Overall Rating: I would replace this if lost - its a great guitar with a few improvements needed: 1. Ship this with extra battery case 2. Reduce output of the blue laser beam LCD - it blinds people and I wonder how much power it consumes which adds t...
Overall Rating: I would replace this if lost - its a great guitar with a few improvements needed: 1. Ship this with extra battery case 2. Reduce output of the blue laser beam LCD - it blinds people and I wonder how much power it consumes which adds to the battery longevity issue. 3. Allow the alt tunings to be updated. Who the heck suggested DADGAD? Drop D - great. Open G - awesome. 12 String - not a tuning but understand why they did it that way - great. Baritone and DADGAD? Gag. They need Eb and Open E to make this usable. I hope Fender or someone else will offer patches for this guitar. 4. Get a real case - please. My black plastic POS has to be squeezed to be closed, which makes me think its putting pressure on the neck. The latches suck and have sharp edges. This is a 1700 dollar guitar - what about a tweed or black tolex rectangle case? At least you could put your strap in the case - in this one, there is no room to.
Features: I bought a VG back in February and wanted to wait a bit before I did a review here. In a nutshell, this is what I have found:
The features I like the most about the VG Strat are the feel of the neck, the ease at which I can change tunings, the fact that the guitar - even with a trem and with the std springs - stays in tune.
The features of this guitar that I dont like and really get in the way are the batteries/battery case, the blue laser beam LED, the case, and the finish on the guitar. I have a black & white pickguard model with a maple neck and there are glue joint flaws that you can see on the front and back of the body of this guitar. Also - the pickup sticker glue has eaten into the pickguard which I guess gives the VG an instant relic appearance.
Sound Quality: The std pickups are American Std issues - the bridge is fine but the neck is a bit lackluster to me. On the VG pickup, I like most of the settings as modeled effects and the strat and tele settings record well in most of the keys except baritone. The 12 string setting tracks nicely as a doubling lead setting - and works well with the strat and with some of the acoustic settings. THree of the acoustic settings are fine - the other two are worthless - too boomy and muddy. Overall, I like the fact that the models are relatively noisefree except the humbucker - which needs to be dialed back volume wise. I also dont like the fact that you cant change models with creating a break in the signal - the signal goes live-dead-live when you rotate the model knob or the pickup selector for the acoustic models.
Reliability/Durability: Reliability - as long as you want to play it as an american strat, its bomb proof.
But in VG modeling land, this thing currently sucks wind. With Duracell 2750Ma rechargeables I only get 1.5 hrs per 4 batteries. With EverReady Lithium batteries,. I get about 4 hrs - which is great, but at $9.00 per 4/ it gets expensive and I feel like my guitar is building up a battery dependant addiction.
Fender needs to ship this with an extra battery case and coupons for the major battery manufacturers. They should explore a charger that will accept the battery holder as well, as its a hassle to keep the rechargeables together and charged before a gig.
I bought the guitar because it offered me the ability to take fewer guitars to a gig. It does do that, but now I have to worry about AA battery sourcing as well.
Customer Support: I have received a healthy amount of pushback from the Fender dealer in terms of getting the pickguard replaced due to the sticker glue eating through the finish on the guitar.
Price: $1400.00 USD
Metropolitan Tanglewood Deluxe Tanglewood Deluxe
Overall Rating: I have been playing for 30 years and have gone through more guitars than I care to admit! My current line-up is this Metro, a National Resolectric, a Gibson ES-135 with PAFs, a Fender Toronado, and one of the first Ovation Adamas's ma...
Overall Rating: I have been playing for 30 years and have gone through more guitars than I care to admit! My current line-up is this Metro, a National Resolectric, a Gibson ES-135 with PAFs, a Fender Toronado, and one of the first Ovation Adamas's made. I play through a stereo rig with two Blues Jrs modified with J&J tubes and Weber and Celestion speakers. I love this guitar! I bought it based on looks and playability, and was rewarded with serious tone after I changed to heavier strings. This guitar has a wider range of tonality and sounds than any of the other electric guitars in my quiver. I plan on playing this guitar in both std and open tunings (Open A, D), with the ES-135 in std tuning, the Toronado and Reso in Open G. The case is bombproof and big - heavier than the guitar.
Features: Color: Cool Pearl Aqua Blue (should be renamed to "Pearl Gumby Green" Body: MAP-shaped (Airline, Valpro, National Westwood) Basswood body with "setneck" construction (light - chambered) Neck: One piece Mahogany neck with Rosewood fingerboard & Mother of Pearl dots with Gumby headstock. Painted to match body, beautiful finish, relief feels like a 58' Les Paul neck but a hair wider with a lower radius on the fretboard. Scale is such that 11's still feel slinky. Front of body "scooped" at edges creating a "raised" top - playable sitting down and standing up. Nickel plated & Stainless Steel hardware with body edge molding. Custom Art Deco hardware including Tailpiece, Truss Cover & Pickguard. Pickguard is way cool - clear with laminate behind it. The Tailpiece is a bit of an issue when restringing - Metropolitan should ship a chopstick with it to hold the string in place while winding the string to tension! One Rio Grande Barbeque Bucker at Bridge & one Genuine Texas Humbucker at Neck, One Volume & Tone Control each for the two pickups (four knobs). Three-way selector switch for the Rio Grande Humbuckings. These pickups are great~ see Sound description below.
Sound Quality: I play blues, psychobilly and classic rock. I play through a setup that includes two Fender Blues Jrs feed in stereo through a few effects - vintage MXR Dynacomp, A Voodoo Labs Sparkle Drive or an Expandora I, through a VT-X tremelo or an H&K RotoSphere.
I have always wanted a MAP guitar after seeing David Lindley use it in ElRayo-X in the 80's. This is a reproduction that far exceeds the original guitars, which were mostly unplayable due to fiberglass bodies and poor neck sets, IMHO. When I picked up this guitar initially, it has old, whimpy 09's on it and it sounded thin. After changing the strings to 11's - wow! Tons of tone. Neck pickup has a full tonality with plenty of beef, bridge pickup borders between a punky strat sound and a 'Ric/Gretsch sound. Very clear tonality on both pickups, and the tone controls really do add new sounds, rather than mudding up the basic wide open treble settings. On the downside, the volume pots on this guitar had dropouts, and will be replaced.
Reliability/Durability: This guitar is very well constructed and looks like it will last me a lifetime! I wont be selling this one, its a keeper! Strap buttons are huge (Gibson: take note). Since this is a rather pricey rig that available on a custom order basis only, I dont think I can afford a spare!
Customer Support: N/A, although Bill Nash indicated these guys are friendly folks.