Price paid: £ 569
Purchased from: Guitar Guitar
Features — 9
This guitar is a 2013 USA made Les Paul. Mahogany body, maple top, rosewood fretboard. Dirty Fingers neck and bridge pickups. Standard 3 way selector. Usual fittings in chrome. Kidney bean grover tuners. Came with a lightweight gig bag. I would have removed the scratchplate if it had one. Paintjob is nothing special, but I got mine for a great price, and all as described; so no big problem with the features. A little surprised that the tuners seem "vague" and imprecise though. Can recommend service from Guitar Guitar.co.uk too. Delivered next day as promised.
Sound — 6
Have been playing blues rock guitar for 30 years, currently using a MIM Strat or Tele through a an un-modded BD2 and DS1 to a Vaporizer practice amp (halfway treble and quarter reverb). Took a chance on this LP because have long felt that I lacked the option of a humbucked guitar. Not in a band at the minute so have never tried it at high volume, but at home can report that the cleans are warmer than I can get out of the single coils. The guitar plays nice with the BD2, but I can't find a tone I like using the DS1. I can get all the overdrive, grunt and sustain I like out of the Fenders using the effects in a chain, but the Gibson is weaker on the same setup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
Absolutely no problem with the fit or finish. Have read elsewhere about the fret edges being poorly finished, but are smooth on mine. I'm not overly keen on the top-hat control knobs, but they work so am not in a particular hurry to swap them out. There was buzzing on the E and A strings at the low end out of the box, so did a set up myself. Easy solved that. Need to get to it again though, because now the neck has settled after truss rod adjustment, I seem to have deadened the low E string on the 11th, 12th, 13th frets only.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This is a solid, very well built and (to my taste) good looking guitar. I have every confidence in it and would not hesitate to take it as only guitar to an important gig. The paintjob would probably wear quickly, but not an issue to me. Perhaps it's the instrument snob in me, but was delighted to find an affordable USA made Gibson Les Paul for sale, and would have taken it even if the spec was less than acceptable to me as long as it had humbuckers. It might not shine, be bound, have pickup covers or scratchplate, but it's tough.
Overall Impression — 8
My favourite guitar is my Strat. It sets a very high benchmark with regard to weight, comfort, playability, and sound. It meets all my requirements. To be honest, I'm a little underwhelmed about the variety the humbuckers might provide me, I can do better using the single coils and my effect/amp combination to achieve my tone. What I do like about the LP though, is the space on the fretboard. I have pretty big hands, so can play a little quicker and bend farther on this. Also, because of the size, I feel like I can play it a little harder and it won't mind. The sustain from it is reliable too. Is good fun to play. Just not my number 1. Feels good owning a Gibbo though :)