I would buy this guitar again without hesitation although it might be hard to find one because Valley Arts is no longer in business. Before purchasing this guitar I had a Fender Strat, Ibanez 335 and a Carvin.
I have also owned many other guitars since then. I sold them all and play the Valley Arts every day.
Model Year: 1993
Price: $1200.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Spitzer Music, North Hollywood, CA USA
Larry Carlton had a big part in the design of this guitar. He wanted to combine the best qualities of the many different guitars he has played over the years into one instrument. This is a 6 string solid body electric guitar.
The mahogany body is a 7/8 scale telecaster body that is sculpted like a strat. This makes for a very comfortable guitar. The neck is birdseye maple with a rosewood fretboard that has 24 frets.
It has 2 Gibson P-100 pickups standard although I changed the neck pickup to a P-90. This seems to give it a little more bite. The bridge is the Gibson style similar to a Les Paul or 335. It has one volume and one tone control and the three position pickup selector looks like a strat switch.
As far as playability goes, this guitar is fantastic. I play with a medium action (not too high or low) and I use 10-46 gauge strings. The neck is just the right size for playing many different styles of music as the guitar was probably designed for. I have owned many different guitars over the years and this is the best for me. I have also had this one longer than any other guitar... 12 years!
Amp wise, I used to play through a Mesa Boogie mark 4 and for this guitar that is most likely the best amp. Currently I like to play through an old Fender Vibrolux as I don't really need the power of the Boogie.
The guitar records well and is very quiet...no extra noise and it also does great on gigs. Mostly I play jazz and blues. I can usually get a good sound out of it and blend with just about anybody. About the only other modification I would do is maybe change out the bridge pickup to maybe a P-90 or an Anderson.
For the most part, I don't ever have any problems with the guitar except a severe temperature changes.
About once a year I have to make a truss rod adjustment and this is where the only flaw is. To make a truss rod adjustment, you have to remove the neck to gain access to the bolt. This is a real pain because you might have to assemble and dis-assemble the guitar 3 or 4 times to get it right.
The chrome on the hardware looks as good as when it was new. This is a quality guitar! In addition, I don't even have a backup guitar because this guitar is so well built I don't anticipate needing one.