Wow, what an amazing Guitar.
Here's the low down on this American Made bad boy.
1. The Baked Maple fingerboard is nothing to fear. It plays just as good as any Rosewood Fingerboard I've played. Most importantly, it sounds great. It still sounds warm like Rosewood, but it has a little more "Bite". If no one told you it was baked maple you'd likely never know it wasn't rosewood.
2. The Mini-Buckers. These sound NOTHING like the old Gibson Mini Buckers. These sound like a full size humbucker when playing your amp in overdrive. The pickups are plenty hot for soaring rock solos, pinch harmonics and overdriven feedback sounds. Roll back the gain and you get great classic rock sounds and grtitty blues tones.
Clean is where these pickups sound different from standard humbuckers. They still sound fantastic, but they lack the mids (Whcih can be a good thing) that the fullsize humbuckers have. The sound is full and rich with a touch of chime on the top and growl on the bottom.
This guitar can do it all, the cleanest of ballads to the hardest of rock. It will do the job. I've even played a smooth jazz show with this guitar.
3. The Neck - This is no skinny mini,(Not to Fat Either, if that's possible) and thats a goood thing. Alot of a guitar's tone comes from the neck, and a fat neck makes better tone. Most cheapy guitars have skinny necks that are geared to newbies. DON'T Fear the Fat Neck, Love it and embrace it.
The Neck reminds me of the Les Paul Studio neck or the Gibson Sg standard neck. Its very comfortable and easy to play all night long.
4. The Gig Bag. Get a Hardshell case asap! The gig bag is a broken guitar waiting to happen.
5. Finish - The fadded Nitro finish on mine looks great, but even after one gig the finish was worn off ddown to the wood were by strap rest near the Bridge Strap Button. The Fadded guitars finish will wear ALOT fast than a standard nitro Finish, so if you play alot and don't like the Relic look, keep that in mind. Nitro is still 1000 times better than the poly (Plastic) finishes other guitar makers use.
6. Set up - At the price you pay for this guitar, or any guitar for that matter you should still always expect to have to set it up. However my only gripe on this guiitar was that mine came with the string guides cut into the nut way to shallow. The strings would bind and the guitar was very hard to keep / get in tune. after a pro setup, it plays like butter and stays in tune fine.
Bottom line, Get this guitar, you won't regret it. Gibson is a great company who keeps alot of Americans working and musicians playing.
Hats of to the Craftsmen at Gibson Guitar.