Review of the Vintage VRA400 Resonator Guitar
The VRA400 is a 21-fret resonator with a laminate mahogany body and has a nato neck attached with rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays. The finish is sunburst and the hardware is die-cast chrome making it a very eye-pleasing guitar. The cone that gives that resonator sound is a 10.5” aluminium spun single cone and it’s connected to a spider bridge to give it that classic tone. The top even comes complete with two fine mesh porthole sound holes, which give the VRA400 a very aesthetically pleasing look. The beauty of the VRA400 is that it is very easy to pick up and play and will have you sounding like a professional, getting you hooked straight away.
The build quality is very solid and gives you no reason to quarrel with the overall feel and finish. The feel of the neck is that of a fat but solid piece of kit and still good for those who enjoy just finger styling. Speaking of finger style, the sound produced even without a pick is impressive and will have you wanting to try out different styles to see what you can get out of her. The fact that the VRA400 can play such a wide range of musical styles whilst giving the user the matching authentic sound, makes it a very appealing choice for any caliber of guitarist.
The sound is something that is a little perplexing overall, as it seems to deliver on the overall volume front and roars on occasion, but the more you listen to its projection on both ends of the spectrum, the more you realise that it lacks a boom at the bottom-end and that the sound at the top of the range is thin. Whilst every note in between the extremes sounds warm and authentic, the lacklustre top and bottom end do leave a little to be desired and maybe a tinge of disappointment for those who really love to make their resonator wail. These sonic issues, whilst not really a problem that is deal breaking for many, means that the VRA400 really lacks an identity and thus suffers when put alongside some of the other resonators out there. It turns out that the VRA400s biggest strength is also its greatest weakness, a solid resonator, but it’s only solid and nothing to write home about.
If you find yourself wanting to dabble in the resonator market then this is almost the perfect option for you to go with, as the price value goes a long way for the end product and dependable, authentic sound that you will find in your hands. Any buyer should just be aware that whilst you will be very pleased with the sound, build and pretty much every other aspect of your VRA400, don’t expect to have you socks blown off if you’re looking for a real top notch resonator. Having said that, you have to view the price and quality as two huge plusses for the VRA400 and the lack of projection on the end ranges is not really an issue that should deter you from purchasing this little beauty.
Categorised in: Resonator Guitar Reviews