Price paid: £ 699
Purchased from: Dawsons Music
Features: I purchased this US Gibson Raw Power '09 in Black after trying it in the shop. My intention was to buy a Gibson SG Worn Cherry but after comparing the two I found the Raw Power to have much more playability and tone. The Raw Powers neck pickup (the RP has '57 classics btw) seems to rid itself of the muddy sound that most SG's harbour, and instead gives a nice smooth tone. Gibson caused a bit of confusion s when they released the Pre-release photos they boasted a mahogony neck and maple body with 24 frets. Somewhere along the way they've changed this to a maple neck + body with 22 frets. You get the usual choice of a 3 way selector and 2 volume, tone knobs. // 8
Sound: I play the RP through a Vox VT30 with either an M audio Black Box or a Boss GT6. It has the absolute ideal balance between sweet clean tone and gritty distortion grunt. I played it alongside the SG Worn Cherry and the SG Standard in the shop and I found this to have by far the best versatility. // 10
Action, Fit & Finish: The action on the guitar was fine, the bridge pickup was set a little too high for my liking but I fixed that myself. The 3 way selector is a little clunky but it isnt so noticeable if your not listening for it. The tuning pegs are spot on, having played a guitar with grover tuning pegs for the past year it feels so nice to have the ebony pegs back! // 8
Reliability & Durability: When I bought this I was chuffed, knowing I was about to start a steady stream of gigs. The next week however, the bridge pickup cut out, Gibson caused all sorts of confusion and in the end I asked the guy in the shop to fit a new pickup, this he did and said it was down to the wiring of the original pickup, its since worked great and I wouldn't take a spare to a gig as it can take a good playing.
The finish however is not as resilient. Aready the tip of the top horn has become worn from the strap rubbing past it and the top of the head has become faded slightly from te zip of the soft case (which Gibson so thoughtfuly supply with no padding or overlapping material around the zip. // 6
Impression: I play anything from Metal to Acoustic so I really wanted a guitar that was versatile. This manages anything you throw at it with surprising ease. I also own a Gibson Es335 (07) and an Epiphone G400. And thought the Es335 obviously has the nicer sound in terms of clean playing, it does not surpass the RP so much that I'd lug it around too. I would definately buy another one of these if it were to become stolen or broken but I'd let them keep the soft case! The only thing that lets this guitar down is customer service. If the guitar shop were not willing to repair I could of been waiting well over the 2 weeks I waited as it was because in them 2 weeks they hadn't even bothered to pick it up. Overall though, a very satisfying guitar for a very reasonablt price I think. // 9