Sound — 9
Excellent sound for what I play. Rock and clean fingerpicking. A fatter, warm sound thanks to the Burstbuckers. Pretty clean too, and there has been no pickup noise/static! I usually play on the bridge and have always been able to enjoy the tone from this position. Overall, great sound.
Overall Impression — 10
You get an American made instrument that has great quality components and you can tell that the folks in TN really care about what they build. Gibson has been VERY helpful. The Studio VM IS ALMOST A Standard, it has the same hardware(minus tuners) and only is without a thick nitrocellulose finish and white binding. I really don't care though. I find it beautiful the way it is. I sent them an e-mail and had an in-depth repsonse within 2 days. First class Gibson. Good job, Keep it up. I will hopefully buy from you again.
Reliability & Durability — 9
So far so good. Stap buttons are good. I wish it had felt washers under the strap buttons though. The finish is beautiful and I am sure it is built to last. The only issue is when tuning the G the Kluson tuner makes this high pitched creaking sound. As said, might replace them.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Some folks have said that Gibson's QC has been lacking but I have honestly had no problems. Maybe I got lucky. Regardless though, the intonation was almost perfect. Zero dead spots on fretboard and zero buzzing even with Ultra low action. No exposed wood and all screws are tight. Pickups are sturdy, hardware seems to be good quality. I might change the Kuson tuners though. The case is impeccable. Absolutely stunning! 5 hatches, white interior with a wonderful smell. Hope this stays.
Features — 10
It is a 2008 Gibson Les Paul Studio Vintage Mahogany. Built in Nashville, TN here in the USA. 22 frets typical fatter Gibbo neck(which I like) which is stained mahogany. Rosewood fretboard with trapezoid inlay. The body is chambered(meaning it has hollow pockets for weight relief) full mahogany I believe. 2 Burstbucker Pro humbuckers with 2 volumes and 2 tones. One for each pickup. A 3 way toggle Switch Rthythm/Both/Treble. A Tune-O-Matic bridge with Kluson style tuners. All metal hardware is chrome.