Vanguard FR440S review by Kramer

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 10
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.8 (108 votes)
Kramer: Vanguard FR440S

Price paid: $ 125

Purchased from: eBay

Sound — 6
I play mostly Metal and other assorted rock styles, thats why I'm getting EMG's. The quad rails are ok for stock pickups, but have very little bottom end and are kinda brittle sounding. I run it all through an Arion SCH-1 chorus, Crybaby wah, a delay pedal I can't remember the name of and a MXR 10 Band EQ to an old Randall like the ones Dime used to use. I can get some good tones out of the rig, not really crazy about the pickups, but they'll work until I can replace them.

Overall Impression — 9
This is a great match for my style and playing. I've been playing for the last 8 years and I'm still learning. I'm not sure I could ever part with this guitar I've grown so attached to it. Some would probably say its not as great as say an RR1, but it is mine and I love it.

Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a workhorse if I've ever played one. I put on a DiMarzio Cliplok on to keep it from going anywhere while I play. I play it a lot at my church (play a V at church, ya I know it sounds odd) and it gives no problems whatsoever. The only this thing is gonna give me a problem, is if I intentionally try to break it, which ain't happening.

Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Great playability, since I've had it worked by my good friend Billy at B&D guitars in Phoenix, AZ. Plays like a dream that I don't have to sleep to achieve. Low action, ridiculously easy bends and transitions and scales and sweeping were never this easy. Still has a few cosmetic flaws that need tending to, but nothing that will cause problems with sound or playing.

Features — 9
It's an 06 model, 24 frets, Trem changed to an Original Floyd Rose (I don't care what anyone says, the licensed floyds are NOT as good), Reverse head stock, and two quad rail humbuckers in Bridge and "middle" position, and a master volume and push pull tone. Pickups not the greatest in the world, thats why I'm getting them switched with EMG's, I would use Bare Knuckles, but Tim ain't making them anymore so I won't waste my time. I believe its an alder body and maple neck with rosewood fretboard with the gloss blue finish. Came with a hardshell case from the guy I bought it from. Tuners are Schaller knockoffs, I think, not the best but not the worst. Overall, it works and if you like this type of guitar, it can be made to work.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    Whiteboy_az wrote: Trivium_XXX wrote: the vangaurd can't compare at all to the jackson js30rr! i've owned both and the jackson has to come through with the win. The vangaurd may have the floyd but if you knew what good for you, you'd get the jackson! The pickups on the vangaurd are muddy sounding and on the other hand, you got the js30rr, perfect for metal or any other genre out there! The js30rr sells now about for $279.99 now, and the vangaurd sells about $225.99, but the price for the jackson is worth it. hope this helped \m/ Those JS series Jacksons are pieces of crap, the only thing they're good for is firewood.
    I'd like to know where you get your information from. For $279.99, the JS30RR is an excellent guitar. The Vanguard isn't going to be much different, sorry to burst your fanboyism...