NAMM 2024: “A sonic odyssey for drop tunings”: Reverend unveils its latest Billy Corgan signature guitar – and it’s precision-engineered for aggressive drop-tuned riffage

Reverend Guitars Billy Corgan Drop Z Signature
(Image credit: Reverend Guitars)

NAMM 2024: Reverend Guitars has continued its legacy of work with Smashing Pumpkins’ mastermind Billy Corgan with the release of his latest signature guitar, the Drop Z. It takes the spec of his Z-One signature down an avenue better catered for low-tuned guitars. 

Extending the 25.5” scale length of the Z-One to 26.22” and adding an extra two frets to make 24 in total, the cheekily named Drop Z is scaled to keep string gauges nice and tight when drop-tuned. By doing so, Reverend promises a “deep and full” tone when pitched low, whilst remaining punching and clear.

Like the Z-One, it also offers an alder solidbody build, complemented by a classy roasted maple neck and fretboard. It possesses an oval profile, which is designed for comfortable riff-slinging, whilst an aluminum pickguard and low-profile chrome knobs for volume and tone blend modern touches with its vintage visage.  

As it would be amiss without them, the Drop Z is stocked with Corgan’s signature Railhammer Z-One pickups, which are topped with a chrome finish and a design that nods to the classic Pumpkins EP The Aeroplane Flies High – something the pesky folk at Reverend actually did without Corgan’s permission. 

Reverend Guitars Billy Corgan Drop Z Signature

(Image credit: Reverend Guitars)

Luckily, he fell in love with the design, saying: “I get so many compliments, people love the design element. It’s something I wouldn't usually think of, and so it's become really signature to the way I view the guitar and it also represents a bit of my history.”

The pickups conspire to deliver a “heightened output and a velvety treble for a rich, weighty rock tone”, according to Reverend. It adds too that the Railhammers are capable of piano-like cleans and massive distortion tones.  

Naturally, for a man who once famously said that “paint color actually changes the sound of a guitar”, the color choice of the Drop Z comes with much interest. As such, there are two finishes to pick from: Corgan’s favorite, Satin White, and an all-new High Tide Blue. Time will tell which color delivers the better tone.   

Billy Corgan and the Smashing Pumpkins have been regulars on the Guitar World site of late. Corgan revealed earlier this month that there are currently eight people working full time to review the 10,000 submissions he’s received to become the band’s new guitarist after a public call-out. 

That news came only a few weeks after revealing a conversation he had with Tony Iommi about not wanting to romanticize your tone, so that it evolves over time.

Reverend Guitars Billy Corgan Drop Z Signature

(Image credit: Reverend Guitars)

“He was talking about how people romanticize the old sound, but how he's trying to update that into the modern era," he had said. “At the time I didn't get it, but as I've gotten older I realized that you want your sound, but at the same time, you don't want it to be dated or old. You want your sound to be brought into the 21st century.”

The Drop Z is available now through authorized Reverend Guitars dealers. Its price is yet to be confirmed.

For more information about the Drop-Z, head to Reverend.

To stay in the loop with all gear releases ahead of NAMM 2024, head over to our guide to the latest NAMM 2024 news.

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Phil Weller

A freelance writer with a penchant for music that gets weird, Phil is a regular contributor to Prog, Guitar World, and Total Guitar magazines and is especially keen on shining a light on unknown artists. Outside of the journalism realm, you can find him writing angular riffs in progressive metal band, Prognosis, in which he slings an 8-string Strandberg Boden Original, churning that low string through a variety of tunings. He's also a published author and is currently penning his debut novel which chucks fantasy, mythology and humanity into a great big melting pot.