Whether or not you believe that the
man who calls himself “Unknown Hinson” is the
“king of country western troubadours”—or any
of the other things he claims to be—the signature
model guitar that Reverend builds for the
alt-country guitarist is as singular as Hinson’s
hillbilly undertaker look.
However, take away the vampire-bat fretboard
inlays and the Hinson outline on the headstock,
and what you have is essentially a Club
King model with a body that has been slimmed
to a thickness of 1w" and reduced in overall
size by ten percent. Reverend also added a fulllength
korina block inside the semi-hollow body
and bolted on a shorter, 24e"-scale neck with
an amber-tinted satin finish. The Gibson scale
is a plus for players who like an easier feel for
bending, and the 22 polished medium-jumbo
frets have smooth crowns and beveled ends for
a sleek ride along the maple ’board.
Neatly trimmed in white binding, the gloss
black body sports chrome-plated hardware and
a pair of Reverend-made P90-style pickups. A
small pickguard holding the chromed Bass Contour
control and Hinson’s engraved signature sits
forward of the Tele-style control plate, where the
pickup selector and Volume and Tone knobs reside.
The Hinson’s tuneful intonation and good acoustic qualities help to ensure
a warm and harmonically rich amplified sound. Played though a Dr. Z EZG-50
1x12 combo, the sound was full and balanced, with plenty of top-end snap
and a gutsy midrange that punched through nicely when pushing some grind
from a Dunlop Jimi Hendrix Signature Fuzz Face.
By itself, the neck pickup delivers sweet, detailed tones that sound great
for blues with a little dirt, or for creamy rock leads when you slather on the
distortion. Cleaned up, you can also get a cool jazz vibe with the Tone knob
rolled down a bit and Bass Contour turned clockwise to emphasize the lows.
Switching to the middle setting yields a broad, crisp sound that’s great for
chording, with funkier timbres easily obtainable by increasing the Tone control
and rolling back the Bass Contour knob to slim the response.
Packing a nice combination of fatness and slice, the bridge pickup is optimized
tonally and output-wise to deliver everything from Tele-style twang to
ballsy overdrive sounds on the order of a Les Paul Junior. And here too, the
Bass Contour and Tone knobs work in tandem to make it easy to dial in the
sounds you want for for blues, country, rock, and pretty much anything else
you throw at it.
The Hinson’s versatility and excellent playability should please all, but if
your tastes in cosmetics run to the less exotic side, you may want to consider
the standard-issue Reverend Club King 290, which has a semi-hollow korina/
spruce body and P-90 pickups, but with a slightly longer 25w"-scale neck.
CONTACT Reverend Musical Instruments, (734) 953-6984; reverendguitars.com
Unknown Hinson Signature
PRICE $1,329 retail/$1,099 street; Coffin case included
NUT Width 1 21/32"
NECK Maple, bolt-on
FRETBOARD Maple, 24 3/4" scale, 12" radius
FRETS 22 medium jumbo
TUNERS Reverend Pin lock
BODY Korina semi-hollow with spruce top
BRIDGE Tune-o-Matic style with stopbar tailpiece
PICKUPS Two Reverend P-90s (output/tone calibrated
for each position; hum cancelling
CONTROLS Volume, Tone, Bass Contour, 3-way
FACTORY STRINGS 010-.046
WEIGHT 7 lbs
KUDOS Well made and finished. Lots of sounds. Plays great.
CONCERNS None, unless you have chiroptophobia.