Price paid: $ 849
Purchased from: Musicians Friend
Sound — 10
I am pretty experimental when it comes down to my playing style. However, I tend to gravitate towards Hard Rock, Blues Rock and Grunge Rock. To give you ladies and gents an idea, think Aerosmith, GNR, Bush, Pearl Jam, Paul Personne, etc. I resort to Marshall's, usually with no effects other then a crybaby wah. I use the wah to generate some feedback, and it allows me to do that at fairly low gain levels, this way I don't have to crank those master volume amps too high to get some kick ass feedback. I think the important thing to tell you is that this guitar has the tonal capability to digress into more than one particular style. The sustain on the guitar is really impecable. I let powerchords ring up to 7-10 seconds, open chords forever. If I fiddle around with the volume/tone knobs and pickup selection, I can dial in tones that would be suitable for many different styles ranging from jazz/blues tones to pretty much death metal. The Bridge pickup has a real nasty bite, but at the same time she can smooth out if you sweet talk her. The neck pickup really sings, she has a real nice smooth tone with plenty of sustain for those Slash "Godfather Theme/November" Rain type solos. Again, huge tonal variety available.
Overall Impression — 10
I'd say this guitar is a fairly good match for any sub-genre of rock, be it blues rock or hard rock, anything else is a matter of swapping the pickups. I've been playing for about 2 years, but have done thorough amounts of research/experimenting. I love the fact that it's my Gibson Les Paul, and it's a real Les Paul with a real bad-ass tone. Coming from an Epiphone Les Paul Ultra, it's a real upgrade for me, the pickups scream rock. It's totally distinguishable from any other guitar once you crank up that marshall/whatever amp you play. It's a classic that's timeless and will never do your collection wrong. I don't wish it had anything other than it has. I thought that I wanted different tone knobs, etc.. but any accessory I seen on the market would take away from it's appearance rather than add to it. Gibson made a very affordable Les Paul which I'm sure won't be available for long considering the box tags say 'limited'. Rock on ladies and gents, hope this was informative.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've heard many things about this Les Paul. Some people say it's not that great of a Les Paul, Gibson says it's a studio-use Les Paul that has the same great tone as the original Les Paul Standard. When I was shopping for this guitar, I was looking for the following qualities in a guitar.. sustain, simplicity of shape(you know, something Fender or Gibson), solidity(can be banged around), and a hard rock/blues rock tonal ability. The pickups were less of a concern because I feel they're fairly inexpensive compared to the guitars themselves and their prices don't really fluctuate much. Basically, this is a rock-stars guitar, with amazing tone, people know it when they see it, and you won't feel all that bad for it when you bang it around, because nitrocellulose can crack, bindings can break.. all this thing will do is dent and scuff. Oh, strap-locks should be a top priority for anyone Who doesn't want to drop this baby on it's head. The strap buttons on this thing couldn't hold a strap if they had too.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This is my first Gibson, and I must say I'm impressed with the quality and craftsmanship. I'll begin with the nut, the slots were cut Ultra precise, not too deep and not too shallow. To describe it best, imagine yourself playing across the first 5 frets on each string, and you don't have to press too hard, or too soft, it has that 'just right' type feel. As I've said before, the craftsmanship is impeccable, the neck is sanded real smooth and as I've mentioned before the finish is a real thin coat, giving the neck a very fast feel because it lacks that thick laquer coat that 'quicksands' your thumb. Every edge, every straightaway, was perfect and smooth. The setup was almost dead on, the neck and pickups needed no adjustment. The action was pretty good for me, not too high nor too low. The only adjustment I made was the intonation which took about 4 minutes given the assitance of my trusty Korg tuner.
Features — 10
2008 Gibson Les Paul Studio Vintage Mahogany, Chrome Hardware, Black pick-guard. This Gibson is made in Nashville. It has 22 frets, bound to a rosewood fingerboard. The Frets are filed near flat, which is a quality I prefer as opposed to the more round-filed frets I have on some of my other guitars. The fingerboard is attached to a 50's neck which has the classic 'bell' inlays, it is quite thick and has an almost 'baseball bat' feel. The body is entirely mahogany with a mahogany top, not maple. This is the reason the guitar weighs slightly less than the Standard, classic and other models which have a maple top, the maple top adds more weight to the guitar as opposed to the mahogany top. The finish is very interesting because it has almost no twinkle to it. I had to call Gibson to determine what this guitar was finished with, and I was told that it is a cherry finish with a very thin top coat, I believe the top coat is a very thin coat of nitrocellulose. The finish is really no frills compared to the maple tops, but then again it's what you want in the finish that decides what's elegant and what isn't. This Les Paul is unbound, no binding on the body, neck, or headstock, which is what I prefer. The headstock is classic Gibson Les Paul, no inlays though, the "Gibson" logo isn't inlayed in mother-of-pearl, it is rather painted on, which again would depend on what you want. The tuners are "Gibson Deluxe", they are real good, as long as you use a slightly higher guage for the "G" string, I've noticed it likes to slip out of tune after about an hour of gigging with the Gibson Brite Wire's that came with the guitar, I'd say they are regular guage 10-46. The Bridge is a Gibson Tune-O-Matic. The Pick-Ups are Alnico V Burstbucker Pro pickups. This baby shipped with a hardshell case, white interior, and a Gibson USA logo on the outside.