Price paid: $ 1199
Purchased from: Blue Note Guitars
Sound — 9
I play mostly classic rock, hard rock, blues, and some metal. I run this straight to my Carvin V3 halfstack (w/ GT12 speakers). The guitar is amazing for all the styles that I play. It has a nice big sound, but not quite as beefy as Les Paul. The pickups make very little buzz and I haven't changed out the stock ones. This guitar can almost play anything... almost. Nice sustain. Neck isn't the fastest I've ever played, but it is still very good. The guitar also stays in tune very well. It is also very balanced and won't fall on you when you let go. I would give it a 9.5 but that's not an option and nothing is perfect.
Overall Impression — 9
I got the gold hardware and black finish. Looks very awesome and I'm always getting compliments about it. I have been playing 5-6 years. If it were stolen I would buy it again. For a Gibson guitar, this is well-priced for the quality. A shame they don't make this anymore, or any like it price-wise (except maybe the SG Standard or Explorer). I tried many guitars before this, searched every shop I could, and did many hours of research. Only gripe is that the neck isn't the natural wood (paint = friction) and that's just a personal preference. Overall this guitar is awesome and well worth the money.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar will withstand anything you throw at it. It might get a little heavy after a while of playing it though (depends on how strong you are). You could play many gigs without feeling the need of a backup. This guitar will last quite a while for me. Solid guitar.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Everything on this guitar felt great right when I picked it up at the store and started playing. Very easy to reach the higher frets for solos. No complaints here.
Features — 9
-Mahogany body -Set mahogany neck -'60s style slim taper neck profile -Rosewood fingerboard -Pearloid Dot inlays -Chrome or gold hardware -Tune-o-matic bridge -Stopbar tailpiece -Black top hat knobs with insert -Mini Grover tuners -490R and 498T Alnico magnet humbucker pickups -2 volume, 2 tone, 3-way switch -17 degree peghead pitch -0.830" thickness at 1st fret -0.900" thickness at 12th fret -0.625" heel Length -19th fret neck joint location -24-3/4" scale length: -1-11/16 nut width -2.062" width at 12th fret -22 frets -Black reptile pattern hardshell case with dark grey plush interior, black shroud, and silkscreened silver Gibson USA logo -Includes hardshell case