We’ve all had the five-pint conversation about grafting Angelina Jolie’s head onto Jordan’s body. This is the guitar equivalent, with a Strat-esque trio of pickups astride a Tele-ish singlecut.
Vintage has sure pushed the envelope since letting designer Trev Wilkinson loose on the Advance Series in 2006. Take the innocuous-looking AV2 model, which manages to raise eyebrows with a chambered alder body (“this gives it a lighter tone, a little more acoustic”), a thumb cutaway (“so it’s easier to play the top frets”), a sustain-boosting bubinga heel on the back of the neck, and a stacked bridge single-coil that’s made fatter or thinner via a roll control.
If the AV2’s chambered body is open to debate, then the neck is less divisive, offering a slip-sliding platform that’s as good as anything here.
Elsewhere, it’s mostly good news, with the bubinga heel a reassuring presence, the thumb notch actually working and the roll control unlocking a cracking array of clean voices (even if the neck/middle items are more Strat-sounding than Tele purists might hope).
All of which makes the AV2’s slight lack of punch when distorted a let-down - it delivers a racket that’s more ‘watertight’ than truly unforgettable. Give it a road-test before swiping your credit card.
Pros: Packed full of smart ideas.
Cons: Distorted tone lacks balls.