The Tom Hanks: Reverend Club King RT

THE CLUB KING RT IS AS CLOSE TO HOLINESS AS a reverend should be. The Korean-made instrument is very well crafted, and its honey-colored top, amber-tinted neck, off-white trim, and chrome pickup covers give it a look that’s simultaneously retro cool and timeless—especially when you factor in the unique and classy “shooting star” f-hole. The 3-position pickup selector and master Volume and Tone controls are arranged vertically—in the style of a certain seminal solidbody out of Fullerton, California— while the passive Bass Contour knob (more on this later) sits on the upper bout. The Volume knob is relatively easy to reach for on-the-fly adjustments, but it’s a bit of a stretch for the Tone control if you like performing wahlike knob spins while picking.
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The oval-shaped neck might feel a bit thick for players with smaller hands, but its satin finish lets your hand slide freely up and down the fretboard. The frets are perfect. They’re smooth, polished, and have rounded, “hot dog” ends that you can barely feel if you run your fingers along the edges of the fretboard. In fact, everything about the RT’s construction is pretty much perfect. I couldn’t find any flaws—even the setup was superb, right out of the box.

The Club King RT’s Reverend RevTron minihumbuckers sound fantastic, and, along with the aforementioned Bass Contour knob, you can dial in seemingly endless variations of blues, rock, jazz, funk, and country sounds. The Bass Contour adds enough bass that, when using the neck pickup with the Tone rolled off, the RT can almost sound like a baritone guitar—or like any number of evil bass motifs that warn you of danger when playing Call of Duty or Left 4 Dead. You can also crank the knob down to reduce bass, of course, and depending upon how you set your Volume and Tone controls (and pickup selector), the Contour can deliver anything from steely midrange punch to thin and chimey highs to an almost neutered sound that works great for crafting counterpoint lines you don’t want interfering with a vocal. Every tone this guitar produced sent shivers down my spine, and, in fact, the RT sounds full, balanced, and sweetly articulate even before you plug it in.

The Club King RT is a superb guitar that almost feels like it belongs in your arms. It’s nothing short of a pleasure to play—which is why it gets the “Tom Hanks” award as a “good vibes” personality who delivers masterful performances.