So, the first live gig – last Saturday – with the VG. I fretted about taking a backup guitar but didn’t. I switched to all NIMh batteries, the AA’s in the VG lasted the whole gig (aout 8:15pm to 1am including soundchecks) but the 9v NIMh failed after 2 mins and I fell back to a Duracell. That needs some investation.
Main lesson – It worked really well live, but I MUST MUST MUST spend a day or two tweaking the settings on the Bose to get the acoustic and clean sounds in sync with the way the VG works. I’ve settled on couple of default settings (one 12, one six) and they don’t sound ‘right’ mainly because the Bose tonematch isn’t set up right.
Dirty sounds are the best I’ve ever had, especially the VG Humbucker + Womanizer combo.
Not too heavy for 4+ hours work. It’s a keeper.
I’ve been obsessing a little about guitar weight as we tend to play for long periods, and I’ve been a bit concerned that the VG Strat willbe to heavy to use as a main guitar.
What I really need to do is weigh them all, but I did some Googling around and came up with a factory spec weight on the VG of 8lbs 1oz. By comparison the Parker I use now is a Mahogany bodied Nitefly-M which weighs in at 6lbs 8oz and the Strat Plus (see other posts) is in the 8lb range. By the way, an average Les Paul is 9lbs.
What this means is that the VG isn’t actually any/much heavier than the Plus, and only 25oz heavier than the Parker, if the specs are right, so I can’t see this making much difference. I will actually weigh the actual guitars (as they can vary), as soon as I figure out gow to do it as I don’t think bathroom scales are accurate enough.
My first thought was to block the trem on the VG and switch the neck from the Plus. I think I prefer the VG neck though, so I bought a set of locking Sperzels, a set of straploks, two sets of Duracell 2650mAH AA’s, and a decent Lacrosse charger.
Fitted the Sperzels, which involves a little headstock drilling, blocked the trem, restrung with Ernie 9’s, setup the action and intonation. Fitted the Straploks. Next will be the first practice next week and a practical outing.
By the way, the trem cover on a VG is metal. If you block the trem you either have to leave it off (which I did), modify it, or remove it every time you break a string – not happening.
First impressions – Firstly it’s a bit heavy. I’m used to playing the Parker so I guess it’s going to seem that way. Next, it’s really well built. I don’t know why that should be a surprise but most new strats I’ve played have seemed, well, not quite up to the price tag.
The modeling is really pretty good. I tested it through the Boogie head and Marshall 4×12 – it’s tough to tell the difference between the real strat pickups and the modeled strat. Jury is out on the Tele sound, I need to play it some more. Humbucker is pretty good, acoustic (as far as I can tell with this amp rig) is probably pretty good, although you pick 5 different acoustic models using the Strat pickup selector and only two of them sound good. It should be better through the Bose L1.
Tunings – I’ll probably use 12 string more than any of the others, maybe drop D. The others are fun but I probably won’t use them in reality. Shame there’s no open E.
Problems I can see – I keep reading posts about battery life, we normally play four sets of 45 mins, so plus sound checks and encores etc, I guess about 4 hours. Two sets of 2600mAh rechargeables should deal with that.
Next problem – the controls might be a bit fiddly (and hard to see) on stage; I’m going to have to learn them by feel.
Next – I *thought* the model modes alighed your tuning for you. I’m not sure that’s true.. with the nasty (well, I don’t like it) strat trem and no locking tuners staying in tune could be an issue.
No straploks, at least that part s an easy fix.
I bought this VG Strat, in excellent condition, on eBay for $901 in late March 2009. It looks like it’s hardly been played, and came with all the paperwork, hang tags, etc. I’ve been tempted by the VG as a live guitar for a while, but couldn’t bring myself to pay the new price. After working with the Strat Plus (see other post) it seemed more sense to go for the VG rather than put a Fishman bridge in the Plus (although I might still do that in the future). Here’s how it looked as I received it.