Revelation RTJ60M TL Review

Very few guitars offer 24 different sounds as standard. Marcus Leadley checks out a flexible, fun and cost-effective option.

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Alan Entwistle, Revelation’s designer, has a couple of what you might call ‘signature moves’. Firstly, he loves to emulate the specs of different classic instruments. Secondly, if there’s a switch/mod that can be included on his guitars as standard you can be sure it’ll feature.

The RTJ60M TL wears a mash-up of Fender influences on its sleeve; the body shape pays homage to the Jazzmaster, but the upper-rear bout sports an f-hole and is chambered like a Thinline Tele. The twin humbuckers are a nod towards the Tele Deluxe.

However, there’s a coil-split for single-coil sounds – so we’re back to offset tradition. The S-type vibrato bridge and the comfy neck, with a lacquered maple fingerboard and skunk stripe down the back, offer a more Strat-like vibe, while the white neck binding and block pearloid fingerboard inlays are a late-60s Jazzmaster reference.

The body is made from the African hardwood Okoume, a relatively lightweight timber with a history of use in guitar making – especially in high-end acoustics. The pickups are Entwistle’s own H90 humbuckers, and there’s a master tone and volume control with high-quality pots that have a nicely resistive feel. The coil-split is a push/pull on the tone control, so there are no unnecessary switches.

Now for the chickenhead knob on the forward upper bout: the ATN-5 circuit offers four positions, plus a bypass. These are basically passive tone presets – and while they can, of course, be used in any way you like, they’re referred to as: 1 Vintage/Surf; 2 Country/Rock; 3 Blues/Rock and 4 Jazz.

In use
The RTJ60M TL has a rich acoustic sound, easily loud enough for unplugged playing. The basic bridge humbucker clean tone is a little boxy for strumming chords, however setting the ATN-5 to either position 3 or 4 cleans up the output nicely and adds some spank.

If you want more twang from the bridge pickup, pull the coil-split for glassy highs. It’s ATN-5 position 1 that offers the most top-end roll-off, so a soupy, warm 50s-style rhythm sound is there if you need it.

Moving to the twin-pickup setting (which is wired out of phase), the humbuckers give you plenty of clean crunch and a funky vibe; coil tapped, there’s plenty of Fender-style quack. The neck pickup delivers ample sustain and rich, emotional tones for jazz or prog-inspired soloing. There are so many great drive tones it’s hard to explore them all in one sitting.

Broadly speaking, the humbuckers do hard rock, metal and 70s blues and the single-coil settings have a more wiry 60s vibe with all the contemporary pop or alt-rock energy you’re likely to need. Using the ATN-5 presets is especially appealing with big rock chords, as you can easily nuance your tone from verse to verse or create a densely layered wall of tone in the studio.

The tone control works incrementally, like a good control should, and the knob stays exactly where you set it. The range of tonal voices this guitar can deliver is pretty much endless.
Key Features

Revelation RTJ60M TL
• PRICE £289 (case not included)
• DESCRIPTION Chambered electric guitar, made in China
• BUILD Okoume body, bolt-on maple neck with 22-fret maple fingerboard. NuBone nut
• HARDWARE Revelation Contemporary Vintage tremolo bridge, Revelation Contemporary Vintage tuners
• ELECTRICS 2x Entwistle H90 humbucker pickup, master tone and volume controls, 3-way pickup selector, ATN-5 tone preset switch, coil-split push/pull (on tone control)
• SCALE LENGTH 647mm/ 25.5”
• NECK WIDTH 43.2mm at nut, 53.2mm at 12th fret
• NECK DEPTH 20.8mm at first fret, 22.2mm at 12th fret
• STRING SPACING 35mm at nut, 54mm at bridge
• WEIGHT 7.8lbs/3.5kg
• LEFT-HANDERS Yes (Greenburst only)
• FINISHES Sea Foam Green, Greenburst
CONTACT Sutherland Trading on 02920 887333 or www.sutherlandtrading.com

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