This Vintage Icon series V132 with P-90 pickups has a look and sound that fans of classic Gibsons will find familiar. Though the compensated wraparound bridge does the trick, it can be easily swapped out for one with individually adjustable saddles.
I first became aware of the Vintage brand around 2012 at the NAMM show in Anaheim. My Hellecasters bandmate Jerry Donahue was endorsing them at the time, and I stopped by the booth to check out the guitars. I really liked the way they played and sounded, and later I ended up getting one of their T-style and S-style guitars, and since then have been impressed with Vintage instruments.
A few months ago I saw this Vintage V132 from their Icon series on eBay and was curious about how the company’s foray from Fender-style guitars into Gibson territory would fare, so I kept an eye on this one. I did some research and a short time later snagged it for $264 including shipping. It’s a set-neck LP Special-style guitar with two P-90 pickups, a wraparound compensated bridge, a mahogany body and neck, and a classic TV yellow finish, which looked more like butterscotch to me.
Our columnist became a fan of the Vintage brand after checking out the company’s booth at NAMM and purchasing some Fender-inspired models.
Bottom Feeder Tip #466: Research is always important when you buy a guitar. Before I pull the trigger on an instrument, I always do my homework. I look on eBay, Reverb, and other sites to see what that particular guitar is going for. I don’t just check asking prices. I also check what the guitars have actually been sold for. This model was selling for $250 to $499, so I knew going into battle how much I was willing to pay, and how much was too much.
It arrived about a week later, and I was really taken with the color, which I’ll call TV butterscotch. It plays very similar to a Gibson guitar, with a 12" radius fretboard, so Gibson fans will feel quite at home on one of these. I’ve always liked Trev Wilkinson’s pickups, and the two P-90s do not disappoint on this baby. They’re beefy with a nice musical high end that reminds you why P-90s are revered so much in the guitar world.
Much like the historic Gibson models that inspired it, this guitar has a set neck and switch and control backplate covers.
The compensated bridge seems able to keep the intonation pretty close to the accuracy that a Tune-o-matic would provide, but some players may want more precision and opt for a wraparound bridge with six individually adjustable saddles. For me, it’s fine as is. I’ve played this Icon model through a variety of amps, and I’m always able to quickly and easily dial up my sound without any problems. If you’ve played through P-90s before, you’ll know how to adjust your amp for this V132.
So, is it a keeper? Yeah, I’d say it is. I especially like the finish, which gives the guitar a kind of cool, aged look. Plus, this guitar has a nice blues personality.