User Review

Reverend Manta Ray HB - Metallic Gold : A simple hollowbody from Reverend

Reverend is a cool new guitar maker from the United States. They are making semi-boutique guitars for very reasonable prices. They are variants on the classic designs with high end construction and finish. This is their semi hollow model. The guitar comes with a maple top and korina back and sides. Gibson says korina is too expensive to work with even on models that are traditionally korina. The fact that Reverend uses korina on most every guitar and their guitars cost less than Gibson's prove them wrong. The neck is a once piece korina neck that is set into the body. The neck has a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets and block inlays. Up top you get the art deco Reverend headstock with 3x3 locking tuners. The bridge is a standard tune-o-matic. The pickups are a set of Reverend humbuckers. You can also get this guitar with P90s. The controls are typical Reverend with a master tone and volume with a bass contour knob. There is a 3 way switch as well to swich pickups with.

UTILIZATION

This guitar came setup great from the factory. The action is nice and low with the angle set perfectly. Reverend uses locking tuners stock on just about all their guitars and this puts to shame other companies who still do not use them. Any guitar that doesnt have a locking nut should have locking tuners in my opinion. The upper fret access is pretty good due to the large cutaways on the body. They remind me of the Yamaha SG guitars. The body on this guitar is a little smaller than some other hollow body designs so you do not have to reach around the guitar as much to play it. The controls are arranged nicely but the volume knob on the pick guard may disappoint some people who like to remove pickguards from their guitar. I am not a huge fan of the pickup selector placement. it is off by itself kind of like a PRS SE guitar.

SOUNDS

The tone from this guitar is great and very versatile. The semi-hollow body gives you great natural tone. Semi-hollow guitars tend to sound more woody than solid body guitars. The korina wood in the construction also gives tis guitar great natural tone as well. Korina is a lot like mahogany but lighter so you get better response and snap in the tone. The humbuckers are like hot rodded PAF's. They are slightly hot and are voiced well for classic rock. The bass contour knob thats on all Reverend guitars is part of the Reverend sound. It really gives you a lot of versatility without having to split the pickups. With the bass contour on you get a very full bodied tone from the guitar. Its really thick. If you turn it off all the way you get a thinner tone which is almost like a single coil but not quite. This effect works well on both pickups. You can get really jazzy tones with the bass contour on the neck pickup. The bass contour knob is a great alternative to having coil splitting or a bunch of phase in and out switches. It reminds me of the 50s Gretsch guitars that would come with crazy stuff like phase knobs and tone switches.

OVERALL OPINION

If you were looking for a traditional semi-hollow alternative to the 355 than this is it. There are some more modern alternatives like the Vox guitars but this is more old school. With Reverend you get the quality and attention to detail of a low volume maker who really cares about their guitars. Lots of companies come up with excuses why they dont do things likes use better woods or locking tuners. Reverend uses Korina and locking tuners so there is really no excuse for big companies not to, they just dont. If you are looking for a great guitar from a small company that cares Reverend is a good company.