From an ebay description:
You are looking at a very rare Valley Arts Strat and one I’m told, is one of the first ones that Valley Arts made. Some years ago, a serious guitar collector looked her over and said he believed this guitar would be one of the earliest ones Valley Arts made. Two ways he said he could tell: One was the headstock and logo and the other to pull the neck off and look for the ID number.
Back in 1998 or 1999, I put the guitar on eBay and after a few days, I pulled the ad and decided to keep the guitar. However, I believe it was Martin Miranda who e-mailed me and after seeing the pictures said this looked like one of the first ones Mike McGuire had made.
On Monday, February 7, 2007, I placed an ad on eBay and after having so many people e-mail asking for the serial number, I pulled the neck and it says “VA 0048” (please see pics below). So, if you’re a collector of these great guitars, I’m sure you’ll know what that number means and what this guitar is all about.
I bought the guitar in Nashville from famed studio guitar legend Bucky Barrett in either 1986 or 1987. I’m not sure which hit records this guitar may have been played on, but I do know that as soon as I saw it, picked it up, played and heard it, I was hooked. It is just a terrific guitar.
Over the years, I’ve toured overseas with it and made a few adjustments that I’ll tell you about. I had John Bolin (the custom guitar maker for ZZ Top, etc.) at Bolin Guitars do all the following work.
The first was changing the frets. The original frets were wide and flat and for my bigger fingers and styles of playing, I preferred a more narrower and higher fret.
The second was changing the original pickup assembly (all of which I still have), that had Seymour Duncan JB Strats and Classic Strats with 3-toggle switches for tapping a ton of tone variations between the pickups. For years, this was great, but I also wanted the option of a 5-way classic Strat selector. I had him put on a new pick-guard and matching control knobs.
With the new pick-guard and 5-way switch, I put 3 Joe Barden Strat Deluxe pickups in her. Just the pickups in this Valley Arts Strat cost more than $500 (go to www.joebarden.com to read more). I’ve got one of the early Fender Custom Shop Danny Gatton Teles with the Barden pickups and it sounds extraordinary. After calling Joe and talking to him about his Strat pickups, I decided to order a set and put them in this Valley Arts Strat. They sound amazing.
As you’ll see, the guitar isn’t a 10 out 10. It has some dings here and there from touring and being in the studio. The most noticeable is the paint chip on the heel of the guitar. This happened in Japan and for a while, I thought about having it either touched up or repainted, but decided I’d just leave the original paint on her. It has a few other minor nicks and as expected for a guitar this age, it does have those hairline cracks in the lacquer finish, but in no way at all, does any of this affect the amazing tone and playability of the guitar in any way or I would not have hesitated to have everything taken care of. I’ve noticed that as the wood in the guitar has aged, the tone just sounds so sweet.
The guitar has the original rosewood fingerboard, the original Kahler tremolo assembly (I do have the whammy bar too), the original Schaller tuners and the original case.
One of the things that’s always amazed me about this guitar is how well it stays in tune regardless of temperature and travel conditions. The neck set-up has a fast action and since it’s been some time since I’ve really played her, I think it would be a good idea to have her adjusted to your hands and fingers and style of playing.
Over the years, I’ve used this guitar on a number of sessions – from Budweiser commercials to movie scores – and I always get compliments from other players, producers and engineers on how great she sounds.
The ONLY reason why I’m selling her tonight is because I’ve got too many guitars and this has been one of my babies for 20 years now and she needs to go to next owner who will greatly enjoy playing and having her in their collection.
I’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
The winning bidder to pay all shipping, insurance and packing charges. A $300 non-refundable deposit to be paid via Paypal within 24 hours of the winning bid. The balance to be paid before shipping and within 7 days of this auction's end. Thank you.
I do reserve the right to end this auction early.
Many thanks for looking and best of luck bidding!