Advance AV1 review by Vintage

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reliability & Durability: 8
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.2 (17 votes)
Vintage: Advance AV1

Sound — 10
This guitar gives the sound of a Les Paul and with the coil tap can deliver 3 single coil tones selected by the traditional 3 way Les Paul selector Switch. Essentially giving you the best of both worlds. This makes this guitar an extremely versatile instrument as it can deliver tones to suit any sort of genre. The problem with Les Paul's is that they lack the high end sparkle found on a Strat. Which can suffer for clean tones, and for crunch and bouncy kind of surf tones. This guitar can deliver tones for any genre. It's very versatile. The pickups are comparable in my opinion to classic Gibson BurstBuckers. They may not be 100% there but they are 90% there. Wilkinson hardware is a professional line of guitar hardware and thus one would expect professional sound. You get this with Wilkinson. The tones are full bodies and full, not cheap and nasal as with cheap pickups. These pickups according to JHS are modelled on the original PAF's by Seth Lover so they are going to have to be in the same ball Park. They are. Sure there may be better pickups but it will be slight and modest in difference. These are professional sounding pickups. On a relatively cheap guitar. Really here 10 - 10. Super versatile. Problem - the roll control is just a COIL TAP. Only two real modes here - single coil and humbucker. The roll imbetween tones are hardly noticeable. Just think of it as a coil tap / split.

Overall Impression — 9
Been playing for over ten years. Had some music on unsigned hours during radio in USA and on college radio when jamming in bands but decided to give up on trying to make it in music as it just didn't feel it was working at the time. Feel I'm good enough and qualified enough to make a judgement on the guitar as I've owned a lot of gear and sold a lot of gear over the ten years. Guitar wise - Les Paul, Flying V, Washburn Acoustics, Washburn Electro Acoustics - Peavey Acoustics - Line 6 Variax - POD 2.0 - Behringer VAMP 2 - DigiTech RP255 - Zoom G9\.2tt - Zoom A2 and B2 - Line 6 Pocket POD - Korg AX1500G - Boss CUBE Amplifiers etc. Some other electrics as well. Lots of FX. Most gear and brands I've owned. Pretty much all.. anyways... This guitar retails at R.R.P for 419. The guitar can sell in shops and online anywhere between 250 and 370 from what I have seen over the last year. This was one guitar I had an eye on from the beginning due to the finish (Natural Flame) and that it was a Les Paul with a twist. Vintage offered something different on the Les Paul design with upper fret access and a coil tap. When I got back to the UK after 2 years of being abroad teaching I finally had a chance to pick one up, and caught it online for only 219UK. Bargain for the price. I did have issues with fit and finish. The previous Vintage VRS100 I owned had blemishes on it and I do wonder about the Vintage Q.C. But. By and by they are as good as anything out there. Just check and play before you pay. Or if online, if it's not right, send it back... Style of music I play is clean, melodic, alternative, crunch, pretty much everything. I'm into every style, right now mostly Korean and Japanese music which won't win any awards but hey. I love Asia. If I lost this guitar I'd want it back and would buy again due to the unique finish on it. What I love? Pretty much everything. Rock solid hardware, rock solid pickups, good tone woods and coil tap and upper fret access. Dare I say it this is a better design than your average Les Paul as the upper frets are easier to access. But it feels and looks like a Les Paul. I am surprised Gibson never tried a design like this. Best feature? Upper fret access and a coil tap and the finish. I am pretty specific on guitars. I can only buy something that resonates and this was the only model that did. I saw it and thought looks good, just get it and it don't disappoint. Have considered other products, notably the Hagstrom Select Ultra Swede and the Washburn Idol Pro 64. However after actually getting it and playing it I think this is a keeper. It's doing me ok and I am sure it will work for most applications.

Reliability & Durability — 8
Guitar feels and seems as well built as most made in Asia guitars. I have seen and played better made and better set up but they generally cost a more so it's not fair to comment. The hardware on this though is totally professional... it's Wilkinson... Basically it's this recipe. Get the basic materials right - the woods. Get the hardware right - it's Wilkinson - it's a professional quality range of hardware - and build it in a low cost country. End result. High quality product at a low price people can afford. This is far more than a cheap copy guitar but plays - holds tune and sounds far more like the original guitar. This guitar is a lot better than an Epiphone - but only due to the hardware. Other than that if you replaced the Epiphone with the pickups and tuners you will probably have the same guitar. The tuning on this is rock solid. One thing which I noticed fairly quickly. The guitar really does hold tune well and the Wilkinson Deluxe non locking kluson style machine heads really do deliver here. The pickups I've said before might as well be Burst Buckers they are that good. It's a well made guitar

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
1st guitar I received was frankly poor. I had to re send it. The frets were popping up all over the place and they were not levelled properly. There were some black mark blemishes over the maple veneer and the tone nobs were not properly glued on to two of the switches! Poor! 2nd guitar was better. But then I get The Feeling JHS must have checked it. It feels as though it has been set up, judging by the strings and the colour codes on the ends it's either Dunlops or D'Addario's on here. I prefer Rotosound but whatever. There is still string buzz. But. Very nice action. And the buzz is not notable when using a pick but when playing with fingers. So. It's minor. I'll sort it out with time. Also a small chip on the body, but. I can't be bothered with sending guitars back and forth to GAK then to JHS. I want to play. So. I'll be honest here. I will give them a 5. Can only say on what I've experienced. Make sure you check the guitar you play. If you buy mail order be prepared to possibly send back.

Features — 9
Featuress: 22 Fret Les Paul Copy Upper Fret Cutaway for upper fret access. Mahogany body and neck. Flame Maple Veneer on some models. One is plain black with binding. 2 x Wilkinson TM PAF pickups Wilkinson TM Deluxe Tuners (Kluson style) 1 x Volume 1 x Tone 1 x Roll Control (coil tap)

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    I'm surprised such a fine axe gets such low ratings, while a whole bunch of crappy Staggs, Behringers, Harley Bentons, Dimaverys, not to mention the cheap clones like Epiphone, Squier or LTD, get straight 9s and 10s. This is A GREAT guitar in all respects, owing nothing to Gibson. Its versatility is awesome, compared to almost any of the LPs incarnations. The Varicoil looks like a toy, but if you know how to use it, it's a terrible weapon on stage. You can get a wide range of sounds without touching the pedals... which leads you to the idea: why having so many pedals, when you don't need them anyway? Try one of these babies using only an NG from Pete Cornish and a Brunetti 50W all-tube combo: you'll never wish another guitar again!