Vintage VSA555 review

  • £359

Vintage lives by a simple philosophy: affordable axes that kick ass. The fact that the 555 owes a teensy cosmetic debt to a certain classic of the 50s is merely a bonus for the impoverished showboater.

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Our Verdict

The dependable choice. Recommended.


  • Iconic looks, solid execution.


  • Bridge lacks character.
Buying options

Despite being one digit from the number of the beast, the 555 is perhaps the most wholesome in the group. Vintage refers us to the "slim, bound f-hole body" and theorises that the "gently arched front and back feel attractive and comfortable to play".

And the Wilkinson alnico humbuckers? Well, they "push out thick dollops of prime guitar tone". Blimey.

If you're after a cheap semi that looks iconic from a distance, you'll be hot for the 'Mickey Mouse' cutaways, f-holes and Gibson-style tuners.

It feels tough and plays smooth, with a manageable neck profile and familiar scale. The body has a slight tendency to pull away when seated, but it's so light you should be standing anyway.

Trev Wilkinson's played a blinder with his twin 'buckers. We got the best results cranking the volume on the neck and peeling off some lazy rock licks.

This setting was superbly powerful with moderate distortion too. The bridge item would eat up a solo in a live context, but doesn't quite have the authority of its thicker-voiced sibling.

Overall, though, this is one workhorse you should take for a ride.

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Tech Specs

Country of OriginUK
Available Controls2 x Tone 2 x Volume 3-way Pickup Selector
Available FinishEbony
Fingerboard MaterialRosewood
Guitar Body MaterialMaple
HardwareGold tulip tuners, tune-o-matic bridge and stop bar
Neck MaterialMaple
Pickups2 x Wilkinson Double Coil