An inspiring guitar that plays great and has impressive tone-sculpting ability
Great range of tones
None, although this one was a little heavy
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The name Crosscut might suggest a blues guitar due to its connection with a signature tune by the late, great Albert King, but although this new Reverend solidbody isn’t pitched as such, it is one of the most versatile solidbody guitars with two humbuckers that I’ve tested in quite some time.
Things start out with a single-cut korina body that has contours on the top and back, and a roasted-maple neck that attaches with six bolts for increased stability.
Carved in a medium oval shape, the neck has the feel of a late-’60s Gibson profile and is topped with a 25 ½-inch scale rosewood fingerboard carrying 22 medium-jumbo frets.
They’re well attended and given a light polish, and all the way to the Bonite nut, everything presented here yields a hitch-free and inviting playing experience.
Continuing up the headstock we find a triple-string-tree that helps eliminate G-string buzz at the nut, along with a set of chrome-plated Reverend Pin-Lock machines that help keep the tuning stable and make string changing a little easier because you simply loosen a knob on the back of the tuner to release it from the winding post.
At the south end, the strings load into steel ferrules on the back of the body and are guided across six block-style adjustable saddles on a chromed mounting plate that doubles as a surround for the rear pickup.
The Railhammer Cleancut humbuckers are designed to deliver P-90-style punch and presence, but without the hum.
Featuring oversized pole pieces on the plain strings that are offset by a rail for the wound strings, it’s a formula that affords the Crosscut more jangle than P-90s would provide, yet can still sound round and buttery when given some gain from pedals or amps.
The bass contour control is the bomb here because you can turn it clockwise for a heftier tone with a bit more output, or roll it the opposite way for a slimmer, more single-coil sound.
It’s a hip feature because it allows you to quickly get the response needed for rhythm and lead sounds while still having full use of the tone control to steer things in a brighter or darker direction.
In fact, the tone control is more effective because there’s no muddying of the frequencies or loss of definition when rolling it down to get brown sounds – with or without distortion – and it’s the combination of the two controls that makes it possible.
Topping it off, the guitar has a treble-bleed circuit, so there’s no loss of clarity when the volume is turned down.
With the Crosscut plugged into a ’60s Fender Vibro-Champ and a Fender Deluxe Reverb, with a selection of distortion pedals, the guitar delivered sounds that worked great for everything from a live video session to a jazz/world-music gig – where its rich, clear neck pickup tones through the Deluxe were well suited – to a show with a seven-piece doing funk, soul and rock.
On a gig with an Americana band using a mix of acoustic and electric guitars, the Crosscut’s ability to cop fat, twangy Telecaster-style tones made it a cool alternative to S- and T-style instruments (including a Reverend Gristlemaster) that I brought along for comparison.
An inspiring guitar that plays great and has impressive tone-sculpting ability for something with entirely passive electronics, the Crosscut is a slick looker too, with the Metallic Red Burst finish (see specs for other colors) white binding and three-ply pearloid pickguard.
The unique vibe and consistent quality that Reverend builds into all of its guitars is on full display here, making the Crosscut an easy mark for an Editors’ Pick Award.
- NUT: Bonite, 1.69” wide (43mm)
- NECK: Roasted maple, bolt on
- FRETBOARD: Rosewood, 25 1/2” scale, 12” radius (roasted maple also available)
- FRETS: 22 medium jumbo .110” wide x .050” high
- TUNERS: Reverend Pin-Lock
- BODY: Korina
- BRIDGE: Hardtail with thru-body stringing
- PICKUPS: Reverend Railhammer Cleancut with chrome covers
- CONTROLS: Volume, tone, Bass Contour, three-way switch
- FACTORY STRINGS: .010–.046
- WEIGHT: 8.42 lbs (tested)
- EXTRAS: Pure Tone Technologies output jack. Available in Metallic Red Burst, Oceanside Green, Natural and Italian Purple. Optional two-tone teardrop case
- BUILT: Korea
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Art Thompson is Senior Editor of Guitar Player magazine. He has authored stories with numerous guitar greats including B.B. King, Prince and Scotty Moore and interviewed gear innovators such as Paul Reed Smith, Randall Smith and Gary Kramer. He also wrote the first book on vintage effects pedals, Stompbox. Art's busy performance schedule with three stylistically diverse groups provides ample opportunity to test-drive new guitars, amps and effects, many of which are featured in the pages of GP.