To celebrate and honour their 25th anniversary, Vintage has launched three (very special and limited editions based on the very popular Vintage V6, V75 and V100) electric guitars to mark this milestone in the company's history and success within guitar craftsmanship. Tom Quayle reviews the Vintage 25th Anniversary V6HSVB.
We live in a golden age for guitar players. Never before has so much fantastic gear been available at such affordable prices across the entire spectrum of guitarist's tonal needs. Here at GI Magazine, it's incredibly rare for us to find a product in the 'budget' bracket that doesn't excel at its intended purpose. However, this hasn't always been the case. 25 years ago (when this reviewer started playing) it was very rare to find more affordable products for guitarists that didn't have significant flaws or compromises and a gulf between 'pro' and 'budget' priced guitars in terms of quality and features
Back in 1995, buying a guitar for £199 that could rival one costing three to four times as much was practically unheard of, but when Vintage released their Encore Vintage VC1, sporting an Alder body, Indian Rosewood fretboard, Lace Sensor Pickups, Grover Tuners and a Wilkinson VS10 bridge, all of that changed. To this day, the company is producing some of the best price to performance guitars on the market. This year, celebrate their 25th anniversary with a limited edition run of three custom versions of their most successful models, the V100 V6 and V75. With only 100 pieces of each model available to buy, they represent a great piece of history whilst staying true to Vintage's core ethos of affordable guitars with pro-level features and playability.
The V75SVB is a T-style design based on the company's excellent V75 model. This is a modern take on a classic design with some fantastic appointments for the 2020s whilst remaining true to Vintage's stylings ethos. As with the other guitars in this anniversary range, the V75SVB is finished in a lovely two-tone silver burst with a subtle sparkle in the silver paint. The 2-piece American alder body and hard rock maple neck are finished in gloss, whilst the maple fretboard and neck feature an attractive amber stain and simple black dot inlays. Chrome hardware and a black, 5-hole scratch plate complete the design featuring an 'Anniversary' decal on the headstock to let you know that this is a special guitar within Vintage's range.
In true Vintage form, the V75 excels when it comes to hardware thanks to the addition of Wilkinson products throughout. Before coming across the Vintage brand, this reviewer associated Wilkinson exclusively with boutique or custom build guitars, so seeing it consistently appear on all of Vintage's guitars is a huge bonus for the brand, especially at these prices. The standard 2-pickup design is retained for this style of guitar with Wilkinson WVTN and WVTB alnico single coils in the neck and bridge position respectively. The 3-saddle (made from half-hard brass) WTB bridge features individually adjustable intonation for each string and thru-body stringing configuration for excellent sustain and string resonance. Finally, the deluxe Wilkinson WJ55 tuners offer fast string changes and excellent tuning stability matched with the GraphTech NuBone nut.
Offering a guitar with these specs at this price point is remarkable but would mean nothing without playability and build quality to match. Thankfully the V75SVB delivers both in spades with quality finishing, fretwork and setup straight out of the included canvas gig bag. The 22 frets are polished for great feel, and the neck and body are beautifully balanced and resonant, thanks to the choice of quality tonewoods.
Tonally the V75 is a guitar that delivers some of this reviewers favourite tones from the anniversary line up. The pickups sound fantastic with clean or dirty tones thanks to bags of clarity and dynamic range from all three positions. It's a simple but tried and tested setup that is enhanced by the modern hardware and build quality. At this price point, the V75SVB is a superb achievement from Vintage and very easy to recommend. If you can find one, you can be sure you're getting a great piece of history at an even greater price.
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