Reverend: The Best Guitar Brand You Haven’t Tried Yet

Published on 16 August 2023

 How many original design electric guitars make it into the hands of world-class pros these days? Not many! Maybe PRS and Music Man, but what about more affordable options? What brand is good enough for The Cure, Smashing Pumpkins and Nine Inch Nails, but still well within the reach of any committed player?

Reverend, that’s who. Reverend are a brand we’re very into here at guitarguitar, and if you’ve yet to try their awesome and individual axes for yourself, then stick around and learn all about why so many top players are choosing them!


Reverend Guitars

So, Reverend began in the late 90s in founder Joe Naylor’s Detroit garage.  Since 2010, the Reverend ship has been steered by Ken and Penny Haas from Toledo, Ohio, an industrial American heartland city that’s close to Chicago and the great lakes Huron, Erie and Michigan. Ken is a larger-than-life character, and you can read more by clicking through to our exclusive Ken Haas interview.

Reverend guitars are designed in the US by Joe Naylor, built in the Far East in the Mirr Guitars facility, and sent back to the US for final set-up and QC. You’ll find a silver pen signature on the back of each guitar: this is applied by hand back in America after the instrument passes its final checks.

Impressive, but maybe not quite as impressive as some of the artists who’ve taken on the brand as endorsers…


Reverend Artists

As Ken’s own words, they go for the ‘guy next to the guy’, or in other words, quality players who are famous within guitar circles and share stages with superstars. Reeves Gabrels is a great example, as lead guitarist with The Cure and former guitarist and co-writer with David Bowie! He’s a phenomenal player, not to mention an influential one, and plays on some of the world’s biggest stages.


He can play whatever he wants, and he chooses Reverend. That speaks volumes to players out doing their own thing, and the same is true of Nine Inch Nails/ex-Guns ‘n’ Roses guitarist Robin Finck, who is also an endorsee. Once a committed Les Paul user, he fell in love with the brand’s Sensei model and has subsequently been awarded his own sleek signature Reverend. Famous for his use of Les Paul Customs and latterly Custom Telecasters, Finck’s Signature model allows him to find the ground in between these two schools of design.


Some Reverend artists are straight up legends, though, particularly for music fans born in the 80s and 90s. Smashing Pumpkins head honcho Billy Corgan has been a massively visible supporter of Reverend guitars going right back to the late 90s. Perhaps it’s his Chicago heritage (he’s close by) or maybe he just knows a good guitar when he sees one, but Corgan was often seen experimenting with Reverend guitars long before they graced him with multiple signature guitars. His latest sports custom ‘Zero’ Railhammer pickups to really capture his famously fat distorted tone.



Some of Our Current Favourites

We’ve recently taken delivery of a fresh batch of Reverend guitars, and thought we’d pick out some of our favourites to show you today. Some features are common to most -if not all - Reverend guitars, including Korina bodies, bass contour controls (markedly different to coil tap circuits but equally as effective), locking tuners and a general nut width of 43mm, which is good news in our books! 43mm nuts will be a familiar thing to Gibson players but is somewhat less used on guitars that are more ‘Fender’ at least superficially. As we say, this is a welcome thing in our opinion due to the extra space for making chords!


Reverend Double Agent W

Our first choice, the Reverend Double Agent W, is quintessential Reverend. Using their distinctive (and original) offset body shape, this guitar covers so many bases that it’s possible to turn up to a function or cover gig with only this and fit in just fine.

The combination of juicy humbucker and sweet P90 is one of life’s pleasures to begin with, but add Reverend’s bass contour control (which you dial in to taste with a control knob) to the mix and you’ve got a massive palette of tones right at your fingertips! It’s amazing how much mileage you can get without ever touching a pedal or amp setting. Include the quality Wilkinson tremolo and you have an instrument that’s ready to tackle anything.


Reverend Club King 290

Owning a vibe completely of its own, the Reverend Club King 290 is an excellent blend of traditional vibes, mixed in with a good dollop of the unexpected.

So, this is a semi-hollow guitar, as you can see by the larger body size and cool ‘slash’ soundhole. What’s less obvious (and very cool) is that the body is made from a single slab of Korina that’s been routed out from the top,vand then capped by a top of spruce. Nice!

The bolted-on neck adds snap to this guitar, meshing well with the twin P90s to deliver a set of tones that have both body and cut, particularly when married to dynamic low-gain amp tones. Extra retro charm is brought with the addition of a Bigsby tremolo. For all fans of Indie, Surf and 60s pop, the Club King not only excels, but it offers your audience something different and cool to look at.


Reverend Charger HB

The Reverend Charger HB uses the brand’s other main body type (the Double Agent W’s offset style being the other) to deliver a guitar that’s a very interesting melange of hot-rodded Tele and classic Gibson.

The control panel is pure Telecaster (as is the pickguard) and the body shape is a nice curvy update on Leo’s finest, but this is not a copycat. Indeed, the choice of a TOM-style bridge and stop tailpiece give the Charger a most un-Fender feel. It’s a pretty fundamental thing to how a guitar feels, actually: changing the angle of your picking hand, and its relationship to the guitar body. These small but vital decisions all add to the character and feel of any particular guitar. This one, with its two humbuckers (which can be thinned out with the bass contour knob), will apply to rock players who want some versatility, and no traditional ‘Fender people’ who want a vibe that’s separate from what they know but still in a similar universe, as it were.

The body binding sets off the look of a very cool and very useful guitar. Again, this stands out from the pack in a way that’s very appealing rather than being too ‘try hard’: not as easy a trick to pull off as you may think! Therein lies the genius of Reverend’s (and therefore Joe Naylor’s) design skills: you’re reminded of things you know you like, but you’re faced with a newness that defines itself.


Why Haven’t You Tried a Reverend Guitar?

We firmly believe these to be some of the most impressively spec'd, best feeling and most satisfying guitars in this price range. We love the fact that they carry a bunch of innovations with them, and we’re delighted to see cool looking guitars that aren’t carbon copies of classics from 70 years ago.

The fact that so many significant artists are also choosing to go with the brand tells us plenty about how effective and reliable Reverend guitars actually are. What more encouragement do you need? We invite you to try one today at guitarguitar, and compare it to any similarly priced instrument on the hangers. We think you’ll fall in love!

Click to Browse our Current Reverend Guitars

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