NGD; Valravn Guitars 7 string/Valravn guitars review

Discussion in 'Sevenstring Guitars' started by Jensen_Parker_, Feb 26, 2021.

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  1. Jensen_Parker_

    Jensen_Parker_ SS.org Regular

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    Hello everyone.

    For anyone who doesn't know (probably most people) Valravn is a ukraine based custom shop specializing in headless guitars, as they only started opereration early last year there aren't any reviews from owners of their guitars who aren't close friends of the owner,
    so, as someone who recently recieved onr of their guitars im putting this review out.

    While reading, please keep in mind that this guitar cost me 1100 USD, ONLY 1100 USD! That in mind I'm still going to hold it to the same standards that I hold any guitar to, and I won't be saying "for the price range". for the sake of clarity.

    also, all the links I wanted to add have to be removed because this is a new account...

    my instagram handle is @Jensen_Parker_
    use this page for pictures of the guitar/the "box"
    Valravn is @valravnguitars
    thanks.


    The guitar I bought was a guitar not built custom for me, I don't know the full story behind it, but it was either a cancelled custom order or an in stock model not ordered by anyone.

    As Valravn doesn't have a website all orders take place over either their instagram or Facebook pages, the guitar was advertised through their instagram story in late december 2020, I messaged Taras (the owner of Valravn) and got the guitar reserved for me, it shipped from Ukraine in early feburary this year, it only took this long because he was on christmas holidays, which is 100% fair enough.

    The guitars journey all the way from ukraine to australia went smoothly, the sale was through reverb so no risk of shady transactions and I was provided with a tracking number. Taras, despite english evidently being a second language, did a good job of conveying information and is happy to answer any questions you might have, I can't speak about how he would respond to qc issues because I didn't speak to him about anything like that, but I know that he put extra time into final QC before shipping.

    When the guitar got to me, it was packaged in a "box", this box was by far the worst I have ever seen, i'm unclear if it was the work of aussie customs or Valravn guitars but either way it was janky as all hell, it was essentially a bunch of cardboard pannels taped together.

    Despite this absolute crime of a box the guitar survived without a scratch and the included gigbag (more of a softcase) is the best I have come across, so far very good.

    Review;

    Ok, so moving onto the guitar itself.

    Specs;
    1 piece mahogany body
    Golden Camphore Burl cap (full thickness)
    25.5 - 27 multiscale
    Jescar stainless steelfrets
    3 piece wenge neck, with 2 thick stripes of (white) limba
    ebony fretboard
    CNC routed body/fret slots
    real abalone side markers
    Nova guitar parts hardware
    Emg 707s

    Craftsmanship:
    As with all modern guitarbrands with a pricepoint lower than 4000 dollars, Valravn cnc routes their bodies, this leads to no imperfections in the body and nice lines, so no news is good news with the body.

    The neck is, as far as I know traditionally hand carved, the shape of the necks is a thin C shape, not as thin as a wizard, but thinner than all of the traditional strat/les paul necks. the neck has wide shoulders, as in when you get up to the fretboard there is a flat surface along the sides of the neck, as bad as this sounds in theory, its actually very comfortable and sets it apart from any guitar I have ever played.

    Finally, the fretwork smokes even my RG2228 (MIJ Ibanez prestige), by using the CNC router, you can hide away fret tangs inside the fretboard, so all you can see is the well polished stainless steel.
    As you would expect no sharp or high frets and no deadspots or intonation issues.

    Sidenote; the magnetic back cover on the electronics cavity was sitting slightly high on the upper most magnet, this was due to too much glue being used when putting the magnets in, therefore the glue seeped out of the hole and pushed the magnets up, this was an easy fix with some sand paper, but would have been easily fixed during production.

    Setup;

    The setup out of the box was passable, but below average, I wouldn't blame this on Valravn, but instead on the trip from sub zero Ukraine to 40 celcius Australia over the course of 2 weeks, the setup was easy and I got perfect action/intonation with ease, also, all relevant adjustment tools are included with the guitar (screwdriver and allen keys).

    Hardware;
    The Nova Guitar Parts hardware is high quality, using presumably stainless steel for crucial parts of the instrument, I would put it on par with anything by hipshot.
    Adjustment is intuitive and I could work out all aspects of the bridges operation with minor experimentation.

    Electronics;

    Ok, the electronics in this guitar are easily the weakest link, the EMGs are fine other than Australian customs stripping the pickup screws while searching for drugs in the very suspicious emgs (I assume at least). However, the part that really lets the guitar down is the wiring, it is a bit messy and when the guitar arrived the tone pot was acting almost like a second volume pot, cutting high end but also cutting volume too, by some strange twist of fate poking around in the electronics cavity fixed this issue and it has worked perfectly since. This isn't a problem for me, but if you don't fancy putting any work into this guitar you might have to come to terms with a few minor issues.

    Playability;
    This guitar plays very well, I use it primarily for Jazz fusion and it doesn't prohibit you whatsoever, the fretwork allows for very low actions and therefore effortless playing, anyone could pick this up and play without an issue, even with the fanned frets.

    Weight/size;
    Final section everyone,
    the weight of this guitar is almost mythical, due to it being chambered, it manages to weigh a little more than 2kgs, way less than anything I have ever played, on top of this, even though it is baritone (technically) it is very small, you could get this thing onto carry on luggage no problem, or take it just about anywhere.
    the weight is absolutely one of the best parts of this guitar.

    If you managed to read all of this, I'm suprised, but thank you,
    When I was looking for info on Valravn, I found nothing but official/biased posts, so I thought that I would put an outsiders perspective out into the wild, I hope this helps you on your search for gear, and if not, then I hope it was at least readable.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  2. Pietjepieter

    Pietjepieter SS.org Regular

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    :worth: of the damn guitar :welcome:
     
  3. Jensen_Parker_

    Jensen_Parker_ SS.org Regular

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    If only it let me attach files on a new account, but in the thread it says where you can find photos in more than one place. but I will send photos in a reply
     
  4. Jensen_Parker_

    Jensen_Parker_ SS.org Regular

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  5. Pietjepieter

    Pietjepieter SS.org Regular

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    It looks absolutely stunning!!

    HNGD!!
     
  6. KnightBrolaire

    KnightBrolaire only the dead have seen the end of GAS

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    Glad to hear your gamble on a newer builder paid off.
     
  7. Ben Pinkus

    Ben Pinkus SS.org Regular

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    Looks good!
     
  8. Jensen_Parker_

    Jensen_Parker_ SS.org Regular

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    Yeah, it surely did, I was looking for something unique and thats what I ended up getting.
     
  9. Millul

    Millul SS.org Regular

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    One of the best looking headless designs I've seen! Happy to hear it's good, I think it'd be very hard to get a better one for that kind of money!
     
  10. shupe13

    shupe13 SS.org Regular

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  11. 77zark77

    77zark77 SS.org Regular

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  12. groverj3

    groverj3 Bioinformagician

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    That looks great!
     
  13. Forkface

    Forkface Feast on this.

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    damn, that headless design is on point. if it plays as well as it looks you got a winner.
    congrats!
     
  14. Avedas

    Avedas SS.org Regular

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    Nice build! I follow his IG and everything on there looks great. I'm glad the guitar is actually good, too.
     
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  15. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic "That" guy.

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    Dang, that thing is gorgeous, as are the rest of the builds I could find. This is not helping my purchasing decisions at all...
     
  16. Gtan7

    Gtan7 SS.org Regular

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    That bottom rout looks like the best protection for tuners against getting hit/damaged I've seen, which is pretty important.
     
  17. Gtan7

    Gtan7 SS.org Regular

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    Great pics also, pro level, not insanely saturated photoshop
     
  18. 777

    777 SS.Org's Irish Guy

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    Wait a minute.... that's a .strandberg* !
     
  19. eclecto-acoustic

    eclecto-acoustic "That" guy.

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    Hey @Jensen_Parker_ now that it's been a few weeks, how have you been getting on with this guitar? I'm now leaning heavily in this direction (was thinking about a Strandy, but this guitar...just...wow).

    Already dreaming of a sixer loaded with Bare Knuckle Silo pickups.
     
  20. Jensen_Parker_

    Jensen_Parker_ SS.org Regular

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    Hey, ive been playing it a lot, and it's holding up well, tuning stability is very good since the wood acclimated.
    I can easily reccommend, but just be warned that there is a ~5 month build period, but I think it's worth it, it is easily one of the most striking guitars I have seen, I would say go for it if it's what your leaning towards.
     
    eclecto-acoustic likes this.

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