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The Lord of Fuzz

You'd think that the greatest fuzz-rock warlord of the modern age would have a fanciful name like Skullcrusher McBloodbath or Slaytheon the Widowmaker, but you'd be wrong: his name is Bob Balch, and his signature Reverend is a mighty weapon capable of wreaking sonic mayhem on an awesome scale. If you're not familiar with Bob's work as the guitarist in Southern California shredders Fu Manchu, do yourself a favor and check out their 1997 masterpiece "The Action is Go" HERE and experience fifty-five minutes of pure riff-laden bliss.

Though Fu Manchu certainly owes a debt to Black Sabbath and other doomy, heavy bands, they have developed a distinct voice within the idioms of the genre by incorporating the spirit of eighties hardcore punk, seventies garage rock, and a little bit of heady jazz left over from Bob's pre-Manchu days as a bebopper. In fact, Bob's knowledge of the guitar is so deep and vast that he was able to keep up with none other than the illustrious Gregory Koch when he paid us a visit here at Wildwood (see THIS for video evidence)! In fact, Bob's playing ability is so highly-regarded that he runs a teaching website called www.playthisriff.com, where he'll teach you everything from Chet Atkins licks to tunes by metal up-and-comers like YOB.

Perhaps because of their wide-ranging tastes and skills, Fu Manchu's music is the perfect soundtrack for both a skateboarding session at a backyard pool and a long drive on a desert highway, but it still has more than enough artistic merit to warrant close listening through nice speakers.

A Savage Signature Model

Obviously, a player with exceptional skill and taste like Bob demands much of his instruments. In fact, that's what led him to become a Reverend artist! At a gig in 2008, his current guitar wasn't cutting it, so Reverend was kind enough to lend him a guitar for the night. Bob loved it so much that Reverend let him keep it, and he's only played Reverends ever since.

Bob's signature Reverend is based on the Sensei, but apart from the horned body shape and the resonant, balanced Korina body, it is a completely different beast. It has a strategic chamber in between the pickups for a little more resonance, and beveled edges for maximum comfort. Also, it features Bob's signature Railhammer pickups, which are some of the most spectacular pickups ever wound for hard 'n' heavy music. Essentially, these rockin' Railhammers accomplish what Tony Iommi tuned his entire amp rig to do.

Drop the Hammer

How does a pickup perform such a feat? Well, it's quite simple: in order to get a proper sound for higher gain music, you want tight but muscular bass response, punchy midrange, and fat, clear trebles with plenty of sizzle and hair.

Iommi got this sound by dialing in a midrange-heavy sound on his Laney Amplifier, then slamming the front end with a Dallas Rangemaster treble booster to get the ripping-velcro highs he's known for. Then, he used the built-in fuzz on the Laney to dial in his lows to taste.

Reverend took a different route to achieve a similar effect. These pickups have poles under the three high strings to ensure maximum girth and power when you play high notes, and they have rails under the low strings for focused, clear bass response. They're also made of brass, which slightly reduces output and brightness while giving the mids a boost. So, overall, the Bob Balch Railhammer pickups have an exceptionally warm yet transparent midrange-forward voice that sounds beautiful clean and works great as a building block for fuzzrocious gnarliness.

Speaking of pickups, here's a quick rundown of some of the sounds you can find using just the tone knob and Reverend's now-legendary bass contour control. Reverend uses a treble bleed circuit on all their tone knobs, so you don't lose any presence when you want a darker tone, allowing you to access a plethora of inspiring sounds!

Can We Take it to The Bridge?

With the tone and bass contour at ten, the bridge pickup will fulfill your wildest Sabbathian fantasies. It will make your mustache quiver, and if you don't have a mustache, it will make you spontaneously sprout one. It has more bite than Cerebreus, and it provides all the punch and crunch you'll ever need. If you like heavy music, this is the sort of sound that will make you feel like you are living in one of your favorite records.

Rolling the bass contour off injects the sound with a little bit of junkyard dog snarl. The nastiness that comes out of the upper mids suits aggressive punk-inflected music to a T. Fans of The Stooges circa Raw Power will love the way the guitar screams on this setting, and it will also make SoCal punk fans wave their Black Flag high.

Rolling off the tone gives you a smooth tone with so much warmth that it could sear a steak. It's the sort of lead sound that would singe the devil's eyebrows clean off!

Neck Deep

The neck pickup is thick and muscular, like some sort of ancient Titan warrior awoken from a centuries-long slumber by the sound of a tritone. Single-note flurries sound like a stampede of wooly mammoths, and chords have elephantine weight and power. Nevertheless, the high end remains quite clear, allowing you to slather your signal in gain with no muddiness.

If you flick the bass contour off, you'll be rewarded with more snarl than a neck pickup should legally be allowed to have. It roars like an angry adolescent grizzly bear!

With the tone knob rolled off, it sounds like a demon's interpretation of the "American Woman" solo tone.

The Ultimate Aggro Axe

When you factor in Reverend's many player-friendly enhancements and appointments (a shredding medium oval neck profile, a 12" radius for screaming bends, a Boneite nut for added resonance, and locking tuners for supreme stability), one thing becomes quite clear: this Reverend may be the ultimate guitar for heavy, aggressive rock. We are confident that the Reverend Bob Balch Signature model will empower you to reach new heights of six-string savagery, and we can't wait to see our exceptional customers use it to wreak havoc and sow sonic destruction.


Brand Reverend
ModelBob Balch Signature
Finish ColorGloss Midnight Black
Weight7.19 lbs.
Body WoodKorina
Neck WoodKorina
Neck ShapeMedium Oval
Neck Dimensions.830 1st - .910 12th
FingerboardPau Ferro
Fingerboard Radius12"
Scale Length24-3/4"
Frets22 0.110" Wide x 0.050" High
PickupsRailhammer Bob Balch Signature
ControlsVolume, Tone, Bass Contour, 3-Way
BridgeTOM with Stopbar
TunersReverend Pin-Lock
CaseReverend Cases Are Sold Separately But You Can Add One to Your Order By Checking the Box Right Above the "Add to Cart" Button

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Serial Number: 42979

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