#1
Hi everyone,

I tried out a bunch of stuff yesterday, here's some spam if anyone's interested... I'm kind of lazy, so I'll just list what I tried and what I thought of them...

First stop, I tried a PRS SE soapbar (the old, doublecut model with flamed maple veneer), a PRS SE singlecut, an epiphone les paul standard, and a hagstrom deluxe, all through a second-hand line 6 spider III...

PRS SE soapbar: this was in pretty bad condition, to be honest, the fretboard was pretty dirty and dry, and had a lot of marks on it. It also felt a bit light and "plasticky", for want of a better word, and I wasn't too fussed on the painted neck. Body was painted black, so couldn't tell how many pieces of wood it was made of. It sounded fine, but I wasn't fussed. Certainly (this exact guitar, at least) wasn't worth the £400+ they were looking for. I've seen second-hand guitars in better nick... (ok, maybe not better nick, but certainly in more player-friendly condition) Sounded fine, just didn't play all that well.

PRS SE singlecut: I liked this one better, the finish didn't seem to be so thick, and the neck wasn't so thickly painted. Still had some marks around the fretboard, which was also a bit dry, but i did get on better with this one. Felt a little light, again, but was a little less of a handful than some LPs can be. Seemed to be made of centre-joined mahogany; not as good as single-piece, but not bad for the price, i guess. Still not worth the asking price though(which was similar to the soapbar version). Again, sounded fine, just the playability wasn't amazing.

Obviously both of these could have just been bad examples, but i was distinctly left with the impression that they were extremely overpriced for what they were. And these were at sale prices... o_O

Epiphone Les Paul Standard: this one was more like £300. I actually liked it more than those PRS SEs, and it was heavier too, though epiphone/gibson were up to their old stingy tricks by putting a veneer on the back to pretend it was one-piece construction when it was actually at least 3. Seemed not bad, but wouldn't hold a candle to a quality japanese copy. And the whole veneer guff left a bad taste in my mouth.

Hagstrom Deluxe: I actually liked this most of all, though I still wouldn't say it was amazing. Decent, but not great. Again, around the £400 mark. Resinator fingerboard, which is some type of composite or other. Felt smoother than the other fretboards, but not as smooth as a fretboard on a real quality guitar. This one was the heaviest- getting towards too heavy, to be honest. had a slightly brighter tone than the epiphone, as well.

Conclusion: I just generally thought, about all of them, that they weren't good enough for £400... considering what £400 can buy you, if you know where to look...

The spider actually was alright up to classic rock, I thought (i felt much the same with the spider valve i tried a while back)... just it got way too much gain way too quickly, and also the extremely high gain channels sounded a bit, well, crap. It wasn't terrible (I'd rather have one than, say, an MG) but i'd say you're better off with a cube for the heavier stuff, or with a valvetronix for the lighter stuff...

Ok, next shop I tried to try a Fender Champion 600, which was faulty and hummed like a jet engine. Instead I tried the new Super Champ XD, which is a 5 watt modelling valve amp. I tried it with an Epiphone Les Paul '57 reissue (limited edition custom shop model) and a Fender Vintage '52 Telecaster.

The epiphone was very nice, especially for the price (£150 or so?). It did feel a little light, and an obvious notch below Japanese-copy quality, but for the price it's hard to complain- it felt easily the equal of those £400 guitars I'd tried previously, though of course it's a lot less versatile considering it has only the single dog-ear p90 pickup. I was impressed though- good job it was TV yellow (which I'm not too fond of) or I might have had trouble saying no.

The Fender '52 reissue Tele was a nice guitar, no doubt, but it didn't blow me away. There was nothing wrong with it... just it didn't really feel like a £1000 guitar, y'know? once you hit the £1000 mark, you expect to start to get impressed, and I wasn't. The finish seemed thicker than on my tokai (strat copy- granted, being almost 25 years old, some of the nitrocellulose lacquer has had time to evaporate, and also, granted, it's not really fair comparing a strat and tele), and the neck pickup sounded, well, strangely quiet and muffled. I also like the v-profile neck on my tokai much more. Maybe it was meant to be like that, but it didn't sound right to me. I'd rather have a japanese tokai to be honest... the fact that it's about one third of the price...

The super champ was actually pretty nice. Didn't do high gain overdrive all that well, but up until well into classic rock, it sounded nice, and pretty tubey too considering there's modelling in there. might be worth forking out for the vibro champ xd (which i haven't tried), though, as it has 15 watts and two channels (one is pure tube with no modelling) for only a little more cash. i wasn't blown away, but i was surprised by how nice it was. definitely worth considering if you're after a modeller and would like some tube influence too. the fx, though not as good as pedals, didn't seem half bad either.

Finally, I went to another shop and did get to try the fender champion 600. It had nice warmish cleans and subtle drive when it got up to about 1 o'clock on the dial. it did fart out about at (or close to) full volume though, and I'm not quite sure the point of a low wattage amp which is mainly aimed at cleans. Granted cleans at volumes just before the amp clips are awesome, or indeed if you need edge-of-breakup tones at lower volumes, it might be worth considering, but I thought the engl screamer I tried next had as nice (if not nicer) cleans even at the same volume (major price difference, of course). Nevertheless, it is cute, sounds pretty good (for a limited range of tones), and is pretty cheap. Just watch the reliability!

I also tried an engl screamer combo- it's definitely a nice amp. You need to tame the brightness a bit, but if you do, it sounds pretty full and good for a wide range of stuff, including br00talz. If you only play modern metal, there are better options perhaps, but if you play a wide range of stuff including metal, it's a very nice amp at a good price. hard to beat in europe on value.

I tried these two amps with a vigier excalibur HSH (with vigier ball-bearing floyd, made by schaller). It was excellent. Very expensive (£1500 I think), but great. Nice pickups too. It didn't say on them what they were, i thought they were dimarzio virtual vintages, but upon looking at the vigier site, it looks like they might be 2 SH5 duncan customs and an ssl6? nice sparkle from the single, anyway, and they sounded very good both clean and distorted, though probably not for the really modern metal stuff. very smooth floyd, but i didn't think it had the flutter of a knife-edge system. Anyway, it played extremely nicely (the neck was awesome), and sounded good too. Highlight of the day, but then it was the most expensive by quite some margin. Recommended. Though obviously at that price there's a fair bit of competition.

As usual, this is based upon my personal preferences, and also upon the specific models I tried- it's entirely possible I tried a particularly bad (or good!) example of any or all of those... feel free to disagree, in other words.

wow, that's pretty long.. even when I just listed 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
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#2
Nice work

It's funny how the Hagstrom Deluxe is only $300 here and more than twice that on your side of the pond.

I've also always felt that the PRS SEs other than the singlecut feel very toylike.
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Quote by utsapp89
^I'd let a pro look at it. Once you get into the technicalities of screws...well, it's just a place you don't want to be, friend.
#3
When I was playing guitars to get a feel for them before buying, I had the exact same thoughts about the PRS - it just felt lacking, and I know what you mean about the fretboard
Don't think you could turn me off the tele though Still hawttt
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#4
I agree with everything you said there, except for the Tele. For my it was the other way round: no other Tele over a grand has impressed me as much as this one. Man, it's not just a Tele, is THE TELE!!
Maybe the pickup was damaged or something, just don't let that one down and find a nice one (which shouldn't be a hard task)

PS: ah well, maybe you didn't like the feel that much. It's normal, it's a thick neck with 7.25 radius, which isn't for everyone (I like it though :P)
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#5
Quote by Mahoru
I agree with everything you said there, except for the Tele. For my it was the other way round: no other Tele over a grand has impressed me as much as this one.

I played an American Deluxe telecaster that played like a dream, and sounded like pure sex through a Fender Super Reverb the other day, so I have to disagree.
#6
Quote by imgooley
I played an American Deluxe telecaster that played like a dream, and sounded like pure sex through a Fender Super Reverb the other day, so I have to disagree.


I'm sure it was great, it's just that I'm not a big fan of modern Fenders. When it comes to Fender, I'm a vintage guy all the way
- Fender American Standard Ash Telecaster w/ DiMarzio Chopper T & Twang King
- Alhambra 5P
- Laney Lionheart L5T-112
- Line 6 POD XT
- Suhr Shiba Drive
- MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay
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#7
Quote by Mahoru
I'm sure it was great, it's just that I'm not a big fan of modern Fenders. When it comes to Fender, I'm a vintage guy all the way

Good point. To each his own, I guess.
#8
Of course

Anyway, eventhough they're not completely my style, I'm one of those rare guitarists nowadays that prefer to shred on a Strat than on an Ibanez or ESP :P
- Fender American Standard Ash Telecaster w/ DiMarzio Chopper T & Twang King
- Alhambra 5P
- Laney Lionheart L5T-112
- Line 6 POD XT
- Suhr Shiba Drive
- MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay
- Dunlop Cry Baby
#9
that was very long... nicely done

i dunno if the tele you played was my favorite... but i know i've tried it. are you not a tele person? if so, shame on you!
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#10
I know I'm beating a dead horse, but I can't believe they charge you £400 for the PRS SE Soapbar.

Thanks for your insight on all the stuff.
#11
^ that was on sale, too- they were down from £500...

to everyone who posted, thanks!

Quote by FacingUsAll
Nice work

It's funny how the Hagstrom Deluxe is only $300 here and more than twice that on your side of the pond.

I've also always felt that the PRS SEs other than the singlecut feel very toylike.


yeah, we just get unbelievably ripped on a lot of stuff... i wouldn't mind, but a lot of people are willing to pay it. which then means the shops/distributors get away with it.

Quote by Mahoru
PS: ah well, maybe you didn't like the feel that much. It's normal, it's a thick neck with 7.25 radius, which isn't for everyone (I like it though :P)


i don't mind the vintage radius... i think it was the neck shape... i think i prefer the vintage strat's v-shape neck. that one was more of a u-shape, i think?


Quote by UnsignedRecords
that was very long... nicely done

i dunno if the tele you played was my favorite... but i know i've tried it. are you not a tele person? if so, shame on you!


oh, i really like teles- one's next on my list (well, either that or something with p90s, whichever comes along first at a good enough price and which i like enough). i've tried several tokai ones which kicked ass, and also a blade one which was pretty nice too. i just don't seem to get along with the fender ones, lol (*aware of the irony*)...

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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?
#12
(sorry, can't edit or computer will crash) don't get me wrong, the tele was a very nice guitar- just i didn't think it was nice enough for a grand. obviously preference comes into that too.
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?
#14
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?
#16
sorry, i guess i should have explained. you could see the joins (i counted at least two obvious ones) around the edge of the body, but the back was one piece (plus it looked to be different wood from the sides- you could almost see there was a veneer as well).
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?
#17
Hey, Dave! Thanks for that. I'm still on the fence as to buying a Vigier or a used 70s or early 80s Les Paul. You got me all warm & fuzzy about the Vigier again after I tried them at NAMM (where they were the best guitars I played while I was there). Very impressive.
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#19
Quote by Dave_Mc
(sorry, can't edit or computer will crash) don't get me wrong, the tele was a very nice guitar- just i didn't think it was nice enough for a grand. obviously preference comes into that too.

oh yeah, i agree with that. i think here it's around $1400... so yeah a tokai sounds infinitely better for the price
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#20
^ yeah. i haven't tried a custom before, that's the problem. They sounded to me more like paf, maybe vintage hot pickups, but according to the vigier site...

Quote by riffhog
Hey, Dave! Thanks for that. I'm still on the fence as to buying a Vigier or a used 70s or early 80s Les Paul. You got me all warm & fuzzy about the Vigier again after I tried them at NAMM (where they were the best guitars I played while I was there). Very impressive.


cheers riffhog! yep, i was impressed too. 95% (at least) of the stuff I try generally confirms that I made the right choice with the gear I have (for the money i had available at the time), but every so often I try something where I have to grudgingly admit that if I had tried it (before I bought the other competing item), it would have made my decision a lot harder. This was one of these times- it was an extremely good guitar, at a decent (for this side of the pond, anyway) price. Don't get me wrong, I'd still have gone with my legra, as truth be told the legra was higher spec (neck-thru, already loaded with Bareknuckles, etc. etc.), but this was one nice guitar.

They had a couple of other vigiers too, but i didn't have the heart to ask to try them as they'd already had to fetch me that one down from almost at roof level! Might have to try them next time I'm in...
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?
#21
^ first bit up there was to azrael...

unsigned: yeah. i mean you can pick up second hand tokai copies for a little over £200 for the newer (but still japanese) versions. For the truly badass 80s ones, you should be able to get them under £400. what doesn't hurt is that people are willing to pay more for the earlier ones with the most fender-alike writing... even if it's a lower model than one from a few years later (which is almost the same guitar)...
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?
#22
^ haha, dat's nuts!
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Mesa/Boogie Mark IV + Recto 2x12
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Quote by one vision
Bureaucrats gonna crat.

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#23
yep.
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?
#25
I read selected parts since i'm in a bit of a rush. Nice reviews.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

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#26
Quote by Dave_Mc


i don't mind the vintage radius... i think it was the neck shape... i think i prefer the vintage strat's v-shape neck. that one was more of a u-shape, i think?


Yeah, they have the old U shape. A bit awkward at first, I know :P
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- Alhambra 5P
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- MXR Carbon Copy Analog Delay
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#27
^^ thanks kyle

^ yeah.

Quote by forsaknazrael
Gah, I want a Tokai or Edwards SG.


i wouldn't mind one either...
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?
#29
must be...
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?
#30
Quote by forsaknazrael
BTW, the Vigier with a Custom in the neck? That'd be insane. I hope not. Maybe it's a typo, like that Jackson with a JB in the neck.


Yep it is a Custom in the neck and in the bridge (TB5 - bridge, SH5 - neck) - they work perfect for the double locking trem Excalibur's'...Patrice (Vigier) spends years with prototypes, getting players feedback and testing all aspects of his guitars - then he decides on the final configuration. He never sticks to the norm and likes to experiment...as has already been mentioned these pickups just seem to 'work' right for these guitars at both neck and bridge positions...I would not recommend to change them on other guitars but in this situation it has to be heard to be believed.....here is a little bit about Vigier's Excalibur Custom and Original pickups and some idea of the thought behind Patrice's choice....http://www.vigierguitars.com/html/Description_US/Guitars/pickups_customl_original.html
#31
Dave you fool!

You mixed them up! The Vibro Champ is the 5 watt one and the Super Champ is the 15 watt one! But yeah, up until classic rock, very good buy, espeically the Super Champ. Those models are great IMO!
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#32
haha, sorry gabe! i was surprised how good the modelling was, to be honest.
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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?
#33
Me too!

Affe's dad has the solid state version, at 65 watts and actually the modeling there is great too! The Fender and Vox models sounds fantastic, better than the AD30VT IMO!
Quote by stratman_13
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18watter video demo

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#34
it's so long since i've tried a valvetronix i can hardly remember... but i remember thinking i wasn't all that fussed on it, i prefer the cube (but then i play more higher gain stuff anyway).

only problem with the vibro and super champ xd is that they're a bit more expensive than a starter amp, yet they're still probably most use for starters. granted they're a step above most starter amps...
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?
#35
Quote by Indus
Yep it is a Custom in the neck and in the bridge (TB5 - bridge, SH5 - neck) - they work perfect for the double locking trem Excalibur's'...Patrice (Vigier) spends years with prototypes, getting players feedback and testing all aspects of his guitars - then he decides on the final configuration. He never sticks to the norm and likes to experiment...as has already been mentioned these pickups just seem to 'work' right for these guitars at both neck and bridge positions...I would not recommend to change them on other guitars but in this situation it has to be heard to be believed.....here is a little bit about Vigier's Excalibur Custom and Original pickups and some idea of the thought behind Patrice's choice....http://www.vigierguitars.com/html/Description_US/Guitars/pickups_customl_original.html

Odd! I guess I'd have to try it out myself.