BC Rich Exclusive Models

BC Rich Exclusive Models

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Originally Designed By Ed Roman & Bernie Rico Sr. 1997

Here's a really stupid story.....

I am proud to say, I was involved in the original design of this guitar, and it's subsequent revisions.  When I first designed this guitar, I never wanted it to be sold under the BC Rich name. 

I felt that, the PRS types would not even look at it, especially if they thought it was made by BC Rich. I wanted to distribute it separately and hide the fact that BC Rich was involved in this guitar.

My reasoning was that BC Rich was a quality guitar but the average PRS lover would never even consider a guitar with a metal heritage.

I argued this with Bernie Rico Sr, who disagreed with me. He didn't understand my marketing concept. He felt that because BC Rich was an established name people would buy it.

I guess the guitar industry will ever know for sure who was right and who was wrong. I am quite sure I was right. The guitar never really did sell very well. I had moderate success with it because I continued to call it "The Mystery Guitar" for about 3 years.

I am sure, I would have sold even more if I never revealed to the customer who the manufacturer was. I can recall many a customer who were interested in purchasing this and upon finding out the manufacturer more than half of them losing interest almost instantly.  (Moron's too be sure)

This is the very first BC Rich Exclusive ever built 1996

Notably this was the first BC Rich guitar ever to utilize a mahogany back and a 3/4" maple top. Previously all BC Rich guitars were built using either solid Maple, Koa or Mahogany.  (Not practical and not tonally intelligent)

Also this model was the first BC Rich to go into production using a Tun-a-Matic bridge.

In my opinion this guitar was the very first guitar to come out that was superior in many ways to the PRS which at the time (1996) was still the best guitar money could buy.

My reasoning was simple, This guitar offered a neck through body with no heel, beautiful tops, bound body, bound neck, ebony fretboard an a far superior bridge system.  All things totally unavailable from PRS even at this writing which is 10 years later.

The Exclusive or "Mystery Guitar" also offered abalone purfling on the body & neck, choice of pickups, choice of inlays & numerous other options that PRS simply did not offer.

I called this article a "Really Stupid Story", because I think that people who base their buying decisions solely on name brand, are intellectually challenged. Or to use a really politically incorrect word "STUPID"

These people get a name brand burned into their head, and can't see one inch past their noses. They cheat themselves out of many good things, because they simply won't give anything else a chance.

In 1999 I decided to release the Quicksilver Guitar and I stopped calling this "The Mystery Guitar" I listed this guitar along with all the other BC Rich models.  I think I may have sold a grand total of two of these since I buried the name "Mystery Guitar".





Notice the sweeping line at the neck joint, This was yet another reason this guitar was better than the

PRS. There was no heel to get in the way.

It's totally ironic that when Bernie died, his son chose this guitar to immortalize him. This guitar was the main topic of 15 long conversations between Bernie & myself before he died.

As I mentioned above I decided to promote my own guitars in 1999 and released the Quicksilver. The Quicksilver offers everything the Exclusive does cosmetically. The Quicksilver has a superior tone due to the direct coupled construction and my trademarked pickup mounted neck mounting system.

If you would like to see the my next generation designs after this guitar I suggest you look at the Quicksilver, They come with  numerous neck mounting options and have proven to be the most versatile guitars I have ever built.  They Are Available In Bolt In Version, Set In Version, Neck Thru Body And Deep Set Neck Tenon Versions.

These beautiful neck through body highly ornate guitars were created to compete for the PRS market.
Bernie Senior & myself collaborated on the original design. I will take the credit for the newly designed contoured neck heel 1997 and above. I will also take credit for talking Bernie Sr. out of building guitars with no tops. I suggested to him that both Gibson & PRS used Mahogany backs and Maple top.
Ed Roman

Bernie Rico Senior

Holding an Exclusive Premier 1997, This guitar was briefly called "The Victor Smith Model"

Victor Smith was one of the people credited with designing the first electric guitar pickups.

Victor Worked At Mosrite Alongside Dumble & Many Other Industry Pioneers.
I am proud to be the sole USA dealer for Mosrite.


Custom Made Exclusive Premier

Close up View of Quilted Top & Binding
Left Handed Model


 Hello Ed

I bumped across your website searching for info on the BC Rich Exclusive.
The "stupid" story is a great one. Especially the comment about Harleys. (I used to test brakes for them.)
I acquired an Exclusive (EM1) through my brother the guitar nut a few years ago. I'm a plinker/amateur and only play for relaxing. 
I just wanted to say "Thank you" for the design. When my brother showed this guitar to me, I plugged in and tried it out and knew it was one of the best guitars ever made. How? Because it doesn't matter what I do, it sounds great. It will sit and not get used for months, and barely be off tune, if at all. It is a dream for improvisation, even when I don't know what I'm playing.
It has been a joy for me.


Dan Conine
Belgium, WI