Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: rondomusic.com
Sound — 9
I play a lot of classic rock, hard rock, and blues. This axe holds up to all of these genres, transitioning very easily. I like to plug this guitar up to a Peavey Valveking or Windsor Studio, but it can also play well with just about any amp, tube or solid state. The humbuckers do what they're supposed to do, canceling all hum. The sound is bright if you adjust the pickup height. It can sound very relative to a Burstbucker pickup. The variety of sounds it can make are very broad. I recommend replacing the pickups if you want a genuine Gibson tone, maybe to '57 Burstbuckers. Other than that, you're all set to play a gig.
Overall Impression — 9
This axe is perfect for just about any genre, excluding maybe metal, in which case you can just upgrade up a level by adding EMG's. It's probably the best investment I've made. If it were stolen, I would murder the thief. If I couldn't find the thief, I would most definitely buy it again. I love that this thing can stay in perfect tune in any weather. The only thing I wish it had was either a Bigsby or VOS Maestro Vibrato. Otherwise its the best guitar in the market today, with the exception of maybe SX.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is definitely made to gig and record. It has good quality hardware, making this just as dependable as any other name brand instrument. This axe could last just about forever if treated the right way. If you can't afford a Gibson, or even an Epiphone, this is definitely the most reliable instrument in your market. You could play this thing without a backup, but its tone variety might be a bit selective, so it might depend on your music.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The designers of this guitar knew what they were doing. The finish is marvelous, and you can define the wood patterns very easily. All of the frets are filed down so they're not sharp. The action is decent, but then again all guitars probably need a little adjustment in the neck. The strings it comes with are excellent. All of the extras are properly set and constructed. Nothing is out of place. I can't say anything better about this thing.
Features — 9
This guitar has a bunch of top-end features that I was surprised to find in a Korean-made guitar. It has 21 frets on a baked rosewood fingerboard with trapeziodal inlays. The body is constructed of solid mahogany, with a variety of finishes (I got the CSBF Flame). The body is like a Les Paul, but the horn is slightly shorter. The tune-o-matic bridge gives excellent sustain, but I'm not a huge fan of the nut (I recommend replacing it with a bone nut). The pickups are of good quality, comparing easily to an Epiphone or even a lower-end Gibson. They are ceramic humbuckers, but you can upgrade them very easily to something like Alnico V's. The tuners are excellent because they are Grovers. With all these good features, you can't really go wrong.