Stirling Valentine Review
Long time forum lurker, but I finally took the plunge and bought the Stirling Valentine, below is all my thoughts of the guitar currently. Not a reader? Check out the video at the end for a detail review with lots of tone samples.
To start off my name is Pat, I’m from Melbourne Australia. I’ve owned Fender American Deluxe series guitars, Strandbergs, Schecter KM’s and a Custom Aussie one off. I first saw the Valentine when fellow Aussie Brett Kingman reviewed it. I loved the design how it seems like a classic that has been around of decades yet the truss rod placement, roasted maple neck, locking tuners and boost make it a very very modern beast.
Out of the box the guitar needed very minimal adjustments. The guitar is extremely easy to play, no dead spots, no sharp fret ends and overall I the guitar seems extremely well designed, no neck dives and the forearm cut really helps the overall comfort level.
Why I like it
Quality of build – finish colour
Immediately after picking the Valentine up I felt the overall quality, the fit in finish is at a very high standard. After owning quite a few guitars from the same factory (chapman, strandberg, prs se, schector) the valentine is certainly up there with the best of them! My favourite feature of the guitar is the roasted neck, extremely easy to play, the feel to me is somewhere between satin and gloss. And the tone of the neck and fingerboard is seemingly similar to a mixture of ebony and rosewood, I am a big big fan now of roasted maple necks and boards.
Tone wise the guitar is really well balanced I really like the overall tone and weight of swamp ash (it’s also awesome in trans or clear finishes). The neck pickup sounds huge and doesn’t come across as muddy or too boomy. The bridge single coil was really surprising it’s Spanky enough but if you kick on the boost on a distorted channel is really helps to kick the guitar up a notch for hard rock tones. Overall I really love how versatile the tones of the guitar can be, clean chording, thick blues, classic rock, boost to hard rock, it’s all there.
Speaking of the boost, this is my first guitar with a boost or even a push push pot. I love both, having an onboard boost for solos or to add some power to the single coil bridge is a really nice feature. The locking tuners are a really nice inclusion I’m hoping this feature just becomes standard on all guitars.
Aesthetically the guitar to me looks like a classic instrument something that has been around for as long as the guitars it was inspired me. The overall guitar seems extremely well appointed all of the modern features, roasted neck and board, forearm cut and boost make it extremely easy to play and versatile. The stock pickups are certainly enough to cover a range of bases and when you need more grunt the boost is there.
Who would I recommend this guitar to?
The guitar is extremely well priced, a bargain in my eyes. If you wanted to focus in on one particular genre you could swap out the pickups. I would recommend the guitar to any guitarist looking for something classic and unique all at the same time.
The only problem I’m having now is that I want the full musicman version with tremolo, so now the saving begins. Very happy to be apart of the Stirling family now, if you want to hear and some more of the guitar check out the video below. And if you want to see or hear something in particular I make videos all the time so just let me know and I’ll post it to this thread.
But now I’m off to play and record some more!
Stirling by Musicman Valentine review – YouTube