Some guitars look great, while others sound or play great. With Reverends’ Rick Vito Soul Agent, you get all three in one package.
With a chambered korina (white limba) body and solid-spruce top, our swank tester had a mint-hued finish Reverend calls Oceanside Green, with an asymmetrical pickguard, Art Deco bridge-pickup cover, Bigsby B-50 vibrato, and checkerboard binding. All told, it’s one hep cat, and those chambers are a proven way to get an air-moving vibe without waiting 50 years for wood to mellow. The 12″-radius/25.5″-scale bolt-on neck is roasted maple with 22 frets on an ebony board, locking tuners, and Reverend’s typically stellar fretwork and setup.
Electronics are a P-90 in the neck slot, humbucker in the bridge, master Volume and Tone controls, and three-way toggle selector. The Reverend’s secret sauce comes from push/pull pots under each knob; pull up the Volume knob to invoke the “twang” circuit – a thinner, airier sound that almost conjures an archtop’s woody tone – while the Tone pot deploys a subtler phase circuit. Together, they offer eight sonic combinations.
Plugged in, the Rev is a smokin’ axe with a fast neck carve and loads of personality – you really sense that chambered-body vibe while playing your best British-blues licks or country twang. The Soul Agent’s humbucker effortlessly handles heavy overdrive, while the P-90 cleans up nicely for jazzy runs. One quibble is the location of the toggle – tucked under the Bigsby. It would be easier to access on the fly if it was under the pickups or on the upper bout, like a Les Paul. Still, the Rick Vito Soul Agent is a superior axe, full of brash attitude, sweet tones, and excellent construction. File under “Highly recommended.”
This article originally appeared in VG’s June 2023 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.