Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: Les Paul Standard Limited Edition
The rich, deep hues of the Les Paul Limited Edition Series come alive with the "flame" of a maple top. The elegant setting of white body binding and ebony fingerboard enhances the effect, making the LE guitars the jewels of the Les Paul Standard family.
 Sound: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 8.2
 Reliability & Durability: 8.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 6.8
 Features: 9.2
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reviews (5) pictures (1) 4 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.6
Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Reviewed by: unregistered, on november 09, 2012
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 9.2
Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Reviewed by: mrozinski, on november 09, 2012
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2100

Purchased from: guitar center

Features: This guitar, from what I can tell from the serial number, was stamped from the factory around mid to late 2004, made in the USA. It is a Les Paul Standard in a limited edition finish, with the usual Les Paul features: 22 fret neck, only the limited has an ebony fret board, with a bound headstock. The neck on mine is a '60s slim taper with a 24 3/4" inch scale, but Gibson also offers the model in a '50s rounded version. The top is a figured slab of beautiful flamed maple. Neck I believe is mahogany along with the body. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic, as on most LP standards. There is a lacquer finish, the color is "black cherry translucent with cream binding." There are passive electronics, a pair of burstbucker pros, wired with the two volume, two tone knobs, and a treble/rhythm selector Switch (3-way). Tuners are Klusons with the metal button knobs. The strap buttons were not very good in my opinion, so I swapped them out for schaller strap locks, which are pretty stellar in my opinion. // 9

Sound: Personally, I play many different genres of music. Sometimes, jazz, other times I may bust out some hardcore/metal, and I even entered the local guitarmageddon at guitar center this year with this (king of the blues) so overall, this guitar is very very versaitle. I play through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp, usually sticking with the distortion/clean channel I have on it, but occasionally I play through an old Boss DS-1 I've had for three years but it still is holding up. also occasionally I play on a Vox V847 wah, and I also have a boss GT 5 multieffects I purchased from my guitar teacher. The humbuckers are quiet as a church mouse, no buzzing when I play in my living room (the plugs in my room aren't right, so the amp buzzes naturally). The sound is soo rich and full, with the combonation of the ebony neck and mahogany body. of course this has that thick Gibson Les Paul crunch. The variety of this guitar is out of this world! I can play anything, all I really need to do is slightly adjust the tone/volume knobs and Switch pickups and can go from the most subtle jazz tones to a gnarly, ripping metal sound. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Well, the action wasn't anything to brag about, but probably because I got this guitar in the late winter of 2005 and the spring coming, the neck got a little bent out of shape. So I took it to the local music store to get it set up properly, and lo and behold, he tells me the neck has a slight bump around the first fret, so he can't make the action that low (I like super low action). However, the pickups and rest of everything was rather nice, and everything else was fine and fit. Aside from the fretboard problem, I have no other qualms about this guitar. I decided to give it another 6 months, and am taking it in to the store again to have it checked out before I decide to send it back to Gibson or not. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This guitar is quite reliable, I have used it for smaller gigs a few times. The nickle finished hardware is nice and shiny, however due to some moisture the pickups had become slightly tarnished. The strap buttons were junk, I had to get the schallers on as soon as I could. I have used this before on gigs without any backups, mainly because I didn't need a backup (church function), however, I would definately trust this to fulfill my playing needs. The finish is pretty good, only thing is that there are some scratches on the back due to a belt buckle (playing a liturgy during school, while wearing a belt). // 9

Overall Impression: I play pretty much all types of music, and this guitar is so versatile it is a perfect match to everything. I have been playing for around four years, and aside from this guitar I have an Epiphone Dot, and a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe amp. Before buying this, I would have asked about these wierd yellow spots there are on the pearloid trapezoids around the 19-21s frets (both markers). If anybody stole this guitar, sweet Jesus they better be wearing a cup when I find them. I would probably not be able to get this exact guitar, because it is a limited edition model, but I would hope to find another Gibson standard, with an ebony fretboard. It is my absolute favorite feature on this guitar. This guitar went up against a Standard Les Paul but the ebony fretboard, and it being a limited model, made this one the victor. // 10

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overall: 6.6
Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Reviewed by: Martin Scott, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 1849.99

Purchased from: Sound Control

Features: This guitar has most of the basic Les Paul features, but with some minor differences. For simplicity I'm just going to list all the vital statistics, and then afterwards give my opinion on what I like, and what I don't like about this guitar. Gibson Les Paul Standard Limited Edition in Pacific Reef blue. The guitar's serial number is 025150652, and was made September 8th, 2005 in Nashville, USA, production number 352. The neck is the Standard 24-3/4" scale, the nut width is 111/16, with the "60s" slimmer profile. The guitar has 22 jumbo frets, on a one-piece mahogany neck, with an ebony fretboard, which has pearl trapezoid inlays. The inlays are of a slightly yellowish appearance. The body consists of a carved AA flame maple top, and a solid mahogany back. The finish is Pacific Reef blue. Includes the Gibson USA hardcase. Mostly Standard modern Gibson LP electronics and hardware, Burstbucker Pro II's in neck and bridge, Tune-O-Matic bridge, 3-way pickup selector (which from the top position to bottom equals neck, mixed, and bridge), and dedicated volume and tone controls for each pickup. Nickel Gibson Deluxe tuners, which are non-locking. OK, now that is over with, I will give my opinion. I've had this guitar since early 2007, I've used it a lot, done some gigs with it etc, and so feel that I can give an honest review that isn't an "OMG I just bought a Gibson" review. As stated above, this guitar is a limited edition run, and is absolutely gorgeous. One of the best-looking guitars I have ever laid eyes on, and that includes guitars I've seen in pictures, on the television, etc. I say Pacific Reef 'blue', because I have seen one other Pacific Reef which was very green. My one is predominantly blue, with some subtle hues of green. Sort of like teal in colour, but heavily weighing towards the blue side of things. Anyhow it's beautiful to look at, and the picture above does it no justice at all. There are other differences between this and the normal Standard. This one has an ebony fretboard, like the Customs have, the single-ply binding is pure white (along with pure white pickup rings and nut), rather than cream, and the binding goes around the headstock, like on the Customs, but only with a single-ply. The truss rod cover has 'Les Paul' written on it (rather than being plain black), and instead of 'Les Paul MODEL' being printed on the headstock, there is a limited edition inlay decal. All the hardware is nickel. Nickel tuning heads (instead of the green key Kluson ones), nickel pickup covers, nickel TOM and stoptail, nickel strap buttons, and even a nickel plate on the jack input. It all looks very, very nice indeed. One major thing that you should know about nickel, is that it wears very easily, and is similar to brass in this respect. The bridge pickup quickly started to develop a brown patch on the corner where my hand sits. It's not rust, and comes off with metal polish (again, like brass). However, if you want to keep it shiny, you have to polish it a lot. It doesn't particularly bother me. I polish it now and again, and you'd only particularly notice the smears on the metal if you looked close. But it's worth knowing all the same. As for the rest, it's mostly your typical Les Paul, really. I read a lot about how modern Gibsons are weight-relieved etc. I don't disbelieve this. All I can say is that my guitar is very heavy. I don't believe that this guitar has been weight-relieved. I can't know that for sure, of course. I have tried my best to find out. None of Gibson's documentation on this guitar say it is weight-relieved, though they do state that on some of their guitars. I've also played other Gibson Les Pauls which are lighter than my one. The only one that wasn't was a friend's Custom. The neck is nice and fast, and I love the ebony fretboard. Feels like glass. I take good care of my fretboard and oil it once every month or so. It's certainly a very easy guitar to play, so long as you don't mind the Les Paul heft and shape. The hardcase is nothing new. In fact, I'm pretty sure I got the wrong hardcase from the shop. It's just a normal Gibson USA hardcase, with the little lock and whatnot. In the compartment inside the case was manual etc, but also a cream Gibson scratch plate? All the binding etc on this guitar is pure white. So yeah, wrong case I think. Not that I care. It's a great case, has a combination lock, and I feel at ease when it's in there. All in all feature-wise, it is everything it stated it was going to be. I can't fault it in this respect. It'd be nice if the bridge tone knob was instead a push-pull coil-tap, but I knew it wasn't before I bought it. Maybe I'll do that mod in future. I'm at odds over whether to mark it down for the nickel tarnishing quite easily, because it's something which people actually like about nickel. It accumulates that nice "well-played guitar" look about it fairly easily, but at the same time only needs polishing to make it look like new again. Feature-wise, you could give this guitar a zero because it's so simple. Barely has any 'features'. However, that is the hole point of this much-loved design. The one thing it does which you can't really do on most other guitars (without modification) is that, because each pickup has it's own dedicated volume and tone controls, you can set them up as a sort of gain-boost. You can set your amp wide-open for solos etc, and then set one pickups volume just with the controls on the guitar to 2 or 3. s most of you'll know, this really cleans up the sound. From here, all you need to do is flick that switch to the other pickup for a solo. You can even set up a cheap 'kill-Switch' like this. Overall, classic Les Paul design, with a few choice hardware augmentations. // 10

Sound: The sound of this guitar actually surprised me a great deal, I must say. As someone Who owns an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, which has PAF copies installed in it, the Burstbuckers they put in Les Pauls now sound nothing like PAFs. Which, in turn, kind of means that they don't sound like Les Pauls. I've found that knocking the tone down a quart to 7 or 8 makes it sound close to PAFs, but still different. The pickups themselves are pretty bright, and quite powerful. Not muddy at all. The bridge pickup is really good for high-gain stuff. The neck pickup is actually quite juicy. Doesn't sound as fat as a neck PAF. In fact, when on clean it's almost, dare I say it, slightly Strat-ish! They're brighter and punchier. They deal well with most styles I've tried. Which I hate saying, as that's what everyone always says in guitar reviews. It's true though, in this case. They're more distinct than PAFs (which are muddy, though I love them), and have a lovely bell-like sound when clean. Especially the neck pickup, which I am in love with. I've spent a lot more time playing my guitar clean since I got this Gibson, they just sound so lovely. There is not an issue with microphonic feedback. Harmonics, both natural and pinched, come easily with these Burstbuckers. I use a variety of amps and effects, and the guitar sounds great through everything I've tried it through. Overall, they aren't what I was expecting, and I was initially going to swap them for some PAFs. However, I've grown to like the sound of the Burstbuckers. They're versatile pickups which respond really well to the guitar's controls. Rolling back the tone fattens the sound (rolling it back to 5 or so really flattens the sound, and gets you in that lovely Jazz territory) somewhat. The sustain is great on this guitar, as you want from an LP. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Here's where it all goes downhill. The guitar's set-up from the factory was absolutely terrible. It played like absolute crap. Buzzing everywhere, constantly went out of tune, the intonation was god-awful,, the high E made this terrible whining sound when plucked open, etc. I couldn't believe it. I can do most basic set-up tasks myself. I adjusted the action, did the intonation, even adjusted the truss rod. After I did this, some of these problems lessened or went away. Some of them refused to go away, though. Notably, the weird high E issue, and the tuning problems. I phoned Gibsons hotline, and was giving "Just play your guitar for a while, it needs settling in. Like a new pair of shoes" as an answer. Thanks. So anyway, even though that sounded like an outright lie, I did what the Gibson guy told me to do. After some considerable amount of time, the guitar was showing no improvements over what Ihad done myself by setting it up, so I did what any intelligent person would have done at this point, and took my guitar to a professional luthier (not a shop, a guy makes a living setting up guitars). This cost me a bomb, and when you've just spend nearly two grand on a guitar, was not funny at all. Turns out, the nut was very badly cut, and the frets were garbage. After this guy did some major work on my guitar, replacing the nut with a new one (matching the old pure white one, of course), shaping that properly, and re-shaping all the frets, all the problems were gone, and it played like a dream, better than I ever imagined. Stays in tune perfectly, now (the tuning issue was to do with the badly cut nut, according to the luthier). All in all, I think Gibson should be ashamed and embarrassed that a guitar which is supposed to be a premium instrument, and not only that, but a limited edition one, could be so woefully set-up at the factory. The Epiphone LP which I bought for 120 has none of these problems. This is further compounded by the guy on the Gibson helpline being the complete opposite of helpful, and just lying to me. It now plays as great as it looks, but that is no thanks to Gibson, that's just thanks to a local guitar technician, Who incidentally charges a lot of money. After this, I would never buy a Gibson guitar again, unless it as pre-owned, and had already been set-up etc by the previous owner. Gibson's quality control is non-existant, and you better believe it. I shouldn't have had to have spent an extra 200 to make the guitar into the one it should have been from the start. For this reason, the set-up on this guitar, and Gibson as a company, get a 1. I would give them a 0 if it were an option. It is simply unacceptable for such a high-end guitar to have such pathetic issues. If some Korean guy getting paid a penny a month can cut a nut properly on my 120 Epiphone Les Paul Copy, then whoever is doing it for the 'real' USA version, and a high-end limited edition one with Custom appointments that costs 1849.99, doesn't have any excuses. "It needs playing in, like a new shoe". No it doesn't mate, it just needs setting up properly at your god-forsaken factory. // 1

Reliability & Durability: Durability-wise, this guitar is solid. It's a big hunk of mahogany, and the electronics show no signs of crapping out on me. There has never been any issue with noisy pots, or any scratching sounds when using the pickups selector. The tuning heads are nice and tight, and the volume and tone nobs aren't doing anything they're not supposed to do. One area of malaise was the rubbish strap buttons they put on the Gibson. Tiny and useless, is what they are. Why equip such an instrument with such pants strap buttons? I replaced them with Schaller strap locks, which are awesome and would heartily recommend to everyone, but that doesn't change the fact that their should have been better ones on there. Once again, comparing it to my Epiphone, which has massive strap buttons, which I've yet to bother replacing because a strap has never slipped off of them. It just seems silly. Surely they know that a guitar of this price is going to be a considerable investment to anyone Who's buying it. So then, common-sense must say that equipping this investment with such crap strap buttons which see the investment slipping off of it's strap and hurtling towards the floor, damaging the investment, is going to be a point of considerable annoyance to the investee? It's obvious to me, and probably obvious to you. Not obvious to Gibson though, apparently. For such a heavy guitar, as well. You might get away with such strap buttons on a really thin Ibanez guitar which has also had a large amount of the body hollowed out for the Floyd Rose making it really light. My Les Paul is really heavy, and such strap buttons were not apt. After a couple of hours of a new strap being put on, the strap had incurred enough weight-related stress to the point where it was flexing freely and coming off. The irony is, Ibanez and other manufacturers of light, super-Strat type guitars tend to equip them with strap locks as Standard. Gibson need to start doing that. Aside from the strap buttons, it's solid, and I have gigged it without a backup, nor fear of needing one. It's a dependable guitar (once being set up). The finish is your typical nitro-cellulose finish. Very beautiful, allows the guitar to resonate lots, but also very susceptible to damage. After installing the strap locks, I have no particular worries. But then, I wear my guitar really high. therefore, I've never really had an issue with 'buckle rash' etc. It has a few small dinks here and there. I'd have to point them out to you for you to see it, though. However, if you're one of those pillocks Who insists on hanging his guitar so low that it's round your ankles pretending to be Slash, then it will get knackered really quickly, I'm afraid. This is just a natural downside to nitro-cellulose, though. It's not specific to this guitar. So, I'm only going to mark it down on the useless strap buttons. // 8

Overall Impression: I've been playing just over three years (laugh if you want, but I was unemployed for two and just wasted all my spare time playing guitar, so got good fast), play various styles of music, most recently going from Jazz/Fusion into experimental composition. Les Pauls are by definition of their simplicity, well-suited to many different things, and excel at a couple. They are of course perfect for generic Blues/Rock and Hard Rock stuff, but the new pickups I feel lend themselves well to other genres, and allow you to make some sounds and achieve tones which you wouldn't really associate with the Les Paul. It of course has the downsides and upsides inherent in the classic design, which I'm sure you all know of. Difficult upper-fret access, general weight and bulk being common downsides which are cited. Not issues for me, but I can certainly understand why people don't like the guitar for these reasons. Of course there's the upsides- lots of sustain, the guitar has a big, powerful sound on it, it's great for Jazz (Les Paul himself is a Jazz man, don't forget), has a versatile electronic design, while being a very mechanically-simple guitar. While the guitar is easily a 11/10 now, that's not why we're here, is it? I cannot look past or excuse the fact that this guitar was set-up so terribly that it was actually unplayable when it was Brand New. These were not small issues inherent with all new guitars, either. These were pathetic troubles which you'd associate with bottom-of-the-barrel beginner guitars, not high-end premium, limited edition instruments. I've heard a lot about Gibson's quality control being bad these days, and while I disagree with the "all Gibsons are weight-relieved", I have to agree with the quality control. It just isn't acceptable. I feel Gibson owe me the money it cost me to pay for a professional luthier to give the instrument what Gibson should have given it when it was made. When people play my guitar now and go "Wow, this guitar is *expletive* amazing!" I always inform them of the hell I went through to get it there. I also always advise them to stay the hell away from Gibson. As a guitar, it lives up to what it was supposed to be after some heavy work. Which would be acceptable for a cheap guitar. However, it's a cardinal sin in this case, and so I give it a 4, in terms of overall impression I had when it was Brand New. Another lesson, kids, is not to buy a guitar from mail-order or the internet. Make sure you go to a shop and play the one you're buying. The shop I got mine from wouldn't give me a refund, stating that those are manufacturer's issues, not theirs. If you simply 'must' have a Gibson, then get a pre-owned one, the previous owner of which has already had to go the the costly misfortune and misery of correcting Gibson's awful quality control issues. Alternatively, just don't buy Gibson. While I love my guitar to pieces, it also taught me a valuable lesson. I won't be buying Gibson ever again. // 4

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overall: 7.4
Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Reviewed by: PRSseSinglecut, on november 09, 2012
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Features: This guitar was made in 2009, in USA. It has 22 frets. The neck is thin. The neck is rosewood. It has a beautiful Brimstone burst finish. The body is flamed mahonagy. This guitar originally had Passive Gibsob Burst bucker pro pickups, but I changed them to Alnico 2 Pro. It has 2-vol knobs, and 2-tone knobs. It has a Tune o matic bridge. And a 3-way switch. This guitar has Grover locking tuners. I personally don't like the tuners, even tho they are locking they don't stay in tune very well. I have to tune the guitar almost everyday. // 8

Sound: This guitar suits my style perfectly. I play mostly Hard rock like Guns N' Roses which is why I changed my pickups which I mentioned earlier. Even with the original pickups this guitar was great for hard rock. I also play some blues, and alot of Metal, and this guitar is good for blues, but not for Metal. I mean its good but I don't have the right kind of pickups. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: I don't know much about what's the right set up but I think it was set up perfectly in the factory. The pickups were adjusted just fine. One thing that was broken on the guitar was the knobs on the inside. Well they weren't really broken but more Cracked, which really bothered me so I changed them. // 7

Reliability & Durability: Yeah I think it would withstand live playing, but then again I'm not sure. I got so many dings on it just from walking around the house. BANG! A little hit to the table and the finish chiped off. Playing while standing up with a belt buckle isn't a good idea. The day I got it, I got it scratched with my belt. Ummm I guess you can depend on it, altho I really did expect more from Gibson. This would be good without a backup. The finish like I said earlier is very easy to chip off, so no I don't think the finish will last very long, But then again that's gibson... OH I FORGOT THIS the strap buttons are not solid! I was playing one day and the top button came out of the wood and I almost droped the guitar. But that can be fixed with some strong glue. I don't think the hardware will last long... I've had this for like 4 maybe 5 months now and already the gold plated bridge is coming off... Or oxidizing I'm not sure. But its like turning from gold to silver. // 6

Overall Impression: This guitar is good for alot of styles but its mainly made for styles from Jazz-Hard rock. I've been playing for a year now. I have a Marshall AVT 275 amp, and a Zakk Wylde Wah by Crybaby. I really love this guitar but if it were stolen I would just get something else like a LP Traditional Pro or something other then a LP Standard. I really love the finish on this guitar becuase its one of a kind. Gibson only made a few of these LP Standards. I don't think I hate anything about this guitar. My favourite feature is the beautiful Body and Head stock shape. I just wish that the Finish was alot harder like on my PRS. I droped that guitar, played with my belt buckle and no dings, no deep scracths like on this LP. And I also wish that the headstock was alot more Bent, like on the LP's of the 60's. // 8

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overall: 9.4
Les Paul Standard Limited Edition Reviewed by: Zanary, on november 09, 2012
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: My example is a "Santa Fe Sunrise" colored, 50s neck equipped, lovely beast of a guitar. Made in the USA, 22 frets, 24 3/4" scale, flame maple top over mahogany body with Gibson's metal button versions of their "Vintage" tuners. The guitar is basically all typical Les Paul: 2 humbuckers, tune-O-matic with stoptail, 3-position Switch. In this case, the guitar is almost a hybrid of a Standard and a Custom in that the fretboard is ebony and the binding goes all the way around the headstock, though it it single-layer binding instead of the multi-layer Customs get. The pickups are passive Burstbucker "Pro" 1(n) and 2(b). The axe came with typical stap buttons and a hard case. // 9

Sound: This guitar's tone is a tribute to the kind of Les Pauls that Gibson made in the late 50's: warm, clear highs and lows, and with moderate pickup output. This guitar is likely NOT a great choice for the more aggressive genres of metal, but is great for essentially any other rock/blues style where a warm tone can excel. In my case, I'm using the axe through a Budda Superdrive 80 halfstack and a variety of Budda and Boss effects. I'm a hard rock kinda guy in both what I write and songs I cover... and that means anything from early Aerosmith and Sabbath to recent songs by Alice in Chains, Tool, and Stone Temple Pilots. The guitar is quiet and easy to operate with just enough difference in the pickup tones to be able to find what you need. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar's fit and finish were first-rate, with no paint blems or binding issues what'soever. The bridge and pickups were adjusted very well and the guitar played with a low-to-medium action on it's stock 10s. The flame top is nicely matched, and I couldn't find any flaws or complaints. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I bought the guitar new in early 2004, and it has served beautifully since. I made two alterations that I make to all my guitars eventually: strap locks and a bone nut (cut by Jack Fortner, at Encore Music back then). It tends to stay in tune despite frantic bending, has survived dozens of gigs, rehearsals, jams, and countless hours of practive, and only after all these years can I feel the lacquer wearing down where the heel of my picking hand tends to be. That's not a criticism, that's impressive! I would use it without a backup, though I tend to bring diffenent types of guitars for different sounds... I never bring just one. // 9

Overall Impression: For my hard rock and occasional blues playing, this is as sweet a Les Paul as I've ever owned or even played. I have another Les Paul with slightly more aggressive pickups that I usually grab on more heavy songs, but that's habit and not necessity. In my 20+ years of sweating on stages, I've rarely found a guitar I don't rewire. This is only the second ever that I don't want to risk changing the sound in the name of experimentation. The nut and the strap locks were the only things I've replaced besides strings, and I do that on everything. I love the guitar's look and tone, and it's weight isn't bad for an LP. I'm a big guy, so heavy axes don't phase me much. Practically the only real beef I had is that a late color addition came available (black cherry) that I would have preferred to the Santa Fe Sunrise... had it been available when I ordered this guitar. I would definitely have to find another were this one stolen. // 9

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