Sound — 9
Thick, full-bodied, mahogany Les Paul tone all the way. It was surprising to hear such a light guitar create such a dense sound from either pickup, and regardless of where the toggle switch was set, the guitar cleaned up very nicely when dialing back the volume and tone knobs. While experienced players tend to be suspicious of new pickups, the ASG humbuckers sound crisp and full at the same time. It would be nice to offer coil-splitting as well, to offer more realistic Strat and Tele tones as well, but this pickup and control layout is quite typical for singlecut guitars.
Set to the bridge pickup, the guitar featured a very sharp attack, and every string could be heard even on high-gain power chords. Set to the neck pickup, the guitar had a deep, low, voluminous sound, providing the best of what a singlecut guitar can do.
Overall Impression — 9
These are very reasonably-priced, feature-rich guitars, with great tone and very unique, metal-oriented custom artwork. They feature rich, rosewood fretboards with nice inlay work, and they play and sound very well right out of the box. These easily stand up to any other Les Paul-inspired guitar, and due to the limited nature of each artistic run, you're virtually guaranteed to stand apart when you take the stage.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The matte-finish ASG hardware used on the guitar feels solid and easy to maintain, and the tuners have a smooth and flawless motion to them. The frets are big and the fretboard and neck all feel solid and smooth. The guitar looks as reliable as any major-label guitar available today. The inclusion of a custom hardshell case is a critical and welcome feature as well.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The guitar arrived already setup very well for Standard tuning, with a .10 gauge set of D'Addario XL strings. The action and the pickup heights are all carefully dialed-in, and the instrument is essentially ready to plug-n-play.
The satin finish is smooth and plays very fast, clearly meant for shredding or fast chord changes. A nice feature is the matte hardware throughout, which should show less dirt and wear over time, and gives the same smooth feeling to the entire guitar.
Features — 10
The Artist Series Guitar Limited Edition Series guitars are exactly that: a limited-edition singlecut, Les Paul-style guitar, available exclusively through ArtistSeriesGuitar.com. This guitar, offered in one of several limited ART packages, features the following specs, taken straight from the website:
Solid mahogany body with traditional weight relief
Set mahogany neck with rounded profile
24-3/4 scale length
Satin black finish on back, sides, neck and headstock
Dual Coil, ASG humbuckers
2 volume controls, 2 tones, 3-way toggle switch
Black matte, ASG hardware
Single-ply cream binding on top
The guitar feels very lightweight, with high-quality craftsmanship and attention to detail. Clearly taking some cues from the ESP Eclipse and LTD EC-1000 guitars, this is a shredder for the player who prefers singlecut guitars. There are Standard volume and tone knobs for each humbucker, making it easy to dial in for any experienced player. The guitar comes in a hardshell case with the Artist Series Guitar logo emblazoned on it.