“The Flatroc is lively and resonant guitar with plenty sustain.”
Reverend guitars have been making waves as a brand to watch for a few years now and are well regarded as a manufacturer of relatively inexpensive but very good quality guitars. More than that, they have a rather unique aesthetic appeal and, rather than being simply just another take on the classics, manage to offer guitars which are unusual in design while still managing to retain a familiar look with something of a retro feel.
The Flatroc is a somewhat Gretsch inspired guitar – from the Rev-tron pickups (similar to the Gretsch Filtertrons) to the orange finish of the review model. On the other hand, it has Gibson-style body and fingerboard binding, Tune-O-Matic bridge; and stop tailpiece, while the stomach contour, bolt-on maple neck and lever switch owe more to Fender-style guitars. To top it all off, the feel and playability of the neck and the 12″ fretboard radius are very modern and easy playing. As with all Reverend guitars, the Flatroc sports a graphite nut and a set of locking tuners. The shape of the korina body is vaguely reminiscent of a Telecaster with more of an angular, offset feel to it.
Fit and finish
The finishing is flawless and I could find no area of the construction that looked sloppy or messy. The fretting was perfect with no raised ends or sharp edges and the setup was near perfect including a properly cut nut height. If I had to find a flaw, I would say that the pickup and pickup surround chroming could be a little better – but to be fair, it only suffers by comparison as everything else is so good.
While the Flatroc was very well set up to begin with, it had a slightly higher action than I usually prefer. However, a quick bridge adjustment and the action came down as low as I expect on a 12″ radius fingerboard, and thanks to the immaculate fretting there were no buzzes or fretting out on bends. I got the feel that it had been set up with a low action first and then raised to a more generic middle-ground. The locking tuners and graphite nut work well with the Tune-O-Matic bridge to keep the guitar in tune well, even with a lot of string bending and aggressive playing. The neck is a modern feeling “superstrat”, but while slender and easy, not too thin or too narrow to get used to. The controls are well-placed – right at hand when needed, but not so close as to be a problem for a wilder right hand.
The Flatroc is a lively and resonant guitar with plenty sustain. The Rev-tron pickups are definitely in the Filtertron ballpark – dynamic, articulate and chimey, but with a little more power and subsequently more midrange growl than vintage Filtertrons. The bridge pickup is hotter than the neck, but still balances well to give a good combined sound when both pickups are used together. The lower powered neck pickup is nicely rounded, but retains clarity and articulation at all times. Master volume and tone I’ve always liked for the simplicity but the “Bass contour” control takes it to a whole new level without adding much complexity. This control allows you to turn down the bass to thin down and clean up the low end of the sound and works to really make the Flatroc an incredibly flexible guitar, allowing you to get articulate tones from any pickup setting and with any level of drive.
While the review model was orange, the Flatroc is also available in both black and cream finishes. The cream model also differs by sporting an unbound maple fingerboard, which will add a little more brightness and attack to the tone.
This is one flexible guitar – from clean country finger picking through rockabilly and blues, all the way up to alt and indie rock, the Flatroc can handle them all with élan. It looks distinctive, plays well, is easy to use and relatively inexpensive – what more could you ask for?
SA Distributor: Guitartone
021 855 5963 / 082 824 0667 www.guitartone.co.za
Suggested Retail Price: R6.300.00 including hard case (incl. V.A.T.)