Neo Classic LS10 Plain Top review by FGN

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  • Features: 9
  • Sound: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Overall Impression: 8
  • Reviewer's score: 8.2 Superb
  • Users' score: 8 (1 vote)
FGN: Neo Classic LS10 Plain Top

Price paid: € 1099

Purchased from: Ulis Musik

Features — 9
The LS10 that I bought was made in the Fujigen factory in Japan and came with a gig bag. It is a singlecut guitar and constructed like a typical Les Paul, with the only exceptions being the sharper cutaway and poly-finish. It has a rosewood fretboard, a set mahogany neck with a long tennon, a 2-piece mahogany body and a 2-piece maple cap. The visible top is not (!) a veneer, it is the actual plain maple cap. The neck is labeled as C-shaped and I'd describe it as a '60s style Les Paul neck. The frets use the "Circle Fretting System" from Fujigen that supposedly helps the intonation and sustain and to be honest the intonation is perfect and the sustain is amazing. The inlays look beautiful and really compliment the vintage style of this guitar. Speaking of vintage, the guitar has no weight-relief at all. It has Gotoh SD90-SL tuners, a Gotoh GE104 bridge and a Gotoh GE101 stop tailpiece. The hardware is chrome-colored. The pickups are 2 FGN Humbuckers, there are 2 volume knobs, 2 tone controls and a 3-way switch. Accessories to adjust the truss rod were included.

Sound — 10
I play all kinds of rock music, mainly alternative/punk rock though. The guitar is perfect for that kind of music when I'm using the bridge humbucker. It really delivers the full Les Paul sound that I was looking for. I have played it with a Marshall DSL40C and it just kicked ass when used with with a moderate Overdrive or heavy distortion. For blues and clean settings, I love the neck humbucker. Compared to the bridge humbucker it sounds a lot sweeter but it also nails a Slash-type tone pretty well with Overdrive. I'd say that this guitar is suited for pretty much every type of music that doesn't require downtuning with it's sweet spot being in the Rock and Blues genres.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I haven't played the guitar before it was setup by the shop but it didn't have any flaws that hurt the playability, only minor visual flaws. The fretboard was very dry when I got it but Lemon oil helped. There is also a slight finish flaw where the body meets the neck at the side of the cutaway. One of the sidedots at the 12th fret seems to be grey instead of black. I don't know whether that is intended or not but those are minor flaws that can always happen with guitars that involve a lot of human-interaction during the building process. The guitar played perfectly though and the neck feels very smooth. Better than every other Les Paul-style guitar that I have played before.

Reliability & Durability — 6
Here we go, that's the only aspect that has disappointed me with this guitar. The finish is veeeery sensitive to scratches and already got multiple small dents by my chair and some scratches that I still can't figure out where they came from. It also seems like my trousers have scratched the finish at the cutaway. That is not what I had expected, as I try to protect my guitars as much as I can. The hardware looks very durable to me though. I swapped the strap buttons immediately with Schaller strap locks, because I don't trust normal strap buttons at all. The tuning stability is exceptional though, I played ~4 hours per day since I got her and still didn't have to tune daily. Unlike other Les Paul-style guitars, even the G-string stays in tune very well.

Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I'd say that the guitar is exceptional for both modern but also classic rock music and blues. Not only the sound but also the playability are exactly what I was looking for. I am still a beginner, as I have only started to play a year ago but I have played multiple hours per day since I started and tried out a lot of guitars, including several Gibson Les Paul Traditionals, Epiphone Tribute+ and Gibson Les Paul Classics and this FGN was clearly the winner when it comes to playability and sound. The only thing that I don't like about the guitar is the fact that the finish is very sensitive. My other guitar is an Ibanez RG-421 and barely got any scratches at all during the first year, while my FGN already got multiple scratches in the 2 weeks that I have owned her. If I had to replace her, I'd probably get the same one again but this time I'd buy a used one as it'll get a lot of scratches anyways.

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