Vintage has fingers in pies throughout the entry-level sector, but the Metal Axxe range is where things get loud. The Raider looks more conservative than most, but they probably said that about Fred West…
The Vintage boys build the foundations of their axes in China, which in this case, means a doublecut body with reverse headstock, bolted maple neck and genuine Floyd Rose tremolo. Then they pass it over to design guru Trevor Wilkinson, who adds sexy bits like his own respected pickups and hardware. The result, they say, is “dominant, expressive and versatile.”
It might not look overtly ‘shred’, but the Vintage Raider has all the features we were looking for. The maple neck plays fast and unfussy, combining two octaves with an obedient Floyd Rose. The balance and weight are perfect, and although the body is a generic timber, its contours let you get right on top of the action.
To address Vintage’s claims, the Raider is certainly ‘expressive’ and ‘dominant’.
We cranked out bulldozer riffs at the humbuckers and really went to town with the trem. However, we’d suggest the tone lacks just a little clarity, even with the single-coil selected, implying that shredders who crave pin-sharp output might want to try before they buy. But still… £229 for an axe this good? Somebody pinch us.
Pros: It’s a whole lotta axe for £229.
Cons: It’s not the sharpest tone.