Price paid: £ 1899
Purchased from: Andertons - Guildford
Sound — 10
I think it sounds great hence the purchase. it's full and rich, plent of soul if you back of the volume and loads of bite if you don't. Setup is quite simple - straight into the amp which is a Bugera 333 head with 4x12 cab. Ok, not the best amp out there but turn down the treble quite alot and bring in the midrange and you've got a decent enough rock rig. I only use the lead channel and I use the volume on the guitar to vary the gain. There is a MXR Micro Amp in the FX loop to give a volume boost when needed. The Gibson sounds great though this.
Overall Impression — 10
I went and choose this one myself and made sure I was happy with it and I am. There is nothing I'm dissapointed about. The sound is first rate, plays great, looks great, it's a quality instrument. Gibson like everyone else let a few bad apples out of the orchard and people buy them, mainly online or they don't pay attention when in the shop. Take a good look at it before handing over the best part of 2 grand. I've got an Epiphone Les Paul Custom that I bought second hand a few months back and it in no way compares to the Gibson. I have a Fender Squier Telecaster which is totally different and a Parker PM20 which is kinda like a Les Paul but without the frill and thick body. This is an excellent guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have no doubt that this guitar will give me no trouble at all. I'm curious to see how the electronics fair in the longer term. Instead of being soldered by hand with good quality wire there is a printed cicruit board and the components including the pick ups plug in to it. I'm fine with this but at the first sign of trouble I'll whip it out and re-wire it. I suspect I won't have to do this. Strap buttons were the non-locking type. I changed them straight away for the locking type. Over all the hardware is excellent. Happily use this without backup.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Honestly setup is a metter of preference and unles you've got a custom instrument expect to do some adjustment. I normally have a very low action and the Gibson came out of the case with an action slightly higher than I might like but it's really comfortable and more playable than any guitar I've ever played so I've left it alone and lets be realistic it's not exactly hard to re-adjust. Pickup balance was fine. The finish is execptional, flawless. I played a couple in the shop and there were some that were beautiful to look at but take a closer look and there a little niggles here and there and bookmatching that wasn't spot on. There is the advantage of going to the store and picking your instrument, if you buy online and get something you are not quite happy with you know where you went wrong.
Features — 10
USA made, this year. Tonepros tune o matic bridge and stop, 22 frets, two burstbucker pickups, flamed maple top, wine red finish, locking tuners, body binding, neck binding, scratch plate is included but you have to drill the holes (nice touch - i didn't want the scratchplate on so win win there!) two volume, 2 tones, 3 way pickups toggle, solderless pickup install, locking neutrik jack socket, hardcase that smells of vanilla...another nice touch.