Price paid: $ 800
Purchased from: Ebay
Features — 9
The guitar is a 1999 model. This is the second one I've owned, the first was a '98 model I bought at Missouri Music in Columbia, MO ($600 - close-out item). The guitar has 24 frets, cherry sunburst, the '60s slim taper neck (my favorite neck), chambered body, Gibson's 490T and 498T pickups, one volume, one tone, and a three way switch. Medium-jumbo frets, wraparound bridge, nickel hardware, old style Gibson tuners. It came with a Gibson HSC. The gloss finish has checking (on the top), makes me think of a '50s or '60s Gibson. No binding.
Sound — 10
This is a versatile guitar. I play rock, blues, praise and worship, clean and distorted. It has great clean jazz tones. It suits my playing very well. I call the guitar Sparkles because of the sparkling tone. It is actually better than the 1998 model I had. It plays better and the tone is richer.
I play through a Carvin Bel-Air two twelve 60 watt amp with British style speaker. My pedal-board will vary from time to time, but I use all of these in a variety of combinations.
- DOD FX-17 Volume Wah
- Marley Volume Wah
- Vox Classic Wah
- EHX Soul Food (always because of the buffer capability)
- T-Rex Crunchy Frog OD/Boost
- Boss SD-1
- Boss Blues Driver
- Jet City Shockwave Distortion
- Boss DS-1 w/ Keely mod
- T-Rex Tone Bug Flange/Chrous
- T-Rex Tone Bug Phaser
- Jet City The Flood analog delay
- Hardwire DL-8 Delay/ Looper
- Quick Tune Tuner
- Modtone MT-PT1 Tuner
- Live Wire Advantage cords and patch cords & Spectraflex cords
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
I don't know about factory setup, though I've heard that Gibson's factory setups are questionable, but it was set up professionally and the action is great and it suits me well. I don't shred, but I have the action set fairly low, especially given that I am mostly a rhythm player and I play hard. I all but beat the guitar. The pickups set just right and I set the pickup screws for the tone at 90% angles to each other. The top is very plain and the grain matches up very neatly. there's nothing wrong with the guitar from a manufacturers point of view.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Everything is solid on this guitar. The pickup covers are nickel plated, the bridge and tuners are nickel. The tuners have the pearloid acorn shaped buttons. The nickel is wearing well. The only reason I would use a backup would be if I needed a single coil tone, like a strat or tele, or I broke a string. The finish is cherry sunburst on top, cherry red on the back and on the back of the neck - other than some cracking (and could be due to rapid temp change by a previous owner) is sound. I am just typing to add enough characters so it will accept this submission.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing 41 years, since the summer before my Senior year in high school. I've played and owned several Les Pauls, a Standard (don't know the year), a 1982 Custom with a factory installed Kahler, a mid-70's modified Deluxe and a 72 Deluxe, and a '78 Firebrand. I would put it up against any of these guitars and it's much better than any Strat I've had.
I would replace it if lost or stolen. I love the double-cut look. I do wish it had Gibson's Vari-tone switch. That would make it the only guitar I'd need to take to a gig.