Harmonics Jump Out of this Tone Machine!
First the not so great:
The finish on this guitar is called vintage gloss, but don't be expecting much gloss at all. It is a satin finish, pure and simple. The wine red looks fantastic, but if you are after a wood-filled, smooth nitrocellulose high gloss finish, you'd be prepared to spend more money. It also doesn't have any special electronics (like coil-tapping), but I own or have owned other LP's with these features and seldom used them. If I want single coil tone I reach for my Tele or Strat, don't you?
Now the great features of this guitar:
This is a straight ahead, rock & blues machine. Nothing fancy, you can just conjure up great classic, humbucker-laden colors that sound like something from days gone by. Think of records made in the seventies with Les Pauls from a decade earlier. Think Mick Taylor, Steve Marriott, Dickie Betts, Mick Raphs...the list goes on and on.
If you're after tone, this is a classic beast. After a little fine-tuning of the pickups heights, I got harmonics leaping out of this guitar. I have a Les Paul Standard that had a Burstbucker 3 in the bridge, but the Burstbucker 2 in this guitar seems to drive my amps harder with more grit than the BB3. If you're after classic rock, the pairing of the BB1 & BB2 is phenomenal in this model. They put it in a lot of Custom Shop Reissues for many $$$ more.
It's well known that ALL of the parts of the guitar blended together give it the tone you hear, but this one sounds particularly great. I don't know if it's the thin finish that lets it resonate better, the density of the mahogany or what makes it work - it just does.
Normally, I plan to have my favorite guitar tech set up every new guitar that I buy, but this one was fine. I don't know if it was Sweetwater's 55-point inspection or what, but the intonation was spot on and the action was good for me (medium low). It's nice to not have to bring it to a tech or do it yourself right after a purchase like this.
In the end, tone is what really matters. This is a GIBSON Les Paul. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 rating is because I think that many people will expect a bit more nitro in the finish and I think that Gibson's use of the term "vintage gloss" is a bit misleading. Personally, I am fine with the finish, but others may not be.
Finally, I'm not a shill for Sweetwater, but I like what they provide the customer. They may not always be the least expensive on the net, but they are competitive & they know musical instruments. My Sales Engineer is Ryan Wiltermood and he has always treated me right. I recommend him.