Hands-On Review:B.C. Rich Signature Series Mick 7
As a primary member of the Slipknot wrecking crew, ax-wielder Mick Thomson requires a guitar that will bark like a hellhound while enduring the brutality of his musical expression. Which is why B.C. Rich created the Signature Series Mick 7, a guitar built to Thomson’s specifications.
Based on the company’s neoclassic Warlock guitar, the Mick 7 has a fully bound mahogany body with a 1/4-inch maple top, and radical batlike styling that’s synonymous with power rock. Dressed for an electric funeral, the body, neck and headstock are finished entirely in a hot-tar Black with white binding (the guitar also comes in Blood Red with black binding). Hardware includes a heavy-duty quad-style fixed bridge, sealed die-cast tuners and rear-mounted strap buttons. Electronics consist of new passive EMG-HZ humbuckers with flat-black vintage-style covers, a single volume pot and a three-position Strat-style selector.
Hewn from hard rock maple, the Warlock’s neck features a rosewood fretboard, 24 medium frets and a large “HATE” inlay to demonstrate its bad intentions. Offset screws give the bolt-on neck greater stability, while the B.C. Rich fastback heel provides players with more comfort and easier access to upper frets. The neck is moderately thin, but its nice C-shape and narrow 1 5/8-inch nut make it well suited to thumb-over chunking and heavy power chords. Further demonstrating its devotion to the unholy, the neck is capped with a bound, demon horn—widow-style—headstock.
I tested this guitar, appropriately, with a Peavey 5150, a Mesa Dual Rectifier and MIT Hardwire cables. The Mick 7’s combination of mahogany, maple and heavy finish produce fat tones with a balanced attack and great sustain. Foregoing the common use of superpowered pickups and onboard preamps, the passive EMG-HZ pickups deliver a medium output that has a dark character and plenty of clarity. The exclusion of a tone control, while probably pragmatic, milks the pickups for some extra presence and output, which enhances definition with an amp pushed to insanity. Don’t expect this guitar to drive the front end of the amplifier—you’re going to have to crank it up or use a box to find some extra gain. The relaxed string tension, which comes courtesy of the fixed bridge and tilt-back headstock, adds to the mellow aggression and keeps hard-hit chords from becoming overly dynamic.
The Bottom Line
The Mick 7’s warm woods and low-intensity pickups deliver a refined metal tone that remains crisp and clear through blistering distortion. With rugged construction and sinful sounds, this is a war toy that just begs to have its strings slammed.