Price paid: $ 499.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
The sound is quite nice. It's clear and warm, quite full. I tried it out with an Orange TH-30 (all-tube amp). There is no noise and both the cleans and the overdrive are nice. It definitely beats the Gibson Les Paul Studio which is quite trebly and harsh. The only other Gibson I have tried that beats the sound of this guitar is the Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro. I play mostly worship so I spend half of my time in clean and the other half in distortion. This guitar does both perfectly. It's definitely a general purpose guitar that can do blues, rock, pop, and perhaps metal.
Overall Impression — 9
As mentioned before, I play mostly worship and this guitar should do well in the live worship sets I play with my worship team. I've been playing electric guitar for more than a year now and this guitar is definitely an upgrade to the Epiphone Les Paul I had. If this guitar was lost or stolen I would buy the same guitar again. The guitar sounds great unplugged also and the craftsmanship is superb. I compared it with the Studios and this guitar won. The only other Gibson that I have tried and beats this one in sound would be a Gibson Les Paul Traditional which has more than $1000 in price difference.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I have not tried this guitar in a live setting yet but the guitar itself seems quite durable. The Gibson hardware will last a long time as well as the name-brand tuners. With a Planet-Waves locking strap (my favorite), it should withstand almost anything. I definitely can rely on this guitar, however, I would prefer having a backup guitar in a live worship set because I break strings easily. The finish might rub off if the guitar is played heavily but I don't have a rough playing style so this is not a problem for me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The guitar was set up quite nicely. The action was low and the intonation was good. However, the truss rod was a bit off. The Guitar Center tech managed to correct that in less than 30 seconds though. The guitar's setup was way better than my Epiphone Les Paul Custom and the frets on this guitar were nice and low. The pickup height was adjusted quite well and the finish (minus a few scratches from being out on the Guitar Center showroom for so long) was nice. The hardware was shiny and clean and the guitar itself looked great.
Features — 8
This Gibson was made in the United States. It features 22 frets with a 24.75" scale. It's a flat-top Les Paul manufactured out of solid mahogany (no maple top). I bought mine in Satin Yellow but other finishes are available as well like Satin Cherry, Satin Ebony, etc. The guitar has a Tune-O-Matic bridge and a tailpiece. It comes with two pickups (a 490R in the neck and a 490T in the bridge). Like a Traditional Les Paul, it has 2 volume and 2 tone controls with a 3 way pickup selector. There is fretboard binding with "nibs" on the frets along with Kluson Deluxe "vintage-style" tuners.