The first electric guitar I ever owned was a Japanese-made Vantage VS695 ‘Vamp’, bought from a friend for $150 in the mid-1980s. It has been a great companion over the years, from high school rock bands and into my early twenties when I moved to Vancouver and began using it in the studio during my time in Vancouver as a student at the Trebas Institute of Recording Arts. (Trebas no longer has a Vancouver location).
My favourite studio setup with it was through a small Marshall amp using a Boss Compression pedal to give it a bit of boost. I recorded a number of early demos with it. The missing pickup and toggle switch was a result of my own half-baked attempt at modding the guitar in my late teens, while the duct tape is compensating for damage done when my bass player stepped on the cable during a show. That tape is probably over 25 years old!
In any case, it still sounds good after all these years, so I took it to a friend here in Edmonton who loves to work on guitars. He’s done some great work for me setting up my other instruments and I presented this to him as a summer project.
Initial patch job on the input jack from the inside.
Kurt found someone online with the same guitar, who had posted photos of the original wiring setup. It’s amazing what that Internet will come up with!
Close up of the labelling. The VS695 has a coil tap and phase switches, giving it quite a bit of flexibility in tone. For years, I have to confess had no idea what those switches were there for. Thanks Kurt!
And a practically new Vantage VS695 and the Vamp sounds as good as ever. Thank you Kurt for resurrecting this special instrument for me!