Price paid: £ 129
Purchased from: Intersales Music
Sound — 9
We play industrial metal of a Nine Inch Nails ilk. I use so much distortion that the tone quality doesn't matter that much. However as I was wanting this to be a backup for my Epiphone Les Paul Custom, in order for them to match I was going to change the pickups in both guitars to something more high gain like Duncan Distortion or DiMarzio Super Distortion and therefore make them identical in the electronics dept. I was however pleasantly surprised by the stock pickups in this guitar which sound exactly the same as those in the Epiphone LP Custom and therefore are pretty well matched as they are. I may still swap them out for something more high gain but for now it's not a priority. After playing it for some time I'm starting to think I'll use this as my main guitar and the Epi as the backup. That's how good it is.
Overall Impression — 10
Overall I'm more than satisfied with this guitar, I've already said it twice but I think I'll be using this as my main live guitar. I used to have a Gibson Les Paul Studio and this guitar is as good if not better. I cannot believe these guitars sell for so low a price, especially the price I got it for. It has the classic look Gibson Les Paul and from a distance you can be forgiven for thinking it might actual be a gibson. Even up close only the name on the headstock gives away the difference. I've used an Epiphone Les Paul Custom for my main stage guitar for the past year or so now and I think this will be much better. I'm now planning on getting another one as we alternate between Drop D and Standard and I switch guitars to one already tuned rather than re tuning on stage. So I think my setup will be two of these as my main guitars in the two different tunings and my Epiphone as back up. Ignore the people who say it's too heavy, they're clearly used to super light Ibanez's or something like that. The pickups stand up the amounts of distortion I use although will probably change them for something more high gain.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Sturdy as any other Les Paul I've played, finish is fantastic and will last as well as any other Gibson or Les Paul. Certainly considering making this my main stage guitar. I always take a backup but sure I would only need it for a snapping string, the guitar itself is solidly built and I have no fear of it letting me down. Again, I cannot fault the build.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action was fine but higher than I like so had to lower it ever so slightly. I spent about 5-10 minutes setting up the action and intonation and it's now perfect, managed to get the action reasonably low without any fret buzz. I hadn't expected it to be perfect out of the box but it wasn't far off. Tuning pegs are fantastic and hold tuning perfectly. I can't fault the build at all, people complain these guitars are too heavy. I don't know what they're talking about as it's no heavier than any Epiphone or Gibson Les Paul I've played in the past and I'll happily gig with it.
Features — 10
22 fret rosewood neck, ebony finish, two passive humbuckers, three way selector switch. Possibly mahogany Les Paul style body. Unsure of exact specs of pickups but was planning on swapping these out anyway. Stand, case and strap were included for free, although it was the world's shortest strap and I like my guitars low slung.