Price paid: $ 1399
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 7
Alright well this is the Killer for most guitars right? In the store I played it through a Marshall stack and it sounded great then I played it through a solid state and even an A/B amp I couldnt find one thing I didn't like about the sound. BUT... I took it home and I have a Mesa Boogie all tube combo amp along with an Orange solid state and a few others and at low volumes a.k.a studio volumes this thing breaks up on that burstbucker pro which I'm guessing is what its supposed to do, unfortunately I cranked the tubes and at high volumes it broke up way too much. I'm not a huge fan of the 490R in the neck I've always seen it as a Bridge pickup and it has a lot of crunch to it which is what I was expecting although its not what I completely want out of a neck pickup. It also has coil taps which give you that single coil sound, unfortunately once you get used to the humbuckers on this thing even if you want to use it it just sounds too tinny and weak although up to a Strat it probably sounds just as good but after diluting my ears with massive humbucker power its kind of hard to pull that knob up and get a weaker sound. In the end I went with this because I know longer tour and I mostly do soundtracks and backing tracks to various projects around here so its PERFECT for me in the studio but live I think it breaks up way too easy and that neck pickup has way to much mid and bass for me but I can make it work at low volumes and messing with the EQ. For me it's a 10, but overall taking everything I can in to account and it being a Gibson which is rated on such a high Standard I would have to rate it a little lower.
Overall Impression — 8
I play blues, rock, alternative, classical, and some metal (nothing crazy) and with the pickups and thinner neck and weight I can play all these and really just about anything that I wanted but to me the sound is all about EQ and the right amp, atmosphere, and player. Keith Richards once said he could take ANY guitar and amp and make it just how he wanted to sound in about 30 minutes and I believe this but Gibson definitely makes it a lot easier to get great sound and playability with this thing, you won't be dissapointed if you but it and after all it is a studio version, the humbuckers are fantastic at low volumes which is what they are designed to be and they leave limitless customazation with the coil-splits and tone knobs which actually have a great effect on the tone of the guitar. I plan to have this the rest of my life and plan on it being a workhorse and maybe one day I'll get a Standard as well but for now and this price and where I'm at it fits ME perfectly its up to you to decide if it what do the same. I hope this helped. Rock on.
Reliability & Durability — 9
Live, it would definitely hold up except for my personal sound issues as above, it's lighter than a Standard and to me the perfect weight for a guitar about 7ish pounds adds Killer sustain and tone without a broken vertabrae. I would get great strap locks and a heavy well supporting strap to go along with it. And all I can say about durablility is its a Gibson these things are meant to last forever and unless something to the contrary shows me otherwise I will stand by that.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
This thing was perfectly set up and the intonation was spot on but I did find a few flaws on the fret where glue had built up on the fretboard. This happened with frets 20-22 but for me it was an easy fix as I serve as my own guitar tech but STILL it's friggin Gibson and if your going to charge 1000 and up for even your lower models they better be perfect well in my opinion anyway but against every other guitar I've bought its definitely a great finsih, stunning actually, great electronics and the build was fantastic just some glue residue so I can't be too picky.
Features — 10
This model was made on March 24th 2011 in the U.S.A. I actually walked into the store looking for a Standard and was surprised when they had this one and it was the only one which they had just gotten. It has 22 frets 60's style neck (which is thinner and lighter than the standards) It's your Standard Les Paul Studio with a Vintage sunburst but the kicker on these is the Burstbucker 3 Pro and 490R pickups in the Bridge and neck respectfully. It comes with a hardshell case which fits it so snug and looks retro with the white interior.