Price paid: $ 1999.99
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 9
For me the sound is the most important part, I personally would rather choose a very hard to play guitar for a better tone. This is something that is incredibly easy to play (if you can hack the weight of a Les Paul) and delivers the best tone out of any of my guitars. To start things off I play Rock/Blues personally and play in cover band where we cover songs from the Beatles to Rage Against the Machine. Thus, I need a guitar that can cover a plethora of musical styles. I will first get started with my setup so you understand the tonality of where I am coming from. From guitar to amp I use Guitar - Wireless sytem - Dunlop Crybaby - Ibanez TS808 - Fulltone Fulldrive Mosfet II - Electro Harmonix Holy Grail Reverb - TC Electronic Polytune - Marshall 1962 Bluesbreaker RI. To sum it up in one word: Rock. My amp settings are 12o'clock's across the board outside of the volume where I blend the channels and have Treble on 6/10 and Bass on 5/10. Now I will talk about the glory of this guitar. Even without pedals and plugging straight into the amp I get 2 guitar in one. A humbucking Les Paul and a Single Coil les paul. You can mix and match and set it up however you want but with a simple pull or push on the volume knob, viola! With my amp just slightly being over the start of the breakup realm I am able to superbly control how clean or dirty by adjusting from humbuckers to single coils and using the volume to fine tune it even more. My friend who is extremely critical of nearly everything I do, something is always off on something, described my tone as the opitomy of Rock n' Roll, a compliment I relished in. As guitar players are always after their 'tone' I had seemed to reach it and I was quite happy to hear those words coming out of his mouth. I have a Les Paul Classic which I put Burstbuckers I & II in the neck and bridge, respectively. I absolutely loved my tone in that until I played the '57 Classic and Burstbucker III of of the Traditional Pro. These pickups really deliver that classic rock n' roll sound and will not dissapoint. I was taken back by how much versatility they had in creating different sounds. Many of my heroes did not use effects to get different tones, they turned their amps up and used the volume knob, and thats how I like it. I also have a Fender Standard American Stratocaster that I can compare the single coils to. That guitar is definitely a little noisy and you get a lot of 'hum' when playing through my Marshall but when splitting the humbuckers on the Les Paul I would say I get 50% less 'hum' in comparison to the Strat. Another great feature that really took me by surprise. Playing Rock/Blues I like my tone a little more muddy than more conventional music but my setup always cuts through the mix!
Overall Impression — 9
I really cannot think of anything more I would want out of a guitar. This is still to this day the best instrument I have every played or owned (which has been way more than the average person). This is a guitar that is meant to be played. The tone out of this guitar will blow your mind and I encourage all of you Les Paul doubters to try this out. A ride range of tones from a simple yet sophisticated guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 8
All I have done to this is put straplocks on this because I HATE the Standard Gibson strap buttons. They are absolutely horrible and Gibson needs to take a lesson from Fender! As I have said I use this guitar all the time and it is my new #1. I have already played tons of shows and a whole lot of practice on this and I am not worried about the durability of this workhorse. I know this will be in my life for a very very long time. Thank you to Gibson for crafting a beautiful instrument.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
This was something I was just browsing around the Musicians Friend website one night day dreaming and looking at all the different Les Pauls I want (1958 RI, Custom 3 Pickup with Bigsby, Goldtop, etc...) and I came across this. I had never heard of it so I clicked on the information tab and saw it had factory setup Coil Tapping. Being that is something I had always wanted to do to my classic but no local techs would do it for me I knew I had to go in and play this thing. So I went to the evil empire, Guitar Center, and this was in a locked up room with all of the nice instruments. I went in and picked up the first one I saw. IMMEDIATELY BLOWN AWAY. The action, tone, feel, setup, looks, beauty. I fell in love with this guitar immediately. I sadly new right then that my old classic LP was no longer #1. This was in all honestly perfectly set up to my playing style. Now came the hard part $2000 on a guitar I don't think so! Well needless to say I caved and walked out of the store 30 minutes later with the new love of my life (sorry Erin).
Features — 8
Here are the Standard features of the Made in USA beauty: Body Style: Non-chambered Top: Carved maple Back: Mahogany Neck: Set mahogany Neck Profile: '60s Headstock: Angled Scale length: 24-3/4" Fingerboard: Bound Rosewood No. of frets: 22 Nut width: 1.69" Inlays: Trapezoid Binding: Antique Bridge: Tune-O-Matic with stopbar tailpiece Tuners: Locking Grover Hardware: Chrome Bridge pickup: potted BurstBucker 3 humbucker with coil-splitting Neck Pickup: '57 Classic with coil-splitting Electronics: 2 volume with push/pull coil-splitting, 2 tone, 3-way toggle pickup selector Knobs: Vintage Gibson top hats Pickguard: Period-correct Case: Hardshell Other: Plek setup So thats the boring features. But I will say the tuning pegs with the tightning and loosening feature makes restringing and staying in tune a breeze! Another feature that I absolutely love.