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The BC Rich Kerry King Signature Speed V guitar is easily recognized by its painted graphics, which isn’t entirely unlike the tattoos that pretty much all but completely encompass the canvas that that is King’s arms and dome piece. In fact that trait is shared among most of King’s signature guitars, though it’s not the only similarity one model shares from another.
The Speed V itself, while appearing borderline more so a weapon than a musical instrument, is a maple body and neck-through neck with an ebony fretboard and has a set of EMG humbuckers, an 81 and an 85 and a PA2 pre-amp fitted in for good measure. Finishing it off is a set of Grover Super Rotomatic tuners and a Kahler 2315 tremolo.
Kerry King does have other signature Vs, one of which is nearly identical in every way sharing the same choice woods and neck-through design and pickups. The tremolo is alternately a Kahler X tremolo and the paint finish is decidedly different as well. There is another V, a lower end one built out of basswood with a bolt-on neck with a set of BC Rich BDSM humbuckers and a fixed bridge instead of a tremolo. Another model exists, the Master V Generation 2, that is built of mahogany with a bolt-on maple neck and a rosewood fretboard and a set of BC Rich humbuckers.
He also has a few signature Warlocks worth mentioning. As expected the design of his Wartribe line shares similarities to the V guitars. The choice wood for the body and neck again is maple, but instead of ebony for the fretboard is a slab of rosewood. Again returning is the BC Rich BDSM humbuckers and Kahler X tremolo. Another model exists with the same specs except the body is mahogany instead and no tremolo. And finishing off his Warlocks is the 7 string Wartribe. Again maple surfaces in passing conversation regarding the body wood and neck and ebony fulfills its purpose as the fretboard material. The Grover tuners and Kahler Hybrid 7 tremolo serve their means to tether the strings to the span of the guitar and all vibrations are picked up by the EMG 707 and EMG 81-7 pickups and the EMG PA2 pre-amp.
Then there are King’s signature Beast models which aren’t so much Beast guitars as they are the merging of the Beast and V models. Among the variations is a model that features a basswood body with a neck-through design and an ebony fretboard, a Kahler X tremolo, and BC Rich active humbuckers. That particular, model sets a bit of a benchmark for the V Beasts that the other variations aspire to be once they grow up.
I don’t think there is any disputing the demographic Kerry King’s signature guitars are marketed to. Namely the metal head demographic. And you can chalk that up to the biggest “no crap” statement of the day. They’re all Kerry King signature guitars. It’s not like anyone thought they were built to really flourish the country and western styles.
You can check out the Kerry King guitars at zZounds here.