Review: Reverend Guitars Bayonet
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Reverend’s new Bayonet model with its choice of flat Satin Black or Satin Army Green finishes looks like something you’re more likely to find in a military surplus store than a music shop. Designed for metal and hard rock guitarists, the Bayonet is a high-tech battle ax that promises to give players a sharp advantage in the hand-to-hand combat of playing gigs from Brooklyn to Bahrain with its automatic action and high-power tones. The Bayonet may look rough and ready, but it offers a few surprising secret weapons that are sure to shock shredders and awe audiences.
Beneath those heavy-duty finishes lurks a korina wood body that’s exceptionally light and resonant. The Bayonet’s body is a new, sleeker redesign of Reverend’s classic asymmetrical double-cutaway shape, and the edges are beveled to provide a slim, comfortable feel. The neck, which is also crafted from three pieces of korina, has a reverse six-on-a-side headstock, ebony fingerboard with block inlays and 22 jumbo frets, and a dual-action truss rod. The hardware is all first class—if the army issued guitars it would certainly measure up to military spec—and includes rock-solid pin-lock tuners, a Tune-o-matic bridge with stop tailpiece, and heavy-duty chrome-plated, knurled metal knobs.
The Bayonet’s heavy artillery is its electronics, which consists of a Railhammer Anvil bridge humbucker, Railhammer Chisel neck humbucker, and master volume, master tone and bass contour controls. This simple setup provides a complete arsenal of devastating tones, from the sonic boom of full-on humbucker assault to a razor-sharp treble attack similar to vintage single-coil pickups.
With its 24 3/4–inch scale and 12-inch fretboard radius, the Bayonet feels comfortable and familiar, but the meticulous fit and finish of the jumbo frets, the slick ebony fretboard and the slight resistance of the neck’s satin finish makes it exceptionally easy to play with speed and precision. The korina body provides a distinctive percussive snap to the attack of each note, allowing every detail and nuance to be heard clearly. The body shape is very well balanced, keeping the guitar in ideal playing position without neck dives.
The high-output Railhammer humbuckers sound surprisingly bright and vibrant, with crisp treble and tight bass, and the midrange never gets muddy or flabby even with the tone control backed all the way down. The bass contour control rolls off bass frequencies as it’s turned down, gradually transforming the full-on roar of humbuckers to the fat growl of P90s and the sparkle and jangle of Strat-style single-coils.
List Price $1,079
Manufacturer Reverend Guitars, reverendguitars.com
Railhammer Anvil and Railhammer Chisel pickups produce crisp, articulate high-output tones, while the bass contour control dials in various humbucking and single-coil sounds.
Underneath the industrial-strength finish is a slab of light, resonant korina wood, which delivers crisp attack and expressive dynamic response.
The Bottom Line
The Reverend Bayonet is a sharp, cutting-edge ax designed for metal players and shredders who need a high-performance instrument to slay their enemies and competitors.