Price paid: $ 1200
Sound — 10
I am mostly a shred/metal style player, and this LP has surprised me with its versatility and ability to adapt from style to style. Running through a Vox AD50VT modeling amp, it can dial tones from a sparkling clean jazz tone to a ripping death metal distortion. The sustain is excellent, due to the thick body (10+ pounds) and fretting and bending are easy, with a '59 neck (the dream neck for Vintage freaks) and well installed medium-jumbo frets. The minihumbuckers are some of the best and most adaptable pickups I have ever heard. The neck pickup is great for that warm Santana-esque soloing, not too cutting but with enough sustain and harmonics to let you be heard. On clean, the resonance of the wood really comes through with the rhythm pickup on. The bridge pickup is the ying to the neck pickup's yang. Screaming blues runs, light speed accending arpeggios, and growling down-tuned riffs all come through clear and distinct throught this beast. The one grip I have is that the bridge pickups is not super hot, so in a metal band situation, harmonics and solos do not cut through super well. Other than that, for rock/pop, blues, punk, or even country, this guitar shines.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said, this is the most versitile instrument I have ever played. Having gone from a POS Ibanez GAX70, this was like going from a VW bug to a Lamborghini Gallardo. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a guitar that can handle anything. If it was stolen, I would track the person down, because it is discontinued and very rare. I would never replace it, but would maybe supplement my collection with a Jackson SL2H or ESP M-II, for the Floyd and EMG's. A great guitar which I got for a steal of a price.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The finish on this guitar is beautiful, but because of the nitro-cellulose makeup, is a bit scratch prone. Nothing polish can't take care of though. I would feel confident carrying this axe onstage without a backup. However, strap-locks are a must, because the weight can sometimes rip the instrument right out of the strapholes.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I bought this from a guitar tech, so it was setup beautifully. This instrument was put together well, but one of the pots went bad and required changing. As I said, the instrument is gorgeous and is very reliable through weather changes and everyday use.
Features — 10
Made in USA, 2001. 22 medium/med-jumbo frets on a rosewood fretboard. Gorgeous book-matched flame maple top on a one-piece non-weight-relieved mahogany body. Wine red nitro-cellulose finish. Vintage Tulip-Tuners and ABR-1/Stopbar bridge. Cream Binding on Neck and Top. Two Gibson-USA minihumbuckers with chrome covers and cream rings and pickguard. Four gold top-hat knobs and 3-way pickup selector.