Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: George the Crazy Stonemason (Private sale)
Sound — 8
I love the sound of the guitar. The Rockfield pickups are oddly clear, and the crunch that they made with the Peavey amplifier in the seller's residence... Bliss. I play in styles that range from Rush-like prog to Soundgardenesque grunge. In fact, I played the song Limelight to test the guitar. The guitar goes from clean to distorted on a very even gradient, thanks to the master volume. I hardly ever test the tone, but I tried it out, and found that it was as even as the volume knob. I loved its sound, but it isn't the best sounding thing I've come across, and through some amps, the pickup's bite might sound harsh.
Overall Impression — 7
The guitar (When its working) is an excellent match for what I try to accomplish... But, if you ever venture over and listen to my recordings, you will NOT hear its sound on anything I have completed thus far. I wish that the guitar was working, and that the wiring wasn't being a... A.. Female dog... But hey, these things, they do 'appen. I just hope to get it up and working soon, so I can actually use it.
Reliability & Durability — 6
Okay, here's the fun part. After three months, the input jack came loose. I soldered it back together fine, but every three months or so... Something with the wiring just seemed to die. I've got the guitar sitting in a case right now, because I need to go over the wiring and possibly have the thing re-wired, which I am NOT psyched about. I've gigged with the guitar without a backup, but it fell in and out because of the shoddy original work on the input jack. Other than that, it's taken a physical beating... But beware! Spalted maple is a little weak because of the dead spots that the fungus makes as it eats into the wood! My guitar's got notches around the darker spots because of everything from walls to stands to amplifiers!
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar was set up so-so, having hung in George's residence for awhile; not a bad fix. Other than that, everything was alright, and there were no *visible* flaws.
Features — 9
Mine is the Valor X... 24 Frets, spalted maple top over a mahogany body, strings-thru bridge, master tone, master volume with coil taps, Rockfield Mafia pickups direct-mounted to the body, thin as anything neck... And I think I got a crappy gig bag out of the deal too. A pretty good rock machine on the outset. My only problem with the guitar is the two knob configuration.