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Acoustic instruments previously produced in Korea during the mid-2000s and the mid-1990s. Electric instruments are still currently produced in the U.S. and overseas. Distributed by Hanser Music Group in Hebron, KY. Previously distributed by B.C. Rich Guitars and HHI.
Luthier Bernardo Chavez Rico used to build classical and flamenco guitars at Bernardo┬┤s Valencian Guitar Shop, the family┬┤s business in Los Angeles. During the mid-1960s folk music boom (and boom in guitar sales), a distributor suggested a name change - and B.C. Rich guitars was born. Between 1966 and 1968, Rico continued to build acoustic guitars, and then changed to solid body electrics. The company began producing custom guitars based on Fender and Gibson designs, but Rico wanted to produce designs that represented his tastes and ideals. The Seagull solid body (first produced in 1971) was sleek, curvy, and made for rock 'n roll. Possessing a fast neck, hot-rodded circuitry and pickups, and a unique body profile, this was (and still is) an eye-catching design.
In 1974, Neal Mosher joined the company. Mosher also had a hand in some of the guitars designed, and further explored other designs with models like the Mockingbird, Eagle, Ironbird, and the provocatively named Bich. The first six-tuners-on-a-side headstocks began to appear in 1981. In the mid-1980s, B.C. Rich moved from Los Angeles to El Monte, California.
The company began to import models in the U.S. Production Series, Korean-produced kits that were assembled in the U.S. between 1984 and 1986. In 1984, the Japanese-built N.J. Series line of B.C. Rich designs were introduced, and were built by the Terada company for two years. Production of the N.J. series was moved to Korea in 1986 (models were built in the Cort factory).
In 1988, Rico licensed the Korean-built, lower-priced Platinum and entry-level Rave Series to the Class Axe company, and later licensed the B.C. Rich name and designs in 1989. Class Axe moved production of the U.S.-built guitars to a facility in Warren, New Jersey, and stepped up importation of the N.J. (named after Nagoya, Japan - not New Jersey), Platinum, and Rave Series models.
Unfortunately, the lower-priced series soon began to show a marked drop in quality. In 1994, Rico came back out of semi-retirement, took control over his trademark again, and began to rebuild the company. Rico became partners with Bill Shapiro, and the two divided up areas of responsibility. Rico once more began building acoustic and high end electrics at his Hesperia facilities, and Shapiro began maintaining quality control over the imported N.J., Platinum, and U.S. series in San Bernadino. In 1998, Davitt & Hanser Music of Cincinnati, Ohio began distributing the import models (NJ, Platinum, and Bronze Series). Additional model commentary courtesy Bernie Rich, President/Founder of B.C. Rich International, May 1997.

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