Price paid: $ 270
Purchased from: Dixie Pawn
Sound — 9
I'm a huge fan of pop-punk, so that's where the majority of my playing goes. I also play a lot of 60's/70's rock, or just play around with scales, trying my best to improve. Being a Les Paul, it can pretty much do anything, although metal is a stretch without the right distortion or overdrive. I couldn't expect any more tone-wise. I'm very pleased. The treble selection gives me the the sharp leads I need, and the rhythm selection has a thick powerful tone that is great for solo's (I haven no idea what most people use what pickup for what. This is how I use them, and it works for me). Works well for all time low, Mayday Parade, Led Zeppelin, we the kings, and any classic rock band. I have trouble with those warm clean tones, but that is more an issue with the rest of the rig, and not the guitar.
Overall Impression — 9
For punk or rock, you couldn't beat this guitar without spending $1000+. It does a satisfactory job for anything else, but for example, if you plan on playing any form of death metal, you should go for EMG's. I've been playing for about 3.5 years. Up until now, I've only owned strats, however I've played a wide variety of other guitars at friends houses and stores. It's on par with lower level Gibsons, at a fraction of the cost. If it were lost or stolen, I don't know what I would do. They're hard to find. There are a few on eBay, but they aren't shaped right. I can't speak for the other guitars they have made, but they did an outstanding job on this one. I love my guitar.
Reliability & Durability — 9
This will without doubt, survive live playing. It's very sturdy, and is probably safe for those who like to throw their guitars around while playing. I will probably upgrade the tuners down the road, but again, I am keeping this guitar for a very long time. I went with a DiMarzio cliplock strap right off the bat (works great). I have no reason to have a back up guitar, other than keeping one in a different tuning. And if I could ever find another one of these, it would be my backup. To my disliking, the finish is glossy, and durable. I prefer the worn in look, but it's going to take me awhile to get there on this.
Action, Fit & Finish — 8
I haven't had to adjust a single thing since I got it. It was used, so it may have been set up before I bought it. Every part of this guitar was very well crafted. I'm still not sure how this was made in China. I've seen American guitars with worse construction. When I bought the guitar it was in mint condition. The quality of wood isn't excellent, but it is still good.
Features — 8
I found this SVK at a local pawn shop, and pretty much fell in love with it. I'm not sure on the year. It was made in china, but you would never know it. There are 22 frets on a rosewood fretboard, with very nicely rounded fret wires. Three piece mahogany body, mahogany set neck, and carved maple top. Binding on the top and neck. It's a very well done amber burst, with a glossy finish. All of the hardware and controls follow the basic Les Paul layout.