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I don't know about specific Valley Arts models, but for a while, the company was owned by Samick, and i believe all of their guitars were made in Korea. Then Gibson bought them back and set them up in Nashville. So if it's a pre-Samick or post-Samick model, it's probably really good for the price. Even if it's a Samick, it might be a decent guitar, but do some research and be sure of what you're buying.
 

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The old ones were silly good; just astounding really. I remember being flat out stunned by the first one I played back in the 80's. And I've played a LOT of guitars in my nearly 35 years playing. Definitely, definitely, check it out yourself. If it's special you'll know instantly. If it was good to begin with, and has been treated well, then it's certainly going to take care of you. But make sure you check it out yourself, don't get it on my say so. They were very high quality guitars back when. Pensa/Suhr good.
 

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One thing to keep in mind with Valley Arts is a lot of them had 24 3/4" scale necks... they were going after a bit of a "hybrid" audience and were wooing a lot of traditional Gibson players (like Larry Carlton) over to the "Strat" world.
 

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Valley Arts was one of those companies that did fantastic work, and then was bought for the name. Schecter is another example. If the VA was an 80's guitar, I wouldn't hesitate to grab it. I haven't played a newer one, because I haven't had the chance.
The original was a '95, do you know anymore about the newer one you're looking at?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·

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I may be wrong, but i'm pretty sure that Valley Arts guitars that have 24 frets are 24.75" (Gibson) scale.

That's also a really odd headstock. From the early years and even through the Samick period, i don't remember the headstock being any different from the headstock they're using now, which you can see on their models at the Valley Arts site.
 

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Warmoth was around in '85. One of the big selling points among the Valley Arts dealers during their peak of popularity ('88 - '91ish) was that they came standard with the Warmoth Compound Radius neck.

Here's a quote from the current Warmoth website:

"At Warmoth, "Quality is Paramount". Our entire operation is geared toward crafting excellence. That's why we're number one. Others talk it; we deliver it. We have supplied necks to Yamaha (900 Series Pacifica), necks and bodies to Valley Arts (Custom Pro Series), Pensa-Suhr, Sadowsky Guitars and many other quality-conscious builders. Be assured, we won't send you anything less."

A friend of mine used to be a V.A. dealer. He had a guitar shop in Annapolis, MD called Master Musicians from about 1985 to 2001. He sold quite a few USA models before the California business was sold to Samick in 1992.
 
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