My Quartertone Warlock

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Thread: My Quartertone Warlock

  1. #1

    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: Orlando Florida

    iTrader: 0

    My Quartertone Warlock

    This is a Chinese made, $200 import guitar available from Musicians Friend, here: B.C. Rich Warlock Electric Guitar | Musician's Friend

    Pretty sure its the "Widow Warlock" as seen in the 2011 catalog. I like the guitar, it has a Nato body, which is better than most cheap guitars. The maple they used on the neck is pretty low quality, when I skinned it, it absorbed alot of moisture. I have since primed and painted the neck, giving it a false-graphite kind of feel and look, it came out nicely but the back of the headstock looks a little rough. The chrome hardware on the guitar was good, the tuners were damn good for the money, 500k pots and decent solder work. The BSDM pickups were not to my liking, but I was able to find a guy on ebay that makes pickups and sells them dirt-cheap. I bought a pair of his X2N/PowerRails type pups, they sound just as good as the name brands, but they were $40 new for the pair. They came with 4 wire leads plus a ground, but I just installed them for standard 3-way switching. They are called DragonFire pickups, I suggest you guys buy a pair of his pups, you wont be disappointed!

    I replaced the hardware with black, found a generic set for grover style tuners for $8, an awesome roller-saddle tuno-o-matic bridge for $15, new string furells at a discount, along with strap buttons and speed knobs, all 99 cents on ebay, all new. The parts are from hong kong, and they are just as good as Allparts but at a fraction of the price. You can get a floyd-rose licensed bridge, just like they kind they put in Jacksons and Ibanezes, for only $25, for example. I suggest dudes on the forum check out the ebay stores for guitar parts, the price difference is so huge that you'll refuse to pay Allparts rates ever again.

    This dude I know locally builds guitars and converts fret boards, all Micro-tonal. That means instead of the usual 12 notes heard in most every kind of music out there, these scale systems have anywhere from 13,16, 19, 20, 24, 31 divisions in the octave. Guitar with this fretting system are able to play ancient Greek, Persian, Oriental, Hindi, and Arabic scales, all of which use more than the standard 12 notes found in Baroque music. There are all sorts of new scales, modes, and approaches to theory that goes along with micro-tonal guitars. I opted for the 24-tone system, that way I would still have the normal notes associated with a guitar (A-G#) along with new microtones. Its still pretty new to me, and my ears are just starting to get used to it, and Im just starting to figure out some scales and intervals that were previously impossible for me to play on a standard 12-fret guitar. To clarify, I have 24 frets leading up to the first octave on the string (12th fret) and then 24 more. However, this guy did a cruddy job on my guitar, which sucks because I have played the instruments he builds or converts, the guy knows how to do it right, he just decided I deserved a half-ass job. He put a new ebony fingerboard, new stainless steel frets, and thats about it. No inlays, the board and the neck were not flush at the seams, and he never bothered to level, crown, and polish the frets after he put them in. Some were not even hammered in all the way, and there were spots where he just "shaved" the crown down on the high frets, which is a pathetic quick-fix that screws up your intonation. I ended up having to buy tools from StewMac and finish the job myself, and spent more money on the fretboard conversion than this dude charges for an entire neck. After a month of b^%$itting me around and working on other guitars while mine collected dust, I got it back and it was pretty much un-playable. The strings completely fretted out on the 7th, 12th, and 17th frets. Now it plays much better, and I have done fret-dress jobs on several guitars, and even made the money back that I spent on the tools. Its not perfect though, and I think I am going to shim up the neck, and get rid of the "Les Paul"-style neck pocket angle that my warlock, and most other warlocks are built with. It is a shame, but I want the neck to be fully functional without dead spots, and I know the frets are level and well-dressed, so the next step is for me to adjust the angle of the neck, as I have the truss rod as loose as It can go and still be threaded, and cannot get any more relief out of the neck.

    I like this guitar, I am happy to have another BC Rich, and I dont regret having the conversion done. Microtonal guitars are a very new thing to most people, and I think the future of metal music could and should hold a place for them. There are other guitars out there with more than 12 frets to the octave, there are even some Microtonal BC Rich conversions too. But I'm pretty sure that I own the only Quartertone BC Rich Warlock in the world, and thats pretty cool!

    these are my Dragonfire pickups, the really do sound like X2N pickups, but they were $40 new.

    here is a shot of the bridge I put in, with brass roller saddles, $15 new

    here are the grover-type tuners, they stay in tune, $8 new

    a pic of the false-graphite finish I put on the neck, over the cheap maple they used.

    here is the black spray job I did on the neck plate, once chrome. came out nice!

    and here is another full body shot of the Warlock

  2. #2

    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: US East Coast
    ME: SVK Les Paul Custom
    MA: Washburn something
    MB: Charvel 1B
    Rig: Marshall 8100

    iTrader: 2 (100%)

    Pretty bausws
    Do you know what time it is? It's time to FARK SHEET ARRRRRP!!

  3. #3

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: The B.L., WA.
    ME: Buckethead Les Paul
    MA: Washburn
    Rig: Titan Custom

    iTrader: 21 (100%)

    Looking at the amount of frets on that makes me dizzy. Nice job! Would be interesting to play.

  4. #4

    Join Date: Mar 2012
    Location: Chicago

    iTrader: 0

    Needs inlays.

    Is it hard to get the right notes up high on the neck?

  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Soviet Canuckistan
    ME: Decibel Javelin
    MA: Ibanez AJ307CE
    MB: Fretless Precision mutt
    Rig: Mesa F-30

    iTrader: 3 (100%)

    Wirelessly posted (like MAGIC!)

    That's pretty wild!

  6. #6

    Join Date: Jun 2012
    Location: Australia VIC
    ME: Searls SS7
    MA: Churchill
    Rig: Marshall (yes, I'm old)

    iTrader: 0

    I've seen videos of people playing these before and I reckon it'd take quite some time to wrap your head around!

    They certainly are interesting. I wouldn't mind taking one for a test drive but I don't think I'd play it more than a few times

  7. #7

    Join Date: Dec 2008
    Location: Florida
    ME: Epi MKH LP7
    MA: Hyostar SJ-971
    MB: LTD B-206SM
    Rig: Blackstar HTMetal 100>2x1

    iTrader: 0

    That looks nice for starting out as one of the cheapest BC Richs out there. Still, I had a Bronze Warlock (Basicly the same thing as yours) which I actually liked better then some of the other guitars I used to own

  8. #8

    Join Date: Oct 2008
    Location: Herndon, VA
    ME: Jackson Soloist
    Rig: Fractal Audio Axe-FX II

    iTrader: 4 (100%)

    If I was going to do a microtonal fretted guitar, I'd definitely want to stick with the "Western" system where I could still hit the fundamental tones. Other systems I know about are unusual in that the microtones are typically passing tones that aren't fully enunciated in a staccato way--difficult to replicate that type of thing on a fretted instrument.

    I'd also want inlays to denote the fundamental tones. I'd be lost on that thing, otherwise.

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