Respect to Vintage, but its standard axes are very much ‘inspired’ by our ‘50s faves. Launched in 2006 with Trevor Wilkinson at the helm, the Advance Series hopes to push the envelope a little further.
Trev describes the design process as “a labour of love”. We assume the sleepless nights were caused not by the maple-topped mahogany body (which is pretty standard, albeit with a quirky upper cutaway), but the innovative ‘roll control’, which claims to transform each stacked P-90 from humbucker to a singlecoil by degrees.
Weird science, but does it rock? At £349, the AV1P might seem a breadline option, but the wedge goes a long way. While the format and execution of this model won’t scare the horses, and it doesn’t balance that well on the knee, it does gets close to a LP vibe with the chunky neck and body.
The neck profile is solid for rock and blues, though in a competitive price range it’s not the most memorable. The stacked P-90 format costs the AV1P a little authenticity, but the versatility of the roll control makes up for this, gradually slimming your tone from a fat and full humbucker roar to a twitchy single-coil snap.
Granted, there isn’t the underlying class of its rivals, but the rough ’n’ ready vibe of the AV1P is strangely endearing. We’ve played better, but not without spending more.
Pros: Superb value and versatility.
Cons: There are stronger tones.