25.5" Scale Length · 12" Radius · 22 Stainless Steel Super Jumbo Frets · 1 11/16" Nut Width · Mahogany Body with a 1/2" Maple Cap · Maple Neck with an Ebony or Maple Fingerboard · Luminlay Side Dots · Hardtail or Vibrato System · HH Pickup Configuration · 6-Way Switching · Carbon Fiber Neck Reinforcement · 3D Neck Coupling · Expert Lutherie and a touch of artistry featuring elements of ancient Norse myths and legends...
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Synopsis of Design Elements, Features & Fabrication Factors
Healthy posture is encouraged by a contoured body shape inspired by human factors and the silhouette of swan wings. A Valkyrie provides one of the most logical body styles you will ever encounter. Whether you stand or sit in either of the most common postures during recording sessions and live gigs, an ergonomically designed guitar fosters comfort. Relieving stress in your back, neck and limbs is essential to a long career, especially if you are often seated at a digital audio workstation or in a studio. This design truly accommodates a seated tracking session. Also, the tummy cut extends through the entire upper horn for increased comfort for both sexes. In the end, however, one must still properly warm up and maintain health through exercise and diet. A healthy human body is an unstressed human body, so please take a moment to evaluate all that you do to your body while playing guitar. Settling for an instrument that is uncomfortable is like wearing shoes with a pebble inside. It's madness. Your bodily-kinesthetic intelligence deserves more from an instrument.
The 2Tek design is one of the great innovations in guitar hardware. For fantastic string separation and sustain, each fully adjustable saddle on a 2Tek bridge rests on its own weight-relieved brass tone block. This creates a tremendous amount of isolation for each string and contributes to a uniquely authoritative and rich tone with desirable harmonic overtones abundantly present. The dynamic range is wide and articulate. Additionally, the expertly machined saddles provide comfort, an important reality if palm muting is a regular aspect of your technique. From the manufacturer: "On a conventional bridge, all the saddles share the same bridge block or platform; as a consequence, when you strike a string the vibrations disperse in all directions. In fact, the adjacent saddles are typically in such close proximity that they allow vibrations to transmit to each another—often referred to as “crosstalk”—and this crosstalk is usually in conflict with the harmonic overtones of the originating string."
Our signature Viking-longship-themed headstock delivers straight string-pull over a graphite or bone nut for excellent tuning stability. The Hipshot Grip-Lock tuning machines with a smooth 18:1 ratio are mounted with Hipshot's screwless system which enhances sustain and leaves no installation scars. The three levels of staggered tuning machines work in tandem with the shelf depth to eliminate the need for string retainers and provide an ideal break angle over the nut. Open strings ring true with a strong attack transient.
Long story short: Increased sustain and some additional clarity and fundamental punch emerges from this feature. Long story: Olympic archers with recurve bows use dampening stabilizers for a reason. Likewise, adding a few ounces of mass to the back of the headstock can mitigate dead spots and wolf tones which can emerge in all stringed instruments, sometimes coming and going due to humidity changes or string gauge choices. There can be other benefits when you manage this phenomenon with science. Oscillation of the strings happens between the witness points of the nut and the saddles, but that wave energy is transferred elsewhere through sympathetic vibrations, especially to the neck which obviously flexes dynamically under tension from the strings. From this energy the guitar's natural frequencies and mode shapes create frequency cancellation which results in notes that don't sustain as desired and other notes that are too loud in comparison with their brethren. Extra mass and stiffening added to the surface of the headstock creates greater inertia and greater inertia means increased mechanical impedance. The Massomancer features a stealthy hidden chamber with two M2.5 threaded holes available which allow additional brass, tungsten or even inexpensive neodynium magnet shims or coins to be clamped against the surface of the headstock as a means of fine-tuning the sympathetic frequencies in the neck (or you can use it to attach a headstock tuner and keep it from being visible from the front of the guitar—other uses are envisioned). Archers also study the node points on their arrows to achieve maximum stability on their release because they know there are two places on an arrow in flight which are nearly still—this knowledge affects how far they draw the arrow back. Waves are everywhere, in guitars and even in bows and arrows, so it pays dividends to manage them to your advantage.
A desirable neck carve boils down to individual anatomy and personal preference, but aspects of a familiar shape can be improved for better playability. A 25.5" scale length Valkyrie can be outfitted with a variety of compound profiles—you'll feel the difference immediately. Don't settle for a fatiguing simple tapering profile. The progressive asymmetric shapes produce extra comfort within a range of familiarity from the first position all the way up the neck—and for the fretboard, many fret radii are available, too. Enjoy a lifetime of extended play with less stress on your tendons and joints. And, last but not least, the neck has a matte finish using Simtec for no "sticktion" while shifting positions—feels much like an unfinished neck but is sealed against the elements.
Solid fretwork is a necessity for the maximum range of usable setup configurations and consistent note expression. This feature is not just about the cosmetic beauty of hidden tangs. The fact is, slotted fret pockets maximize the T-beam shape of fretwire because compressive forces mechanically secure each fret from the ends and sides of the tang within the channel. Most guitars have frets that are held in place by only the lengthwise sides of the tangs within the slot, and if you're lucky, glue. On a Valkyrie, you'll enjoy a mechanically superior manufacturing technique with a cosmetic bonus. On top of the superior process, we also use glue to for extra holding power. There is no fret sprout in any climate. Notes ring clear across the fretboard.
Unlike most 22 fret guitars, our fingerboards extend to the end of the neck, so there is a solid base for every fret which enhances sustain in the upper register. Also, Jescar services the world with their professional grade guitar fret wire. For dependable quality control of tensile strength, hardness, dimension, and composition, they are the distinguished leader among luthiers. Jescar FW58118-S (.118" X .058) is their largest variety, offering an unparalleled feel and polished look but other options are available. Stainless steel frets ensure reduced friction due to the absence of corrosion or oxidation. This is cosmetically more attractive and you'll experience silky smooth bends due to less string drag and ultimately longer string life because friction and wear are not multiplied over time as with nickel silver frets.
A radial neck pocket introduces more surface area than traditional flat pocket designs for increased string energy transfer to the body. To visualize it, hold out your hand with the palm up. That's a finite amount of surface area. Now, curl your fingers a bit. That's the same surface area as before in a smaller footprint. Neck pockets can be so much more than a 2-3/16" floor and weak illusory support from the pocket walls. Valkyrie's proprietary 3D coupling goes beyond even a radial connection and maximizes body-to-neck contact on 3 diameters—made possible by CNC milling. In other words, the curvature of the neck pocket includes the sloping sides, the back and radiused corners. Total connectivity is the goal. It also guides the neck into flawless alignment. Forget about tone-sucking gaps and misalignment often found in mass market designs—this modern approach connects the entire neck heel with the complementary pocket in a compounded manner—one 3D puzzle piece into another. It's also very attractive and contributes to the clamping success of the two-bolt coupling system.
Securing a neck with industrial grade embedded inserts makes for precise and consistent reassembly after scheduled maintenances. This dependable two-bolt coupling system takes advantage of the powerful torque that only machine bolts can offer, pulling the wood cells tightly against the complementary-shaped 3D neck pocket in many directions at once. These bolts are also used in high-stress designs like skateboard truck installations where heavy contrary forces are constantly in play.
Dual carbon fiber rods in the neck enhance sustain and provide additional resistance against seasonal changes, touring stresses and potential dead spots. One of the most trustworthy ways to ensure that a neck can perform consistently within shifting climates is to reinforce it with lightweight carbon fiber. With an impressive strength-to-weight ratio, this composite material is often found in critical aerospace applications as well as in major structural components of supercars like the Lamborghini Aventador. Combined with a strong 2-way truss rod, the stabilizing benefits are exceptional.
Within an outer ring of black, the central material color is a pale green in normal light and a glowing green as conditions move toward total darkness. The SG series has the fastest illumination time of the Luminlay product line. When the stage lights are down, the glow is powerful but not overpowering. It's a perfect reference when you need it, and the fingerboard surface remains uncluttered, showcasing the beautiful grain of the board.
If you want the most useful tone combinations available right at your fingertips from a two humbucker guitar, the Free-Way Ultra Switch has 28 terminal connections which provide a plethora of useful specialty wiring solutions. The clean footprint appears like a traditional 3-way switch but offers 6 settings, and that's before considering the expansion of options via push-pull knobs. The most classic and desirable settings can be had with one switch—totally clutter free. And we offer a "treble bleed" equipped with a variable resister so that you can find the sweet spot for your volume control outcomes and change things up when you experiment with new amplification—or you can disable it by simply releasing the alligator clips securing it into the circuit—totally reversible if your needs change or you want to experiment with other capacitor and resister values.
Thanks to the growth of the 3D printing industry it is now feasible to create singular pickup rings for each iteration of the Valkyrie line—or to forego a pickup ring altogether if an exotic top seems to aesthetically clash with this option. With a ring, we'll work with you to offer something that has symbolic value and you'll have the option to custom order replacements should your preferences change over time.
The unique combination of rails under the wound strings, and poles under the plain strings give you tighter lows and fatter highs than a conventional pickup, for perfect tonal balance without any compromise. Clarity is also increased, but the tone is never sterile sounding at all, because Railhammers have the rich, organic tone only a passive design can deliver. Regardless of pickup choice, they can be mounted with a block of foam underneath if you desire or mounted on our unique pickup ring option. Either way, it remains totally height-adjustable.
Bill Lawrence was a legend in the guitar community, and this device is part of his legacy. It is an LCR network, sized as a 1" cube which can shift the low/mid emphasis to a more desirable range for a particular pickup setting. Some people describe it as a virtual removal of coil windings, but it's more than that. Used in combination with our included "treble-bleed" and the varied settings on a Freeway-switched guitar such as the Valkyrie, it provides that last bit of tone-chaser finesse that most other guitars lack.
These small performance oriented knobs are precision machined. Three rubber o-rings are held in place by grooves, offering a no-slip grip as you dial in your tone and interact with it in the moment. A set screw secures the knob to the audio potentiometer shaft and a split-shaft option is available that does not use set screws.
The Straplok Strap Retainer System is a favorite among touring musicians because of the ease of use and dependable design. The end result is the sturdiest system for the ultimate in performance and comfort. Flush-mounted inserts are also available.
To respect what Earth offers up in raw materials, we want to do our part by supporting the ethical harvesting of tonewoods. Our supplies are sourced from reliable and accountable sources. We encourage everyone to do their part toward achieving sustainable forests for future generations.
When purpose and imagination coincide, we call it Toneflow. The Valkyrie's ergonomic design expresses these forces to achieve cumulative enhancements in playability and tone. She features aesthetic mindfulness grounded in science, intention and craftsmanship.
Go and Forge New Styles, Ye Sonic-Skálds of Modernity
The Valkyrie is a discerning player's dream guitar—a rare and powerful instrument crafted to help serious players reach greater realms of inspiration and expression. Ergonomic comfort, sustain and clarity are the fountainhead of her magical powers...
Toneflow™ is a term that embodies the complex synergy between an instrument's subsystems and components. It's an "everything affects everything" design philosophy which ultimately produces an exotic luxury guitar that is a joy to play and hear—a true paragon. All the factors of the system make a contribution, and these instruments deliver an exquisite summation of those carefully chosen components.
Throughout the design process, attention to the endgame of amplifying strings with the utmost sustain, dynamic range and articulation remained in view. This was achieved through experimentation and prototype iterations. Each stage of discovery honed the guitar's potential for the nonconformist player questing for a lasting artistic contribution.
The result? Enjoy the coherence of top-tier wood and hardware enhanced by carbon fiber, aluminium, brass and stainless steel using modern construction methods. Thick fundamental tones, balanced string volumes, delightful overtones—an experience you can fall in love with each time you play. The Valkyrie is an invocation to make transcendent music and to flourish as an artist.
Desire, Action, Sound—The Empowering Central Pillars of Musicality
When you analyze making music in a way that's meaningful, it distills down to three foundational but nuanced processes: a desire to create, expressive action toward realizing a creative plan, and the results as sound, whether captured forever by a recording or sacrificed to the moment.
A Valkyrie places you confidently in the vanguard through her design elements, features and fabrication factors. She offers a bold voice as you work through your creative process. Much like a chrysalis, creativity is a mystery seeking change and transformation—and ultimately, a final form that confronts culture and influences it.
Leonardo da Vinci said, “All our knowledge has its origin in our perceptions.” And musical knowledge explores the tension between intuitive and analytical ways of ordering our thoughts, but there's also a physical component—the feel of the instrument influencing what is desired and what is possible as the pulse of the music races forward. Engineered to stand apart, the Valkyrie delivers options in the midst of that struggle so that you can create at higher levels.
— Shane Sanders, Founder and Chief Design Officer of DRONEFACE™
Discover the Underlying Principle of a SuperGuitar
Balance is the underlying principle for all the design choices comprising the Valkyrie, both physically and sonically. The design starts and ends in response to how you're made as a physical organism and what you need to accomplish artistically as a musician.
Add these factors together in your mind: playability, comfort, clarity, sustain, tonal versatility, craftsmanship, superior materials, stability and beauty.
Summed up, these attributes not only describe the reality of what a Valkyrie is, but they converge to describe what is meant by Superguitar—the result when all of these elements are uncompromisingly expressed in an instrument.
Flowing ergonomic lines...
Thorax and breast comfort...
Precise CNC routing...
What makes the Valkyrie perfect for studio & stage?
There are many avenues to perpetual relevance. In the realm of guitar design, one of the most attractive mechanisms of relevancy is matching form, function and usage in a way that fosters conservation of muscle energy while shifting inevitable compromises toward systems at the bottom of a known hierarchy. In other words, know what the important things are and prioritize them, starting with avoiding injury and basic comfort as primary concerns—worry first about how safe and useful the guitar is and eventually consider what color it is.
Playing guitar is a very human activity but it's also highly unnatural because it puts our limbs at odds with competing geometries inherent in the instrument. Over time, the various repetitions and stresses take their toll, and there is risk of chronic pain and discomfort. Much of this risk can be avoided.
Visual style ultimately has its charm and tonal variety is desirable (and achievable) but perhaps not as essential as having an instrument that helps preserve tendon and spinal integrity over the span of a career.
Study the Valkyrie's contours for a moment and you'll quickly apprehend the adaptations for playing ease, every form with a purpose. Regardless of the posture you adopt: sitting or standing, strapped up high or slung down low, your well-being matters, and her shape embodies cooperation with the human body. George Santayana said, "Beauty of form is the last to be found or admired in artificial as in natural objects. Time is needed to establish it, and training and nicety of perception to enjoy it. Motion or colour is what first interests a child in toys, as in animals; and the barbarian artist decorates long before he designs." Likewise, if you want the inherent benefits of a guitar that settles into the proper geometries for seated playing as well as standing, a Valkyrie delivers a fantastic experience in the studio and on the world's stages.
She's beautifully curved, soft in all the right ways with a hint of danger. She's sculptural but unpretentious—in a word, timeless.
Ergonomic touchstones are present for the seated player whose right leg is the primary supporting point of contact, enhanced even further with a proper foot rest. The same benefits exist for the classical posture, angles all ideal with the left foot elevated in the traditional manner.
Cabling is out of the way for both seated approaches. All players, including the standing player, will find themselves geometrically in sync with the instrument with no aggravations to skin, bone or spine. She feels familiar and friendly but clearly better, with the compound-curved arm bevel providing an unobtrusive anchor. A wide tummy cut extends all the way through the upper horn for extra comfort for both male and female adventurers.
The signature headstock is a tribute to the Viking longships of old in the form of an understated dragon-head prow with a rhythmic line of oscillation for teeth. With your skills in tow, the Valkyrie is ready to sail into musical exploration.
An exciting combination of elements are in play within the Valkyrie framework. These elements serve the player whose performance requirements demand full immersion when developing unforgettable music.
Excellently planned control placement...
Superior neck coupling and stability...
Enormous surface area contact between neck and body...
Tangible sustain added with the Massomancer™...
Mindful body contours for every reasonable posture...
Distinctively symbolic headstock aesthetics...
Total playing comfort...
About Our Trademarks
Valkyrie™, Superguitar™, Valkyrie Superguitar™, Toneflow™, Massomancer™, Valravn™, Gyrfalcon™ Whitewolf™, Eikþyrnir™, Swan Maiden™, Shieldmaiden™, Shimmer Lever™ and supporting mechanical drawings are the trademarks of Shane Sanders. All photos, artwork and iconography are protected by copyright.
The distinctive headstock, body contours, pickguard design and all emergent aspects of trade dress are the trademarks of Shane Sanders. The secondary meaning of the arrangement of design elements have their origins in Norse mythology and folklore and are sculptural expressions of brand identity. The headstock represents the prow of a Viking longship with a stylized animal head (dragon and sea-serpent). The inset shape represents both teeth and an iconified audio waveform. The body incorporates enveloping wing lines inspired by the Valkyrie and Swan Maiden motifs of ancient lore. And not one bit of it is anything more than creatively playing with the symbolic resonances of make-believe ancient tales the same way J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis did it—mining old metaphors so that you can ride off into musical battle to protect the realm from threats from beyond. The elements are not intended to be religious or political expressions.
Timely expertise and generous camaraderie were provided to this endeavor by Jamie Unden of Guitar Plans Unlimited.
The Valkyrie Superguitar Gallery
“The wolf and the dog do not play together.” —Old Norse proverb from the Hávamál
On the horizon from DRONEFACE™: The Shimmer Lever™