Price paid: $ 915
Purchased from: eBay
Sound — 8
This guitar sounds great through my Line 6 Spider. It sounds a lot better than a Gibson Les Paul Studio I tried, I think this is due to the long tenon neck joint that is now only fitted to Gibsons historics series. The Orville pickups are very good but the Japanese electrics do need changing to USA spec. My last guitar was a Gibson SG Special and this Orville will sustain a note for twice as long. In all this instrument sounds amazing and with the USA electrics and maybe some burstbucker pickups fitted it could sound better than a USA Les Paul Standard.
Overall Impression — 10
Orville guitars are just Gibsons in disguise. When Gibson started production in Japan the name Gibson was already registered so they had to badge them up as Orville. They were only built and sold in Japan, you can tell why more and more of these guitars are imported to the UK and USA, they sound, look and feel as good as the USA Les Paul. The only thing that lets them down is the electrics, but these can be replaced very cheaply. If you want a great sounding Les Paul for a fraction of the price go for an Orville if you can find one. No wonder Joe Perry prefered Orvilles to Gibsons in the late '80s.
Reliability & Durability — 10
All Les Pauls are Bullet proof. The strap buttons were very secure, it was difficult to take them out to fit new strap locks. You wouldnt need a back up if playing live, Les Pauls are very reliable. I think this guitar will still look the same after another 18 years.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
The action was set medium and was just right. For an 18 year old guitar it is in great condition, the finish is very bright, the inlays and binding are absolutely faultless. There are a couple of dings by the lower strap button and a small one on the side of the headstock but thats it. The Japanese really know how to build a guitar!
Features — 8
This guitar was made in Japan in 1987. It has a mahogony set neck, rose wood fret board, very bright pearl trapezoid inlays, 22 frets, mahogony body and solid maple top finished in boullion gold. It features a long tenon neck joint for improved sustain. The electrics are the usual Les Paul layout with Orville PAF humbuckers.