Price paid: $ 169
Purchased from: www.Musicyo.com
Sound — 9
This thing just kicks butt in my opinion, not dirty at all. No noise or hum or anything like that from the pickups at all, it is very quiet when not playing. I am only playing through a Roland Cube-30 practice amp or my Pandora Box w/head phones, but I have plugged it into a Messa Rect at the store and it sounds very nice. I have been playing some Ozzy, Van Halen and AC/DC on it as well as some Pink Floyd and Eagles. The pickup selector gives your very different sounds for each selection and the bridge is very bright for the heavy stuff which suits me just fine for what I needed.
Overall Impression — 10
I have been playing guitar for over 25 years now and have had a wide range of guitars. Right now I am playing an Ibanez RG7 and this Kramer Standard Electric and couldn't be happier with them. I had a Fender RockPro 1000 head w/a 12" cabnet, but it was way to much for my playing and just traded it in for this little Roland Cube-30 COSM which sound very nice for a 30w amp. It is enough for me right now, maybe I should have gotten at lease a 60w, but in an open area, the little 30w kicks it out well. I use my Pandora for some other effects if needed, but the amp has a few DSP selections that work ok for some stuff. If this guitar were stolen or lost, I would immediately jump online and order another w/2 day shipping. I was looking at the Epiphone's around $400 to $600 and read that this would be just as good, maybe even better, so I took a chance and am glad I did. It plays and sounds just as good and even better than some of the expensive Standard or Custom Epiphone Les Pauls I played at several music stores around Grand Rapids. Only 1 guitar sounded nicer and fuller than this Kramer Standard, and of course looked very sweet with the gold trim and humbuckers, but it was $599 and that is without a case. I got a case for this and put some new strings on it, so the total cost is only $300 which includes the 2 day shipping from Fedex, and that is with a nice Epiphone Les Paul case. I don't think there is anything I hate about this guitar, I have been playing it non stop and it just gets better and better the more I play it.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This thing is heavy and very durable, I mean it is built well from what I can tell. I haven't had it for long, but I am very careful with my guitar's and won't slam it around just to see if it can take it, but it seems very solid to me. I have been playing it quite a bit lately, it may be my new favorite guitar, I mean I am in love with it. I will be taking it to gigs and such all the time, we will see how the finish lasts, because it is going to take a beating since I play and use it all the time.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I pulled it out and the neck was perfect, I just had some adjustments to the intonation and walla, it was done and ready to go. The action is nice and it plays very smooth with the rosewood slim taper neck, I mean it is very very easy and smooth to play. It came with 9's on it which weren't horrible, but I immediately swapped them out for the 'EB' Slinky Hybrid's which work very nicely on this guitar. This is black on black basically, and has a very nice finish, there was just 1 small nick up by the machine heads, other than that it is beautiful. I wouldn't have found it, except I was looking it over everywhere just to see if I could find anything wrong with it. It is the Les Paul Standard style, but there is a slight cut-away for your body like the LTD's Les Paul Copy's to it doesn't dig into your body.
Features — 9
This thing is very sweet, especially for $169, I use it for quite a bit, especially my drop 'D' stuff. It is a 2006 ebony/black Les Paul Standard style, has a mahogany with flame maple top body, a Tune-O-Matic bridge, Grover machine-heads, a set-slim taper mahogany neck, 22 nickel/steel frets w/rosewood fingerboard and pearl Diamond inlays, it also comes with Epiphone Alnico humbuckers at the neck and bridge, I'm not sure if there active or passive (the bridge pickup is bright and kicks, great for the hard stuff). It comes with the 3-way pickup selector, 2 tone and 2 volume controls that give you some good differences in tone.