Reverend is a secret in the world of guitar, and rarely gets any attention. But are Reverend Guitars any good? Today we will take a look at why they are such interesting guitars, and even budget friendly!
Are Reverend Guitars Any Good? Let’s Find Out…
Reverend Guitars may seem like a newer brand to a lot of guitarists out there, and in fact, this article might even be the first time you have heard of them. I have known about Reverend guitars for quite a long time, but only because our guitar tech introduced them to me years ago. If it had not been for John, the guitar tech, I probably would have overlooked them too.
Reverend is a small company that started in Detroit. The company was founded by Joe Naylor, who is a guitar player and amp modder himself. He wanted something different, and in some cases he wanted a “do it all” guitar. He had modded instruments before, but ended up making his own brand in 1997.
Naylor looked both at the past and the future when it came to his guitar designs. Some of the designs were “retro-futuristic” in look, while others were more traditional. Joe and his team initially sold to all of the major chain stores in the USA, but opted out to only sell through the internet. Selling directly to the customer allowed Reverend to set up all of the guitars, before they were shipped out.
Selling online-only worked for the company for quite a while, and it expanded the line to have some budget models made in South Korea. Which if you are familiar with Schecter, or LTD, you know the quality that comes out of these Korean factories. But Naylor sold the company (while still remaining creative director) and now all they offer is the Korean models. Every guitar still gets the royal treatment before shipped out, though. Fully setup and ready to play.
So are Reverend Guitars any good? Today we take a look at the best-selling models and look at the features to try to find out if Reverend Guitars make the grade!
Reverend Sensei Series
If we are going to do a deep dive into “are Reverend Guitars any good”, then we need to start with my favorite model, the Sensei. The Reverend Sensei just looks like a mean as Hell guitar. It has roots in a lot of other guitar shapes, like the SG or maybe the Guild solid body. But in features, it is in a league of it’s own.
- Gloss-finished Korina body
- 3-piece Korina medium oval neck
- Pau Ferro fingerboard
- Railhammer Chisel neck and bridge pickups
- 3 Way switch
- Volume, Tone, and Bass contour knobs
- Treble bleed circuit
- Locking Tuners
This may seem like your run-of-the-mill double cutaway, dual humbucker guitar. But I assure you, there is a lot going on behind the scenes of this beauty that you would miss if you blink. First of all, Korina wood is very lightweight, and is easy on the shoulders when playing a long set. It is a lot like Ash wood in that respect, and makes for an excellent guitar wood.
Railhammer pickups are also pretty obscure in the guitar pantheon, but they are really cool in concept and design. If you look closely, you will see that the treble and bass sides of the pickups have different bobbin designs. This is really cool, and yes…it definitely affects the sound. I could write a whole article on the pickups alone, as the bass and treble frequencies are separated with Railhammer, so you get a clear tone across all strings.
The real star here, is the bass contour knob and the treble bleed circuit. This allows you to lower the volume with the knob on the guitar, without losing any clarity in the signal. Add the bass contour knob, and you have a lot of tonal options just by playing around with the knobs on the guitar. This is usually an aftermarket mod that people do to their guitars, but it comes stock with reverend.
So are Reverend guitars any good? I would say so, just from this one model! But the company has a lot more to offer, depending on your style….
Reverend Double Agent
Are Reverend Guitars any good? Well, the Double Agent is the one that first caught my eye, and made me want to write this article. This is the best of both worlds when it comes to having a versatile guitar. The Double Agent is meant to have the superpower of a humbucker in the bridge, and a subtle P90 in the neck. This gives you hammering metal tones, and light blues tones all in one guitar.
- Gloss-finished Korina body
- Medium oval roasted maple neck
- Pau Ferro fingerboard
- Reverend PA5 and HA5 pickups
- 3-way switch
- Trem, or fixed bridge options
- Locking tuners
- Volume, Tone, and Bass Contour knobs
The Double Agent is a really interesting concept. Being able to switch between high gain tones with the bridge humbucker, to grimey blues with the neck pickup opens up a lot of doors for creativity. I could see this being the ultimate Doom Metal guitar, since it gets so many different tones out of the two pickup setup. The pickups are also balanced, so the neck is not quieter than the bridge.
You also still get the bass contour knob that is a staple of Reverend design. This opens up even more possibilities for tones. You can dial it back and get a dirty Blues tone that sounds spanky or janglely. But you can also dime it out, and switch to the humbucker to get some crazy high gain tones. The Double Agent lives up to it’s name… two guitars in one!
Are Reverend Guitars any good? So far, the answer is a resounding YES!
If you have been wondering if Reverend Guitars had anything that looks like a more classic shape, then the Reverend Roundhouse is a great example. This combines the look of a more traditional instrument that also has an offset spin to the body that makes it unique. But you also get all of the modern appointments that Reverend includes “behind the scenes” of the guitar. This is a newer model for reverend, that has a lot of “firsts”:
“The Roundhouse wallops! The new Roundhouse is the classic single cutaway reimagined for today’s player. This carved top set neck – a first for Reverend Guitars — has a massive tone but is lightweight and balanced. Every Roundhouse features Reverend’s HA5 humbuckers, a TOM stop-tail bridge, pau ferro fretboards, and no pickguards. Perfect for all your rock-and-roll dreams!”Reverend Official
Most reverend guitars are bolt-on necks construction, much like a Fender. The Roundhouse is a set neck design, instead. They also generally have a flat top, while the Roundhouse has a more refined, carved top body. There is a lot to love here with the newer Roundhouse models. The important part, is that these guitars still have the classic Reverend touch to the electronics.
The bass contour knob is once again the star of the show with the Roundhouse models. With the Reverend custom humbuckers, the bass contour knob can easily make the pickups sound like a single coil, P90, or a full on Metal tone. The choice is really up to you, how you use it. There are hundreds of ways you can utilize this feature.
“This passive bass roll-off is great for tightening up the low end, or re-voicing the pickups. It can make a humbucker sound like a single-coil, or give a P-90 that classic twang. Variable pickup voicing at your fingertips!“Reverend Custom Shop
Are Reverend Guitars Any Good? ABSOLUTELY!
If you have been wondering “are Reverend Guitars any good?”…You might not find a ton of info out there about the brand. But we hope to have shed some light on this unique brand today. Reverend is definitely not a household name, but I don’t think that that was what the company ever set out to be.
The brand is very niche in my opinion. There are plenty of people that will play a Reverend model and be absolutely stunned by the quality and tones that you can get out of them. For some guitarists, the aesthetics might be a little too modern for someone used to classic looks. But this is all up to personal taste, and is not a testament to the quality.
When we ask “are Reverend Guitars any good?” we mean the actual quality of the instrument, right? Look, these guitars are made in the best factory in South Korea, just like Schecter and countless over companies. The quality is definitely there, but so is the innovation. I like that all Reverend guitars come with the Bass Contour Knob feature. This is something that you do not see with any other company.
I think Reverend Guitars is a company for people looking for something very different. Reverend caters to a very specific type of player, and there is nothing wrong with that. But if you are looking for something truly different, then this might be a company to watch!
Some quick features that all models share:
- Korina Body
- Locking Tuners
- Synthetic Bone Nut
- Made In Korea
- Railhammer or Reverend Pickups
- Treble Bleed
- Bass Contour Controls
Are Reverend Guitars Any Good?
Yes! They are made in South Korea these days, but the quality rivals some American companies. Every model comes with Hot Rodded electronics and features that are top of the class.
Do reverend Guitars come with a case?
Only the artist models currently come with a case. Regular models have a case sold separately.
Are Reverend Guitars expensive?
Most models fall within the $900-$1500 price range. This is considered “mid-tier” and you get a lot for your money. There are tons of features for a guitar in this price range.