Vanguard FR440S review by Kramer

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  • Sound: 5
  • Overall Impression: 6
  • Reliability & Durability: 5
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 6.4 Neat
  • Users' score: 8.8 (108 votes)
Kramer: Vanguard FR440S

Price paid: $ 226.8

Purchased from:

Sound — 5
I'm quite an allround player, means that I play from death metal to blues to the sweedest ballads. So I looked for a guitar which can handle both, clean an distorted. My teacher recommended to by a PRS but I didn't have that much money so he told to buy a Kramer. I play it through a Laney amp and a Boss OS-2 and I have to be honest: The distorted tone really sucks. A lot of buzz and fuzz. And this is not a matter of my other equipment. When I play with the Gibson Les Paul of my father, there is no buzz but a real great tone. The other thing is that, when distorted, there is not really a diffrence between bridge and neck pick up. So there is a real lack varity you even can't adjust with the coil tapping. There is one good thing about this Kramer: the clean tone. with coil tapping, you can get a real thick bluesy tone or a thin funk tone. But, I mean, this guitar is "meant to rock hard" so it would've been better for Kramer to concentrate more on the distortion.

Overall Impression — 6
Well like I said before, I'm an allround player and if you are kind of the same, don't buy it. Spare your money for a PRS. I bought a month ago the PRS Tremonti SE of about 600 bucks and this is a real allround guitar. So if you don't have the money, spare as long if you can buy anything better. It's not worth it. If you're a beginner I think you can go for it but there I would recommend a Kramer Striker because it's more comfortably. But if you are an intermediate player, don't go for it.

Reliability & Durability — 5
So there was a very huge problem: everytime I did a divebomb my guitar went out of tune because I wasn't able to tighten the locking nut so it wouldn't move. I had to go to a friend to make some kind of neck-through nut which was a little risky. So, in stock it could withstand Live playing only as long as you don't use the Floyd. The other things, like the strap buttons, finish and so on, seem to be of quite high quality.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar came set up quite good with some cheapy strings. The only things I had to do was to change the strings and some minor adjustments like fixing the intonation, raising the pick ups, putting in a extra spring for the floyd (because I use 0.10 strings, so I recommend to buy some extra springs) and so on. The finish was in good condition.

Features — 8
Mine came with a maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and 24 frets. Alder body, licensed Floyd Rose, 2 QuadRail passive pick ups (neck and bridge)with one volume and one tone knob with coil tapping and a 3-way pickup selector, some Gotoh tuners and a case.

14 comments sorted by best / new / date

    epiphone isnt that bad, you just need to tighten every screw, nut, washer, input jack especially, knobs....or to make it simple just tighten everything, then epiphones are ok
    i love how SteveVai87 thinks tone controls aren't needed on guitars. LOL!! You can get some good variations by rolling back the tone slightly, or turning the volume down. Try it sometime.. i'm sure your hero Mr Vai uses the tone controls
    Ive got a bright yellow one and it it amazing. Thinking of putting some better pickups in it, like seymore duncans.
    I own a Jackson Soloist, a Gibson Les Paul Custom, a Gibson Les Paul Standard if you own those.....why do you have this Krappy Kramer?
    This is a guitar made with 24 frets of furry does that feel when you play? I think it would bother me. Man, that is an ugly guitar. Hahah.
    This is a guitar made with 24 frets of furry
    I tried one of these out at my LMS. Gimme a San Dimas Kramer any day. This thing was garbage. If you spend even more money modding it with an OFR, and better pups, it might be ok then.
    I think it would be, it probably has pretty decent action and you don't get much tone out of any of those guitars anyway. But in all seriousness, i seriously want a les paul double cut-away. That has absolutely nothing to do with this, i just felt i had to make that known.
    i don't get why you would put a humbucker in the middle but not the neck can anyone please explain why
    Ok I jam on a Dean dime from hell signature series with the dimebuckers trmelo etc.....and i love to jam on a kramer they play great almost as good as my $1200 dean but the point is that this thing rocks for 200 bucks ....anyone that denies it is stupid ..but thats just my opinion....oh and i found the jackson js30rr for $250.00 plus s/h but its not expensive and if its so much better why does it cost the same if you dont beleive me check it out
    This was my second guitar, and for the money (like $150 in America) it's probably the best. And it's as good as some entry level Jacksons, but you're probably better off spending money on a Jackson or maybe an Epiphone Flying V.
    Just say no to Epiphone. PERIOD