Price paid: $ 900
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
The pickups on this guitar are VERY versatile if you learn how to work with the single tone and volume knobs. In the neck there is a 490r, which is perfect for jazz, reggae and blues. Its got a mellow, clean sound but still warm. In the Bridge there's a 498t which is quite full sounding, has brightness, but just as much low-end growl. Perfect for hard rock, metal, sludge, or anything that requires an outrageous amount of fuzz (think black sabbath, fu manchu, Orange goblin, QOTSA). If you put the pickup selector in the middle, with both pickups on, and roll the volume off but have some overdrive, its perfect for classic rock (foghat, blue oyster cult, AC/DC). The amp I typically use is a Marshall MG100FX head going through a MG412A cab. The pedals that sound good with this guitar are the Big Muff Pi, Creepy Fingers Creepyface, MXR carbon copy, cry baby, POG2, and an an MXR blue box. Over all, this guitar can handle a really wide range of music. Reggae, jazz, blues, rock, metal, sludge, drone, psychedelic and most things in between are quite doable on this guitar.
Overall Impression — 10
I've been playing for about 4-5 years now, and I've had this guitar for about 2 now. It can without a doubt handle a person with an eclectic taste in music. Only thing it wouldn't be a good guitar for would really be country, but I really can't stand to listen to or play that so it isn't a problem for me. If it were stolen, I'd most definitely try and find another one as soon as I could. I love pretty much everything, sounds amazing and looks terribly sexy, but I really wish there were more tone & volume knobs.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This guitar is a tank. I've dropped it and hit it on things several times, with a decent amount of force, and the finish pretty much stays intact, while the wood doesn't seem to pay any attention at all. However, it is a Gibson, and all gibsons are made with a headstock at a certain angle degree. I don't really get how it helps with tuning like it says on their website, but if you drop this guitar on its back, the head will come off. Other than that, most definitely capable of playing live without a back up.
Action, Fit & Finish — 7
the neck was really the main problem when I first got it. There were about 3 or 4 different dead spots. By that I mean, it didn't buzz, I couldn't get the note at all. The neck was bowed back pretty far. The Bridge pick up was lower than the neck pick up, (which was pretty much touching the strings) and the Bridge was a little low. Fixed all of that pretty easily though. This one is graded based on how it was in factory condition, not after doing personal tuning like pretty much everyone does.
Features — 9
This guitar was made in December of '08 or January of '09, to my knowledge. Its a Gibson so it was assembled entirely in America. SG's are typically made of a mahogany body and a rosewood fretboard (22 frets), but this model was made with madagascan ebony fretboard and mahogany body. Since its an SG, its got an amazingly thin body and neck, which is great for gigging because it won't strain your neck too quickly. Plus, the neck is real thin making it great for playing anything from jazz to blues to metal. It was (i'm saying "was" because it is discontinued) available in several finishes, red, blue, purple, white and black. It has a volume knob and a tone knob, controlling both pickups, which can be a downside as opposed to other SGs and les pauls with individual volume and tone knobs. It came with grover locking tuners, which are alright. They can be pretty moody based on the temperature and gauge of strings. If you're playing in a warm room with 11's, you can pretty much bend as much as you want without having to retune too frequently. The pickups, 490r & 498t, don't have the Standard plastic or metal cover, but instead have a clear acrylic cover, so you can see the copper wiring inside (which looks pretty amazing I have to say). Overall, its a lightweight guitar, the neck is crazy fast, and looks & sounds amazing, but it only has 2 knobs, so for that I'll give it a 9.