Since the 1950’s, most guitar shapes are mere variations of the time-honored Stratocaster and Les Paul designs. It’s very rare that a unique guitar shape makes a serious influence on guitar players who, for all their distinctions, are a conservative lot when it comes to instrument body shapes.
One significant guitar maker who happened to make a strong effect on the music industry with his radical guitar design was Bernardo Chavez Rico, known to most people in the industry as B. C. Rich, the founder of the company of the same name. B. C. Rich created such celebrated instruments as the Bich and the Warlock. The B. C. Rich Mockingbird was also one of his earliest models and has become one of the company’s most well-loved guitars.
Currently, the Mockingbird body shape comes in a variety of versions, including the Masterpiece Mockingbird, the Mockingbird Special, the Mockingbird Special X, the Exotic Classic Mockingbird, the Mockingbird ST, and the Calibre Classic Mockingbird. This review concentrates upon our review model, the Exotic Classic.
Like all the original B. C. Rich instruments, the Mockingbird was made by hand in Rico’s shop. Current models, though, are constructed in Korea to high standards, which explains why current instruments are so inexpensive. The guitar features renowned B. C. Rich neck-through construction, which helps explain why the instrument has such solid sustain and tone, since the neck extends through the whole guitar body.
The instrument is a speed player’s dream machine! The ebony fretboard allows for very fast fingerwork. The frets are well-rounded, smooth, and polished perfectly, especially for an import.
The Rockfield pickups are very nice if you’re into classic metal or classic rock and have a creamy, smooth, and well-defined sound. If you need super high gain from your pickups, you might be in the market for some replacement pickups (Duncan or Dimarzio), but we found them quite acceptable.
The Mockingbird from B. C. Rich has a classic metal look and has the sounds to match. The action, finish, and fit are all very well done. The stock hardware is high-quality, though it would be nice to have some locking tuners.
If you want some even more metal sounds, you can opt for the Mockingbird ST, which offers an original Floyd Rose vibrato system. The Exotic Classic, thought, is such a solid hard rock machine that we didn’t miss the Floyd Rose one bit, and we recommend the B. C. Rich Mockingbird Exotic Classic without reservation.