Price paid: £ 275
Purchased from: GAK
Sound — 8
When I bought this I didn't know anything about music. I think I would probably prefer a Telecaster, but I've definitely become attached to the fat, bluesy tone's you get when you put this thing on rhythm. The treble setting I find to be a bit thin, I don't know what it would be used for? It would certainly cut through a mix for a solo or for choppy Indie or ska bar chords. The wood is pretty resonant, even unplugged, as long as you have some decent strings on (11s) you can hear a richness that you probably wouldn't with other guitars for this price. I mainly play heavy blues sounds a la Black Keys, Jack White, QOTSA, Hendrix, Cream, Wolfmother. I'd prefer a Vintage guitar (Musicman, Fender, Peavey T60) but this is definitely doing the job until then.
Overall Impression — 8
Certainly has it's own distinct sound so you should try it before you buy it! If you're just starting out, the LP is gonna make you sound good regardless - it's a very forgiving guitar so very fun to play. I've been playing for over 10 years and this is the only electric guitar I own (except a Fender Squire, but that's a very poor guitar) as I've played acoustic for the last 5 years. Definitely try this guitar before you buy, make sure that switch doesn't bother you (some LP's have it at the bottom by the knobs instead) and as with all guitars ask the shop to set it up for you (this should be free) or if purchased online take it in and get it set up for a charge. I love the heavy, bluesy tones and the weight. I hate the colour (sunbursts and bright colours are luxury, if this is your first guitar, get something understated and classy). If this guitar was lost or stolen I would be pretty pissed off but wouldn't buy another. I'd go for used online with a classic Peavey, Fender or Musicman. I'm very happy this was my first guitar though (no 16 year old is going to appreciate a T60). It's a 4 star guitar, but for it's price, it's probably better than most in it's range!
Reliability & Durability — 8
I got this guitar when I was 16 or 17. I started playing bass in a band and swapped it with my guitarist for his Fender Precision for about 2 years. This thing probably played about 50 shows, got dropped quite a bit, numerous trips in the back of a van (only had a softcase). I put it in a gig bag when I was about 20 and have only now picked up again (I'm now 24). I changed the strings, cleaned frets, cleaned the guitar, tuned it, stretched the strings, tuned it again and it's fine. It looks brand new! There's some slight dinks in the back but they haven't effected the finish and it must have been hit pretty hard to dink at all. I took it to a guitar shop once to have the switch re-soldered (a wire had come loose and wouldn't play on rhythm). Guitar Tech did it for free. Tuners are pretty good but I might consider upgrading them if you're feeling a bit flush one time. It doesn't stay in tune as well as my acoustic and I remember my old guitarist would tune up a few times every set.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I have the cherry sunburst with black pick up surrounds, scratch plate, switch and knobs. I took off the scratch plate, replaced the black knobs with amber ones from eBay, the switch with a cream one and the pick up surrounds with cream ones. Looks a bit Vintage now! If I could go back 8 years, I'd have never of bought a guitar this colour though. The finish on Gibsons and Vintage Epi's of this colour is 10x better as well. All black with cream hardware would be the dogs dinner imo.
Features — 8
I bought this guitar in either 2005 or 2006 from GAK.com. It was 400 in the local guitar shop but got it for 275 online. I'll leave out the details as it's the same as the rest of the reviews and move onto my own experiences with it. One thing I will say, the body isn't solid (from what I've read), it's made up of pieces of solid wood glued together. This is probably what sets it apart Gibson in some respects (excluding materials, hardware and craftsmanship). I'd imagine this would effect the tone in a small way. The finish and weight of the guitar certainly feels like it's one piece of wood though and I think it sounds fantastic.