wood that has been praised for its rich harmonic content and light weight qualities. The wood, thats name sounds like an amateur wrestler, White Limba is better known to the guitar community as Korina. Reverend liked the wood so much they have chosen to use it on pretty much every model of their guitars.
Another element that this guitar exceeds in is tuning stability. You might have the voice of an angel but if that angel is so tone deaf that it sounds like it is falling down the stairway to heaven then it is probably not going to get the gig. Luckily, Reverend have engineered out any chance of poor tuning stability. Their personally designed pin-lock tuners combined with a Boneite nut, that ensures your nut grooves don’t catch the string, makes the headstock a rock solid anchor for your strings. This is especially needed when you see what is lurking at the other end of the guitar. The trèm de la trèm.
For all your crazy whammy abuse, the Wilkinson WV350 IIK Tremelo will have you covered. The saddles lock to the base plate so they are not going to be subject to any small movements that could be catastrophic for your tuning. This trem has a lot more going on than meets the eye. Push the arm in and then an internal thread will take you the rest of the way. A small screw also allows you to control the tension on the swing so you can set it up to meet your personal requirements. These are features vary rarely available in the price bracket these instruments sit within.
If all this was not enough, Reverend decided to take it a few steps further by using a roasting process on the neck which removes the moisture from the maple, making it less subject to movement from environmental changes. Due to the chemical reactions that occur in this process you also get a very unique dark colouration to the neck that also comes packed with its own audible characteristics that are that extra bit of sugar on our mince pie analogy. This beautiful concoction of roasted maple and Pau Farrow fretboard is bolted to the body with a six bolt neck plate. An additional two screws than a traditional neck plate means that the neck is not moving anywhere, no matter how much abuse you throw at it.
Perhaps draw the line at throwing it at things, as what ever it hits will most likely break. Even with all these steps in place, your neck is still going to need a truss rod adjustment over time. You might go mad and put on a set of strings that add more tension than an imperfect cadence, in this case a neck adjustment will be inevitable. All Reverend guitars have a dual action truss rod installed which allows you to adjust the neck in both directions, opposed to single action truss rods found in most guitars.
There is a lot going for this guitar but surely at this price point something must have been sacriﬁced? Well, how does it play? Is it like trying to play an aggressive chainsaw on a chilly December morning in your front garden in nothing but your underwear whilst your neighbours look at you in disgust? Thankfully it is quite the opposite, what ever that image may be. The medium oval neck proﬁle combined with the texture of the roasted maple neck makes for a nice left hand experience (or right hand if your are of the directionally inverted variety) but which ever has the fretted hand job, there is a double agent out there for you.This model is available for both lefties and righties. So no matter how you vote in the general election, Reverend make a guitar for you. Additionally, an angled neck heel has been carved out which aids access to the upper portion of the fretboard.
Overall this is a fantastic instrument without even taking into consideration the price point they hit. Now available from Guitar Guitar. Get to the Birmingham store to get plugged in and ﬁnd out for yourself!