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Vantage Performer. Any "historians" here?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by CraigG, May 5, 2006.


  1. CraigG

    CraigG

    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    My primary bass for the past 25 years has been a Vantage Performer. Unfortunately, I don't remember the model from when I purchased it around '81 and I'm hoping to one day find this missing piece of the puzzle.

    I found some stuff on the web that has photos of Vantage Performer basses around that time but none of them are as loaded with features as mine. I know mine is all original because it was purchased new from Chuck Levin's music in Wheaton, MD where they had it on display in one of their showcases at the time. Since I have never seen another like it and the fact that it was at Chuck's which, because of their reputation, was able to carry some limited run pieces, I'm wondering if mine was either a special order piece or a limited edition.

    Does anyone have any information about the Vantage Performer basses in the very early 80's? I love the bass and will never sell it, but it would be so nice to have one of the key missing pieces to this mystery --- the model number!

    [​IMG]
     
  2. dangnewt

    dangnewt Veteran Dispenser

    Jun 6, 2003
    MetroWest Boston
    If the info you are looking for is not here, I'm not sure it can be found. This is a great website on the instruments made in the matsumoku plant. I briefly owned a Vantage similar to yours with 1 P-pickup - very solid basses.

    www.matsumoku.org/models/models.html
     
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I can't really help either, but a friend of mine has a Vantage that sounds similar to dangnewt's former bass. It's kind of P Bass meets Gibson with its P pup, 2+2 tuners and 3 point bridge...I played it a few years ago and was very nice...and a keeper for sure.

    Here's a photo...
     
  4. CraigG

    CraigG

    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA

    Yeah, I'm familiar with the Uncle Matt site. Posted a similar question there a while back. It's a shame, this bass is wonderful and I've loved it since I first set eyes on it. It would be nice to know a bit more about it.
     
  5. dangnewt

    dangnewt Veteran Dispenser

    Jun 6, 2003
    MetroWest Boston
    Billy B - mine looked the same except for a darker finish.

    CraigG - the Vantages are eyecatching basses and yours with the double P-pickups is a very cool bass.

    There doesn't seem to be much of a market for them now - I paid $90 for the bass and original case in a Boston pawn shop last year.
     
  6. wow man nice to see someone else is lucky enough to own one of these tone monsters!!!:hyper:
    i have had a look at most of the other Vantage basses from that era - our ones seem to be the top of the range models from the looks of the features they have and the special inlays (also typical of the Aria Pro II basses from the same era):)
    i actually have two vantages now - both finds on ebay. i payed AUS$500 for the one the same as yours and only
    AUS$200 for the second one pictured (which i havent played yet).:cool:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    i can honestly say that the Performer is the best sounding bass i have ever heard and has more tonal possibilities than you know what to do with.:bassist:
    you can check out more about vantage basses at http://www.therathole.org
    chris
     
  7. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Looks like that "therathole" site just links to the other Matsumoku site previously mentioned.
     
  8. dangnewt

    dangnewt Veteran Dispenser

    Jun 6, 2003
    MetroWest Boston
    The current matsumoku site is what used to used to be "the rat hole." Same exact site. Wonder why they changed the URL?
     
  9. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Well, Matsumoku is having a little revival of respectability, and the name "the rat hole" doesn't help! Plus it just makes sense to give a website a name relevant to the content.
     
  10. my first 5 string was a vantage...very nice bass....but i do have a vantage guitar now...a vs696
    RIMG0094.
    transparent red wings, natural down the middle....gret guitar, pretty much a les paul double cut, coil taps on both pickups..(the rest are my stepfathers)
     
  11. bump
     
  12. CraigG

    CraigG

    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Chris,

    You're not kidding, these Vantage Performers are tone monsters and have more tone than a person could ever find use for. It's one of the most expressive basses I have ever had a chance to play and I love it. Any tone that I want I think I can find in this bass. I think this model holds its own, performance wise, with anything else that's out there in the non-boutique market.

    I did see a second-hand one just like mine at a local shop a couple years ago. $300. Broke my heart because neither the guy that had owned it or the shop owner apparently had a clue just how wonderful this particular bass is. It's certainly worth more than $300 and can hold it's own against basses costing several times that much. The poor idiot that owned it replaced the original pickups with black ones - EMG's I think. Looked awful (and probably didn't sound any better). What a way to devalue an already fantastic bass.

    Thanks for your post. It's great to know there are at least two of us on this planet that still have and love this particular high-end Vantage Performer.

    Craig
     
  13. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Too bad Vantage's quality went down the tubes in the early 90's before they went out of business. (After the awesome Performers.) I had a 5 string neck through 955 BA that when i tightened the truss rod, the entire neck split a crack down the center! I trashed the bass and wanted to see what it was really made of and i broke the remainder of the neck to see that what was supposed to be maple, was really laminated weak maple from the orient. The pickups stank too and where probably samick pu's. Not taking away from your delightful bass, your well made bass was made before mass merchandising kicked in...
     
  14. CraigG

    CraigG

    Mar 14, 2006
    Mechanicsburg, PA
    Interesting you had an issue with the neck. I have played my Performer a lot over the past 30 years and, believe it or not, I have never even had to touch the truss rod. Even the frets have shown minimal wear. Clearly there was a time when Vantage was making some high-quality guitars. I think I read somewhere that Vantage manufacturing eventually moved to Korea. It's a shame that there seems to be a trend of product quality going downhill for companies that move their manufacturing to Korea. Considering the number of guitars coming out of Korea, one would think they would have better quality. Is Korean manufacturing really that backwards?
     
  15. samick took over vantage later on and fooked em
     
  16. rdhbass

    rdhbass

    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    Like the previous post, when samick bought them out, i guess it went to pot. Korean manufacturing now is pretty good, i guess it just wasn't for some samick products. I can tell from the pic of your bass, yours is made of the good stuff.
     
  17. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    I've been meaning to ask...what is the control layout on the two pickup basses shown in this thread?
     
  18. hi billyB, i assume you mean the ones with the two sets of P pups? well (take deep breath) 3 way pickup selector, (switches in order of bridge to neck) active/passive selector, series/parallel (bridge), series/parallel (neck), (knobs in order of bridge to neck) active treble or bass boost, passive AND active tone control, master volume!!!
    the led signals when the TWO 9v batteries need changing - had mine for a year now and that aint happened yet!
     
  19. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Chicago
    Thanks!
     

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