As promised, here is my review of my new Vigier Excalibur Special 7 followed with some pics for good measure.
Vigier, as far as I am concerned, is a company that should be mentioned in the same sentence as Suhr, Tom Anderson, Tyler etc. Though they aren't really a household name stateside, they are really at that level if not even better thanks to their impeccable quality, tone and a couple key features:
First off, and I wish this were a more ubiquitous feature on guitars, is the 10/90 system in the neck. Instead of a truss rod, this guitar has a strip of carbon that runs down the middle of the neck all the way to the fretboard which effectively keeps the neck from moving, no matter what. I can speak from experience as I used to have a 6 string Excalibur a few years back that I took on a winter tour, and actually upped the string gauges for the same tuning while on that tour. The neck stayed the same, and I didn't even have to adjust the action. It was the only guitar that didn't have to get re-tuned once it acclimated to the stage temperature, and of course, no need to adjust the neck over the course of said tour. The neck is setup with that sweet-spot of relief, just the slightest amount, so that you can get super fast and low action without having notes that choke out.
Second, the zero fret paired with stainless steel frets means that you won't wear the nut down. In fact the nut is cut to provide correct string spacing, but the height is entirely controlled by a stainless steel zero fret, so your action will truly stay the same on that end as well.
The neck on the guitar is a little bit on the thicker side depthwise, but it is actually very comfortable thanks to the shape, and with the string spacing being shred-friendly it doesn't actually feel very big. The maple neck is finished to feel satin-y which is wonderful, so it actually feels very fast and comfy. My only gripe with the neck design is the square bolt-on heel, but frankly that is just nitpicking as upper fret access is fantastic. I opted for the maple fretboard on the guitar, which is wonderful because it also has that satin feeling finish which combined with ss frets is the best thing ever for smooth bends and vibrato.
The guitar has this proprietary bridge which seems to have ball ends instead of knife edges, and that with the locking tuners gives it great tuning stability. I set the guitar up to have the bridge up against the body, so it is essentially dive-only. I don't really ever use the trem on guitars, and this way if a string breaks the guitar won't go out of tune.
The guitar has an alder body, which I am a fan of. The body is actually quite thick on the guitar, so the guitar has a nice full sound. Whereas my basswood bodied guitars (that are also equipped with 7 string BKP Juggernauts) kinda have a bit more midrange cut and low mid purr, this guitar has a bit more low end and a slightly less defined top end. A very full and fat sounding guitar with the Jugg set. The middle pickup never got switched out and is a low sitting Dimarzio blaze, which is good because it doesn't get in the way of the pick, but it sits a bit far from the strings and so the split coil settings with the Juggs experience a bit of a volume drop.
Interestingly enough, the guitar has a small button near the pickup selector which is a killswitch. I don't really use those, but to some that can be a very handy feature.
Now it should be noted that there is one feature on the guitar that I think is equally handy as it is annoying, and that is the input jack. The jack is heavily recessed to where you can ONLY use a straight cable with it. If you do happen to use a straight cable, then the body of the guitar will actually protect the barrel and that of course is fantastic. However if you use a right angle cable, you will simply not be able to plug in. A lot of live players actively prefer right angle jacks because they tend to stay in regular guitars a little better, so I do hope that Vigier address this issue at some point. If the guitar came with a removable adapter that let you close the distance of the jack to where the jack would be pretty much flush with the body, then you would be able to use the guitar no matter what cable you prefer. (Do it Vigier!)
All in all, this is one of the finest guitars I have ever put my hands on. When you have it in your hands and play it you can just feel how well put together and solid an instrument it is. Anyone looking at a Suhr owes it to themselves to give a Vigier a good test before making their decision!
Here are some pics:
And here is a link to specs:
Details of Excalibur special 7 - Vigier
Very cool specs, but does this mean you have to like the action since it can't be adjusted?