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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 5:48 am 
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I've got a Circa1980 Vantage guitar up for sale on ebay uk at the moment

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... :IT&ih=018

...which I've always assumed was a VA-800 Phantom, but the research I've been doing during the sale shows no evidence of a 24 fret thru neck Vantage ever having been made. It was bought new by me from a Vantage dealer but has no model name or number on it. Any ideas, Vantage fans?

Regards,

arcodave


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 8:11 am 
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Location: NYC
You may want to check here http://www.matsumoku.org/guitars.html. My limited experiance is that Vantages were the most changable of the "Uncle Matt" made brands. I have what I believe is a VP795 but it has a solid mahogany body not the maple/walnut/sycamore? that is most comonly found.


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2008 11:30 am 
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Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
G'day, Arcodave - you could well have a Phantom VA-800 - (I've been watching your auction!) - as I have a VA900 24 fret, neck-thru which has been my main stage guitar for nigh on 27 years! If your VA 800 has anything like the build quality and tonal variation as mine has, well, I'm surprised you're letting it go! Personally, I rather lose a gonad than my VA!! :D

Check this out...
http://members.dslextreme.com/users/jb007/vantage_cat/

...sorry,I can't help with VA800 but someone at Matt will be able to help! :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:19 am 
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Had a bit of a guitar buying splurge last year. My son's started buying 'em too. Just a space issue really: Last in, first out and all that.

I should quote your comment re gonads on the eBay listing!!!

:D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:59 am 
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Location: Hervey Bay, Australia
...mate, feel free - I'd even endorse the darn thing! If fact if I wasn't so bloody far away I'd have a lash myself!! :wink:


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 01, 2008 10:31 am 
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Hi arcodave. Just checked your auction and see you sold your very nice axe. I just sent you a PM, so check it out and give me a shout. I have the same guitar as yours (well, I guess it's no longer yours) which I always assumed to be a VA-800 but also have never been able to confirm. I've looked at the only catalog I've found that might have clarified it -

http://www.matsumoku.org/models/vantage ... s/pg3.html

which is an "early 80's" catalog, but that VA-800 has only 22 frets. Note also it only came in a different finish (mat brown) for that year (whatever that year is). However, given that the VA-900 (undisputed model) has 24 frets, it's a good bet that our guitars are indeed VA-800's. Still, definite confirmation continues to escape me.

BTW, looks like your s/n is 81640, but it could be 840 (I can't quite tell). Mine is 81460, so if yours is the former, we are less than 200 guitars apart.

Here's mine -

Image
Image


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 4:00 am 
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I'm gonna regret selling this, I can tell.....
I forgot it used to have black pickups. I swapped them out for the cream ones from my 600 Witch, which were lower gain and sweeter sounding.
I wonder if I've still got 'em somewhere?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 03, 2008 5:48 pm 
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Following up on the subject of this thread, I remembered an old thread on the Vantage forum that's still there to be seen -

http://www.matsumoku.org/ggboard/viewto ... ight=va800

The initial post there is from from Mike Taylor (X189player, is that you or did you just put his pics up for him?) and you can see he had the same query as arcodave.

The reason I bring this up now is that I see from that old thread that Mike's guitar's s/n was 81242. Arcodave's is 81640 (or 81840?) and mine is 81460. So it's clear that all three of these guitars have the same model year designation. They also are virtually identical insofar as the finish and such goes. So I suppose there's the definite possibility that this model was produced for only one year, particularly since the only three known ones all have serial numbers that start with "81." If there are other model years out there, then it's a pretty big coincidence that all three of us have the same model year guitars.

I wonder if this particular guitar ever got into the catalog? Nobody who's owned one seems to know what the heck it is, exactly.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:24 am 
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Awwww..... I'm REALLY gonna regret selling this!!!


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:13 am 
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arcodave wrote:
Awwww..... I'm REALLY gonna regret selling this!!!

Well, you could just give the guy his money back and keep the guitar. If you haven't already sent it, that is.

Seems from my experience with ebay that it's only the buyer who is bound by the "binding contract." Sellers call the whole thing off all the time.

It may not be fair and it may not be right, but it happens all the time on da 'bay.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 7:55 am 
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Location: ontario, canada
yup... sure does... i thought i had a binding contract for an item i bought, but when the seller didn't want to send it the way he advertised, he just refunded my money... and it was like the transaction never happened.... i didn't have a leg to stand on :x

_________________
Live Better Electra-ly ;)
http://www.therathole.org/leia/visitors_axes/leia/leia.html


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 8:34 am 
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Bad luck....
Nope. It's gone. I handed it over in person. I hope he enjoys it as much as you guys enjoy yours. I turned out to be a Guild & Tele fan in the end...
He'll probably pop up on this forum in a week's time asking what it is(!)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2008 10:03 am 
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arcodave wrote:
Bad luck....
Nope. It's gone. I handed it over in person. I hope he enjoys it as much as you guys enjoy yours. I turned out to be a Guild & Tele fan in the end...
He'll probably pop up on this forum in a week's time asking what it is(!)

Sorry to hear that, but I guess it means it was meant to be. As far as continuing the discussion on these "mystery" guitars, I think I may be on to something that was bugging me about our serial numbers. The Vantage dating info @ Matsumoku dot org (previously Rathole) talks about 6 and 7-digit serial numbers. Ours have only 5 digits. I believe this might be an older style of serial numbering and that the "8" in our serial numbers would therefore designate these guitars as 1978 guitars. If I'm right, then you wouldn't expect to find them in an 80's catalog, and specifically in the '81 catalog (the other possibility for the year of manufacture ("81")).

My VP795's have 6-digit serial numbers (10xxxx & 00xxxx), so it would seem that they are circa 1981 and 1980.

Now, if you check out the pics of the VA912 12-String Model (also a 24-fret guitar) -

http://www.matsumoku.org/models/vantage ... /pics.html

you'll see the serial number there is also a 6-digit job which appears to be 081066 (although I'm not at all sure of the 2nd and 5th digits). So this would appear to be a circa 1980 24-fret guitar. And, of course, there are several known examples of the VA900, also a 24-fret guitar (one such being corsair's, as mentioned in this thread). And indeed corsair's catalog (kindly provided, thank you) shows that very guitar.

But, corsair, do you know what year that catalog is? Did I miss it? And what's your guitar's serial number, if you care to share?

And the only catalog I'm aware of that actually refers to (and shows) the VA800 is the "Early 80's" catalog at the site.

So I'm thinking that our guitars are circa 1978 VA800's. If so, then Vantage continued to make them into the 80's, but no longer as 24-fret guitars.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 6:26 am 
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That would mean my 2nd vantage was older than my first, even though I bought them new, a year apart, in the same shop. Possible, I guess.....
(My first one was a witch identical to the one in the now legendary "early 80s catalogue")

Now this 24 fret 12 string has really got me interested. The high strings on the top couple of frets must be audible only to dogs and bats!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 05, 2008 9:05 am 
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arcodave wrote:
That would mean my 2nd vantage was older than my first, even though I bought them new, a year apart, in the same shop. Possible, I guess.....

That wouldn't surprise me at all. A lot of Electras and Vantages sat around in the music stores for many months and years before eventually being purchased. My BP is almost certainly a circa 1975 or 1976 vintage but was purchased brand new in 1981. The sales receipt was actually still in the case when I purchased the guitar on ebay in 2005!

So if a vendor was continuing to receive new Vantages, they could easily sell a newer one now and an older one later.

Also, no one seems to know whether this serial number dating stuff is at all accurate. You'd have to ask the guy who put up the info on the site how he came to his conclusions about it. I think the only way to know for sure is to see all the catalogs. And even then it seems that not all the guitars actually produced appeared in the catalogs. As someone on this site said, there was a lot of fiddling around done back then.

Still, it seems to me that the 24-fret VA800 (assuming that's what it is) was an actual production guitar. I suspect it did appear in the catalog for the relevant year, which I'm guessing is circa 1978.

I should have also mentioned in my last post above that the VA800 shown in the "Early 80's" catalog is a 22-fret guitar. I think anyone who's followed this discussion already knew that but I should have mentioned it anyway. Which is to say that I've not yet seen any 24-fret VA800 in any catalog.

And there's no mention of the VA800 in the 1983 spec sheets shown at the site. So it appears it was no longer in production as of 1983. Also, it does not appear in the 1982 "'Born To Rock' Electrics Catalog" at the site. The closest thing to it in that catalog is probably the VP820, which is similar but (again) a 22-fret guitar. There's no "VA" model guitar at all in that 1982 catalog.

So no "VA" guitars in either the '82 catalog or the '83 spec sheets. Thus, it appears that the "Early 80's" catalog (which does have the VA800) must be either a 1980 or a 1981 catalog. This suggests to me that these VA guitars were pre-1982 guitars and thus more likely to be made in the 70's or "early 80's" -- meaning 1980 or 1981.

As far as the 24-frets go, I'm guessing that this was something that was tried in the 70's but didn't sell all that well. So when they decided to keep making the VA800, they made it in the more traditional 22-fret variety and left the 24-fret versions to the VA900 series guitars (like that VA912 12-string).

I got my VA800 out and put it next to my red VP795 (s/n 10xxxx) and they are virtually identical in fit and finish. Same frets, neck, etc. Same thing with my walnut VP795 (s/n 00xxxx). So if my VA800 is indeed a 1978 guitar, these guitars indicate a very consistent production quality and technique over those years (1978-1981). AND, same thing with my VE550 Entertainer (solid body) which has a 7-digit serial number (s/n 306xxxx) and which appears in the 1983 Vantage Electrics Specs Sheets at the site. So it seems pretty clear that this is indeed a 1983 vintage guitar, giving weight to the generally-accepted serial number dating system.

I'll put some pics of that one here as well (since I'm so busy showin' off).

From what I think I know (and have observed), Vantages seem to have been pretty much exclusively produced by the same factory, and that seems to have been Matsumoku. Some of the Electras look to me to have pretty clearly been made at other factories, particularly at least some of the ES335 copies, which seem to have Ibanez-style serial numbers that are very different from other Electra serial numbers.

I'm speaking only of the period ~ 1976-1984 (inclusive) when I talk about these guitars.

Finally, lest someone gripe that this is the ELECTRA forum (not the Vantage forum), keep in mind that these are all Matsumoku guitars. Generally speaking, that is.

Here's the Entertainer (formerly owned by Kazzelectro) -

Image

Image

Image


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