Help: NGD- Valentine BFR- some concerns

Help: 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:


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