Vintage V2000MGG

Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
A few months ago I cast around looking for a guitar that, like my favourite acoustic so far - the Vintage VE2000GG, had a pinched narrow waist and relatively larger body. I love the combination of the depth of sound from the larger body, but the sweeter top end and more controlled bottom end that shape gives. But I found it impossible within my budget as only bespoke high end builders seem to make such instruments. I ended up casting the net wider, got something that was "different" to what I had and then found it failed to gel!

I realised a few weeks back that I had missed an obvious possibility. The all mahogany Vintage V2000MGG - same shape and design as the VE2000GG but a very different sound to that cedar topped instrument. So I started on line searching as the instrument is as rare as rocking horse droppings around here. Nearly everywhere I looked they were not in stock. I looked on the JHS site (the distributors) to double check specifications - it wasn't there. I drew the obvious conclusion it was probably no longer being made and to say this was a depressing thought is an understatement.

A place that had two listed on e-bay the night before suddenly had none.

I started ringing around and found that the places that didn't have an out of stock note on their website didn't have any in stock. Richard was my first call and after an interesting chat we left it that I'd get back in touch if I wanted him to order one up from the distributors. A later call elsewhere that found it was not in stock also elicited the information that they wouldn't be able to order one up as they'd tried and been told be the distributors it was discontinued and there were none left.

Thankfully I hit lucky. Unfortunately not with somewhere that would set up the guitar. They would take it out of the box and check it was "playable" ... end of. But beggars can't be choosers and I ordered one up. Two days later it arrived and in trepidation I opened up the box and started to try it out. The action was too high but I was expecting that. The sound was great and despite the action the comfort and ease of playing was also very good.

Three weeks later and I am playing the hell out of the guitar. The sound is perfect for the sort of music I like to play. Nicely balanced, warm without being muddy, and nice sweet treble notes. A goodly amount of sustain without it getting in the way of later notes. Best of all it makes me want to play and to create.

Nice and simple - no fancy banding. The money has gone into the design and sound.

This is as fancy as it gets. No ornamentation.

Nice simple headstock too with just a Rob Armstrong decal on the truss rod cover.

It just needs a setup now and I really don't fancy parting with it for a week!
To be done in a wee while when the novelty has worn off a bit.

Just a few sound samples - it does have a decent range for style / genre.
Loosely based on Martin Simpson Gsus4/4 arrangement of a trad tune --->
A DADGAD composition --->
A 3 track improvisation in D Phrygian that ended up a bit fusion-ish --->

Regarding that last track. A fun thing to try. Pick a scale. On track 1 record bass notes only using that scale, concentrating on rhythm and avoiding thinking about what notes are played and avoiding the usual bass patterns and any chord shapes. On the second track play 3 or 4 note chord clusters and arpeggios while avoiding chords you know - make it random and listen to what happens and try and repeat good clusters. on track 3 while listening to what is on tracks 1 and 2 try and weave a melodic line (using the scale) that fits in - concentrating on what interval to jump up and down that might sound best. Result is a total surprise and unplanned. I could never have planned that recording above and I have no idea what chords and progressions are in there.


  • MegiMegi Posts: 7,153Member
    That's a wonderful story Mark, and that guitar seems all the more wonderful to me because you managed to source one of the last available at the last possible moment - treasure indeed! It sounds glorious I must say, and very distinctive, with real personality. That guitar has a beautiful, plaintive voice - sounds wonderful. Seems to me like you rescued it somehow, and I must say very well done for doing so. Congratulations, and thanks for sharing the photos and playing examples. :)
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Thanks Graham - for commenting, listening and for being so positive about it. :smile:

    The guitar does have a plaintive voice and that suits a lot of what I play. I've found it also picks up my mood. One morning last week I got a real touch of the angst / despondency for half an hour or so and the sounds from the guitar changed to transmit that mood perfectly.
    I just wish I'd been recording - I tried to recapture that mood and playing the same sort of runs later on that same day and it just didn't work ... I must have been way too happy.

    I also get an extra kick out of the guitar because it was relatively so cheap at less than £350. It just feels more of an achievement to find a guitar that gives so much bang per buck - just throwing a lot of money at a classy guitar seems too easy!

    I did feel a bit like someone had punched me in the stomach when I had it confirmed it was discontinued - I immediately thought I'd lost the chance of finding one at that point. I'd also like to repeat my admiration for Gordon Giltrap, and Vintage, in ensuring that his signature acoustics are not price inflated through having his name attached.
  • Kevin PeatKevin Peat Posts: 3,143Member
    Sorry Mark. Didn't spot those links.

    Yes. Very good. I think the playing outdoes the guitar. Well done.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    Thanks Kevin - too kind! :smile:

    Now over a month and it's still getting played a helluva lot.

    That's with the action too high too which is a testament to the guitar's qualities. But 2.7mm and 2.1mm at the 12th fret bass and treble is not too clever. The 6th string is about 50% higher at the first fret than my properly set up VE2000GG. But it is "playable" and that's what the seller was promising.
  • Mark PMark P Posts: 2,314Member
    I was testing trying to get a half decent sound with a new webcam and it's software via decent microphones, and picked up the MGG while doing so. Not too bad a result.
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