Price paid: £ 1800
Sound — 10
I'm a metal player, hence the EMGs, and this guitar suits it far better than anything else I've played. I've run this amp through a Peavey JSX, a Bugera 6260, Bugera 333XL, a Blackstar HT-5H (all with an Orange PPC212CB) and currently a Marshall JCM2000 DSL 112 Combo. I play metal through and through. I love playing hard rock, nice blues and cleans, but I'll always go back to metal. This guitar, even with the EMG's, can play any style without fail. Especially with the Marshall you can get those amazing Slash tones with very little effort at all. If anything, the EMG's make it more versatile due to being hotter. If you get a nice rock sound on it then roll back the volume, you get amazing blues tones. I can't say much for the stock pickups as I swapped them out a few years back, but from memory, they were quiet and didn't feedback unless you wanted them too.
Overall Impression — 10
This guitar is a good match for anyone who plays guitar. Simple. I've been playing guitar for roughly 6 years now. My current set up is my Gibson Les Paul Traditional straight into my Marshall JCM2000 DSL 401. That's it. I also have a Dean 255 Razorback 7 string which hasn't got anything on the Les Paul. It's still a nice addition though. I wouldn't want anything more on this guitar than what it has. The only thing I ever wanted was to get the EMG's inside it, and that's what I did. If it were stolen or lost, I'd track down the thief and beat them with it. I can bet you they'd come out worse than the guitar. I'd buy another in a heartbeat (if I had the cash to spare). I love everything about this guitar and the only thing I dislike is the fact they're so damn expensive and might possibly want some slightly more stable tuners.
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've owned this guitar for 3 years now, and it's never given me any problems. When I bought it, it was immaculate. No flaws, dents, dings or anything. Since then, there's been the unfortunate knock causing a dent or small scratch to appear, but nothing that's broken the paint, which is impressive. The hardware hasn't faded at all and neither has the paint. I suspect this will happen many years down the road. The case provided is also very well made an looks very impressive. It's always nice to turn a few heads to check and see "is that a real Gibson? Nice!" Always a great thing to experience. I've gigged this guitar several times and would gig without a backup. In fact, that's all I do. If a string breaks it's a 30 second job to fix. If I were to have a back up, it'd be an identical guitar. The only thing that can replace a Gibson, is a Gibson. Enough said on that I think.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
If I didn't need to write 500 words, I'd write one. Perfect. Everything on this guitar was perfect. No marks, dents, anything bad at all. It was set up so nice and playing was perfect. I instantly became a better guitarist just from picking this beast up. You hear people say "Get a Gibson, they're amazing" and you think to yourself "They can't be as good as everyone says." Trust me. They are. This is by far the nicest guitar I've ever played. Now if it's down to me getting lucky and getting a particularly good example of Les Paul, or if all Gibson's are like this, I don't know. But what I do know is that I can't score this high enough.
Features — 10
My Gibson Les Paul Traditional was made on the 5th of January 2009. It's in the gorgeous Heritage cherry burst colour with cream binding and chrome hardware. What a beauty. I have however swapped the pick ups out for personal preference to EMG 81/85's. The stock pick ups sounded great, but the EMG's sound perfect for me. I've run this through MANY amps, mainly because I keep selling and buying them. I had my doubts getting this guitar at first for the price, I could've gotten a nice ESP. I've previously owned an LTD EC1000 Deluxe though and so know roughly what it'd be like. I took a risk for the Gibson and it paid off. I'll never look back on getting this guitar. It's built sturdy as a tank yet carefully as priceless jewelery. I've had no problems at all with this guitar, both with the stock pick ups and EMGs. The only other thing I might have liked is locking tuners, but the Kluson Deluxe still do the job well. This guitar was made in the USA and truly shows top craftsmanship. It's a solid mahogany body and neck, with a rosewood finger board and a maple top. It has a beautiful AAA grade burst with suits the colour very well. This guitar came with a Gibson USA Hard Case but no adjustment tools. Then again, it was set up perfectly, so none really needed.