Valley Arts Larry Carlton Custom

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by James, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. James

    James Member

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    Hello,

    Just curious if any TGP members have ever played one of the early 90s-era Valley Arts Larry Carlton Custom (not Standard) models. I've only ever seen one for sale, at Mandolin Bros. about 5 years ago.

    :RoCkIn

    Thanks,
    James
     
  2. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    I remember from his first instructional DVD he was playing a Valley Arts "Strat", but it had EMG pickups. But it seemed like when he had his own model, it featured P90 pickups in a guitar with a Strat body. Is this what you are refering to?
     
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  3. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

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    I tried one of the P90 ones, it was a cool guitar with some neat ideas. I've only seen that one, I'm guessing they didn't make many.
     
  4. James

    James Member

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    Yeah, they're sort of obscure.

    Plexibreath, the Valley Arts Larry Carlton Standard and Custom modesl were Tele-shaped guitars, mahogany body, maple-neck w/ rosewood fingerboard and two P90-style pick-ups. They're a very interesting mongrel, combining elements of a Tele, a Strat and a Les Paul Special.

    You can see more details here:

    http://www.valleyartsguitars.com/guitars.htm

    Interestingly (and I have no affiliation with the seller) VA LC #1 of 100 is on eBay right now...

    The Custom version has a carved top and binding and a different finish.

    Thanks,
    James
     
  5. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Played a standard, it was a great axe. All the valley arts were killer. Not sure how they are now being in gibson's stable. I always wanted a Lukather model.
     
  6. Mike Dresch

    Mike Dresch Silver Supporting Member

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    You and me both buddy! I always thought those were the coolest guitars. I remember that guy from Bonham had one as well.
     
  7. stark

    stark Supporting Member

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    I wanted one until I took it apart and found it needed a monster plastic shim to get the neck angle corrrect for the tom bridge. Body was cool, neck was standard warmoth stuff.

    Adam Stark
     
  8. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Yeah, what I wanted the most was the 'robot' guitar. I found the guy that painted it, but i need Steve's permission to have do a duplicate for me. Getting in touch with Luke...that's the problem. LOL

    Adam, that's scary man. REALLY scary,
     
  9. Tom CT

    Tom CT Old Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    The only LC Custom I've ever seen was at Sam Ash in NYC about 10-12 years ago. It was Tele-shaped, but was a carved top in a beautiful dark sunburst with herringbone binding. P-100s and gold plated stop tailpiece and tune-a-matic bridge. Absolutely gorgeous!

    I own one of the numbered LC Standards, which is an interesting guitar. While I love the overall feel and layout of the guitar, the neck is very narrow and takes a while to get used to. Anyone with thick fingers would have a heck of a time with close chord fingerings.

    There's a special one (#1 of 100) on eBay right now -
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Valley-Arts-Lar...oryZ2384QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Tom
     
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  10. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    I remember trying a few VA guitars out back in the early 90's. One was a Strat-style with a fantastic cherryburst finished quilt top, crazy birdseye neck, Floyd, and SSH setup. The other was also a cherryburst finished quilt topped, HH Carlton Custom model (also with a crazy birdseye neck). Both of them were fantastic quality-wise and looked amazing, but sadly neither of them were set up properly so I couldn't get a great idea how they truly sounded & played. No doubt they were great guitars though & had either of them been set up I may have bought one of 'em instead of whatever I ended up buying at that time. Pretty sad that I forget what I bought, but I don't forget what I didn't buy. :)
     
  11. amc

    amc Member

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    Shhhhhh.
    Don't talk about pre-Samick, Valley Arts guitars.

    Excellent quality guitars.
    They are seriously undervalued in today's marketplace.

    Definitely comparable to Suhr, Anderson, and Grosh (Don Grosh actually worked for
    Valley Arts before starting his own company)

    I have a Custom Pro Bent T that pleasantly surprises me everytime that I pick it up to play

    amc
     
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  12. landru64

    landru64 Member

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    i have had two of the 'regular' LC models. very cool guitars. the last one i had was heavy, but sounded great. extraordinary workmanship.

    i paid $550 for the first one, new from manny's when they went out of production. unbelievable birdseye neck, but also a stable neck!
     
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  13. James

    James Member

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    Thanks for the replies, guys!

    Yeah, I dig the figure on the VA LC necks and the size/shape of the necks; they're very comfortable for me. I've found them to be very consistent too.

    $550 for one new in NYC?!! :jo

    Wow!

    It will be interesting to see what #1 of 100 goes for on the bay...(not my auction, no relation to the seller...)

    I have no idea what the new Gibson-era Valley Arts guitars are like, but I think the pre-Samick VA guitars feel and sound great. AMC, I agree, they're under-valued! Shhhhhhhhhh!! I won't talk about 'em any more!
    :)

    James
     
  14. EunosFD

    EunosFD Member

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    I just came across one of the "Robot" models today and thought of this thread & your post. Anyway, it's in Japan and the price isn't "cheap", but it's still kinda cool to look at anyway...

    http://www.ikebe-gakki.com/shopping_20.php?state=1&cate=1&s_cate=1&brand=10023
     
  15. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    That's exactly what I want. How do you go about buying a guitar from these folks? Is it real Valley Arts, or knockoff? Is the quality good?

    Thanks!
     
  16. Lucidology

    Lucidology Member

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    Would luv to try the Tele Valley Arts with EMG's Larry used to play ...
     
  17. Izy

    Izy Member

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    Went for more than USD$1900/-

    Whoa! That's the most money i saw paid for a Vallet arts guitar.

    They are great value for the $$$ (most of them) and very underrated.
     
  18. Red Suede

    Red Suede Member

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    I own the Valley Arts Custom Pro that was on the Nov? 85 issue of Guitar Player magazine. The way I got it was my ex roommate (Lyle Workman) saw it at Guitar Player as it was being photographed, enquired if it was for sale and called me. I had to call Mike Mcguire at Valley Arts and he said they built it for Steve Lukather and would have to call him to see if he wanted it. Steve says no cause he already had one (the one on his instructional video) so that's how I came into it. It has never needed a neck adjustment since i've owned it and it was my main guitar for about 15 years. Way different than any other Valley Arts Custom Pro or other Valley Arts that i've ever played. The neck on this one is outstanding!
     
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  19. Pa'ani

    Pa'ani Supporting Member

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    I still own one of the two Valley Arts Custom Pro Strat with 24 frets.
    The first one was a Valley Arts Custom Pro with a swamp ash body (very lightweight) birds-eye maple neck, rosewood fingerboard and Valley Arts Pickups in translucent blue it was a great guitar. Sold it to a buddy in Hawaii.

    The second Valley Arts Custom Pro, which I still have and cherish is a killer guitar.I named it "Tweedy Bird" it definitely sings and screams!
    This particular guitar has a very rare one piece quilted/flamed maple body,
    Birds-eye maple neck, ebony fingerboard, Kahler floyd tremolo, EMG SA/SA/85 pickups, that was recently change with EMG SL Steve Lukather set.
    The color of the neck and body is amber. I got it in '90 and it too never needed a neck adjustment, it's neck is my all time favorite. In fact when I had my Suhr Carved Top custom made for me, I took my Valley Arts Custom Pro to Suhr and they took it's measurements and specs.
    And that guitar feels awesome also.
    Valley Arts Custom Pro guitars are absolutely excellent and amazing instruments!
     
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  20. AllenL

    AllenL Member

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    I own one of the 1st 100 signed by Larry Carlton. Mine is the Standard. The custom is just a fancier version. The pickups are P100s not P90s. The sound is truly unique. A P100 is a stacked P90, making it a humbucker. Instead of two coils sisde by side, the coils are stacked. The sound of a P100 is not as fat as a standard humbucker with side by side coils. It has more of a single coil vibe. This characteristic makes the neck pickup a suitable alternative to the bridge pickup for overdriven leads. The Valley Arts LC does not sound like a Tele, although it's shaped like one. The pickups give it a totally different and unique sound.

    Overdriven, it is clear and full in the neck position, very suitable for a modern fusion vibe. The middle and bridge positions gives it more edge with a similar vibe.

    Playing the neck positon clean, you can eq it for a useable jazz type of tone, that is not as fat as say, a 335.
     
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