Listen to Your Reverends

Steve Amaral and his first Reverend Charger 290

Steve Amaral with his first Reverend Charger 290 photo by Kiny McCarrick

It’s no secret that I love guitars. I own my share of Fenders, Gibsons, and Rickenbackers. But this blog post is about my love affair with Reverend Guitars. I was first introduced to Reverend back in the early 2000s when they still made their USA series. Reverend loaned me a red Slingshot with two P-90 pickups and a black pickguard. The quality and sound of that guitar was so impressive that I fell in love with Reverend’s P-90s and smooth comfortable necks. Though the body shape and headstock echoed Leo Fender designs, it was clear to me that Reverend had made their own mark.

Flash forward to the beginning of The Nickel Slots in in October 2008. By that time I had acquired my first Reverends, a 2005 Charger 290 and a 2006 Double Agent, both of which are part of Reverend’s current lineup (all made in Korea). I had been associated with my 1978 Fender Telecaster in my old band, so I wanted to use something different that still delivered the vibe and tone I was proud of. So I took to my Reverends, and they have been a huge part of The Nickel Slots’ sound. Currently I own six versions of the Charger 290, three earlier models made of mahogany wood with a spruce top and three newer models made of korina wood (mahogany and korina are similar in tone and response). I’m lucky enough to own a prototype of the new model in deep sea blue that includes body contours and the new six-bolt neck plate. This color usually comes with a maple fretboard, but I prefer rosewood fretboards, and Ken Haas at Reverend was great about sending out the prototype with a rosewood fretboard.

The Charger 290 has become my favorite Reverend by far. This guitar is equipped with two P-90s, a three-position switch, a master volume and tone, and Reverend’s own Bass Contour, all designed by Reverend founder Joe Naylor. Each pickup is wound specifically for its position. The bridge pickups are designed to be slightly hotter than the the neck pickups, which allows the bridge pickup to be more on the treble side of the guitar’s tone. A lot of guitar players use the bridge pickup to cut through the music, especially during a guitar solo. 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 necks on these guitars feel like home: very comfortable, and the action is smooth right out of the box thanks to Reverend employee Zack Green. Zack sets up every single guitar that comes in from Korea and signs the back of the headstock when he handwrites the serial number.

Steve Amaral's Reverend guitars

Steve’s Reverend guitars

I now own nine Reverend guitars: a Club King 290, a Double Agent, six Charger 290s and my latest, the Pete Anderson Eastsider-T in limited Silver Sparkle (which matches my brother’s drum set!). This model is Reverend’s take on the classic Tele with some modern appointments that make it stand out from the original. This is how the guitar is described on Reverend’s website: “Reverend has teamed up with country/roots-rock guitar legend and Grammy winning artist/producer Pete Anderson to deliver this modern day classic. We took the vintage T platform that Pete has long been associated with, and customized it for you with player approved mods: chambered body, stainless steel saddles, compound radius fretboard (10″ to 14″), push-pull phase switch (in the tone control), and ‘R’ embossed knobs. This plank may look standard at first glance, but it’s factory hot-rodded and stage ready right out of the box!” The Eastsider is a great sounding guitar with just enough of the Tele bite!

One of their current advertisements reads, “There are guitars made for the masses, and there are guitars made for the select few, choose wisely.” I couldn’t agree more. In my opinion, Reverend Guitars are quality instruments that maintain 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% unique, 100% Reverend!


(Paul also loves his Reverend bass! Check out their website at

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