Vintage VS6 - Am I missing something....

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RustySpannerRustySpanner Frets: 120


Picked up a battered Vintage SG style guitar a couple of months ago at Lancashire guitar show for £90. 

My first Gibson style guitar and it took a little getting used to, but I've fallen for the thing. 
Had it set up properly and it feels great. Lovely neck, stays in tune. 
Pre Wilkinson branded hardware, 3 piece body, black headstock, chrome tuners. 
Absolutely no idea of the year or which (Chinese?) factory it was made in, there's no serial number.

Everyone comments on how nicely it plays and it has a surprising variety of very pleasant tones. 
Resonates like a good 'un and it's very inspiring to play. 

I tried a couple of the newer Gibson SG's last week and I just couldn't justify the near £1000 price difference. Yes, they had a lovely finish and sounded different, but not necessarily better on first acquaintance. 

As someone who hasn't owned a genuine Gibson, what am I missing? 
Sorry if this is a daft question but I've never owned a proper one, so have no idea. 

Given that I have fallen quite heavily for the scruffy old thing, would it be worth investing in a posh nut and some nicer pots, pickups or tuners?
It stands me at about £140 so far. 

I've no intention of getting rid of the scruffy old Hector, just wondering if a few upgrades would be worth it in the long run.

Sorry if this is a daft question and thanks in advance!
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Comments

  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2632
    It's a big topic.

    There are a multitude of reasons the Gibson is more expensive (though you can get a Gibson SG for much less than £1090).

    I suppose the answer to your question is that, since you've played the Gibson ones and don't find it to be better, you're not missing out on anything by having a cheaper version.

    Check the "Harley Benton vs. Gibson Les Paul" thread for more of an explanation of why it's naive to think a cheapo guitar is actually as good as an expensive one but none of those matter if you don't notice them.

    Re: the upgrades on your Vintage; if by "posh nut" you mean a normal bone or graphtec etc. nut, the new nut itself won't give you any benefit but it's possible that the nut on a £90 guitar won't be cut as well as one installed by someone who charges you £90 just to install a nut. But if you don't have any problems caused by your current one, a new nut won't do anything.

    Changing the pots won't do anything either other than possibly give you a different taper or maybe last longer (though you might want to just replace them if and when they do break).

    Tuners are something I'd expect to be possibly poor on a £90 guitar but you say at the start of your post that it stays in tune so what else could you possibly expect from any other tuners? If you find it cumbersome to tune the guitar; e.g. the needle on the tuner jumps way past the note from a tiny turn, better tuners could give you more "resolution".

    Goes without saying that pickups will change the sound (potentially massively) but, again, you say you like the sound of the guitar as it is.

    So in conclusion - you seem to like the guitar a lot by the way you talk about it so why change anything on it? Also, you don't seem to like a Gibson any more than the one you have so you're not missing out anything by not buying a Gibson.
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  • SCRelicsGuitarsSCRelicsGuitars Frets: 3533
    tFB Trader
    Play authentic.
    Formerly lonestar • Owner of SC Relics Guitars • www.screlics.co.uk • aged boutique partcaster bodies and necks
    Trading feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/99272/
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  • I've had both a VS6 and a Gibson SG (albeit a £400 50s Tribute model). 

    As @thegummy alluded to the Gibson was of slightly better quality across the board. It also felt more "solid"- it's maybe an intangible, but the Gibson felt more rigid & like all the parts fitted together more securely. There are lots of jokes made about Gibson QC, but I've not had cause to complain. 
    The VS6 was an excellent guitar & I pretty much played it to death- things started to fail (tuners & pots) & the neck was in the thin side & had a bit of "flex" to it & could be pulled/pushed to bend notes. The guitar made me smile though. 

    Then there IS the name on the headstock. @SCRelicsGuitars is possibly being funny about the premium certain brands place on their name (& their misguided PR), but if it matters to you it matters. If not? Brilliant. Enjoy your Vintage. 


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  • SargeSarge Frets: 1626
    If it is ticking all the boxes then I'd only replace bits as they fail, enjoy the guitar for what it is and not what it isnt. 
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  • dazzajldazzajl Frets: 1075
    Most guitars turn out to be either more or less than the sum of their parts and our reaction to how they feel is a deeply personal thing. And like all of life, love can be found in the most unexpected places. 

    Your guitar sounds like a perfect fit, don’t ruin it ;)
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  • richardhomerrichardhomer Frets: 20530
    Play authentic.
    Play Terry Morgan....
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  • AlterlifesonAlterlifeson Frets: 126
    My first guitar was a VS6 - still in regular rotation today. The only thing I did with mine was new pots and wiring, a set of kluson vintage style machine heads and some silver topped top hat knobs. Th ething is nearly 12 years old now and the only thing wrong is the nut is slightly too low on the G string and the frets are getting too low.

    Love it!
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  • darthed1981darthed1981 Frets: 3785
    Play authentic.
    [Gibson]

    Play authentic, or we will be sending your wife's body parts to you in the mail...

    [/Gibson]
    We should all probably bear in mind more when posting on here (and I don't exclude myself from this) that the guitar world is very small, the Fretboard is quite well known, and it is not uncommon at all for the subjects of our posts to read them...
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  • lovestrat74lovestrat74 Frets: 829
    Sounds to me like you are not missing anything - apart from the shape of your headstock and that decal ;)

    It's all about personal preference and you are in the minority... not blinded by branding :+1: 

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  • merciful-evansmerciful-evans Frets: 247
    Enjoy your Vintage.

    Though you will probably remain curious. Nothing wrong with that.


    I sometimes think, therefore I am intermittent
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 436
    I'd happily own a range of Vintage guitars. 

    I've got the V72 semihollow Tele but I want their Strat, their V52/62 Teles and the new VS6/SG in the local guitar shop. There's also a really nice LP/PRS style one in the local shop which looks and plays lovely. That's the thing I find with most of the ones I've tried - they feel and play great, the build quality tends to be tight, and while they might not have the 'mojo' of some older, branded guitars, they're all very competent. And the pickups in the V72 I've got sound way more Tele than my actual Fender Tele which has upgraded Fender pickups too, particularly at the bridge. 

    The only thing I'd replace might be the tuners and maybe the nut, and if the pickups don't inspire you, they can be done further down the line. 

    Pedals. 
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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2632
    Enjoy your Vintage.

    Though you will probably remain curious. Nothing wrong with that.


    If someone was bi curious I'd encourage them to go for it.

    And while I do think it's highly likely that if the OP got a Gibson and played it plenty for at least a few weeks he would prefer it, sex is free and Gibson guitars aren't so he's possibly better off preferring the one he already has.

    NB: my opinions of Gibson vs cheaper copies is based on Les Pauls; I only played an SG for the first time last night and I personally wouldn't want one from any brand.
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  • Mark1960Mark1960 Frets: 275
    By way of a similar comparison, when my son first started learning the guitar, I got him a cheap squire guitar & amp kit, which he learnt on for about 9 months, and we did a blind test between his new squire, and my (30 year old) US strat. He played both guitars, set up exactly the same on the guitar and amp, and I listened outside the room. I knew which was my guitar BUT I can honestly say the Squire didn't sound inferior just different. With regards to playing I prefered the worn in feel of my guitar, to the "new" feel of the Squire neck, but that's just a personal preference. And as your guitar is already worn in, any new guitar you try will feel a bit different anyway.

    If you like the sound and feel of your guitar stick with it, don't be tempted to "mod" this, or "upgrade" that. What can it possibly acheive other than reduce your bank balance. 
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  • midlifecrisismidlifecrisis Frets: 1689
    Vintage brand guitars are great, ive owned their les paul, flying V, tele, LP junior (up for sale) and several acoustics. IMHO the weekest link has always been the tuners but even then theyre not too bad.
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  • rossirossi Frets: 762
    joetele I  think  has nailed it .Vintage are competent .  The Wilkingson parts a §have a certain given and its all put together well .I am sure some one will pop up with the usual  rant of how his one fell to bits halfway through his imagined first gig but they are good guitars, though as with any lower end  implement  watch out for massed production  glitches .I tend to think we are the quality control.

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  • thegummythegummy Frets: 2632
    Mark1960 said:

    If you like the sound and feel of your guitar stick with it, don't be tempted to "mod" this, or "upgrade" that. What can it possibly acheive other than reduce your bank balance. 
    I've found it easy to get sucked in to thinking a mod could make something I like even better.

    E.g. I really liked the PRS SE HFS pickup so was trying to find which boutique pickup was similar to that cause it must be even better.

    It seems to make sense at first but really it makes more sense to keep a pickup I like or change it to something different if I don't.
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  • Grocer_JackGrocer_Jack Frets: 192
    The phrase  ‘scruffy old Hector’ has made my day :) have a wiz.

    the best guitars are scruffy old Hectors, so enjoy it and don’t change a thing. 
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  • joetelejoetele Frets: 436
    rossi said:
    joetele I  think  has nailed it .Vintage are competent .  The Wilkingson parts a §have a certain given and its all put together well .I am sure some one will pop up with the usual  rant of how his one fell to bits halfway through his imagined first gig but they are good guitars, though as with any lower end  implement  watch out for massed production  glitches .I tend to think we are the quality control.

    Indeed. I'd happily use the Wilkinson ashtray bridge in my Fender Tele to improve the sound, and maybe even the Wilkinson pickup, 
    Pedals. 
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  • mikeyrob73mikeyrob73 Frets: 2760
    Vintage make a decent guitar

    this used to be a vintage vr100lm  spent more on parts and the paint job than i did on the original guitar, but its bloody lovely 



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  • RustySpannerRustySpanner Frets: 120
     Thanks for all the replies folks, much appreciated!

    You know, I think I'll leave it just as it is.
    Maybe just a Gibson style sticker on the headstock saying ''Authentic'.
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  • mbembe Frets: 1065
    The history of the Vintage brand goes back a long way. When John Hornby Screws met penniless electric kazoo maker Hieronymous Vintage in 1909, he encouraged him to try making the new electric banjos that were taking the concert halls of Europe by storm.

    Hieronymous took Hornby Screws's advice and opened up a chain of musical instrument shops called BanjoBanjo. Eventually the electric guitar craze in the 1950s put him out of business and the Vintage brand was taken over by John Hornby Screws III and to him we owe gratitude for a range of affordable, authentic electric guitars. 
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  • KittyfriskKittyfrisk Frets: 1803
     Thanks for all the replies folks, much appreciated!

    You know, I think I'll leave it just as it is.
    Maybe just a Gibson style sticker on the headstock saying ''Authentic'.
    Good for you. You are not missing something, you are actually getting that the guitar is good & needs no apologies or excuses. Enjoy it  ;) :3
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  • GrumpyrockerGrumpyrocker Frets: 1517
    I've got a Vintage VS6 - a later one than the OP that came with excellent Wilkinson pickups. I must admit I bought it during my "learning to tinker" phase so it's had active pickups in it and now a set of IronGear. But it didn't need them. The guitar is also a bit battered now I've let my sons have it.

    However it's an absolutely fabulous guitar. I remember the day it was delivered and my first play made me think "oh shit, this feels as good as my Les Paul." Probably overdoing it, but it does feel good.

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