BC Rich Stealth...
The First of A Breed
Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth
The BC Rich Stealth has been with us since 1983. It was the brainchild of Rick Derringer, who was one of the top Rock
guitarists of the time. Derringer initially took the design to Gibson. Instead of producing the Stealth the way Rick designed it,
Gibson wanted to make it a set neck rather than a neck-thru-body design. Who knows what they were thinking. Perhaps their rationale
was that Rick Derringer's name would sell millions of guitars even though they were a cheaper design and not up to professional quality.
Whatever they were thinking, it was a mistake. Derringer wasn't going for the idea of a cheap, mass produced guitar. Inevitably,
he turned to BC Rich who, at the time, was ahead of the pack in terms of innovation and reputation for creating high quality instruments.
Bernie Rico, the founder of BC Rich leapt into action and the BC Rich Stealth was born. According to Bernie, it was the first BC Rich model
designed by an artist. Gibson's loss, BC Rich's gain.
Even though Derringer designed the BC Rich Stealth, he didn't bring the guitar to prominence in the Metal world.
That honor goes to the late Chuck Schuldiner of the Heavy Metal band, Death. Throughout most of his career, Chuck's
primary guitar was the Stealth. Until 2008, the Stealth was a rare model available only through the BC Rich custom shop.
In 2008, BC Rich released the Chuck Schuldiner Tribute model to the public. Currently, there are three production models of the BC Rich Stealth -
the Chuck Schuldiner Tribute model, the Stealth Pro Marc Rizzo Signature 7 string and the Stealth Pro. If you would like to see a demo of the
Chuck Schuldiner model, watch the video below.
My Personal Take...
In this case, I have to admit that I neither own nor have I played any BC Rich Stealth version. Given that, I have to rely
on what I've seen and heard others say. Going by the majority of the reviews I've seen as well as comments on various forums,
the conclusion I've come to is that these are very good, very well made, great sounding and totally cool looking guitars.
The only negative
I've encountered is neck heaviness, the bane of every BC Rich I've gotten my hands on. I have seen it said, though, that the USA made
custom shop models don't suffer from this problem and that the neck heaviness is probably a characteristic of the Asian models, most
likely related to the placement of the strap pegs. That definitely can make a difference in the balance of a guitar but I suspect
that the real culprit is the beefy necks typical of BC Rich guitars. That contributes to a deep, rich tone but it's also a lot of material hanging out there.
The bottom line? I'd love to add both the Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth and the Stealth Pro Marc Rizzo Signature 7 string to my collection.
The Current BC Rich Stealth Production Guitars...
Stealth Pro Marc Rizzo Signature 7 String
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The Stealth Pro Marc Rizzo Signature 7 String is a high end guitar designed for players who want to take their playing to
the extremes that Marc Rizzo of Soulfly does. The guitar features a mahogony body with neck-thru-body construction. The neck
is maple with a 24 jumbo fret ebony fretboard and a 25 1/2 inch scale length.
The guitar also features Grover Mini Rotomatic tuners and a Floyd Rose Original double locking tremolo bridge. It has two hot humbucking
pickups - an EMG 81-7 at the bridge and an EMG 707 at the neck. If you're looking for a Heavy Metal guitar with incredible tone
and response, give the Stealth Pro Marc Rizzo Signature 7 String a look. Check out the quick video below:
Click Image For A Larger View
The BC Rich Stealth Pro is anything but stealthy. This a serious, high quality Metal machine. The body is Nato(Eastern mahogany) with neck-thru-body
construction for great tone and sustain. The neck itself is maple with a 24 jumbo fret ebony fretboard. The headstock sports Grover Mini
Rotomatic tuners. The guitar's scale length is 24 5/8 inches.
The Stealth Pro boasts a Floyd Rose Original double locking tremolo bridge and powerful EMG humbucking pickups for that Heavy Metal onslaught that you're looking for.
The bridge pickup is the EMG 81 while the neck pickup is the venerable EMG 85. If you're looking for a serious Heavy Metal guitar,
the BC Rich Stealth Pro is definitely worth a look.
- Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth
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The BC Rich Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth was created to honor the late Chuck Schuldiner of the Metal band, Death. Chuck had
a short but meaningful career and laid down some serious riffage and is arguably the creator of the Death Metal style. Chuck played many BC Rich guitars
but was most often seen with his single pickup Stealth. If you watched the demo above you know that this is a serious Metal monster.
The Schuldiner Tribute Stealth is a stripped down guitar designed for one thing and one thing only - HEAVY METAL RIFFAGE! The guitar has a 24 5/8 inch
scale length with an alder body and neck-thru-construction. The neck has an ebony, 24 jumbo fret fretboard. The headstock sports Grover Mini Rotomatic
tuners and the bridge is a wrap-around style rather than a tremolo.
As far as controls go, you have one - the volume control. No tone control?
Nope - you don't need it. To honor Chuck, BC Rich took great care in designing this guitar. It already has the tone it was intended to have. If
you're a Metal player you won't find a better or more purpose built guitar than the BC Rich Chuck Schuldiner Tribute Stealth.
To wrap this up, let me just say that if you're looking for a professional quality, hard hitting Heavy Metal monster,
you won't go wrong with any of the BC Rich Stealth models. HORNS UP, PEOPLE!!!!
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