Purchased from: Gallins Guitars
Sound — 10
The EMG-81s are made for heavy music, and they do they job better than any other guitar I've played. Don't be turned off it if you're into soft stuff though - set your amp to clean and select the bridge pickup for some sweet clean, crisp sounds. I'm currently using this bad boy with a Zoom G2 pedal as well as a Roland Cube30x and a Marshall Valvestate 100. Both of these amps sound beautiful with it. I've also used this with a Fender FM65R as well as a Vox Valvetronix. Due to the nature of the active pickups, no matter what volume I play at, or where I stand, there is very little/no buzzing or feedback.
Overall Impression — 10
I play everything from heavy metal to soft rock, and jazz etc. This guitar fits every genre extremely well, even though the pickups are made mainly for metal. If you are a metal fan of any kind, this guitar would be your dream. I also own a Fender Stratocaster, a Squier Bullet Strat and an Epiphone SG. This guitar beats any of my others. If it were stolen or I lost it, I'd cut my wrists, since this guitar is a limited edition and you'd be pretty hard done by to find the same one again. I compared this to a Gibson Les Paul Standard, a Gibson Les Paul Custom, an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, and some random Ibanez guitars. This guitar matched the sound and feel of both Standards, and came very close to the sound of the Gibson Custom, but for a quarter of the price! As you can probably tell, I am in love with this guitar, and I don't think it'll ever leave my side.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I would definately use this guitar for gigging. It just feels so comfortable and the sounds it can give out are amazing. I would be very surprised if any of the hardware on this guitar give out anytime soon; it's made very well. The strap buttons are very solid and, with vigorous testing, they haven't moved at all. I doubt one would need this guitar with a backup for gigging. It's sound range would be hard to beat and it's extremely reliable. There is no chance the finish will wear off. The only way you would be able to mark it if it were to hit a hard object pretty forcefully, but avoid that and you'll be fine.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Everything about the setup was good (except for tuning of course). I did not have to adjust anything but the pickups, which were a little loose, but a quick job with the screwdriver and my problems were solved. There were no obvious flaws, and when I first got it I spent an hour or two playing it and looking for any flaws that I may have missed. None were found. This guitar was set up great.
Features — 10
What an amazing axe. 22 frets, pearl inlays, ebony colour with a white trim. Everything about this guitar is black, pretty much, inluding the machine heads. Obviously the classic Les Paul style body, but without the pickguard, which in my eyes is the only bad thing about a normal Les Paul. Tune-O-Matic bridge, with 2 active EMG-81 pickups. The pickups are what make this guitar so amazing. There is a 3-way selector, and volume/tone for each pickup.