#1
Meet the Ventura Black Label.

I ordered this one at the 2016 Dallas Guitar Show- it was the demo model, so I got @$350 off. It arrived @2 weeks ago, but things have been crazy 'round here. So I've only had limited time to noodle around on it. Even so, I can definitely say I made a good purchase.

The Ventura is my third Fret-King- links to the other two are at the bottom of this post- and I have to say it may be my favorite of the bunch. I'd happily buy another, but only the Gordon Giltrap Elise strongly appeals out of their current product line. Still, I wouldn't rule out duplicates of the models I already have.

(And, of course, the current exchange rate being what it is...)

As you can see from the pix below, it looks a bit like someone mated a Strat with an Explorer, so it has angles where you might expect curves. Despite the seeming angularity, though, each "corner" is contoured, so this is a surprisingly comfortable guitar to play.

It is 25.5" scale with a bolt-on neck, tremolo, surf blue with a white pickguard. Wilkinson pickups- bridge HB and miniHBs in the middle & neck position; 5 way selector. Controls are Volume, Tone, and Tone (Vari-Coil). Vari-Coil is essentially Fret-King's version of Reverend's Bass Contour- a rotary control that lets you make your pickups sound more like standard singlecoils.

As you might expect, all that Wilkinson hardware is pretty good. I'm not a whammy wanker, so I can only say that with my restrained style of tremolo use, it didn't go out of tune.

The bridge HB has pretty good classic low/medium output and tone. The miniHBs are just a bit less aggressive still. All in all, it's a good guitar for blues/classic/alt rock styling with the HBs in full throat, and you can definitely get into pretty twangy surf/spy/C&W territory using the Vari-Coil.

A note on the miniHBs: I've stated elsewhere that I liked the Wilkinson P90s, but not quite as much as the ones found in Reverends. This guitar provokes a similar comparison because the only other miniHBs in my collection are Reverend's RevTrons. Well RevTrons are modeled on twangy Gretsch Fillertrons, whereas these are based on classic HB tones. So really, there isn't

The Ventura continues to impress me. This may be my favorite Fret-King of the 3 I own. The ONE thing I find fault with so far is the placement of the volume knob- As it turns out, the volume knob is just a few mm closer to the neck than on the most similar guitar I own, a Fret-King HSS Stratclone. The consequence of this seemingly minute shift is that I keep knocking the knob, turning down the volume. I've never had a problem striking the knob on any other guitar I own. The more I play this guitar, though, the less frequent these accidents occur.

Still, I can't fathom why the shift was made in the first place.












http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1592737
https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1696393
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#2
it makes me want to have a beach party where everyone dances in sync.
I wondered why the frisbee was getting bigger, then it hit me.
#4
Quote by gregs1020
it makes me want to have a beach party where everyone dances in sync.


#6
I wasn't too big a fan of it myself...until I played one.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#8
sweet

EDIT: oh minihums in neck and middle? i thought that model used to have 3 full-sized hums?

and that's interesting that you like it the best, i always figured the black label was lower quality, but i haven't tried any of them...
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
Last edited by Dave_Mc at Jul 10, 2016,
#9
The Blue Label line was discontinued, and shortly before that, they started upping the QC on the Black Labels. The aforementioned Gordon Giltrap has- AFAIK- only been a Black Label release, and that is a gorgeous semihollow doublecut with a bridge HB, neck P90, and a piezo setup. All blendable. And not a cheap axe.

And my Ventura has not shown any evidence of corner cutting.

As for the pickup configuration, there have been HHH and other versions out there. I've seen HH, HSS, 390 and- I think- a H/290 as well.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 10, 2016,
#10
The reverb tails have finally made it from Texas to Wisconsin. Sounds great.
OBEY THE MIGHTY SHITKICKER
#11
Looks pretty sweet danny. HNGD
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#12
Quote by dannyalcatraz
(a) The Blue Label line was discontinued, and shortly before that, they started upping the QC on the Black Labels. The aforementioned Gordon Giltrap has- AFAIK- only been a Black Label release, and that is a gorgeous semihollow doublecut with a bridge HB, neck P90, and a piezo setup. All blendable. And not a cheap axe.

And my Ventura has not shown any evidence of corner cutting.

(b) As for the pickup configuration, there have been HHH and other versions out there. I've seen HH, HSS, 390 and- I think- a H/290 as well.


(a) Ah right I didn't realise that, thanks.

(b) Wow I didn't realise there were as many as that
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#13
I think the Ventura is one of those designs that they fiddle around with in their various Label lines. Each lineup gets new variant every few years, it seems.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#14
Quote by JustRooster
The reverb tails have finally made it from Texas to Wisconsin.


They probably stopped to check the rival dairy farms and to sample some cheese.
#16
I am not surprised by your X-Ray eyes, daddy-o.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#17
HNGD Danny!
WTLT 2014 GG&A

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nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


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youre just being a jerk man.



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#18
Quote by dannyalcatraz
I think the Ventura is one of those designs that they fiddle around with in their various Label lines. Each lineup gets new variant every few years, it seems.


yeah
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#19
That's far too pointy for me (AND I'm saying it)

I love the look of it though.

Clips?
Bass Gear:

Mensinger: Speesy
Fender Precision 1989 (CIJ Rosewood)
Fender Steve Harris (CIJ)
Lakland J Sonic 5
Epiphone Explorer
Maruszczyk (custom) Jake

Ashdown CTM 100
#20
I haven't figured out the recording gear I own...which ain't much, TBH. An old TEAC mic- probably for voice- and a Tascam GT-R1.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#21
HNGD, looks perfect for instrumental surf and rockabilly.
"A well-wound coil is a well-wound coil regardless if it's wound with professional equipment, or if somebody's great-grandmother winds it to an old French recipe with Napoleon's modified coffee grinder and chops off the wire after a mile with an antique guillotine!"
- Bill Lawrence

Come and be with me
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Time for primal concrete sledge

#22
It so is. Between this and my Reverend Flatroc 15th anniv., I might never hav to use a Strat!
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
Last edited by dannyalcatraz at Jul 18, 2016,