Price paid: £ 1300
Purchased from: Ebay
Sound — 9
You see this and think blues? Alot of my the people I run into do. But... I don't really play blues heavily. So why did I get it? (You can tell it would do em!) Being a Streetlight fan (music and Toms tone) I love the character that this guitar has in its cleans. It murders most ska, from The Toots to more modern stuff like StreetLight and Five Iron Frenzy whilst adding a bit of woody uniqueness. Unplugged this is even more apparent, I have played Ibanez hollows before and the difference shocked me (in a nice way!) And yeah. IT wont do metal that well. Ah well. That's what my spear is for and I haven't been playing it recently! The sound is woody and excellent, I love it to bits! Even through my little practice SS Vox (DA15). I might replace the pups, I will decide when I get a new tube amp to play with it (thinking a HT-5 and quickly!). The only thing this guitar is missing for me is the possibility to yank a bit more treble out of the upstrokes, I may get a pedal to account for that. High gain it doesn't really do, I mean you can turn it up, but why would you want to with cleans like these? The woodyness of the sound is amazing, the tone is just magic. Why a 9? Because I love the sound (I really can't stress this enough) but my treble is lacking. Hopefully an easy fix!
Overall Impression — 9
I have been playing for about 4 years (electric) and cannot see myself growing tired of this axe, unless my tastes change dramatically. I am happy to fins a guitar that is this close to perfectly suited to me and consider myself lucky to have done so. Why a 9? The depth of the sound. Blows me away fresh every-time. I said that I may wait longer before finishing this, but I figure a month is probably enough to get to know it. Everything above is strictly a matter of opinion. Bring on the flame! I am off to find a pedal! Now to go pedal hunting!
Reliability & Durability — 7
I have owned it a month, for all I know then the neck will fall of tomorrow. It doesn't look like this though. I wouldn't gig without a backup, but wouldn't be to concerned to bring a rubbish backup, because I really don't think it will fail on me. Why a 7? The finish is a typical Gibson, AKA it still seems to be not-quite dry on the back of the neck... Most infuriating, especially with sweaty hands. This really is worth those three points off.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The action was silly low when I got it. I like low action, and thin necks ect. But this was SILLY! There was fret buzz everywhere so I got all scared and brought it to my local "luthier/teacher" (Lucky me!) He went on to comment that the neck was as straight as an arrow (an arrow shaped like a guitar neck with the exact right amount of relief) and he would not be able to improve the frets - I thought that this was rather impressive for a guitar almost 20 ears old. Then he fiddled with the Bridge for about 15 mins, sent me packing and now it plays like a beauty! The finish is nice, subtle, thick flame around the cream (by now) binding. However the first of two, thankfully small, defects is a laqure crack next to the upper Bridge pin. I had it checked out and its just the laqure, nothing to be worried about. The second is on the finish around the nut. It stops abruptly, and looks like a crack in the plastic, bone or whatever. (It sounds good - that's what matters!) Lucky its not a biggie and I am still ecstatic with my purchase! Why a 9? Small cracks (forgiveable noting its age) and a bit of yellowing on the overlap of laqure onto the binding. But a lovely flame around all of it.
Features — 8
Standard control systems with a three way Switch (bridge, both, bucker) and some 57 pups. 22 frets, naturally. My one has a nice red flamed maple top, not to 'jumpy' but the stripes are thick and show up well in the right light. All the sides and back are striped and stained red with a mahogany neck. Everything is stock apart from the tonepros Bridge which frustrated me at first, until I realised that I had to undo the little mini-hex things to adjust the Bridge height. The tuners are Standard metal Gibson original, no plastic to fade, just polish-able metal. The body is larger than normal guitars, but I? Love it because I am quite tall (just short of lanky!) and it sits well on me, without looking like a toy. A few bad things: a little tarnish on the tuners, will polish off though, I hope (give it a break, its almost 20 and has, by the looks of things, sent most of that time in the case). 22 frets. I never knew how much I liked 24 till I lost em! Well made, with upgraded Bridge and nice, solid hardware. Also a giant pink case that you just want to fall asleep in! But I wont fit. Why an 8? Because its a Standard Gibson with two tone and two volume. I don't want anything more to be honest, but that doesn't make it feature heavy.