Price paid: £ 750
Purchased from: Kenny's Music
Sound — 9
This is where people who have made reviews have began to annoy me. They say the P90s are "too hot". If you don't want a HOT sound, don't buy the guitar. Or, alternitively, buy the guitar, spend a hundred or so changing a pickup to a burstbucker, you have a half 60s tribute, half standard, without the massive price difference. In fact, the only thing that separates this guitar from a normal LP, is the pickups, neck profile and finish (lack of binding etc, which personally, I prefer the look of). So therefor, is it worth spending an extra 1000 getting binding on your Les Paul? I don't think so. However, I don't even think they are too hot. The P90s sound crisp as crisp can be. Surprisingly, one of their strongest suits is jazz. My main style of music is metal/punk. And with the right effects, this provides a quirky match for both. The pickups downfall is the rubbish palm muting sounds and pinch harmonics. Even putting a small amount of pressure on the Bridge makes it clack. But, if you put a really heavy metal distortion sound on it, you'd never even tell it had problems on light distortion. Another problem raised, was the lack of "60s" features. I don't know what these people want. The guitar has P90s (which were techically 50s) and a slim neck. I'm sure a massive corperation like Gibson would not put forward this guitar if it were not suitably 60s sounding. Short of having Lennon painted on it, I'm not sure what more could be done. However, if like me you don't give a crap whether it sounds 60s or not, and just really love the genuine crisp sound, this will not be a problem. I use a Guitar through guitar port through Marshall MG100.
Overall Impression — 8
The styles of music this guitar can play are extremely versatile. But if you really want to take advantage of the crisp clean tone, jazz or blues is brilliant. This expands to bluesy rock like Guns N Roses or Aerosmith etc. Punk is also a strong suit, with the crunchy tones like '90s Green Day style. Metal tones can be accomplished through use of Heavy distorion, but is not an ideal style to be playing. However, for a small amount of cash, fit an Invader or Super Distorion pickup, I believe this might give it an amazing metal sound. Personally, I've been playing for four years, own an Epiphone Les Paul fitted with Invader, Bc Rich Warbeast, Stratocaster, Tanglewood semi-hollow, Peavey ES-50K and Marshall MG100. I have a large amount of knowledge on guitars and have done my fair share of tinkering. I wish when I was trying this out in the shop I'd asked to play with a strap, standing up, where I would have discovered the lack of balance, which is this guitars only downfall. I would have bought it anyway. I love this guitars simple look (I bought it in white), some people may hate the lack of bling, but I think it just brings out the pure raw beauty of the Les Paul line. The pickups are brilliant, however I do think I may replace one with a humbucker. Compared to the Epiphone, this is alot nicer to play, the tone sounds more crispy and lush. However, I do like my Epiphone just as much. The tone is different though, for sure. The one thing I wish it had though, was a fatter neck. I don't like the slimtaper neck as much as the fat one, but its not big issue in the wrong run. The pros of this guitar far outweigh the cons. Some of the other reviews for this guitar are very stuck up for this guitar. I know its not a Diamond encrusted black beauty, but you don't expect that at this price. This is the perfect guitar for the money, much better than hundreds of other wannabe Gibsons at this price. A must have.
Reliability & Durability — 7
I can't see this guitar breaking easily at a gig, short of taking it off and smashing it against an amp, however, plastic strap locks may be a wise investment. Hardware seems like it will last, however the toggle Switch has become very stiff in the short time I've had it, which isnt very pleasing. Although I always bring many guitars to a gig for versatility of sound, I would be confident in only taking this guitar; The finish around the edges will wear off in time, no doubt about it. However, this is easily and cheaply re-done by a professional, or you may just leave it to contribute to the aged look!
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As you would expect, I could not find a single flaw in the setup of this guitar. The fretboard is beautiful flat rose wood, which sounds consistantly bright on every fret, with a reasonably low action for ease of playing (action is easily adjusted with a screw driver. Pickups perfect, no gaps, bridge - shining, no scratches. Only thing I will say though, is that the finish has been worn away at edges of the maple top, in the short time I've had it, which is slightly disappointing, but easily fixed. Everything else perfect.
Features — 7
The features includes in this guitar are blissfully simple, giving you the simple core of the Les Paul. This guitar has a very punk look, with no binding or super fancy finish. Here are some specifics about the guitar I got: - Handcrafted in US - 22 frets, SlimTape neck profile, mahogany neck, figured acrylic trapezoid inlays - Rosewood fingerboard - Maple top - Mahogany bottom - Chambered body - Finishes - Worn cherry burst, Worn ebony, Worn goldtop, Worn Honeyburst, Worn white (nitrocellulose sealer) - Les Paul style body - Tune-o-matic bridge - P90 Pickups - 2 Volume, 2 Tone, 3-way pickup selector - Gibson Deluxe tuners with perloid heads - Gigbag, owners manual When comparing this to my Epiphone, the main difference in body is the fact that this is chambered, back it lighter. This is a plus if you like light guitars, which I don't. A side effect of this is that the neck (Which you can't chamber or it'll snap) is heavier in proportion, making it tilt down. An investment in a hard case is a good idea, as mohogany is a soft wood.