Advance AV1 Review

manufacturer: Vintage date: 10/14/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Vintage: Advance AV1
The Vintage Advance AV1 offers an extremely versatile level of guitar performance. With its mahogany body, deep contoured maple top and mahogany set-neck construction, all the classic single cutaway attributes are here.
 Sound: 9.5
 Overall Impression: 9
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Action, Fit & Finish: 5
 Features: 9
 Overall rating:
 8.2 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.1 
 Users rating:
 8.2 
 Votes:
 17 
reviews (2) 12 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 8
Advance AV1 Reviewed by: Korzack, on february 27, 2009
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 250

Purchased from: Route 66, Stoke-on-Trent

Features: Presuming it was made late 2008 - It's essentially a LP copy with a very snazzy coil-tap feature, so you'll know the details of what it does - Trev Wilkinson designed Humbucker pickups (With a little help from friend Seth Lover), 22 "medium jumbo" frets on a rosewood fingerboard, mahogany body & set neck with a Maple cap for the pretty-ness and a lil extra sustain, 3-way selector, and only a master volume & tone, and what they call a "Roll" control. What this thing basically does is at 10, it's a full-on humbucking pickup. At zero, it's a single coil. Any point in between, the tones are a blend of the two, which makes this thing a VERY versatile guitar. Also, the additions the company has made are a slightly bigger main cutaway to give a higher fret access (And also avoid been sued by Gibson, apparently... ), a contour which helps with comfort and cuts a little down on weight, and just little things like that which just make this a more playable shape than your typical les paul for the price. I'm gonna give this a 9, because the electronics are Damned handy, and I'll be coming more to those in a minute. // 9

Sound: See what I mean? I've already explained the Roll control, and what this means in practice is, the single coil sounds are great for Fender-esque cleans and blues, and just lends beatifully for when you fancy playing god and imitating Clapton, whilst the humbuckers do what their extra meat entails and then some. They are Vintage voiced and passive, so don't expect them to be making Lailo squeals by themselves. My style's pretty much all over the place - started on blues, then a mix of punk, early metal, and now it's just loud N' proud rock N' roll, and this does the job And then some, even with just getting by with a Peavey rage practice amp and borrowing my band-mate's MG100 for rehearsals - it's so far coped with anything I've thrown at it - from ballads and blues to Pantera and early thrash metal, with a far better sound range than I remember from my old Epiphone LP Standard, which goes for up to 100 more. I'm not sure how it would compare to a Gibson or Epiphone Elitist, but for the price you pay, it's brilliant. I'll give this a ten because for the versatility and quality of the sounds, this thing's mental. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Now this is where it starts losing points. Overall, the guitar looks VERY nice out of the box. The action was low, but the itonation was way out, and there's' a big problem with fret buzz and even muting, which just raising the action's cured the most of. I think the issue with this is the neck isn't parallel with the body, but at a slight angle. I'm certain it's not warped or bowed, and the neck itself is ruler-straight, it's probably just how the guys at Vintage desgned the thing, but maybe if they had kept it straight like a lot of makers do, that problem would've been solved. By and by, the finish is really well placed, the only bit of sloppy work been right in a crevice you rarely notice where some of the paint's dried into lumps you can sense if you feel for them. In terms of looks, its' on a par and slightly superior to the Epiphone Standard I'm using as a point of comparison. One other thing is, I've only had this a month, but the pickup covers are starting to tarnish and show that Vintage grime already, but to be fair, it actually works with the aesthetic. I'll give this a 5 because while you'd expect some problems with low end guitars, we're starting to edge out of that area now, and it's always a let-down to see sloppy work, even on a MIC guitar // 5

Reliability & Durability: It's taken everything I've thrown at it verbatim so far - I haven't used it at a gig yet, but I'm sure it won't let me down for a while yet. One thing is, sometimes the tuners aren't all that, but they do the job 90% of the time, only really giving headaches when you take the guitar through changing climates (Like from my room to outside, to a cold-ish rehearsal room via cab), but that's always bound to happen. I'll give it an 8, because while there is room for headaches, it's nothing a little attention and care can't handle. // 8

Overall Impression: The whole neck situation has been my only gripe about this thing - Considering you're paying a third the price of a US Fender or low-end Gibson for this, and honestly getting about 75% of the sound, I really cannot complain at all. The quality of the sounds, the on the whole brilliant build, the fact the coil tap's there in such a fashion, never mind the ease of which you can drop it into use, it's really easy on the eye and plays like a dream. I've been comparing it throughout with an old Epiphone Les Paul Standard that I used to own (I posted a review of it last year), and this thing blow it out of the water in every sodding way. The neck you can get used to, especially for the price and what you get out of it. I'll give this a 9 because the only way this could've improved is by as soon as I got the receipt, smeone like Kate Beckinsale showed up, handed me a complimentary bottle of whisky and box of cuban cigars, and then started macking with me... Mind you, that'd make a good weekend in general. // 9

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overall: 8.2
Advance AV1 Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 14, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Featuress: 22 Fret Les Paul Copy Upper Fret Cutaway for upper fret access. Mahogany body and neck. Flame Maple Veneer on some models. One is plain black with binding. 2 x Wilkinson TM PAF pickups Wilkinson TM Deluxe Tuners (Kluson style) 1 x Volume 1 x Tone 1 x Roll Control (coil tap) // 9

Sound: This guitar gives the sound of a Les Paul and with the coil tap can deliver 3 single coil tones selected by the traditional 3 way Les Paul selector Switch. Essentially giving you the best of both worlds. This makes this guitar an extremely versatile instrument as it can deliver tones to suit any sort of genre. The problem with Les Paul's is that they lack the high end sparkle found on a Strat. Which can suffer for clean tones, and for crunch and bouncy kind of surf tones. This guitar can deliver tones for any genre. It's very versatile. The pickups are comparable in my opinion to classic Gibson BurstBuckers. They may not be 100% there but they are 90% there. Wilkinson hardware is a professional line of guitar hardware and thus one would expect professional sound. You get this with Wilkinson. The tones are full bodies and full, not cheap and nasal as with cheap pickups. These pickups according to JHS are modelled on the original PAF's by Seth Lover so they are going to have to be in the same ball Park. They are. Sure there may be better pickups but it will be slight and modest in difference. These are professional sounding pickups. On a relatively cheap guitar. Really here 10 - 10. Super versatile. Problem - the roll control is just a COIL TAP. Only two real modes here - single coil and humbucker. The roll imbetween tones are hardly noticeable. Just think of it as a coil tap / split. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 1st guitar I received was frankly poor. I had to re send it. The frets were popping up all over the place and they were not levelled properly. There were some black mark blemishes over the maple veneer and the tone nobs were not properly glued on to two of the switches! Poor! 2nd guitar was better. But then I get The Feeling JHS must have checked it. It feels as though it has been set up, judging by the strings and the colour codes on the ends it's either Dunlops or D'Addario's on here. I prefer Rotosound but whatever. There is still string buzz. But. Very nice action. And the buzz is not notable when using a pick but when playing with fingers. So. It's minor. I'll sort it out with time. Also a small chip on the body, but. I can't be bothered with sending guitars back and forth to GAK then to JHS. I want to play. So. I'll be honest here. I will give them a 5. Can only say on what I've experienced. Make sure you check the guitar you play. If you buy mail order be prepared to possibly send back. // 5

Reliability & Durability: Guitar feels and seems as well built as most made in Asia guitars. I have seen and played better made and better set up but they generally cost a more so it's not fair to comment. The hardware on this though is totally professional... it's Wilkinson... Basically it's this recipe. Get the basic materials right - the woods. Get the hardware right - it's Wilkinson - it's a professional quality range of hardware - and build it in a low cost country. End result. High quality product at a low price people can afford. This is far more than a cheap copy guitar but plays - holds tune and sounds far more like the original guitar. This guitar is a lot better than an Epiphone - but only due to the hardware. Other than that if you replaced the Epiphone with the pickups and tuners you will probably have the same guitar. The tuning on this is rock solid. One thing which I noticed fairly quickly. The guitar really does hold tune well and the Wilkinson Deluxe non locking kluson style machine heads really do deliver here. The pickups I've said before might as well be Burst Buckers they are that good. It's a well made guitar // 8

Overall Impression: Been playing for over ten years. Had some music on unsigned hours during radio in USA and on college radio when jamming in bands but decided to give up on trying to make it in music as it just didn't feel it was working at the time. Feel I'm good enough and qualified enough to make a judgement on the guitar as I've owned a lot of gear and sold a lot of gear over the ten years. Guitar wise - Les Paul, Flying V, Washburn Acoustics, Washburn Electro Acoustics - Peavey Acoustics - Line 6 Variax - POD 2.0 - Behringer VAMP 2 - DigiTech RP255 - Zoom G9\.2tt - Zoom A2 and B2 - Line 6 Pocket POD - Korg AX1500G - Boss CUBE Amplifiers etc. Some other electrics as well. Lots of FX. Most gear and brands I've owned. Pretty much all.. anyways... This guitar retails at R.R.P for 419. The guitar can sell in shops and online anywhere between 250 and 370 from what I have seen over the last year. This was one guitar I had an eye on from the beginning due to the finish (Natural Flame) and that it was a Les Paul with a twist. Vintage offered something different on the Les Paul design with upper fret access and a coil tap. When I got back to the UK after 2 years of being abroad teaching I finally had a chance to pick one up, and caught it online for only 219UK. Bargain for the price. I did have issues with fit and finish. The previous Vintage VRS100 I owned had blemishes on it and I do wonder about the Vintage Q.C. But. By and by they are as good as anything out there. Just check and play before you pay. Or if online, if it's not right, send it back... Style of music I play is clean, melodic, alternative, crunch, pretty much everything. I'm into every style, right now mostly Korean and Japanese music which won't win any awards but hey. I love Asia. If I lost this guitar I'd want it back and would buy again due to the unique finish on it. What I love? Pretty much everything. Rock solid hardware, rock solid pickups, good tone woods and coil tap and upper fret access. Dare I say it this is a better design than your average Les Paul as the upper frets are easier to access. But it feels and looks like a Les Paul. I am surprised Gibson never tried a design like this. Best feature? Upper fret access and a coil tap and the finish. I am pretty specific on guitars. I can only buy something that resonates and this was the only model that did. I saw it and thought looks good, just get it and it don't disappoint. Have considered other products, notably the Hagstrom Select Ultra Swede and the Washburn Idol Pro 64. However after actually getting it and playing it I think this is a keeper. It's doing me ok and I am sure it will work for most applications. // 9

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