Scored this one for $200 at Atomic Music. I've been wanting/needing a 24.75" shredder with Floyd for awhile. I can't play E standard tuning on 25.5" guitars anymore unless I use those crazy Billy Gibbons .007-.038 sets, and Floyd nuts snap .007s like nobody's business.
I considered getting another Charvel 750xl or Jackson Soloist AT Pro, but I just don't like their sound that much. I was looking into a myriad of other options when I ran into this on Saturday. It's been sitting at Atomic Music for many years, and I never really gave it a second look due to the Samick label. However, on Saturday I noticed that it had a 24.75" scale and decided to check it out.
Holy cow. Yeah, it's got crap hardware and pickups, but the wood could have come straight from the original pre-Samick Valley Arts custom shop in the '80s. Swamp ash body, maple neck with bound ebony board. It's heavy as fuck and sustains for days.
For those who don't know, Valley Arts was a boutique builder in Southern California that was big with a lot of session guys like Larry Carlton and Steve Lukather. They sold part of the business to Samick in the early '90s due to financial difficulties after a building fire. The designs still came from California, but the manufacturing went to Korea.
This particular guitar is very similar to the ones they made for Larry Carlton except for the pickup layout. The neck is a very comfortable mid-sized D-profile. It shreds like crazy, though the frets need some attention.
It was very difficult to find any information on this guitar--the Samick-era Valley Arts guitars seem to have gone down the memory hole. Samick sold the brand to Gibson a decade ago, and Gibson managed to fuck it up the way they do everything else.
I'm going to try a Schaller Floyd on it and use an OFR if that doesn't fit. The pickups are crap, also, but I always change those anyway.
That thing is beautiful, and the price you paid is astounding. I like.