Vinetto Goodness

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by rhys, Mar 17, 2006.

  1. rhys

    rhys Supporting Member

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    I picked up a used Vinetto Legato about a month ago and I thought I’d share some observations for those of you who are interested in these guitars. I’m not trying to definitively define this guitar or anything—just give you some information that I would have liked to have had when I was checking these out. Mine is solid alder, and all three pickups are DiMarzios. Build quality, fretwork, finish and the like are all superb; what you would expect from a guy with Vince’s reputation. When I was looking at these guitars there were a couple of things I wondered about—primarily: how will those mini-HBs sound, will I like the 25-inch scale on this style of guitar, and can I live with that radius.

    TONE. First of all, this is not a strat replacement. If you’re a strat guy who thinks the Legato looks sexy and probably similar enough to an S-style guitar, I think you’d be disappointed. In fact, I’ve really tried to distance myself from comparing this guitar to an S-style or a T-style. Instead, I’ve tried to simply appreciate it as a pretty substantial spin on tradition. That said, the bridge PU does the T thing convincingly. The neck and middle minis are nice and smooth. The neck is great for smooth, woman-tonesque lead lines and so is the middle. I’ve been surprised by how much I play that middle pickup by itself, especially for rhythm work—just the right amount of beef and cut. And probably my favorite position is neck and bridge together: killer articulation and sizzle.

    On a strat, I love the neck and neck plus middle positions. You don’t get that with the Legato. The combination of the scale length and pickups trades the snap of a strat for smoothness. You kind of get some quack with the neck and middle but I find it too dark to be useful. It works okay when playing really, really clean, but it’s the one combination I haven’t found a use for. Again, I am using the neck, but not in a strat way. However, I do find the middle bridge position gives a little quack and is a very usable sound. I also have not been using all three pickups together because I just keep going back to neck bridge sound, but I was digging all three together the other night, and I think I might eventually work my way into using that sound. All three together is darker and mellower than the neck bridge combo.

    I think I'd be totally happy if I just had the duece. But I do use that middle pickup a lot, and it opens the door to a totally different sonic thing. So, even as I'm trying to resist T/S comparisons, I will say that I'm treating this guitar more like a T, but a T with something extra--the middle mini hb. In other words, I'm either playing the T combos or I'm playing the middle. I am not playing it like a strat as with a strat I only use the middle pickup in conjunction with the neck or bridge.

    PLAYABILITY: This thing plays great. The neck is nice chunky (this one is the 60s C), and the frets are big. I’ve always played the 25 ½ scale but have had no problems adjusting to this guitar. Main differences are it’s a little easier to play and you trade some snap for smoothness. And most surprisingly, the radius hasn’t bothered me at all. My Legato is the 7.25 to 9.5. For the past 8 or so years I’ve been playing an Anderson. I think Anderson’s have a 10 or 12. I was concerned about the radius, especially buying blind, but I won’t hesitate to own another traditionally-radiused guitar.

    In sum, I’ve been very pleased with the tones I’m getting from the Vinetto. It’s fun to play and has been getting the larger share of my playing time. I think Vince has done a great thing by creating a guitar that is familiar enough not to scare us away (guitarists being the traditionalists that we are), yet different enough to occupy its own space in the guitar world.

    And before I get berated, I know, I know, post some pictures. I’ll try to get that done. In the meantime, if you must know what it looks like, this is the exact sunburst Legato with the tortoise guard that is pictured on the Vinetto site under the Legato info.
     
  2. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    Interesting thoughts, shows how all guits are subjective. I've found my Vinetto (also alder w/ the same pickups) to have credible Strat tone in the in-between positions, it doesn't sound just like my '62 Strat but to the average listener, it's a Strat sound.

    And the all-3 position has Gretsch-like chime & jangle to my ears, not on the dark side.

    I wonder if the differences we hear are accounted for in part by what amp, etc., is being used.
    Cheers,
    Jon
     
  3. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    Great review Rhys.
    Mine should be ready in a month. (A month late):jo
    I really enjoy my single coil guitars and hope this wont be sooo different that I end up not loving it. I realize it is not a Strat and dont expect that out of it. Im hoping its more Tele than... Gibby though. Im sure it will have its place.
    Vince has been great throughout the process. Its the waiting that Kills!:FM LOL!


    RC
     
  4. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    Rhys, thanks for the informative review, I've been interested in these. I did get a chance to play two recently on two occasions at a store in Hollywood. I'm mostly a Strat cat, and agree it's not a S replacement, but, in my case I found the Legato to be more Strat like than your experience. I was not expecting any quack from the neck-middle pickup combination, but it started talkin' like a duck when I set the switch for it. But the big surprise for me was all pickups on, I won't compare it to anything, but it was a very articulate tone. I prefered the V-to-C shape neck of the Deuce I played over the C shape Lagato, but the C shape was still very nice, the important thing to me being a nice beefy neck. I agree that the Lagato is more like playing a T guitar than a S style guitar. I also like that my main complaint about Teles is addressed with these guitars, that is the location of the volume knob is in a useful location for doing volume swells. If I was in the market for a T style guitar I would rather have this than the traditional Tele style. One more thing, as a pickup swapper and Dimarzio hater, I was very surprised with the tone of the Dimarzios in the Legato, even after playing the Deuce with Lollars, I would probably leave the Dimarzios in as I think they pair well with that guitar.
     
  5. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    The neck shape on Vinettos is independent of whether it's a Deuce or Legato, etc., you can choose your shape. In fact, I chose a combo that Vince hadn't put together yet til I suggested I wanted it (alder body, rosewood board, 50s profile) and it is fantastic.

    My Vinetto is plain & simple a top notch guitar in every way. I have no disappointment with the DiMarzio dual miniHBs or the Virtual Vintage tele bridge but it's even more exciting now that you can choose other pickups, too, some Lollars or others would've been very tempting, too.

    cheers,
    Jon
     
  6. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I want a Legato...! :JAM














    (Oh, and yeah, an Artifact, too... one o' dem dere '63 T-styles, but with a ROBUST rosewood-board neck!)
     
  7. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    NO! :Spank

    No Legato for you! NEXT...

    ;)
     
  8. Vince

    Vince Member

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    Hey Rhys, thanks for posting the thorough review. It's always great to have guys like you who can articulate their findings.

    Both the DiMarzio's and the Lollar minis are great, but different, but the Lollars are very popular. They're a little "smokier" than the DM's with a bit more articulation, if that makes sense. And we do have options for you more "single minded" guys... (this is where Dave goes wild....)

    [​IMG]


    And for you Andersonguy we have something very special and you won't be disappointed... just revel in the anticipation!

    Thanks for the encouraging feedback fellows. Ya made my day!
     
  9. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Um... I have to change my pants. :cool:



     
  10. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    I have no fingernails left.:eek:
     
  11. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    OK... the goldie is now my screen saver. ;)
     
  12. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    This Black Vinetto is made from Solid mahogany wood.
    She does not sound like a T or S style Guitar - but rather has some Flavors of Both. She has a Deep Vintage Heritage with just enough Modern Features to be an Instant Classic!
    [​IMG]
    Of course the 1966 Deluxe Reverb, Analog man TS-9 and Tees Real McCoy Wah dont Hurt neither.
     
  13. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    You got too much stuff!
    :BluesBros
     
  14. HK-47

    HK-47 Member

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    sweet. so how does the mahogany legato sound compared to the ash/alder versions? does it sound closer to gibsons or to teles/strats?
     
  15. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    The Mahogany is a bit Darker Sounding. Nice Low Mid Thump through a Marshall. Also can get a Nice Jazz Sound in the neck Position with the Tone Rolled down a bit.
    When I Orderd this Guitar I was originally Going to get an Alder Body, Vince Informed me of some Very Special Light Weight Mahogany Wood he just got in.
    I was Instanly Sold on it!
    = No Regrets! It was the pefect Choice!
    [​IMG]
     
  16. Glowing Tubes

    Glowing Tubes Gold Supporting Member

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    not helping NOT HELPING!!!:eek: :jo
     
  17. Vince

    Vince Member

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    Man, last time I saw a rack like that I was stuffin' dollar bills-- .... oh wait, no.:rolleyes:
     
  18. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    You perv. :Spank













    :)
     
  19. rhys

    rhys Supporting Member

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    Here's a couple of shots. (Sorry if they don't do is justice Vince.)

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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