- Valley Arts Guitar
Valley Arts Guitar is an American
electric guitarmanufacturer currently owned and operated by the Gibson Guitar Corporation. Mike McGuire and Al Carness founded the company in the mid-1970s in North Hollywood, California, a district of Los Angeles, Californiain the San Fernando Valley; the name "Valley Arts" is a reference to the firm's original location. Partners in a music store and repair shop, their repairs and customizations gained the attention of Los Angeles studio musiciansand jazzguitarists such as Lee Ritenour, Steve Lukather, Tommy Tedescoand Larry Carlton.Fact|date=February 2008 They began building custom guitars from scratch in 1977, and by 1983 demand for these guitars had increased to the point of requiring a separate manufacturing facility.Fact|date=January 2008 Most of their guitars had a radical styling similar to that of a superstrat; others were modified versions of Fender's popular designs, the Stratocaster and the Telecaster. "Signature" Valley Arts features often included highly-figured wood grain on the front, translucent colored finishes, gold hardware, Floyd Roselocking tremolos, EMG and Seymour Duncanhumbucking pickups.
In late 1990 the store was destroyed by fire. Underinsured, McGuire and Carness found it necessary to sell the store and concentrate on the manufacturing side of the business. In an attempt to expand their business, in 1992 they sold half of Valley Arts to the Korean guitar manufacturer
Samick. They quickly became dissatisfied with their positions in the company and the quality of the guitars manufactured by Samick, and by 1993 they had moved to positions at Gibson. Through the 1990s Gibson was moving to expand and diversify its brands, and by the late 1990s they had decided to acquire the "Valley Arts" name as an outgrowth of the Gibson Custom Shop. In late 2002 Valley Arts reopened as a music store, repair facility and small manufacturer specializing in custom guitars in downtown Nashville. Al Carness managed the store; Mike McGuire is operations manager of the Gibson Custom division, which oversees the Valley Arts line of guitars. The Nashville store closed in 2005.
* [http://www.valleyartsguitar.com/ The Valley Arts Guitar official website]
* [http://player.gibson.com/june03/valleyarts.html Read the Valley Arts Guitar story]
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