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BC Rich NT Warlock 5


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[size=3][b]BC Rich NT Warlock 5[/b][/size]

BC Rich are well known for their radical shapes and association with heavy metal. There aren't many BC Rich guitars that are conventional in their design. This Warlock bass is no exception, it's sharp edged design is visually distinctive and is probably the most recognisable of BC Rich's designs.

Construction: Neck through
[*]Body wood: nato (eastern mahogany)
[*]Body thickness: 45mm
[*]Top style: beveled
[*]Headstock style: Widow
[*]Headstock color: onyx
[*]Headstock binding: no
[*]Tuners: diecast
[*]Neck wood: maple
[*]Back of neck: onyx
[*]Fretboard: ebony
[*]Inlay: white pearloid small diamond
[*]Frets: 24 jumbo 2.9mm
[*]Factory strings: 45 – 105
[*]Scale: 34”
[*]Bridge / Tailpiece: 1 piece adjustable
[*]Pickups: 2 P style
[*]Controls: 1 master volume, 1 treble, 1 bass and 1 blend (active EQ)
[*]Hardware: black
[*]Finish: painted glossy
[*]Color: onyx
The Warlock NT comes in gloss black, there aren't any other colour options - but I can't think of much else that would suit it as well. As a neck-through, the whole of the neck is also painted, and is very smooth to the touch. The headstock is the well known BC Rich shape, the tuners on the left side feel very squashed however. When the sealed B/E/A tuners are horizontal to each other, there is almost no space between them, perhaps 1-2mm, the D/G side has no such problem. A BC Rich signature logo and 'WARLOCK' truss rod cover complete the headstock.

The fingerboard is ebony, and extremely dark in colour - it's almost black. Diamond inlays occupy the ebony, they look very nice too. Towards the body end, from the 17th fret on, the fingerboard looks a little unfinished. There are definite sanding marks visible and it is not as smooth as the rest. Added to this, there are a couple of places where the board appears to have water stains. I must say these blemishes are only visible on close inspection, and they certainly don't jump out. The fretwork is decent, although there appears to be polish residue left on some of them in the form of a green gunk, this gunk came off easily with a fingernail. The factory setup of the bass was good except for the G string, which buzzed at all frets. I raised the saddle (not a huge amount) and this has been resolved. Strapped on - the bass has horrendous neck dive, it's on par with a Thunderbird. This might be rectifiable by moving the strap buttons, but of course I'm not going to be drilling this review model !

The bass features 2 x P style pickups with the BC Rich logo on them. There are 4 controls, volume / balance / treble / bass. The bass control knob sits slightly higher than the others and cannot be pushed any lower, also the balance knob keeps turning even after the pot has maxed, this is down to the internal 'teeth' of the knob having worn down, they are made of plastic rather than metal. This is a mid priced bass and I'd expect better on these details to be honest. The bridge is well made, it isn't an off the shelf design and is fully adjustable. String spacing is fairly close - but does not taper too much towards the nut thankfully.

I plugged the Warlock into the ubiquitous Ashdown ABM (all EQ set flat) and set mid point on the Warlock controls also. The basic sound I got was very familiar, that sounding similar to a typical P/J bass, warmth and fundamental with a bit of zing from the bridge pickup. The bridge pickup soloed was familiar and sounded quite frankly like a Jazz bridge pickup, with a little less growl however. Soling the neck pickup gave a familar Precision like plummy thump, although it sounded slightly scooped. Boosting the onboard EQ was fairly polite, it didn't overload the sound at all, the frequencies are well set. Something in me didn't expect this bass to sound so 'traditional', I expected a very harsh and sterile tone. I expect this is a misconception many people may make, that because of the basses shape, it won't suit anything but metal.

[url="http://www.machinesofhate.myby.co.uk/Warlock/Warlock.mp3"][b][color="#FF0000"]>>> SOUND SAMPLE <<<[/color][/b][/url]

I could use this bass for most things and apart from the looks - it would fit in to most genres. The B string resonates very well and sounds very full, it isn't flappy like some basses despite it's 34" scale.

BC Rich do have somewhat of a fanclub following and are not hugely popular with us bassists in general, however they are very good instruments and this one has really surprised me with it's sounds and playability. It's flaws do not detract from the feel of the instrument, they are mainly cosmetic. If BC Rich can eliminate and perfect these issues I feel the instrument would achieve everything it set out to do.

For the metal bassist wanting a bass with attitude but also a great sound, then BC Rich are one to go for.

[b]I like:[/b]
Evil looking, you could accidentally impale yourself on it, seriously.
Surprisingly 'normal' tones that suit a wide variety of styles.

[b]I dislike:[/b]
Cramped tuners.
Poor finishing in places (fretboard / knobs).

[b][size=3]Overall 7/10[/size][/b]

Many thanks to Rosetti for the review instrument and Tonyf for his fantastic pics.

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