Price paid: $ 700
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 10
Let me first say I had played a few of these in shops before buying one, and these things have a great sound even when unplugged. The all mahogany construction makes this guitar a bit darker than other Les Pauls. With the Burstbucker Pros it has a great classic rock tone, which I really love. The neck pickup is great for blues and jazz if you play with the volume and tone knobs. The bridge pickup is awesome. Clarity, balance, and not too hot. I use this guitar and an '06 MIM Fender Fat Strat through an Epiphone Valve Junior, Boss DS-1 Dist., and EHX Dr. Q Envelope Follower. Mostly use the envelope follower for funky sounds with the Strat. The Les Paul is the classic rock machine, but I need a fuzz, this guitar doesn't seem to like the distortion too much (lower output pickups I guess). Not a noisy guitar, unless you let a note sustain and feedback forever. Rich clean sound, chunky overdriven, and sings on the single note runs. The sound is not as bright, more mellow. There is a good variety of sounds this thing can make, but the humbuckers kind of limit your quacky funkiness off. That's why I have a Gibson and a Fender. Best of both worlds.
Overall Impression — 10
I play a lot of blues/rock, but I also play reggae and funk. This guitar is a great match for blues or classic rock, however at higher gain, the sound is not so great. If you play metal, you might just Switch out the pickups for some EMG's or something. I've been playing about three years now, and I also play a Fender Fat Strat through an Epiphone Valve Junior (head & cab), a Boss DS-1, and an EHX Dr. Q. If this were lost or stolen, I would probably get another, it is the only Gibson Les Paul for less than a grand. My favorite feature is the finish, and the burstbucker pros sweeten the deal a whole lot. I did compare it to other Les Pauls, and the price difference to quality ratio was good enough for me. It has the same pickups as a Brand New Standard, so that's worth something. I wish it had better strap buttons, though.
Reliability & Durability — 9
The satin finish means this guitar will not be as tolerant to collisions, and will ding and scrath easier. The hardware is solid, except for the strap buttons. They're kinda small so I'm going to replace them with some Dunlop straplocks. I think this guitar is certainly gigworthy, I mean come on, it's a Gibson. The studio title does accurately describe the appointments, however. This one is not a showpiece work of ART, just a tone machine.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
Set-up was great when I got it. Action was not too low, not too high. Just where I like it. I did buy it used, so there were a few scratches and dings. The finish is satin, which some people don't like. It can be sticky, but I find that it lets the wood 'breathe' better (better tone). Also, the lack of heavy finish takes a good portion of the weight off.
Features — 10
This an '06 Gibson from the Nashville factory. It has a 2-piece mahogany Les Paul body, 1-piece mahogany carved top, and a 1-piece mahogany neck. Worn brown satin finish. Neck has 22 fret unbound rosewood fretboard w/aged trapezoid inlay. Nickel hardware: Tune-O-Matic bridge, green key Gibson tuners, and small strap holders. Black plastic parts. Passive electronics: Gibson Burstbucker V Pro pickups, separate volume and tone controls w/3-way switch. Came with a hardshell Gibson case (made in Canada) and a Tool.