With a nod to the Les Paul Special, this P-90 equipped solidbody inspires.
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.