Reverend Manta Ray 290-FM : Fancy top fancy sound
Reverend is a pretty small guitar maker but they are hitting the scene big with their high quality guitars sold at great prices. The names of the models tells you all you need to know about the guitar. This is the Manta Ray their semi-hollow ES-335 type guitar. The FM in the same tells you that this is the flame top model and the 290 in the name tells you that this guitar comes with 2 P90 pickups. It has a semi-hollow design with a Korina body with a maple top and Korina set neck. The neck has 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard. The scale is the traditional Gibson scale. Up top on the headstock there are Reverend pinlock tuners. The bridge is a traditional tune-o-matic design. The pickups are a set of Reverend P90s. The controls on this guitar are simple but traditional Reverend. You get a master volume and master tone with a bass contour knob which they are known for. The pickups are selected with a 3 way switch.
This guitar plays as great as any guitar this style can. With the sharp cutaways you have great access to the upper frets. The big semi-hollow body makes you have to reach around it to play but thats part of the game. Reverend uses a single F-hole to reduce high volume feedback which is smart. Locking tuners are great and nowadays every guitar should come with them. The pickup selector is kind of in a strange place, similar to a PRS SE model. Im not really a fan of knobs on pickguards. Thats kind of a Jazz guitar thing. It does give a clean look of all the knobs in a row though.
P90s are my favorite kind of single coil. This combined with the woody open tone of a semi-hollow guitar gives you great tone all around. P90s are great because they have the twang and stringy clarity of a single coil with the body of a humbucker.The bass contour knob opens up a whole new range of tones with the guitar. With the bass contour fully engaged you get the full blast of tone with the full P90 low end. If you dial it back it sounds more like a strat single coil. You cant really split a P90 so this adds a lot of versatility to the sound. You can go from quack to jazzy with either pickup with the contour knob.
If you are looking for a semi-hollow you should check out this Reverend. It has all the tone and features of a big dollar guitar but sold at a reasonable price. When you get a Reverend you are getting way more guitar for your money than with other companies. If you dont support these smaller companies when they are making and selling things for reasonable prices they will either stop or just start selling super boutique items no one can afford. Do yourself a favor and check out a Reverend if you can find one.