Price paid: $ 1300
Purchased from: second hand
Sound — 10
I play mostly metal and this is a great guitar for both riffing and leads. I use Engl Blackmore E650 with Marshall 4x12 cab, the sound is great, throaty, full and defined. No noise at all, great on cleans and crunchy sounds too. When played unplugged it's very resonant despite its relatively low mass (it's very light) and I think it reflects very well on the amplified sound.
Overall Impression — 9
Great for rock and metal, I've been playing for 20 years and this guitar immediately clicked with me. I'd like to get another V with better tuning, it's the only thing that bothers me on it. Always dug the shape and appearance and before acquiring I was a bit curious whether it would be comfortable to play and I have to say it's a very comfortable guitar for both stand-up and sit-down playing.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Very durable, no excessive string breakage (and I have a heavy riffing hand), great for live use. The finish is very sensitive (one of the reasons this guitar is relatively cheap) thin matte lacquer which wears off with regular use, but I don't take it as a fault, I actually like the feel of the wood. And I can always have it repainted if I desire so... So all in all a 10 but I have to lower the score because of the aforementioned tuning issues.
Action, Fit & Finish — 4
The guitar is Gibson's cheapest series as stated earlier, but that doesn't bother me much aside from the fact it lacks tuning stability. Nothing big, you can play a gig in tune pretty much, but where it rears its ugly head is in the studio. When I double-track the guitars a small phasing appears which is a result of slight detuning of the strings (maybe a few cents) during the take, not much but definitely audible. It's very frustrating having to redo an otherwise good take because of the tuning instability. I've tried fixing this with TonePros Locking Kluson Deluxe tuners which look the same as factory fitted Gibson Deluxes. The improvement was there but didn't remove the problem so I suspect the lowest grade wood was used which practically warps and bends slightly during usage causing the tuning to slip.
Features — 6
The guitar is a 2006. Faded model made in USA. Typical modern Flying V, 22 frets, 24.75" scale, 60s style neck. Multipart mahogany body (as it's the cheapest Gibson line), set in mahogany neck, relatively rough matte cherry finish (wood pores open, very little lacquer), looks nice but the thin lacquer wears off easily due to usage - great for those into relic guitars. Usual fixed Tune-O-Matic bridge, two HOT ceramic Gibson pickups (great stuff!) and usual 2-vol/1-tone controls. Matching TKL-made gigbag included.