Sound — 6
I tend to lean towards the blues/rock side of things so this guitar fits my biscuit well with regards to the woods and what, nice warm tones. Still using the original pickups because I like the toned down vibes it gives, nice creamy sound with a full-bodied character. Even the bridge pickup isn't particularly screamy, just a lil sharper than the neck. Lots more low-end than usual, although I'm sure the mahogany body and neck certainly aids that. Tried it with a metal setup and some thick distortion and sounded pretty horrible, but no worries as I figure the old 1980s era pickups weren't made with that goal in mind. Buy some EMGs if you want the generic metal tone, this thing oozes character and class. However, the sound is not perfect. Sustain is slightly weak and chord voicings are a touch muddy, especially in comparison to some newer brands. I still like it though, but it sure as hell aint perfect.
Overall Impression — 7
This guitar is great. I've compared it to the newer mid range Gibsons and high end Epiphones and it really holds it's own. I was very conscious of first playing it a for a couple of months before reviewing it so I can figure out all the subtle nuances, otherwise I'd look like a fanboy Who raves about his new crappy LTD/Epiphone/Whatever claiming it's the best guitar ever made with perfect tone and so on and so on. These older guitars really have a great vibe about them. Especially this baby with the aged binding and Vintage pickups, lends real character. All in all I am thoroughly impressed by this axe and am busy looking for a L90 Gold Top so this distinguished old gentleman won't be lonely at night among my other young bucks. It's a highly playable guitar, no gimmicks and fancy new features. Just a solid old man Who will get the job done without complaining.
Reliability & Durability — 7
It's a solid guitar, hard wearing and great in gig situations. My arm sweat gets everywhere on it, but a quick wipe and it looks great again. Hardware stable, but I'd expect nothing less from a low frills guitar like this. If you going to buy a basic guitar, at least make sure it's built like a tank.
Action, Fit & Finish — 6
Got it third hand so no factory involvement. But the previous owner has done a good job, great low setup and feel. The knobs lack a bit of tension and the pickup selector is slightly loose in the middle position, but really doesn't bother me. Body has a comfortable fit, slightly heavier than your Epiphones and such, but one hardly notices when in full flight. Otherwise it's a LP shape, what more can one expect. The only thing that bothers me on this baby is that the bulky bolt-on neck plate hampers playing above the 17/18th fret. Does tend to annoy me during my occasional shred moments, but it's probably a good thing as playing speed metal solos during a blues set is just distasteful;. Luckily the neck profile is comfortable, otherwise the slight difficulty in playing higher would bother me more.
Features — 7
- Year made:1982 - 22 Medium Frets/24.75 inches - Round neck profile - Bolt-on neck - Rosewood fretboard - Mahogany neck and body - Ebony colour, cream binding - Singlecut body - Tune-O-Matic bridge - Passive pickups - 2 Tone/2 Volume, 3-way selector - HH stock pickups - After market Schallers No mindblowing or particularly special features, your Standard LP style gadgets. Higher than average score because the quality is thoroughly good for the price I paid (Converted my South african rands to dollars for the price section, guitars more expensive here), going to show better is not always more expensive.