Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I often joke that there's not a genre of rock I don't play; this is actually close to the truth. I play classic rock, blues/blues rock, hard rock, soft rock, heavy metal, thrash metal, glam rock/metal, funk, punk, pop-punk, a bit of German metal and British Invasion, alternative, and progressive. This guitar is truly amazing as it tackles all those genres extremely well, even through a Marshall MG15CDR. I usually don't have any effects or EQ on, besides the built-in reverb and distortion. It gets a little bit noisy sometimes when I'm not touching the strings, but I think that's just a grounding issue. A decent noise gate probably would eliminate all the excess. It gets a good AC/DC tone, great Bad Religion, a halfway decent Black Sabbath, a good Blue Oyster Cult, an awesome Boston, a great David Bowie, okay Green Day, great Guns N' Roses, an alright Jimi Hendrix, a rocking Metallica, a decent Nirvana, a good Randy Rhodes, a simply righteous Pink Floyd, a good Queen, good Ramones, amazing Red Hot Chili Peppers clean, a great Scorpions, and a passable Who. These humbuckers are just simply amazing. The best sounds they get are classic rock, metal, punk, hard rock, and (general) rock.
Overall Impression — 9
This is pretty much a good match for almost any genre you can think of. I've been playing 2 years. I've got no regrets at all. If it was stolen. Well, let's just say it can't be. But if it was, I'd get a new one or find whoever did it and beat 'em up. Overall, a great guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
It's unfinished. And one would think it can't take a beating. However, it's encounters with my desk have left little scratches on my guitar and dents all over my desk. It's pretty tough and reliable. The strap buttons are as solid as you'll get for non-locking ones. I'd definitely gig with it. As long as I'm not throwing it across the stage, I'm sure it'd be fine.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The factory setup was alright, but I was a n00b back then, and I can't really remember how it felt. It took a fairly long time to find the kinds of sounds I wanted, as far as pickup adjustment went. I'm pretty sure everything else was perfect, until I stuck some .11s on it. I think it was factory-set for .09s, Heaven forbid. The fretboard feels a little rough compared to other Gibsons I've tried, including Les Pauls, SGs, and Explorers. Oh, and the switching pickups makes a little clicking noise. Not sure if all guitars do it or not.
Features — 9
My Faded Vee was made in 2002 in the USA. 22 frets, as with all Standard Gibson necks. I won't go into much more detail on its features, as they're all there on the Gibson website. It's pretty much a stripped-bare guitar with some amazingly awesome features, which might sound like an oxymoron. It's not. It's got all the important features, and no fancy-bull at all. Of course, it's got no finish anywhere. No binding. This, in my opinion, really lets the guitar get it's rich tonality. The unfinished neck is a shredder's dream, honestly. No match for a Wizard neck or something, but still one of the faster Gibson necks I've tried. The Tune-O-Matic bridge and the factory tuners are great. It really doesn't go out of tune easily at all, unless you're a Kurt Cobain, in which it might after some serious pounding. There's a 3-way selector switch, two volume knobs, and a tone knob that doesn't really do much. (I have to this day never seen a tone knob that enhances tone in any way). Using this configuration, you can get some pretty interesting sounds, and even use the pickup selector as a temporary killswitch. It comes with a gig bag, but I'd get a hard case. It also comes with a handy Tool that's a screwdriver and a truss rod adjuster.