Price paid: £ 700
Purchased from: Music Street
Sound — 10
I have used it with extensive range of amps, from the Roland Micro Cube RX, Marshall DSL401, Orange Tiny Terror, Vox Night Train, Line 6 Spider, etc. This guitar sounds just like a Les Paul should, there is no fault there even after all those years. The clean sound is thick, distortion and overdrive sound as good as a Les Paul Classic or StandardI tried in store that day. I play mostly hard rock like Guns N Roses, Zeppelin, Slash to heavy metal like Iron Maiden, Metallica or Children Of Bodom. This guitar rocks on all front and can undoubtedly perform on other genre just as well.
Overall Impression — 10
I play from Rock to Metal and this guitar just won't fail on either. I love it from top to bottom even with some minor cosmetic damage. There are only a few draw backs for this guitar, which I would say is lack of binding, could use something better than decal for the headstock and the weight. The guitar is heavy, at 6-7 pounds. It really does feel heavier than it looks, but then it does have an amazing sound and great versatility. The only thing I wish it also had is the improved neck and a Floyd Rose system like the current Axcess line. The Gibson Les Paul Studio is a great guitar to own if you don't want to spend $3000 on a Standard, the only thing you lose is a minor cosmetic difference, the sound is essentially the same and I would recommend to everyone.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is made well, and is definitely built to last, maybe even forever if no accidents happen to it. The gold hardware does seem quite rusty but it is definitely understandable after over 10 years. And it's still going strong after 15 years now. Gigs should be a no problem but definitely recommend strap locks if you planning on jumping around a lot on stage.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
It was set up with Ernie Balls .09 strings when I first bought 'em. Action was really low, and there was no such thing as fret buzz or strings stuck under frets. Frets are also perfectly installed and stayed there for over 3 years without budging. Everything was right with the hardware and set up. Though the selector Switch did give out on me a couple months later, but it was cheap and easy to replace and works perfectly fine still. There was some minor damage on the neck and scratches as well as paint scrapes on the edges (binding would've helped). There was no fault to be found with this, top notch quality by Gibson and the shop.
Features — 9
A Les Paul Studio, made in USA in 1996 and bought it in 2008, quite a guitar. It packs Standard Gibson Les Paul feature without the binding. 22 beautiful ebony frets on mahogany neck. Chambered mahogany body with flame maple top. Tune-O-Matic bridge, that is quite a bit old and rusty but still really stable and accurate. 2 volume and 2 tone knobs as usual. Came with 490R and 498T for the neck and Bridge pickups respectively. Really great build quality, but could've been perfect if it had binding and used other materials than decal for logos on the headstock.