Vintage V100 Reissued w/ Bigsby review

This well-appointed single-cut from Vintage might just give the big boys a run for their money

Vintage V100 Reissued w/Bigsby
(Image: © Future / Phil Barker)

Guitar World Verdict

A little more openness and clarity would take it down a more classic route, especially at the bridge, but along with its in-tune vibrato, this is a perfectly giggable single-cut that has plenty of modding potential, if that’s your thing.

Pros

  • +

    Competent build.

  • +

    Good weight for the style.

  • +

    Rock-aimed voicing.

  • +

    That in-tune Bigbsy setup.

Cons

  • -

    Not very original, but Vintage is not alone there.

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Many players turn their noses up at cheapo lookalike electric guitars and, to be honest, we might be accused of that, too. Vintage’s long-running V100 rips off Gibson style in unashamed fashion, but in a hugely competitive and over-stocked market it shows no signs of being retired. 

In 2022, for example, Vintage released not only this Bigsby-equipped, flame-topped version in a trio of colours but also the V100M – what we would call a ‘Deluxe’ – with rather fashionable mini-humbuckers and a threesome in the colour department.

Yet what the V100 lacks in originality is compensated by some really rather good-for-the-money craft. It’s certainly a long way from a boat anchor-weighted guitar-shaped object: it weighs in at 3.88kg (8.54lb) and appears to be fully solid, not weight relieved. A quick strum reveals not only a sample that’s been well set up but, more importantly, a lively, vibrant response. It’s a good start.

Vintage V100 Reissued w/Bigsby

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)

As with any inspired-by design, boutique or budget, the necessary changes to the outline can be surprisingly practical and stylish, and the way that upper shoulder slightly leans into the neck and flows into the more pointed treble horn, with its offset heel joint, is just that.

The headstock tip does always look a bit square to us, and the silk-screed Vintage logo isn’t quite as classy as it could be, but aside from some rather over-chunky straplocks, we’re struggling to find things we don’t like. 

It’s quite a pushy voice overall and really very well aimed if classic to hard-rock playing is your staple

For example, the mahogany viewed in the neck pickup cavity looks like it’s a reasonable quality, and the tongue of the neck extends into the pickup rout, nearly to full width, too. 

The top is clearly maple with that figured veneer on top – just as PRS, for example, make its SEs. The fingerboard is pretty clean, the frets feel wide and low (though could do with a little more polishing), and the neck is what we’d call a pretty full ‘C’, a good medium-sized handful.

Plugged in, we’re met with a reasonably vintage-like voice at the neck with clarity and presence, and a bridge pickup that’s pretty strong-sounding without being over-midrange-y. It’s quite a pushy voice overall and really very well aimed if classic to hard-rock playing is your staple.

A little more openness and clarity would take it down a more classic route, especially at the bridge, but along with its in-tune vibrato, this is a perfectly giggable single-cut that has plenty of modding potential, if that’s your thing. Still turning your nose up? Well, you won’t be after you’ve played one.

Specs

Vintage V100 Reissued w/Bigsby

(Image credit: Future / Phil Barker)
  • PRICE: £699
  • ORIGIN: China
  • TYPE: Single-cutaway solidbody electric
  • BODY: Mahogany with flame maple veneered maple top
  • NECK: Mahogany, ‘soft C’ profile, glued-in
  • SCALE LENGTH: 628mm (24.75”)
  • NUT/WIDTH: Graph Tech NuBone/ 42.9mm
  • FINGERBOARD: Bound rosewood, pearloid trapezoid inlays, 305mm (12”) radius
  • FRETS: 22, medium/jumbo
  • HARDWARE: Tune-o-matic-style bridge with roller saddles, licensed Bigsby B70 vibrato, Wilkinson WJ44 tuners with cream plastic keystone buttons – nickel/chrome-plating
  • STRING SPACING, BRIDGE: 52mm
  • ELECTRICS: 2x Wilkinson M Series MWHZ zebra coil humbuckers, 3-way toggle pickup selector, individual pickup volume and tone controls
  • WEIGHT (kg/lb): 3.88/8.54
  • OPTIONS: No
  • RANGE OPTIONS: There are plenty of V100 models, from £439 (see website). The V100AFD (£569) features a similar ‘tiger-stripe’ top without vibrato; the V100T (£529) comes in 3 ‘Flamed Thru’ colours
  • LEFT-HANDERS: Yes, 5 different V100s from £519
  • FINISH: Flame Thru Black (as reviewed), Flamed Purpleburst, Flamed Amber – high gloss to both body and neck
  • CONTACT: John Hornby Skewes

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Dave Burrluck
Gear Reviews Editor, Guitarist

Dave Burrluck is one of the world’s most experienced guitar journalists, who started writing back in the '80s for International Musician and Recording World, co-founded The Guitar Magazine and has been the Gear Reviews Editor of Guitarist magazine for the past two decades. Along the way, Dave has been the sole author of The PRS Guitar Book and The Player's Guide to Guitar Maintenance as well as contributing to numerous other books on the electric guitar. Dave is an active gigging and recording musician and still finds time to make, repair and mod guitars, not least for Guitarist’s The Mod Squad.