I can't believe Vintage turn out guitars like this and the Lemon Drop for the prices they do. The sound from both models is pure quality.
The Vintage single-coils are noisy as you would expect from single-coil pickups, but have much reduced noise in the two "mixed" positions. Even then the noise is still there at high gain, but no worse than a Strat for sure.
Check out Roy Fulton and/or Dave Simpson on youtube to see how nice this guitar (and the Lemon Drop) sounds. You have to hear them to understand how good they can be.
An excellent guitar, but expect to have to do some work to set it up Bought this guitar for my son for Christmas, a bit of a hassle as it turns out.
The good: looks nice, the neck had a skunk stripe, which was a nice bonus, son was delighted Sounds very good. A lot of versatility, very capable of shrieking if you want it to, and can be tamed into something very good, just like a strat should be The hardware is very good for the price range. A Wilkinson bridge, bent steel saddles, and a steel tremolo block with staggered string holes. And a push in tremolo arm, with adjustable friction (when you can find where the grub screw is! Depress the tremolo completely, so the bridge back end is lifted high. With a torch you'll see the grub screw under the raised edge at the whammy bar end)
The EZ lock tuners are OK, also Wilkinson. Kluson style, staggered peg heights, which is excellent. Not too keen on the EZ lock system, but I guess it works OK. The pickup's are bright, Wilkinson again, with an excellent output, and a good range of frequencies. Staggered poles help with the balance of tones. Sustain is excellent. The body is 3 piece solid wood.
The bad: It needed a setup. Badly. The fret ends protruded, to the extend that the high e would hang up over the edge. Sharp and nasty, with a couple of high frets. I had to dress the frets. One of the tuners was loose, with a sloppy action. Had to remove it and press the sides in to tighten it
There are no instructions. Had to find out about that grub screw to adjust the whammy push fit friction on the internet, and ditto how to use the ez lock system, and similarly to look up the specifications for neck relief and string height. I had to use the Fender site.
The ugly: The skunk stripe - as I said it's a hit. But on closer inspection it's a salvaged bit of fretboard! You can tell because you can see the lines where the fret cuts were, at the right incremental distances. Seriously?! The woodgrain has raised the body finish. It ripples the gloss in places.
So - an excellent sounding strat with good hardware and well made.
Much of the problem perhaps lies with how long its been sitting in a warehouse and had dried out and shrunk, hence the frets ends and grain. However other reviews elsewhere have had similar fret problems - perhaps it's a humidity issue in Vietnam, where they appear to be made, with incompletely dried wood.
The skunk stripe and loose tuner fall squarely on Vintage. Sloppy corner cutting. When looking for the adjustment specifications on the Vintage website (there were none!) I emailed to suggest they add a technical page with those details. I also mentioned the problems. Never got a reply. Typical uninterested company response.
I should point out that the packaging included no less than two signed inspection certificates. Yes, well.
Overall potentially an excellent buy, punching way above its weight, just make sure you check it thoroughly, and don't be afraid to exchange it until you get the right one. I would have, except it was a Christmas present for an excited pre-teen, spoilt Christmas a bit.
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