J.MitMetallica, on august 17, 2007 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: $ 327.57
Purchased from: Ebay store
Features: It's true to say that the best guitars are built from the inside out, and Vintage enjoys a well-earned reputation for building great guitars. Nothing gives off that unique, so-cool vibe like the Vintage V6 ICON. The instrument's character shines through the worn finish, saying 'this guitar has paid its dues'. it's sound has the heart and soul of a thousand gigs in it and you can feel it when you play it. It feels special to hold, and special to play. But how many people can afford the vintage instrument of their dreams? That special instrument which displays a unique level of wear from decades of playing, at home, numerous rehearsal sessions, smokey pubs to working mens' clubs, gigs and tours at home and abroad? Or how many guitarists can wait 20 years before their own guitar starts to show that kind of time-related character? Now you don't have to wait! You don't even have to re-mortgage the house to make the payment. Renowned guitar specialists Vintage, in conjunction with acknowledged guitar guru, Trevor Wilkinson, have a new specially-aged electric guitar range that ticks all the boxes, the Vintage V6 ICON Series! // 8
Sound: I play quite a few types of music, although mainly I choose between rock or rock-blues, or even real blues type playing, and more shreddy and/or metal playing. To be honest, I bought this as a project guitar, and didn't expect it to be anything special, or even good, when I bought it, but actually, the bridge pickup's output is rather impressive, for a singlecoil, and a cheapo one at that. Using with a Vox AD50VT, no sound altering effects other than distortion, which is handles surprisingly well, not as high output as the F3 IBZ USA in the Ibanez, but that was not expected. The sound is very bright, but this was quite expected, it is a Strat copy after all, but there is no harshness to the sound, on clean it really can mellow up, and high-gained, they can scream (to an extent, which is why I will probably change the bridge pickup to a stacked hum). The neck pickup is so stratty is could be mistaken quite easily, so no problems there. Perfect for bluesy rock, decent for higher gain, but not quite high output enough. You get '60s cycle hum, but not a massive problem, I can Live with it, it doesn't bother me, so it shouldn't bother you! // 8
Action, Fit & Finish: Quite well set up for something cheap, a couple of dead spots, where the action is too low/truss rod needs adjusting, but the action overall is spot on. Pickups are fine. Bridge routing at the back is a little scraggly but nothing you can see without looking, and not an issue in terms of sound. The frets look a little crappy, but I haven't experienced any playing problems from them yet, they feel fine, which is what is important. The finish flaws are supposed to be there. // 9
Reliability & Durability: Looks pretty tough, haven't played it like. Nothing looks like it's about to fall off, and the tuning stability is excellent, barely had to tune it at all since I first did it. Haven't put a strap on it yet, but the buttons aren't moving or anything. Wouldn't gig without a backup, this is my backup. // 9
Overall Impression: This guitar suits my needs now, and with a few mods (pups and pots), I think it will be one hell of an instrument! Have been playing 6 years, own an Ibanez Radius 540R LTD (you don't get much better quality to compare with than something from the FujiGen factory). Have 4 other guitars, but that's not important. I would probably get it again if it were stolen or lost, it is undoubtedly very cool, and a good gutiar. Like the finish, and the pickups are much better than expected. The only thing I don't like is the voulme pot being right below the bridge pup, but seriously not a biggie. Colour is very cool! You cannot go wrong at this price. I don't understand why all beginners don't buy these! // 9
unregistered, on august 15, 2013 1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Price paid: A$ 449
Features: I purchased this as a backup to my American Stratocaster. It cost 1/3 as much and is 99% as good - way way better than a Mexican. The pickups are actually stronger than my Fender, you need to turn the treble down on the bridge pickup a little to tame the sound. All the fittings are high quality, patented tuners are a great idea. 22 frets, fairly flat rosewood board - maybe 10 or 12 inch radius. I just play it and play it, not afraid of knocking it because of the distressed finish. Came with allen keys, whammy bar and a de-luxe cardboard box. A great guitar! // 9
Sound: It sounds like a good strat. Poplar makes it quite warm sounding. Pickups are strong, volume and tone works well. I guess the pups are potted, they're not especially noisy for a strat. Will work well for most genres. No it wont be any good for death metal, so don't ask. I have to say more to make up the 500 chars - like all strats this guitar is not suited to being tuned down much below standard tuning, D# ok, maybe D, no lower. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar looks attractive but not authentic. Its called fiesta red but its almost orange. Only an octopus could create the wear patterns on the this distressed finish. Set up good but a little high, intonation spot on, whammy usable. Bridge and tuners etc all high quality. There were no flaws but Vintage in Australia pre setup their guitars before they send them to the shop. // 8
Reliability & Durability: Fine for gigging, I have used it for band practice - also its very light for a Strat so good for gigging - very resonant. The hardware is all Wilkinson and pretty solid - Vintage style trem, kudos for the patented tuners Very thick fretboard probably affects the sound in a good way. This will be my back up guitar for live playing, maybe also for open tuning. // 9
Overall Impression: Waaaah! Every now and then you find a low priced guitar that just is a real instrument. (Makes up for saving up and buying an expensive clunker - I've done it!) For a younger person this is a guitar you could maybe afford at school which would last you through college. Get one before they either put the price up or change the spec. NB - watch out! Vintage make other Strat models that are quite ordinary. The one you want is a distressed Orange or light blue finish. I'm so impressed I'm planning to go back to the shop and sift through the Vintage LP copies to see if there's one as good as this. // 9
rv_phoenix, on november 03, 2011 0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Price paid: € 256
Purchased from: M&C Music, Bucharest, Romania
Features: I've aquired a Vintage V6 Ico about a month ago, from my regular music shop. It's made in Korea, in 2010. 22 medium frets on a standard Fender scale of 648 mm. It's basically a copy of a Fender Stratocaster, with some modifications, like the body's timber - Eastern Poplar -, a graphite nut, Wilkinson E-Z-Lok tuning pegs, Wilkinson WVCCR vibrato bridge with push-in arm, 3 Wilkinson WVS passive single coils. All the rest is like in any Strat: Rosewood fingerboard (very smooth), Hard Maple neck, 1 volume and 2 tone knobs, 5-way pickup selector.
The special thing about it is, as you already know, its Worn (or Distressed, in Trev Wilkinson's British English) finish. Pretty well done. It came with an Allen key and a useless cable, all packed in a cheap cardboard box. A normal thing, I guess, given its price range. Btw, I got it at this unbelievable price because I've been offered a generous 15% discount, so its initial price was higher. I would have bought it anyway. // 8
Sound: V6 Icon's sound can be described, in a few words, as the right Fender Stratocaster sound: bright, colorful, versatile, crispy in intermediate pickup positions. However, as you know, there are many kinds of Strats: this one's sound is close to the sound of Strats from the '50s. It's warmer and mellower than a regular Strat, although its pickups are made in Alnico V, instead of Alnico III, like Fender's Vintage pickups of the '50s. I guess its extra warmth is due to its Eastern Poplar timber, whose resonance is warmer than Alder's, when playing the guitar unplugged. I must admit I had my doubts about the wood: Fender has used Poplar only occasionally, once every 10 years, but Wilkinson pickups do justice to the guitar, extracting from the wood everything it has to offer. If the wood doesn't have Alder's bright resonance, its excellent pickups make the V6 Icon sound brilliant.
I chose this guitar because I needed a Strat. I've gave away a good one, at the end of the '80s and, until now, I didn't manage to have a new one. A genuine American Strat is very expensive, though, so I sought after its best copy, because of my budget and of my limited needs. Vintage V6 Icon is one of the best copies available nowadays, at least in my country. When I took the decision to buy it, I also considered a Squier Classic Vibe '50: a very good Strat, with just about the same sound and playability as my Vintage, but more "basic" (no staggered polepieces, no Wilkinson trem, no E-Z-Loks etc.). I'm not very fond on the Worn finish, but the sound and the playability of this V6 Icon worth every cent I've paid for it.
My music style is floating between Progressive, Classic Rock and Blues. It's obvious the V6 Icon suits this kind of music perfectly, as any good Strat. It "collaborates" perfectly with my amp - a Vox Night Train + Vox NT cabinet - and my pedals (see the list in my profile). When playing Prog, I use quite a few pedals, but when playing anything else, and especially Blues, I plug the V6 Icon straight into the amp: that's when I like it the most.
As any Strat provided with Vintage single coils, it is noisier when playing in position 1, 3 and 5, because of the inevitable 60' cycle. When playing in position 2 and 4, obviously, the reversed polarity cancels the hum. But its hum is the normal hum of any Strat and it has already become a part of our musical culture. I measured it against the hum of a Fender Classic Player '50, and its hum is perfectly equal to Fender's, so I guess Wilkinson has done the right job.
V6 Icon's sound is rich, bright (but warmer than in most Strats, as I've said), sometimes crispy, with excellent highs and good harmonics. It has decent lows too, but this isn't its strongest point. I guess it's the only feature a little under the standard of a regular Strat.
You can get all the sounds you expect from a good Strat, from David Gilmour to Eric Clapton, from Jeff Beck to Eric Johnson. Due to its warmth, it doesn't reach to Yngwie, though, and, to my surprise, it doesn't do Buddy Guy so well neither: its warmth don't allow you to get that crunchy tone, characteristic for the Chicago Blues. // 9
Action, Fit & Finish: I've mentioned buying it from a reputed music shop, whose regular client I am. The guitar was flawlessly setup, well intonated, the action was as it should be (not too law, so it doesn't affect fingers' dynamics, not too high, so it doesn't affect playability). The guys at the music shop said it came like this from the factory, they've only kept it in tune. However, it had two finish flaws I have to mention: 1) the vibrato's arm is a push-in type, but the small screw behind vibrato's block, that keeps the arm tight, was unscrewed: it took me an hour to find the clue and 10 seconds to fix the problem, and 2) a screw fixing the 6th tuning peg case was half unscrewed: another 10 seconds to fix it. An issue are the stock strings too: Vintage has this peculiar approach to the price tag; the guys up there think it's better to deliver the guitar with the cheapest strings available on Earth, thus lowering the price by 8 euros or something. If you're not experienced, you might just give up buying the axe, because the stock strings sound and look terrible.
Pickups were not only properly adjusted, but also staggered, for an excellent sound consistency across all 6 strings. Bridge was perfectly routed, its springs are neatly calibrated, so if you use the same strings gauge, you can re-string the axe without adjusting the vibrato. I must also say frets are perfectly polished and the general quality of the guitar is extremely satisfactory, regardless its price.
On the other hand, I've found some spots on the fretboard, after fret 17-18, where the low E string sounds slightly more silent than it should, but since I didn't notice it when checking and double-checking the axe at the music shop, I assume it might be a problem caused by the new GHS Boomers strings.
Of course, I'm aware it's not a Strat. It probably has cheap electronics, its shielding is an average one, wire inside is cheap as well. I didn't encounter any problem yet, but in this price range it's impossible to buy a masterpiece. I'm glad nothing buzzes or screeches and the guitar works just fine.
The Worn - or Distressed - finish is excellent. Once again, it can't compete against Fender's Time Machine: for instance, the push-in vibrato arm isn't consistent with the finish, being so contemporary. There are also some emulated aging marks in spots unlikely to get any marks at all. All in all, though, it's an impressive job done by the Koreans. // 8
Reliability & Durability: I didn't play it live yet - no gigs during last two weeks, - but it surely withstands any live action, with the condition of replacing its thin strap buttons by some good straplocks. The hardware, being genuine Wilkinson, is very solid and the Distressed finish doesn't have any impact on its life expectation. The paint seems to make it too, but it takes time to appreciate it more accurately.
Of course I depend on it! It's my fifth guitar, but my only Strat. I can't play it without a backup, because I use to change guitars while playing and I always have all of them on stage. I don't recommend playing live without a backup anyway, no matter which axe you play on. Axes are made by humans and are alive too: they might give up when you expect it the least.
Being a Strat and being carved in Eastern Poplar, I'm sure it's more sensitive than my Mahogany-made Vintage V 100. I wouldn't use it for stunts on stage, but, again, this is not a criterium for me personally (I never made stunts, but music). // 8
Overall Impression: As I've said, I play Progressive, Classic Rock and Blues (occasionally doing some Heavy Metal too). It's a perfect match for Prog, Classic and Blues. I wouldn't recommend it for heavier styles of Rock. I play for about 30 years now, I own some other guitars and gear - check the list in my profile - and dare I say it's one of the good Strat-type guitars I've played in my life. It can compete against any Squier, and none of the MIM Standard Strats I've played on recently was strikingly better overall than V6 Icon. It's strange how Trev Wilkinson succeeds to give a personal touch to classic designs, like the Les Paul, the Tele or the Strat, but still retaining all their classic vibe. V6 Icon is an amazing axe when you reach to that combination of Strat brightness and Vintage warmth, so rare on recent Fenders. Its sound and playability are V6 Icon's best features, IMHO. I also depend on its versatility, and I don't dare to think someone might take it away from me, because such models are rare on a small market like my country's, hence the odds of getting another one are small too.
As I've said, it can be compared to Squier Classic Vibe '50, also to Squier Standard Stratocaster, and I can say these axes are pretty close. V6 Icon has some extra features I appreciated, like the staggered polepieces, the E-Z-Loks and the vibrato made by Wilkinson. It's also cheaper, even without the discount offered to me by M & C Music. I've also heard Tanglewood makes a pretty similar axe, but it's much harder to find one in my country, and I'm not a fan of Entwistle pickups neither (reviews for the equivalent Tanglewood are mixed, btw).
As a conclusion: if you don't afford a Fender Stratocaster - or you just don't want to pay so much on a guitar -, but still want to indulge yourself with that unmistakable Strat vibe, Vintage V6 Icon is one of the 2-3 axes you have to consider. // 8