Price paid: $ 1189.5
Purchased from: M&M Music
Sound — 10
I am heavily influenced by AC/DC and bluesy rock sort of stuff, and this guitar fits this style perfectly. I use a Marshall MG 50DFX and sounds very nice, especially if you turn distortion on and the effects at the same time and put the effects on the lightest delay possible. It gives it a very nice metal sound, especially on the high notes. Even with this metal like sound, it still fits with slow bluesy rock stuff which is really nice.
Overall Impression — 10
The Studio model suits my playing style very nicely. I've been playing for about 2 and 3 quarter years now and I cannot see me upgrading to any other guitar in the future and if I did, it would certainly be a Gibson. If it were lost or stolen I'd be straight down the shops to get one. It's not too heavy on the price either which is nice because it is basically a Les Paul Standard without the binding round the edge and a few less colours to choose from. Excellent guitar to play and affordable, especially for the high quality you would expect from a Gibson.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This guitar easily stands live playing. The strings stay in tune very nicely as well, even if you torture them with loads of bending. However the hardware does tarnish quite easily as I said before. The strap buttons are nice and solid but if you were to be doing live playing with one of these, I would strongly suggest straplocks. This guitar is dependable and I would say you would not need a backup guitar. The one thing I will say though is the tuners are not very strong. I hit one by accident very lightly and it bent it. Didn't affect the sound or made it any more likely to go out of tune quicky, but they should be strong enough to prevent a light hit from bending the metal.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action on this guitar when I got it was great but it can still go a little lower. The pickups were and still are perfect. There are no flaws I have found with this instrument so far except the metal has tarnished on the bridge a bit after only just under a years worth of use but that's probably because I jump around loads when I play and my hands sweat a lot. The neck also gets a little bit too thick towards the top aswell than my small hands can cope with but its manageable. Overall though, excellent.
Features — 9
I bought one of these in early 2005 and I love it. I got it in fireburst with gold hardware and looks great. It has 22 frets but as I have annoyingly small hands, I can't really get much higher than about the 18th or 19th fret without struggling due to the body joining the neck at the 16th fret. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic with a stopbar tailpiece. It has 2 volume controls and 2 tone controls, a tone and volume set for each pickup. It also has a 3-way pickup selector Switch. The pickups fitted when you get the guitar is a 498T in the bridge and a 490R in the neck. the tuners are green key. I would say though, it isn't too heavy either like other Les Pauls but not as light as an SG. SGs are much easier to jump around and go crazy with.