Friday, 18 May 2012

1978 BC Rich 10-string Bich

One of my favorite guitars ever is the 10-string Bich by BC Rich, with double four higher strings for rich harmonic sound and single lower ones for heavy riffs... Designed by Neal Moser in 1977, it's part of the early BC Rich models that were so cool and so good at proposing alternative designs after the 1960s creative boom waned and had left rock musicians with 4 or 5 dominant guitar designs... Moser also created its electronics - there are plenty of knobs and switches as you can see, to split, boost and phase the humbuckers, plus a varitone à la Gibson, for a wide range of sounds.

The guitar on the picture just sports 6 strings - that is a mystery to me, why downgrade such a brilliant guitar, but you know very well that rationality is often overlooked when it comes to the magic land of electric guitars... Anyway, I love how design and ergonomics collide to create a new form that becomes instantly just obvious: that is really the genius of 20th century, and 21st still has to prove that it has better to propose to mankind (iPad is definitely not enough!)

Bertram D

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  1. At first sight I really didn't like it, but after reading your text I love it. Great piece.

  2. Anonymous3:46 pm

    I have always been a fan of B.C. Rich and their unique designs. The 10-string with its turners on both ends, a dozen knobs and switches and it's "wicked" angles looks intimidating, like a hard rock guitar should. Thanks for great post, really threw me back to my youth in the early 80's.

  3. 10 strings, tuners on both ends, a dozen knobs and switched, and wicked angles. This guitar is intimidating, like a hard rock guitar should look. Thanks for the great post, it really threw me back to the 80's.

  4. Wow, intimidating indeed. The fact most plinkers would have difficulty TUNING it may explain why it's virtually smudge free. Who says the 70's totally sucked?

    As an aside I went to see our local luthier yesterday, mostly routine maint. on the Notacaster. The 3rd string was hanging up in the nut and I asked if it should just be replaced? Turns out it was impinged and some quick file work took care of that. Neat trick though, he was able to tell someone replaced the plastic w/ a bone nut. How could he tell? When you file bone it actually stinks! Plastic won't.

    Can't tell you how tickled he was to re-wire the PU positions. We replaced all the pots and he asked if I'd be int. in giving it a shot? Well, it was an instant improvement! The neck & bridge together is unlike anything I'd heard before. And at different volumes, some very non-Strat Strat sounds. Well worth the effort. You have to get used to your bridge in the middle setting though.

  5. It is a wonder of guitardom. A symbol of the excess that marked the time it was created. It should come with a few grams of cocaine just to complete the package. I could not help but think how this is the polar opposite of the Burns model reviewed a few days ago. Burns gave you 4 options four sound not including volume. The BC Rico has a smorgasbord of options. It would make a fine studio recording instrument in my eyes.

  6. Anonymous11:20 am

    Some nice tasteful playing here from Paul Chapman, when he was in UFO, although he does not appear to be playing it as a 10 string, just a regular 6

    Another clip from the same show has a version of the old Schenker-era classic Doctor Doctor

    But worth watching for 2nd guitarist/keyboardist Neil Carter who's ripping it up on a Gibson 175!

  7. Anonymous11:35 am

    Also, just for "obsessives", here's UFO from 1982 when Paul Chapman had replaced the front pickup in one of his Bich's with a P90. The video has some good shots of the guitar and also Pete Way's Washburn bass, which is like a chopped up Explorer.

  8. In the UFO clips, that's not Paul Raymond, who is left handed, but his replacement, Neil Carter.And although the last clip has been taken down, I assume it is a Washburn "Stage" B-20.



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