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Reverend Pete Anderson PA-1 RB review

Anderson's latest signature model is a retro hollowbody with Bigsby wobble and a lotta tones

Reverend Pete Anderson PA-1 RB
(Image: © Reverend Guitars)

Our Verdict

From hillbilly twang to juke joint blues and uptown jazz, the Reverend PA-1 RB is a delightfully versatile hollowbody electric with luxurious playability that’s ideal for a wide range of musical styles.

For

  • It's a hollowbody electric for jazz, rock, blues and more.
  • Looks very cool.
  • Quality build and components.
  • Uni-Brace system cuts feedback and enhances resonance.

Against

  • Not much to complain about here.

Pete Anderson be best known for the tantalizing Tele twang that distinguished his playing with Dwight Yoakam, but – as he’s shown on the excellent solo albums he’s released since the mid-'90s – his true forte is playing blues

Reverend’s Pete Anderson signature model guitars have mirrored this duality with the Tele-inspired Eastsider solidbodies and Gretsch-like PA-1 and PA-1 HB hollowbodies. With its mini-humbucker Retroblast pickups, Reverend’s newest Pete Anderson model, the PA-1 RB, falls somewhere in between, providing snappy twang as well as sultry jazzy tones.

Features

Construction-wise, the Reverend Pete Anderson PA-1 RB is essentially identical to the previous PA-1 models, with a laminated spruce top with three-segment f holes, laminated maple back and sides and body measuring just over 15 ½ inches wide and slightly under 2 ½ inches deep. 

Reverend’s Uni-Brace system, which uses a korina brace to span the top and back, suppresses feedback while preserving its inherent hollowbody tone with resonant sustain, punch and clarity.

The three-piece korina neck has a 24 ¾-inch scale length, medium-oval profile, Pau Ferro fretboard with block inlays, 12-inch radius and 22 medium jumbo frets. Hardware includes a Bigsby B-70 vibrato with soft-touch spring and roller bridge, pin-lock tuners, metal embossed R-logo knobs and steel jack plate.

The PA-1 RB is available with either a Satin Emerald Green or Satin Mulberry Mist finish. The Retroblast pickups are this model’s distinguishing characteristic. These mini humbuckers feature an “open face” design with 12 adjustable pole piece screws and oversize 5mm-thick alnico 5 magnets.

Its inherent acoustic tone delivers a brilliant percussive attack and fat midrange honk that, when plugged in, provides spanking twang with full body with the bridge pickup

The neck pickup is wound with 42-gauge wire and provides 6.5k-ohm resistance, while the bridge pickup is hotter, using smaller 43-gauge wire with more winding to provide 11k-ohm resistance.

Controls include master volume with treble bleed circuit, master tone, bass contour and a three-way pickup switch. High-quality components are used throughout, including +/-10 percent rated pots and poly caps and a Pure Tone Technologies output jack with dual contacts.

Performance

The PA-1 RB has medium-weight solid, robust construction and smooth, fast playability reminiscent of a Les Paul Custom. 

Its inherent acoustic tone delivers a brilliant percussive attack and fat midrange honk that, when plugged in, provides spanking twang with full body with the bridge pickup, dazzling jazzy tones with the neck pickup and barking grunt with toothy top-end bite ideal for slide when both pickups are engaged. 

The tones are similar to 6120 territory but with more class and elegance when you play it clean and more gutter grit when it hits a dirty amp.

Specs

  • PRICE: $1,799 (inc. case)
  • BODY: Laminated spruce top with laminated maple back and sides, korina bracing inside
  • NECK: Korina, three-piece, Medium Oval
  • SCALE: 24.75"
  • NUT: 43mm, Boneite
  • FINGERBOARD: Pau ferro, 12" radius
  • FRETS: 22
  • PICKUPS: 2x Retro Blast mini-humbuckers
  • CONTROLS: Volume, Tone, Bass Contour, 3-way pickup selector
  • HARDWARE: Bigsby B-70 with roller bridge, Reverend pin-lock tuners
  • CONTACT: Reverend Guitars