Sound — 10
I play in a band called Avenue of Embers (www.myspace.com/avenueofembers) and we take mostly from rock, metal, power pop, and "emo"(?). I have this set up in Standard tuning, putting my Alpine White Les Paul Studio on the back burner for now. I run through a Mesa/Boogie Dual Rectifier, and I've found that I now have my gain 1/4 less than what I used to with my LP with the 498/490. Clarity and personality Shine through with the '57's. The guitar sings how you play it. Single notes come through with high attack and brilliance, while chords come sound full and rich, and you can still hear each note coming through. The harder you play, the tougher this sounds. I don't really use the neck pickup-only setting, which I used to use for most of the clean sounds on my LP because I personally find it too boomy. But the middle setting sounds beautiful with the perfect balance of hi's and low's. The bridge setting is what I find myself using the most, and sounds the best with distortion (duh!). Feed back is more prominent here then it has been with any of my solidbodies, which is a given, but I haven't found it a problem. I actually find it useful. All in all, it simply is the best sounding guitar I have ever played.
Overall Impression — 10
I feel this guitar adds a lot to my music. It brings a deeper emotion to guitar playing. It's tone pulls you in more than anything I've ever heard. I have too many guitars and the only other ones worth mentioning are my Gibson Les Paul Studio, Gibson Explorer, Gibson Sonex-180 Gibson ES-125 and my Fender American Strat. As far as Standard tuning goes, I have not picked up any other guitar to play with since I bought this about a month ago. If this were lost or stolen I would be heartbroken. I would most definitely try to get another as soon as I could. I love the sound, the look, the playability, everything about this guitar. Seriously. I wish the case was brown and Pink instead of all black. But I don't even hate that haha. Compare it to an ES-333. Buy one of those and put in '57s if you are a touring musician instead. They're a lot more of a working mans guitar, but very hard to find. I'm over typing this review. Later!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I have played this guitar Live twice since I got it a month ago (with some good bands mind you, www.myspace.com/thisprovidence & www.myspace.com/nineteenninetyseven) and I was proud to have it around my neck. I never put a strap on it before installing locking buttons because those are by far one of the most important things to have if you are putting a guitar around your neck. I brought my LP both times as a back up and never needed to use it. BUT I would never gig without a back up. The finish seems durable and I feel it will expand with the guitar nicely. My only gripe is I'm a little disappointed in the Grovers that came on it. They don't stay in tune as well as the Grovers on my '05 Gibson Explorer. I do feel like I need to be more careful with this guitar opposed to my Les Paul, cause throwing that around on stage was fun and not scary.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The set up was *fine*, but the action was a little low and there was some buzzing. I took it to my favorite local luthier and I was a little bummed that the action would need to be raised for this to be set up properly as I would like to have it as low as possible. I have since gotten used to that and it's fine now. Pick ups were fine, intonation was slightly flat, but I expected it to be set up anyways after that long plane ride from TN to UT. Like I said earlier, the finish was sort of weird, as if they let it hang too long, but it is still beautiful, and I'm all for it.
Features — 10
I had originally bought 2003 335 Reissue from eBay in Vintage Sunburst, but it arrived with a broken headstock so I was refunded my money and Guitar Center matched the price on a Figured top. (it was an authorized dealer not a private seller. The one I now own was made in 2008 in Memphis, Tennessee. I took a trip to TN this past summer and after playing one of these I knew I had to eventually have one, I didn't know it was going to be so soon. Lucky me. The guitar is kept where my band practices, along with all but 2 acoustics I own (it won't do any good in my 1 bedroom) but I believe it has 20 frets. Mine is a Figured Top in Vintage Sunburst. I actually wanted a Gloss/Satin finish when I bought this originally, but it looks as if there is a place where some of the dark brown paint had run more than expected, giving it a super unique look. So I had to have it. I'm not going to get too technical into this because I'm sure most of you know this is a Semi-Hollowbody with Gibson '57 (passive) pickups, 2 volume and 2 tone controls, with Grover tuners and a hard case. It's the set up I know the best.