So plugged in (to A Yerasov 15 valve jobbie) the first impression is of a certain stiffness. The neck is described as a slim taper but felt fairly hefty to me. With the additional width of the 2015 neck and the slightly rough fret job, this is not the silky playability I found in the LP Studio. It’s not that its bad to play – at worst a quick fret polish would do wonders, its just that the recent Gibsons I’ve played have been so well set up that this came as a bit of a surprise.
Anyhoo, within the hour I felt I had the measure of the neck. It is certainly not a speed neck and it really gives you something to fight against when you launch into big bends.
But what does it sound like? This is where it gets interesting. Remember, you have one pickup here so it better be good and it is a blinder. With some overdrive there is a really crisp but warm attack and clean you have some of the snap of a Tele but with more warmth and breadth. Gibson have chosen a very good P90 here. It also works with the tone and volume control very well. The tone control is especially interesting, knock of a bit of tone and instead of wooliness, there is a bell like tone to proceedings that frankly sounds more than a little neck pickup-y.
The pros here is that you have a great looking guitar (and it does look fantastic) with a very fine pickup which can give you an amazingly wide range of tones from country clean to punky thrash.
The cons are (in this example) poor setup and construction issues, a lot of neck and the knowledge that the very good Studio is only £200 more.
But for £699 with a hard case it is not half bad and with a decent fret job is very close to being very good indeed.