Sound — 8
Realistically, you can't rate a guitar 10 out of 10 on anything really, because there are things on other guitars which can easily outplay a Gibson, as well as things on a Gibson that can outplay other guitars. All guitars are different, even if they are the same brand and model, and I especially noticed this when testing my Gibson at the store. The one I chose really stood out from the other Gibson Les Paul Studios in the store, in sound and in looks. I play through a Korg Pandora PX4 guitar effects box, and an Aria AG-30 AT amplifier, and the Gibson makes what would normally be a pretty amateur rig sound great! I play many styles, but I mainly focus on Punk Rock, Blues, Metal and Hard Rock, and this guitar suits all these perfectly. The neck pickup is perfect for getting your traditional Bluesy sounds, along with the telltale sound of slash's solos, and with the Bridge pickup you get a powerful, Hi-Gain metal sound, making your solos scream. Combine both pickups together you get a mellow, all round sound, especially on clean, which sounds great for bluesy riffs and jazzy improv. You can get a wide variety of sounds by using the tone knobs on the guitar, you don't have to keep the knobs wide open, experimenting with this can help you find your perfect tone. So overall, a wide range of sounds can be achieved with this guitar, and I would highly recommend purchasing this guitar. If you have a higher budget, I would go for a Les Paul Standard, because it looks great on-stage, and is just that tiny step better. But to be perfectly honest, the Studio hardly differs from a Standard sound wise. Like I said before, nothing should be rated 10/10, and a good reviewer knows this, so because you can't get some of the twangier, more country sounds on a Gibson, the rating will be lowered.
Overall Impression — 8
I've been playing the guitar for 4 years (electric) and around 7 for classical. If it were stolen or lost, I wouldn't be able to afford another one, so I'd steal one. I think the best thing about this guitar is the gold hardware and the sound. Combined they make a great looking and great sounding stage instrument. The strap buttons and the selector Switch are the only faults I have discovered so far, and I hope they are the last.
Reliability & Durability — 8
This Guitar is solid, but light for a Gibson. The finish shows fingerprints very easily, so it would be smart to give it a wipe down every now and then. The strap buttons are crap! I can't stand up and play the thing without the strap coming off the top. Its ridiculous! I'm going to have to buy locking strap buttons, and I advise you do the same! This guitar is totally dependable, apart from the selector switch, and I have used it at a concert once, with minimal problems. The hardware on the pickups is easily scratched, but no signs of rust yet.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
My Les Paul's action was set a bit too high for my tastes, and after playing a Tokai SG Custom in which the action was paper thin above the frets, it took some adjustments to get the guitar to match my preference. The Bridge pickup was considerably higher than I would have preferred, but that can be easily fixed. Otherwise, the guitar was set to the Standard I expect from Gibson. However, one problem I do have, which is spontaneous, is the selector switch, which sometimes does not select the pickup and instead lowers noise. Everything else is still in order.
Features — 9
My Les Paul was manufactured in January, 2011, and was distributed on the 25th. It was made in the Nashville Plant, Tennessee. It has 22 Jumbo frets, on a mahogany neck with a 50's profile. It has a traditional, adjustable truss rod, and the used adhesive is Franklin Titebond 50. It has a carved maple top, with a mahogany back, sealed with Nitrocellulose. It has a chambered weight relief body, and once again put together with Franklin Titebond 50. My Les Paul is in wine red, with gold hardware. It has the traditional Les Paul style cutaway, a Nashville Tune-o-matic Bridge (material is Zamek) with gold plating. Also in gold plating is the stop-bar tailpiece, which is made of the same material. The Pick Ups on my Les Paul are gold plated, passive humbuckers. The Bridge pickup is a 498T and the Neck pickup is a 490R. It has the classic Les Paul setup, Two tone knobs and Two volume knobs, and a Three way selector switch. It has a traditional 1/4" output jack. It has nickel plated, non-locking Gibson Deluxe Vintage tuners with perloid buttons, and a tune ratio of 14:1. The nut is made of Corian (width 1.695) with the Gibson PLEK system slots.