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REVIEWED: Reverend Charger 290
Model: Reverend Charger 290
Manufacturer: Reverend Guitars


The quality and sound of the Reverend USA Series Slingshot with P-90’s was so impressive that I knew Joe Naylor would keep his reputation in tact with the new import series, the Reverend Stage King Guitars. Reverend’s clever marketing phrase, “The import line for the serious player…” rings loud and clear, just as the natural tone of the Korean-made Charger 290 does that I am reviewing for this article.

As in the USA Series instruments, the natural tone of the unplugged Charger 290 is as inspirational as playing the electric guitar through a great tube amp. Joe’s chambered body design, combining a solid spruce top with a basswood body and strategically placed tone chambers, makes this guitar sing; it vibrates in a way that lets your hands and ears know the guitar is solid and well-made.

The body is a single cut design that is reminiscent of the original Reverend body shape, and the finish is flawless. I looked for flaws that are typical of import guitars (overspray, bad tape jobs, loose neck pockets, poor binding), but this guitar could easily pass for American made. The finish is a beautiful faded sunburst, and the crème colored binding is perfect. The color of the binding has that aged look, just enough to please those that love a vintage vibe. The back and sides are painted a glossy black and finished smooth, adding to the quality of this import line.

The Dual Action Truss Rod maple neck with a satin finish has a medium profile and attaches to the body in a nice tight joint with four screws holding it perfectly in place. With 22 medium jumbo frets and rolled edges, this smooth neck feels like home, a Reverend tradition. Great action and closed gear tuners with a Les Paul style bridge and tailpiece keep this guitar in tune. Once again Reverend has captured the “modern vintage” vibe and has kept their own identity. It feels like a great guitar should feel: solid, dependable, and inspirational.


The pickups and controls that come with the import line are the same as those in the USA Retro Pro Series. The Charger 290 is equipped with two P-90’s, a three position switch, a master volume and tone, and Reverend’s own Bass-Contour, all designed by Joe Naylor. Each pickup is wound specifically for it's position. The bridge pickups are designed to be slightly hotter than that of the the neck pickups. As in the case of the American made Slingshot, the Charger 290 captures the essence of a Les Paul Jr. and a Telecaster and gives you the opportunity to do your own thing. The ability to have a sweet bluesy tone turn into a clean country twang in seconds with the use of the Bass-Contour is one of the best features of the Reverend design. I played this guitar through my 50 watt Marshall Half stack and feel in love with the tone. Notes sustained for days during solos and the crunch of power chords rang pure. Through my Fender 4 x 10 Hot Rod Deville, it just screams! Blues, country, rock, pop, you can do it all with this one guitar!

The Reverend Stage King Charger 290 changes the rules with imports and raises the bar! This is a quality instrument that maintains the standards expected of American made guitars. From the modern vintage design to the pride and quality put into the construction, this guitar is 100% Reverend.
Click "here" for Reverend's detailed description of the Stage King Series


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