You can thank Dave Grohl’s
signature Gibson and Jonny Greenwood’s playing
a Fender Starcaster for the revival of interest
in semi-hollows with six-on-a-side tuners.
While Grohl’s model recalls a late-model Gibson
Trini Lopez, the sharper cutaways on Reverend’s
cleverly named Tricky Gomez hark back
to an earlier Lopez, as well as to Reverend’s own
Manta Ray model.
Whatever its inspiration, the Tricky Gomez
is one stylin’ ax. The bound korina neck with
its block inlaid rosewood fretboard combines
with a flat, satin finished, solid maple top to
create a look straddling high-end semi-hollow
and pawnshop prize. Despite its retro looks,
though, this Reverend’s modern touches make
it a player’s instrument. A roller bridge, graphite
nut, and locking tuners help the Bigsby stay in tune through both vibratoed chords and
blues bends. The Revtron pickups are hum
canceling, and the Bass Contour knob lets
you go from fat tones to thinner ones without
The Tricky Gomez came with low, buzz-free
action. Easy bending was facilitated by the guitar’s
12" radius, 24¾" scale, and the fab finish
of the medium-jumbo frets. Unplugged, the
guitar rang beautifully in tune, with no sullying
overtones. “Rang” is the operative word here,
as sometimes a Bigsby and roller saddles can
diminish sustain, but they appeared to have no ill effect on the Gomez. This Bigsby also had the
smoothest operation I have felt on any Bigsby
sporting a string bar.
Plugged into a Fender Blues Junior or a
Little Walter 50-watt head, the Tricky Gomez
served up a wide variety of tones. Its Revtron
pickups are reminiscent of the Gretsch Filter
’Trons that influenced their name, delivering
more beef than single-coils (especially
after I raised both neck and bridge pickups
closer to the strings), but with some Fender-style
twang mixed in. The neck pickup offered
clarity, even when distorted, while the bridge
pickup had a bit of honk that also responded
well to overdrive and especially fuzz pedals.
Neither pickup is particularly warm, but their
crisp high-end is well suited for funk, and also
helps avoid the murkiness that can accompany the clean tone of some semi-hollows.
I wonder why the Reverend’s Bass Contour
circuit is not offered on more guitars. It let me
gradually roll off just the frequencies that distinguish
a typical humbucker from a single-coil,
and, unlike a switch, the control accessed a whole
range of musical, usable tones in between humbucker
girth and single-coil slice. For rhythm,
I found rolling back the Contour knob rather
than the Volume control let me maintain presence
while still reducing volume and cleaning
The Tricky Gomez is well suited for a wide
range of musical styles—blues, garage rock,
funk, etc.—and its retro vibe and modern playability
make it audition-worthy for any player
seeking an affordable guitar with pawnshop-cool
looks and custom-level craftsmanship.
PRICE $1,099 Street
NUT WIDTH 1 21/32"
NECK Three-piece, glued-in korina
FRETBOARD Rosewood, 12" radius
FRETS 22 Medium jumbo
TUNERS Reverend pin-lock
BODY Semi-hollow korina,
solid maple top
BRIDGE Bigsby B-70
PICKUPS Revtron bridge, Revtron neck
CONTROLS One volume, one tone,
one bass contour control,
FACTORY STRINGS D’ Addario, XL .010-.046
WEIGHT 7.5 lbs
KUDOS Cool retro looks. Highly playable.
Easy Bigsby action.
CONCERNS Highs might be too
crisp for some.