Price paid: $ 549
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 9
The sound that eminated from the stock 57 classic pickups was decent, but not "Slashy" at all. I immediately changed them out for aph1n and aph1b Seymour Duncan pickups. Slash specs. The stopbar and tailpiece were swapped from black Epiphone to nickel gibsons. The tuners were pulled, and replaced with Gibson greens. The black knobs scrapped for antique bronze tophats... And the pots were pulled and swapped for a Gibson set up from ebay. Next up,, is the p.o.s. switch. It has dead spots. It suits me fine, now...and it has a tone that kills all the new Slash signatures. whether it kills the appetite is unknown.Original sound was ok, but sounded more like a standard than a signature. It makes all the required squeelies, and sound great thru my Marshall driven Crate stack.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a full spectrum of music with it... Everything from Foo Fighters to Avril to GNR. Les Paul is my instrument of choice, and I have 6 of them. 1 Gibson, the rest Epiphone, because I can make epiphones sound identical, and my body doesn't annihilate an epi finish like it does to nitrocellulose. I've played for 11 years, on and off. This guitar will definitely always have a home. If stolen I would replace it immediately. The color, tone, and feel, all become a part of my body, and a natural extension. All in all, Its me... And it rocks!
Reliability & Durability — 10
As a stock unit, you will find issues. From top to bottom: Tuners will be loose, and need tuning more. Replace Them! Strings need to be Ernie Ball 10-46's. Replace Them! The pickups are 57 classics. Not bad, but if you want true Slash tone... Replace Them! The black tune o matic and stop bar didn't do anything for me cosmetically, or functionally. The T.O.M. Rattled on its posts. Guess what I did?... Replace Them! The pots are ok, but have dead areas after long term use. AND the switch has a dead area. Pots are already gone, but for the switch... Guess what I'm gonna do... Replace Them!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Action:really quick. It can be fast as hell, if you set it up right. Fit: A+++ on the fit. It is China built, but the quality rivals by Gibson bfg, for neck tolerances. Finish: The finish is a gorgeous trans red over a AAA flamed maple cap. The decal is under umpteen layers of clear, and looks great. Not as great as if it were carved in, but fairly well. The tuners were crap on a cracker, but once the cheapo deluxe hardware is removed, and replaced with good stuff, I would play her in front of a crowd of millions, and not be ashamed.
Features — 8
Its a 1997 Snakepit Les Paul. 22 frets, trans red finish with a flame maple capped top. The body is chambered for weight. These were the first Slash signatures released in 95 thru 97 I believe. They were the counterparts to the Gibsons with the carved snake. Epiphones were decals. Body is mahogany. Neck is rosewood, with trapezoid inlays, in pearloid.It carries, as stock, a black set of Gibson deluxe knock off tuners, black tune-o -matic, and stop bar, black speed knobs, with 2 tone, 2 volume, and a toggle. The stock frets were 57 classics. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I changed a bunch of things to wake it up.