Sound — 10
I play blues, rock, and some forms of metal through a Budda SD80 Halfstack and various Boss and Budda pedals. The guitar had no noise issues, but rich tones and a great tonal range from the Burstbuckers. The most enjoyable aspect may be the way the guitar works with the amp to make the fun, controllable kind of feedback that makes a powerful statement in a live setting.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar complements my rig magnificently. This guitar is warmer and smoother than my oter Les Paul, giving it a better sound for cleaner work but still very usable on higher gain (think Alice In Chains/Black Sabbath) situations. I have no complaints, other than I can't afford 2 or 3 more of these in the different finishes. I love the tones, the appearance, and the solid feeling I get from better Les Pauls. I'd replace it if it were stolen very quickly. I have played this guitar's competition (I worked in music stores for years until very recently) and am still convinced I made the right choice a year later. The only thing I'd add would be an Optronix pickup-ring tuner, but that company went under and I don't even know where to find them anymore.
Reliability & Durability — 10
The guitar withstood 2-3 nights of rehearsals and/or gigs per week for a year so far, and it's possibly better now that it's breaking in. The case shows wear, but I don't even try to keep cases in perfect condition. The guitar has had no failures of any kind and is one that I play very happily and regularly.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
The guitar was assembled excellently. The setup is moot, as I despise the light strings all guitars come with and I had the whole setup redone to accomodate the Dean Markley 11's I prefer. After a couple of months, I had the same luthier make and install a bone nut. The old one wasn't defective, but a well-made bone nut is something I put on every guitar I own. The finish and hardware on the guitar were flawless.
Features — 10
I bought 1 2004 Gibson Les Paul Standard Limited Edition last year, just as they began shipping in earnest. Mine had the fatter "'50s" neck, the potted versions of Burstbucker 1 nd 2 pickups, and the Santa Fe Sunrise finish. It has an ebony fretboard, vintage-style tuners with metal buttons, and came with a black hardshell case. The controls are the usual LP stuff: one pickup selector and 2 each volume/tone knobs. Also in classic LP fashiion were the body shape and constuction, with a highly figured maple cap over mahogany body and neck.