Price paid: $ 366
Purchased from: Dawsons
Sound — 10
I like to play different styles of music ranging from classic blues like Chuck Berry to modern rock like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Offspring. Due to the coil tap tone pot this guitar is very versatile for all these styles. I Play through a simple Marshall MG15CDR amp with reverb and distortion. Through this very simple practice amp this guitar sounds superb. Using the distortion the humbuckers sound fantastic, at the bridge it sounds crunchy, perfect for solos and lead guitar, at the neck it sounds more mellow, with a warm tone, suitable for rythym and at the middle Switch it is inbetween although I don't use this setting alot of the time. Through the clean channel the humbuckers again sound good but have too much feedback, this is where the single coil feature shines. It creates a crunching classic Strat sound, very precise and great for the Chili Peppers. Overall the sound is fantastic and extremely versatile, the only problem I really find with it is that it tends to produce alot of noise out of the amp on the humbuckers, but with a bit of plam muting or string dampening it sounds great.
Overall Impression — 10
For the amount of styles I play this guitar is superb. The tone pot feature is a great one and the overall quality of the guitar is exeptional. I have been playing for 3 1/2 years now and I feel I have progressed at a fast speed. I have a Marshall MG15CDR amp and no effects pedals. I started off playing acoustic, I have a 3/4 length Lauren acoustic that I started with, an Eko 12 String, and this electric Vintage VRS100. This guitar is still classed as a starter guitar but is at the high end of them, and this guitar feels superb. As my starter electric I was looking for a cheap guitar and I started looking at Squire Stratocasters, and this guitar outclassed all the Squires in the shop. If this guitar was stolen I would not buy it again because I am after a more expensive guitar at the moment, a real PRS Santana SE or Tremonti. I love this guitar and have enjoyed playing it, I have played alot of electrics although only owned this one. I have played guitars like Fender Strat, Tele and Fat Strat. Epiphone Les Paul, and PRS Santana SE and Soapbar SE. I think this guitar outclasses the Epiphone by far, and is more versatile, I only like single coil sound when played through a clean channel so I don't really like the sound of Strats and Teles, the only guitar that I have heard that have outclassed it are the real PRS's, but this guitar is still a superb starter/intermediate guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar is very heavy for me, and I am very small for my age, I can't really stand up playing this for more than 15 minutes because it then starts to hurt, but the strap locks can cope with the weight and I have never found my strap falling off, it is actually hard to put the strap on! I am not in a band and therfore do not gig, so I don't know if it will withstand live playing, but it is a very durable guitar, I have accidently knocked the head on my metal bed post while reading tabs off the internet and it still hasn't got a mark! The finish is very durable and the neck hasn't got any fret ware, and I have been playing this guitar for 2 1/2 years! The volume pot is a little loose and the 3 way selector Switch does not feel solid. The worst problem I have had is that the jack socket has a metal ring that is on the outside, and this comes loose easy, and has fallen off before, and the lead dosn't stay in without it. But the back panel covering the entry to the bridge is poorly made, the screws don't go in straight and when in need of a change in string they can be difficult to unscrew, but this is just my guitar and may not be the same on others.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar came very well set up from the shop, exept the action was too high for me, I am only a 14 year old and my fingers havn't fully grown yet, so I need a low action for those Chuck Berry bends. The pickups are fantastic and the bridge is very well made. The finish is still almost perfect.
Features — 8
This guitar was made in Japan in 2000. It has 24 frets on a rosewood fingerboard. The stunning laminated top sits on a heavy mahogany body. The finish is an exeptional quilted top. The body shape is modelled on Paul Reed Smith, and from a distance you could fool someone that is is! It has a set neck and a non locking tremolo bridge. The tuners are also non locking. It has 2 open coil humbuckers, 1 volume, 1 tone and a 3-way selector Switch. The tone pot can be pulled up to imitate single coils which is really a nice feature.