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A premium player's instrument accessible to working guitarists.
Given all its truly upscale appointments and precision craftsmanship, it boggles the mind that the the Michael Kelly Valor Custom can be so affordable. The mahogany neck is precision set into the solid mahogany back with a carved maple top and brilliantly flamed maple veneer. A sculpted heel allows totally unimpeded access to all 22 medium jumbo frets on an ebony fingerboard with unique mother-of-pearl/abalone inlays. Sculpted-in knob recesses and pickup cavities look great and allow direct mounting of the freshly designed Riboloff/Rockfield SWC-1 pickups. These humbuckers generate thick, sustaining tone and feature coil tapping so you can get single-coil bite at the pull of a knob. The totally cool bridge has a wraparound stop tailpiece with built-in adjustable saddles! The matching flamed headstock is set off with chrome Grover tuners.
Reviewed by 10 customers
Displaying reviews 1-10
I bought my Valor Custom new about 4 years ago. I was attracted to it because of its versatility. It did not disappoint; right out of the box it was setup well, played great, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it ever since. Aside from a few small problems (mentioned below) I think it's well made, plays very well, is versatile, responds wonderfully to tone and volume knob adjustment, and is capable of producing some great tones. When considering the price this is all very impressive. My only quips are that it's somewhat noisy (fuzz/static) when coil tapping, there were some minor blemishes in the finish where the neck and body meet, and the push pull pots failed pretty early on; the whole post pulled right out of the pot and guitar body. I've read this is a common problem with them. It's an easy fix though. I?d just be aware of the push-pull pot issue if looking at one, though a used one will have likely already been fixed. Over all it?s a great guitar and I highly recommend it!
I love this guitar it has great tone and power. The action is good and great feel. This is a beautiful guitar. I have the red one. The reason I did not give this guitar a 5 is for the bridge.The bridge makes it hard to restring, the strings drop under the bridge. I have a prs semi hollow with the same bridge and have no problems,for the reason that prs put a plate to guide the strings witch the valor does not have.
This is a very high quality guitar! The sounds you can achieve and the playability are unmatched (in my opinion), at this price point. The Rockfield pick-ups are extremely warm and smooth. However, put a little OD/Dist in the mix, and you've got tight, "articulate" sounds. The only issues you may encounter are the knobs being a little "weak" and the cutout for the upper frets is pretty shallow. However, the Ebony fretboard still allows you to fly! Korean made PRS and Schecter better watch out for these.
I prefer the double cut, hum bucker, fixed bridge setup. I've owned an Ibanez SZ, PRS SE, dozens of RGs, and a schecter C-1. This guitar is best in its comfort and quality, aside from the lower cut being way too shallow, this axe feels right. I've always liked string thru the body over wrap around, but this guitar pulls it off. The grover tuners are a plus and the coil tap covers all bases. The output is a little weak though. I'll probably end up throwing EMGs in it anyways, I always do. I would rate this little shredder better than a C-1 and the SZ. Not really comparable to a PRS because of the neck 'style'. I suggest the walnut or natural finish, beautiful.
I've owned my MK Valor Custom - which is really just a Schecter C-1 with a 5mm thinner body and without the abalone binding inlays - for about 5 months, now, and can't imagine finding or playing anything better for the money. But that doesn't mean it's perfect; not by a long shot. PROS: the two tapped Rockfield pickups are amazingly warm and expressive, and the finish on the neck and abalone & m-o-p inlays in the ebony fretboard are superb! No matter how much you sweat or bend across them, they don't hold you back, and the heel-less neck joint's pure poetry in your hand! The body and fret finishes are on par with a CS Gibson or PRS, as well. CONS: the lower horn's body carve is cut _way_ too shallowly for a body of this depth, leading to wrist cramps and slowed arpeggios when fretting above the 16th. The Tone Pros bridge, while offering more adjustment range than a Gibby AOM, needs to have its second threading-hole enlarged, because it's otherwise nearly impossible to change strings on it, and the pickups, while tonally warm and versatile, are neither height-adjustable nor strong enough in the output department. I boosted the 2nd problem by removing and shimming both of them with dual 1mm plies of mahogany veneerwood, but the output's still a far cry from what I need, so I'll have to switch them out, at some point. Still, this is a fine instrument, and an excellent buy for the money, overall.
I have only had this guitar for a few days but there are some things I have already come to like and dislike about it.Let me tell you the guitar is beautiful in every way. The clean sound is incredible. I never use to play on the neck pickup on my jackson because it was terrible. but now I am almost always on the neck pickup. Being able to switch it to single coils gives many many tone variations. The only bad thing is that the volume drops a little when changing to single coil.This guitar is NOT made for heavy music with alot of distortion. The pickups are directly mounted to the guitar so you cannot change the pickup height. This makes it very hard to get a good distortion since the pickups are soo far from the strings. and I mean a good distortion as in if you want all your notes heard clearly while in drop C. I have to turn my distortion up to 10 on my metal master pedal and it doesnt even get close to the distortion I get on my jackson with the metal master on 5.Other then this the guitar is wonderful. GREAT clean sounds out of this.The frets seem a little small to me and bending is akward. The bridge is sort of wierd looking but thats just me.If I can find a way to change the pcikup height I would say this might be a perfect guitar for me.
three big probelms with this guitar are fret buzz witch is easy fix. Second it might be me but stringing this thing is hard to do to the bridge becasue it is a warp around. Third it really hard to hit those sweet soloing high like the 22 fret becasue some dumby did not make the design cut deep enough(look at the pics and u shall see). Over all it is great little guitar it will surpise u. As some guy said it a poor man's paul reed smith. it well sound good with what ever u play.
This is a fantastic guitar. I'm assuming you've read the specifications. If not, please do so. The hardware and electronics are U.S. made with assembly and bodywork done in Korea. The quality is excellent with the Rockfield pickups offering a wide range of sonics. They use Alnico 5 magnets and are overwound slightly with high quality wiring that matches pickup qualities from the classic Les Paul 59' era. If you wanted a Gibson-like sound, it's here, and the coil taps make for excellent snappy sound, from clean to as distorted as you want to go. It plays well with the PODxt, Guitar Rig, several Valve and class A amps.The Valor Custom is a Chameleon. It handles beautifully and sounds amazing, expecially for its price. The Valor has beautiful looks. If you like PRS guitars you'll like the looks and sound, which are also quite comparable, even beyond the PRS SE range. The more I use it, the more I like it.
I picked this up for a great price. Mine is the valor special. Rosewood fretboard instead of Ebony with a painted body and headstock. I went looking for one of these after playing a Patriot at Samash. I really liked the pickups. The guitar is the size of a Schecter C-1. Kind of small compared to my Dean Hardtail and somewhat lighter. The Rockfield pickups do sound great however they are a lower output than I had expected, The Tone is real good and the coil taps are a plus, especially on the neck pickup. The do not drive my on board effects are hard as I wuold like...The body carve is very similar to my Dean Hardtail with a raised edge contour. The factory set up is a little high and slightly out of intonation. I will change it tomorrow. The fret finish is pretty decent and the overall finish is pretty tight. Very similar to most guitars made in Korea. I collect Deans and have several modded Z' and V's. I am starting to get back to playing more "conventional" body shapes. I love my Dean Cadillac. I have put a set of Epiphone Elitist pickups in the caddy and they have ALnico V magnets which are hotter than the Kelly/Rockfields. The Rockfields have an output similar to a Gibson 490R / 498T which have the Alnico II magnets. The tone is really nice. A little darker than a Gibson and very distinct. I would prefer separate Volume pots but the guitar was really a bargain. My only seious complaint is the neck joint/upper fret access. It is VERY difficult to play on frets 19 - 22 unless you have very long fingers. I have to wrap my wrist around the neck and play with the very tips of my fingers. Worse than my Hardtail or my Les Paul. You can see why I like Flying Vs. Anyway, I contemplated returning the guitar but it sounds so good it made me buy a case to keep it in. I have 20 guitars and this one I will take to gig next week.
The features are amazing, you can get any tone you want w/ the push-pull pots. You can switch it from humbucker to single coil on the neck and bridge pickups. The neck is so smooth solos are played w/ ease. Oh and lets not forget the beautiful inlays on the neck and the finish is flawless along with everything else about this guitar. My friend played it and he likes it better than his Prs that cost 3x the amount. Thank You Michael Kelley for making such a sweet guitar at I price I can afford!