B.C. Rich Stealth
Made In: Korea
Specs: Alder body, mahogany neck-through, ebony fretboard
Electronics: DiMarzio X2N humbucking pickup, passive circuit
At first glance this looks like the most awkward guitar imaginable to play. This is the Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth model, picked up in a trade. I was unsure, initially, of going through with the deal but I’m a huge fan of Chuck’s music and the single humbucker, single volume setup is something I really like, so I gave it a crack.
It’s certainly different to play. It hangs differently on a strap to a V, despite sharing some design similarities. The neck is further over towards your fretting hand. It gifts the upper reaches of the neck, just presents it delightfully to your fretting hand, and invites you to get stuck in. The through-neck design gracefully forms itself into the body and upper fret access, as a result, is smooth and unimpeded. The extended upper horn works really well to rest your forearm on and, amazingly, it’s a very comfortable guitar to play.
DiMarzio’s X2N pickup has a reputation as a face-melter but, while it most definitely is a high-output monster, it cleans up nicely when you roll back the volume. There are enough mids in there to mean you can do more than just the heaviest of Metal and the top end is clear and smooth without any harshness. It’s a very usable pickup in a very playable guitar. The shape, clearly, isn’t for everybody but, as no-nonsense rock guitars go, this can hold its own with anything.
From the basic bridge to the barest of controls, there is no fluff on this guitar. There’s nothing to do other than play which isn’t a bad thing at all.