What happens when you mix a classic design with the creativity of twang ace Greg Koch? You get the Reverend Gristle 90, which may look like a sporty T-style guitar but has cool things under the hood.
Specs include a chambered korina body and a set 24.75″ korina neck. The former’s raised midsection brings to mind a Gibson Firebird, and there’s a Bigsby B-50 with adjustable roller bridge and pin-lock tuners for tuning stability.
For tone toys, the Fishman Fluence Gristle 90 soapbars (VG, October ’21) offer P-90 twang with an active, hum-less circuit. Don’t bother looking for the 9-volt battery; peek at the output jack, where you’ll find a mini-USB input for charging an internal lithium battery.
Amped up, the Gristle 90 has a comfortable neck and Reverend’s typically sweet setup (these are imports set up in the USA). The body is reasonably lively, while the pickups offer myriad tones. P-90s traditionally have a noisy persona, but the Gristle 90s remedy that with their active circuit. Bonuses include a Midrange Boost button for extra punch, and a push/pull Tone knob adding out-of-phase flavor when both pickups are combined.
The Gristle 90 is not your father’s Tele clone. It’s a unique plank that evokes all kinds of rockin’ retro flavors, but with a Gibson scale and hot-rodded electronics under the hood.
This article originally appeared in VG’s December 2021 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.