Since 1972, the mentalists over at BC Rich have supplied the artillery to everyone from Kerry King to Slash. You’ll pay big bucks for a US model, but Chinese equivalents like the VG1 won’t scare anyone’s wallet.
The Virgin might not be the most famous shape, but metallers will recognise BC Rich as a dependable name. That gave the VG1 a psychological advantage, and it’s backed up with tangible spec highlights that include a meaty agathis body, bolted maple neck and the same BDSM humbuckers that we’ve found on models at twice the price.
Our reason for crowing about the VG1 is not just because it looks so cool (although that is a factor in the entry-level sector). No, we’re dishing out the accolade for the simple reason that when you strap on this beast, it doesn’t feel like a compromise.
Physically, it’s an absolute belter, with the neck playing as fast as you can right up to the 24th fret - there’s only the low bout’s habit of skewering your thigh to detract from this. Tonally, it scored again - the ’buckers supply a versatile tone that gobbles up detuned chugging, relays every nuance of a flashy solo, and scrubs up nicely on the clean channel. With that kind of performance, we don’t reckon BC Rich’s VG1 will stay a virgin for long…
Pros: A genuine sense of aspiration.
Cons: Painful seated practice.
Buy: BC Rich VG1 is currently available from Thomann