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Thread: NGD- Valentine BFR- some concerns

  1. #1

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    NGD- Valentine BFR- some concerns

    Hi all. New to EBMM. Never even played a sterling before. But this guitar spoke to me through the screen. I mostly play Les Pauls, and this one being spec’d like a 70’s custom immediately intrigued me (Mahogany/okume body, maple top, Ebony fb, maple neck, block inlays, Hardtail, double bound body, humbucker and very p-90ish single coil). To my knowledge it’s the only valentine that uses a maple top or uses something other than ash for the body. So pretty unique.

    The thing looks spectacular. It plays so smoothly. Those ss Jescar frets are just laughably slick. The guitar is a showpiece for sure! It’s hard to put the thing down. It’s the only 25.5” guitar that feels like 24.75”. Im sure it has to do with the smaller nut width, but it just feels great. Unlike my fenders which feel like the frets are spaced far apart, the Valentine feels like a Les Paul with a skinny neck.

    But... I will have to contact EBMM and Sweetwater on Monday. There’s a few issues I’m noticing. Let me know what you think.

    First thing I noticed is a rattle that I’ve isolated to the bridge. On 3 of the strings, and most prominent on the low E (bass E). Spent an hour trying small saddle adjustments with no luck. Some of the strings “click” when I move them in the saddle, which probably means there is is burr or something in those saddles. This doesn’t happen on the low E saddle though, where the rattle is most noticeable.

    The next issue is the neck pocket. The top (bass) side of the neck doesn’t touch the body. You can look straight through the gap. Is this a problem?

    My COA is different from everyone else’s online. Everyone’s is signed by Scott Ball and numbered (X of 55). Mine is not signed or numbered? What gives? It does have the correct serial, but that it.

    Some of the tuners are very tight when turning, some turn very smoothly. Do the tight ones just need to be worked in?


    These next things aren’t a big deal, but at this price point, I expected better:

    Binding: pretty rough finishing by the fret ends. Also at the bottom of the guitar where the binding “meets”, one side has a bigger gap, and they end at different spots. Giving an uneven look.

    Case: hardware is cheap & flimsy. I know it’s Chinese, but still, at this price point i shouldn’t be worried about the hinges breaking off. The case doesn’t close perfectly, so the metal lining doesn’t line up properly, The middle hinge is crooked. 2 of the hinge pins are loose and rattle.


    Most of these seem like easy fixes. New saddles (hopefully that's the fix), new COA, new case. The one issue that concerns me the most is the neck pocket.









    How everyone COA looks like:




    Mine:




    And now for the good stuff:




    UPDATE: Everything has been resolved successfully thanks to people here and EBMM customer service.
    Last edited by MusicMandingo; 08-31-2020 at 11:08 AM. Reason: Asked to remove photos

  2. #2

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    Welcome to the forum! And congrats on a stunning guitar! Sweetwater and EBMM customer service will look after you. They're the best in the business.

    I don't see an awful lot to concern me. The neck pocket is totally fine. A completely tight pocket fit would guarantee cracks in the finish at the corners of the pocket (which commonly arise on most bolt-on neck guitars sooner or later and are of no consequence), so a little wiggle room helps to avoid that issue and allows the neck to be adjusted laterally to aid string alignment.

    There are too many photos. Please remove some. Thank you!
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  3. #3

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    Is the string alignment on the fretboard good? Sometimes the necks can shift slightly during shipping. Also as stated before, A perfectly tight neck pocket is a sure way to get finish cracks, as the neck expands and contracts separately from the body.
    2007 Stingray 5 HS Cherry Burst / Maple FB / 3 Band EQ / Ceramic Pickups
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  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Is the string alignment on the fretboard good? Sometimes the necks can shift slightly during shipping. Also as stated before, A perfectly tight neck pocket is a sure way to get finish cracks, as the neck expands and contracts separately from the body.
    I think you nailed it. Neck misaligned ever so slightly, causing a larger gap than normal on one side and no gap at all on the other.

  5. #5

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    Like tbone said, if the strings are aligned well along the neck, all is good. As acceptable gaps go, that's pretty small. You have nothing to worry about.
    Forum Moderator, Guitar Teacher and Guitar Tech, Folder of Underpants, Stubber of Toes.
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  6. #6

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    Called this morning. It’s crazy how easy it is to deal with Music man!

    I called a few times in the past about specs on different models (that I couldn’t find online) and was given immediate detailed answers.

    This time I got helped just as fast. New COA incoming. Along with 3 new saddles to see if that fixes the buzz. If I can’t fix it on my own, I can always send it in. The couple of tight tuners was an easy fix because the gentleman suggested that the buttons themselves were too tight, not the gears. Now they’re perfect.

    Neck pocket issue fixed with the recommendation by @tbonesullivan. Thank you.

    Top notch guitar!

  7. #7

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    Alls well that end well. Keep us posted. Sweet guitar. Just got a standard one myself. Picture thread coming soon
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  8. #8

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    Happy NGD, I'm glad to hear your situation got resolved. I love EBMM's customer service and Sweetwater is solid as well.

    That's a beautiful instrument!
    --
    2013 Luke 3 HH in Bali Blue Burst
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  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by MusicMandingo View Post
    And now for the good stuff:
    Wow. Seriously. That is one fine looking Valentine, from the top and color to the flaming on the roasted neck...and that herringbone inlay on the back of the neck is just sweet! Congrats on scoring a stunning guitar and glad to hear your issues have been sorted.

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