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Going back to Mercalli

When Giuseppe Mercalli developed a scale for measuring the seismic intensity of earthquakes in 1902, I'm willing to bet he would have never thought that Reverend Guitars would name a bass guitar after him. But, history is funny like that, and here we are! "Mercalli" is an apt name for this bass, because it has enough low-end power to trigger a small seismic event! Let's take a deeper dive and find out more about the source of its low-end power.

Thor-Worthy Tonewoods

Speaking of the body, let's talk tonewoods. Like all Reverends, the Mercalli 4 uses korina as its sonic building block. Korina shares many sound qualities with mahogany--warmth, punchiness, roundness, and evenness of response--but it has more harmonic content in the top end and is generally livelier all-around.

They pair this korina body with a five-piece neck made of korina and walnut, and this construction method gives it incredible stability, so you can rest assured that your setup will stay intact. It's also worth noting that the Mercalli 4 has a bolt-on neck, which gives it a bit more snappiness and bite than its almost-identical set-neck brother, the Thundergun.

Pugnacious Pickups

The Mercalli 4 has plenty of firepower thanks to its two gnarly pickups. The neck pickup is a Split Brick, and it sounds like a classic split-coil on steroids. As soon as my amp powered up, I felt compelled to play Sabbath, then to thump my way through a Motown tune, so it certainly evokes those classic tones. But, it has a bit more girth in the low-end, broader midrange response, and more chime in the trebles than an old-school split-coil. And, it also has a fantastically snappy, percussive attack. It's the sort of bass sound that's so solid you could build a house on it without sacrificing clarity or definition to do so.

Closer to the bridge, you'll find a Thick Brick humbucker, which has a bit of a brasher personality. Its low-end response is tight but robust, its midrange is focused and biting, and the trebles have plenty of clank and snarl. In general, it has a bit more of a scooped sound, and it growls beautifully when you dig in. It presents a delightful contrast to the neck pickup, and it is supremely useful for cutting through a mix.

Best of all, you can blend the two pickups easily using the pickup pan knob. At the notch at twelve o'clock on the knob, both pickups are running full-bore. If you roll it all the way forward or backward, you get just the neck or bridge. At all points in between, you hear a blend of the two. This simple tool gives you an extraordinary amount of tone-shaping ability. However, it's awfully hard to leave that point of equilibrium at noon, because it sounds so divine. You get the warmth and midrange punch of the neck pickup AND the brashness and bite of the bridge. The two sounds blend seamlessly, and you get full frequency response across the board AND exceptional clarity and articulation.

One Heck of a Neck

Instead of a chunky vintage-style neck, the fine folks at Reverend chose to outfit this puppy with a modern medium oval neck profile with a comfortable 1.65" nut width and a 12" radius. Reverend's medium oval profile is big enough to feel substantial but thin enough to feel fast and easy-to-play. The moderate nut width helps the neck hug the contours of your palm, and the 12" radius allows you to use a lower setup and bend strings more easily.

Only the Best

I hope it's apparent by now that Reverend is obsessed with using excellent components. Good wire and good wood get you most of the way to a great guitar, but the devil's in the details, and Reverend gets all the little stuff right.

For instance, they use a neck plate with six bolts instead of the usual four, which improves energy transfer, resonance, and sustain. Also, you can string it through the body for extra resonance or top-load it for slinkier handfeel.

On the electronic side of things, they use boutique-quality capacitors and pots with a +-10% rating, which means a more consistent experience for the player. And, when you're using those electronics live, the Reverend Mercalli 4 is extremely dependable. Pin lock tuners and a boneite nut ensure exceptional tuning stability, and the rock-solid four-bolt jack plate makes you less susceptible to Murphy's Law.

Mercalli-fornia Dreamin'

The Mercalli 4 is a thoroughbred with the soul of a workhorse, and we are sure that its inspiring tone and awesome playability will inspire you to reach new heights on your low-end journey!


Brand Reverend
ModelMercalli 4
Finish ColorMetallic Alpine
Weight8.20 lbs.
Body WoodKorina
Neck Wood5-Piece Maple/Walnut
Neck Dimensions.820 1st - .910 12th
FingerboardPau Ferro
Fingerboard Radius12"
Scale Length34"
Width at Nut1.650"
Nut MaterialBoneite
PickupsThick Brick (Bridge), Split Brick (Neck)
ControlsVolume, Tone, Pickup Pan
BridgeString-Thru-Body or Top-Load, 3/4" spacing
TunersHipshot Ultralight, 1/2" Diameter Shaft
CaseSold Separately

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