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 V6H.
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 are producing some of the best price to performance guitars on the market and 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 V6HSVB is based on Vintage’s highly successful V6, a classic s-type, 3 single coil design, customised for this anniversary edition with a humbucker in the bridge and a beautiful two-tone silver burst finish. Vintage have selected classic wood combinations for the V6HSB with a two piece Alder body, Hard Rock Maple neck and a 22-fret Rosewood fretboard all finished in gloss, with the exception of the fretboard of course. Cream coloured single coils and controls are matched with a zebra cream/black humbucker and a three-ply black scratch plate for a classy monochrome look, offset only by the amber tan maple headstock. Chrome hardware and the anniversary headstock decal complete the design for a visually striking guitar that would be at home on stage in almost any genre.
As is standard for Vintage, the guitar is fitted with some outstanding hardware, not just at this price, but even for a guitar costing three or four times as much. Vintage have a long standing association with the legend that is Trev Wilkinson, offering access to some of the best guitar hardware in the business. The V6H gets a pair of excellent WOVaS single coils and a WOHZBb humbucker in the bridge position matched with a 5-way switch and coil tap for authentic bridge single coil tones when required. The three knobs offer master volume, neck and middle/bridge tone controls - the latter doubling as the push/pull coil tap.
Wilkinson hardware continues through the WJ55 EZ-Lok machine heads for quick string changes and great tuning stability. The WVC 6-screw bridge offers consistent intonation throughout the guitar’s range and, set to float or clamped down, returns to pitch precisely even after the most aggressive dive bomb.
As with the other guitars in this anniversary series the V6HSVB is extremely well built beyond anything its price would suggest. Everything is finished extremely well including the frets and paint work. This results in a very comfortable playing experience matching perfectly to the tonal excellence from the Wilkinson pickups. HSS is one of the most versatile setups for a guitar and the V6H is no exception with a vast array of possible tones from the 5-way switch and 3 controls. A nice addition is the small extra carve on the neck joint allowing just that little bit more comfort for upper fret access, another feature generally associated with much more expensive guitars.
The V6HSVB also comes with a high quality embroidered canvas gig bag and numbered certificate of authenticity, so if you want a piece of guitar history at a totally affordable price we can highly recommend one of these excellent guitars - if you can find one!
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