Price paid: $ 3000
Purchased from: Rockmeimei
Sound — 10
I play blues/rock, rock, hard rock and metal and it fits all those very well as when a chord is played you can hear every note (unless you have a shitty distortion pedal). I play through a Randall RG75 G2 and all Dunlop pedals (except for my tuner which is a Planet Waves). The pickups are not noisy (unless again you have a shitty distortion pedal and no gate). The distortion I use is a Dunlop Dime Distortion and a KFK EQ and a SmartGate and through those it is very clean and smooth sounding. (settings on EQ are basically bass 10 middle -10 and treble 10, settings on dist is gain 10, treble 10 mid 6 and bass 10 and the gate at about 7). I have played it through a Marshall JCM 900 with my pedals before as well as a Marshall AVT 50 and I must say that the guitar sound is heaven like (even though I play mostly metal and pretty heavy blues/rock).
Overall Impression — 9
I play a heavier blues/rock to heavier metal and this guitar is a good match for all of them, but I must say I find the blues/rock sound nicer than the metal sound. I have been playing for about 2.5 years (yeah I know that is quite short to be playing a Gibson, but I saved for 2 years and got my dream guitar, and I don't remember there being anything on the guitar saying anything about how long you have played). Other gear: Dunlop: KFK EQ, MXR Micro Flanger, Dime Distortion, Crybaby from Hell and MXR SmartGate. Planet Waves Chromatic Tuner all plugged into a Dunlop DC Brick (it was cheaper than the other "power bricks" and it had more plugs). Randall RG75 G2 Combo. If it was stolen I would cry (which I almost never do) and save up for a new one, but would possibly also look at the custom as they feature cavity holes. The only thing I wished it had was a cavity hole for the pots and the 3 way switch, then I would never have nightmares about having to switch the pots.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played with this guitar live a few times (I'm 17 and not playing that often live) and I have not had any problems with it. The hardware has lost some colour on the side of the Bridge pickup, but I find it quite aesthetical. I changed the strap buttons to Schaller locking ones, the Gibson ones kept making my strap fall off, having locking tuners is a must when you buy any guitar (atleast for me). The finish does not wear but only becomes dry or smudgy, but again this can easily be fixed with body gloss cream.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Never had any problems with the action, didn't have to set it up when I bought it. I didn't have any problems with the pickup heights but I have adjusted them to my likings and still no problems. Everything seems to be wired correctly, pickups never stopped working and neither has anything else in the guitar. When I bought the guitar there was a small scratch on it, but it is almost impossible to see unless you look very closely.
Features — 9
Made in the US 2009, it features 22 frets (if I am not mistaken, haven't counted recently) on an ebony fingerboard with some block(ish) inlays. It has a Standard Les Paul scale which I believe is 24 3/4. The guitar has arch tops on both the front and back and is extremely comfortable against the body. Both the body and neck are made of Mahogany, which make the guitar quite heavy (even though it is chambered). I weighed it a while back and if I remember right it was around 5kg (I am not quite sure how much that is in pounds). The finish is clear and is hard to get cuts into, the only annoying thing is that the finish goes dry at places, especially where the pickguard would have been on Les Pauls that feature pickguards and the top of the neck where the head starts, but this can easily be fixed with finishing cream (I use Dunlop "Cream Of Carnauba" and it looks new after it has been polished). Other than that I do not have any problems with the body. The guitar has passive pickups and they sound clean and quite bright, my EQ (Dunlop KFK EQ) make the guitar sound overdriven so when I play clean I turn the EQ off. The pickups have a very smooth sound when distorted or overdriven also. The Bridge is a T.O.M Bridge (my personal favorite) and is quite easy to set up. The controls are 2x Volume and 2x Tone and there is a 3 way switch, just like all Les Pauls (that I know of). The tuners are Grover and I have not had any problems with them, unless my strings are old where the G string detunes quite easily (but hey, I've never heard of a guitar without the "G String problem"). The gig bag is well made and I fell with it once, didnt leave a single mark.