Price paid: $ 1264
Sound — 10
I play mainly metal with a bit of rock (Green Day are rock! Accept it) and as I said earlier, I'm getting a set of EMG's to go in the guitar to give it more of a metal sound at the moment. With the stock pickups it can do metal, but I think it can do it better! I use the Studio straight into a Marshall DSL401 and they compliment each other nicely. It really starts to Shine when you start to crank the amp. Thats when you get the Marshall tone and it works oh so well with the Gibson. Due to the fact that the guitar has humbuckers, there is very little background noise (except for when I place it near a fan). The pickup selector switch is silent and changes very fluidly. This guitar is extremely versatile so you can go from a bluesy jazz sound to a full on metal and hard rock sound very easily. It naturall gives off a deeper, fuller sound because of the body thickness and material. The low end is nice and crunchy with a screaming high end guaranteed to result in a "guitargasm" with the right playing.
Overall Impression — 10
As I said, I play metal and this is a versatile guitar which can do pretty much any kind of music (you may need a boost like an OD pedal for death metal). I've been playing for 4 and a half years and this is the best guitar I've ever played. I still havn't gotten used to playing it yet so I'm not as comfortable with it as I was with my Fender but I'd had 3 and a half years to get used to that! I also have: Fender Mex Strat (better than Americans imo), Encore starter guitar (gonna be modded soon), Samick ES335 copy, Marshall DSL401, Fender Champions Series 30, Small 10w Watson amp, Boss MT-2 Metal Zone (awesome), DigiTech RP80 (mainly for tuning now). If this was stolen I'd find the guy who stole it and play loudly until his ears bled, then go home with the guitar satisfied. Of course I'd buy it again! I love the finish and sound of the guitar. I hate nothing. Oh wait, I don't like the angle of the top strap button (mentioned earlier). Before I received this unexpectedly for my birthday (today by the way, it was an early present) I'd considered getting an Epiphone ELitist LP Custom and a Gibson SG but I went with the Gibson Les Paul Studio and I'm extremely happy with it. I do wish it came with EMG's although that wouldn't really please everyone and would put the price up. Scratch that, I love it as it is!
Reliability & Durability — 9
I've only had this guitar a week but it seems very good so far. No damage but then again I've been very carefull with it so I'm not too sure on reliability. The hardware seems excellent and the finish is very hard and hasn't worn off yet and I've been playing it a lot. One thing to make sure, the angle of the top strap button means that your strap might come off when playing live. I just bought a strap with a lock on it so it will never come off. This is the same with all Les Pauls though so it's more of a design flaw than a guitar flaw. I would definately play this live without a backup, just make sure you have straplocks or a locking strap!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
When it came from the factory, the action was a bit too high for me (about 3mm on the low E) but I easily adjusted this and now its down to 1mm on the low E. You might expect fret buzz with action this low but not at all, it now sounds and plays like a dream. I had to lower the pickups after I lowered the action because the strings would touch the bridge pickup when I palm muted which didn't give a nice sound. But again, this was very easy to do. The one complaint I have about this guitar is that there is a tiny flaw on the top edge, between the neck and strap button. Its a small strip where the paint hasnt gone on properly and you can see the wood. However, its not noticeable unless you are really looking for it and you are very close and it doesn't affect playing in the slightest. Other than that, it's perfect!
Features — 10
Its a 2005 model made in Nashville USA. Got 22 frets and an ebony neck. The back of the neck is painted which means it needs cleaning more often than a wooden neck but thats not exactly difficult is it. I was expecting the neck to be really fat but its not, the '59 rounded profile is really nice. Its chunky enough to feel nice on the hands but thin enough for some fast playing and easy fretting. The body is carved top and made of mahogany which gives it a really nice smooth and bassy sound. My one is in Alpine White with the gold hardware which looks as sweet as a mound of sugar! The tune-o-matic bridge feels nice to rest your hand on when palm muting and allows you to easily adjust the action. Its got nice gold humbuckers in at the moment but I'm buying some EMG's to put in it as soon as I can afford them. Typical Gibson controls, 2 tone, 2 volume and the 3 way selecter. I played on a Fender Strat before so I'm not quite used to the postion of the selector and sometimes hit it and change to the rhymn pickup when I play standing up. The guitar came with a Gibson hard case with some nice fur inside to keep it all nice and safe.