I want Keith Richards to live forever. 07.09.2019
I'm a long-time Gibson player, but I've never had a V before. Had this V for about an month now and I can't put it down. It is a fantastic guitar. Looks great, plays great.
Looks and Finish: The fit and finish are excellent. The body is three pieces of mahogany and they've been well matched. One join it almost impossible to see, and the more visible one is done at the bottom of the guitar so that the most obvious part of the join is never seen (this is on the edge of the guitar on Vs). I'm not normally a fan of antique natural finishes, but this one is excellent. The colour is a rich dark amber. The nitro finish is deep and glossy and brings out the grain of the mahogany wonderfully well. (In places it is reminiscent of the glisten from a honey burst candy finish I have on a Les Paul). Online pictures don't do this guitar justice. The rosewood on the fretboard is also nicely grained. It is noticeably darker than the grenadillo on 2018 models, but not as dark as I have on a Les Paul and an SG. The colour complements the antique natural body nicely. Fretboard edges where it meets the neck are nicely finished, with the grain along the edge of the neck properly filled with so that the join with the fretboard is smooth and seamless.
Playability: I love playing this guitar. The Gibson factory set-up suits me. The action is low, but not too low - there is no fret buzz. The guitar is well-balanced with no neck dive. The slim taper neck is fast playing, similar to an SG and is faster than the asymmetric necks on LPs. Frets are properly finished with no sharp edges. Don't be put off by the "impossible to play sitting down" argument that you might hear about Vs. Just stick the notch of the V over your right thigh, lean back slightly and the guitar is very close to standing position. It's comfy and it won't slow you down!
Sound: I play mainly through a Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister 18 on clean to the edge of break-up, with a Boss DS-1 for dirt (loved it when I got it in '84, still love it), Hall of Fame on Spring and Flashback for a touch of slap-back delay. It blows, it really does. Pinch harmonics are fantastic, the burstbuckers are very articulate and despite not being potted are not unduly noisy (no noticeable difference to Burstbucker Pros on my LP standard, which are potted). The Burstbucker 2 and 3 are slightly hotter than burstbucker pros, but I can't notice a big difference in output. The Burstbucker 2 and 3 sound more articulate at higher gain to me, and I really like this. Finally, the V is very resonant in the way that an SG is (compared to my SG standard), but in a way that is slightly percussive. Not as percussive as a strat, but it is slightly percussive. Again, this is a positive for me, it gives palm-palm muted rock rhythms a real bite. The V is different enough to a LP and an SG to justify having one! Whatever Gibson claim to have done with handwiring, the new capacitors etc. seems to work. Volume and tone are responsive over the full turn of the knobs (there's not a "cliff-edge" where tone controls make no difference until you get to some number on the dial where you then get an extreme change).
Extras: The case is very nice. As with all tolex-covered Gibson cases, it wouldn't stand a lot of abuse from gigging, the latches are fine but, again, not heavy duty. The case will protect your guitar, and is fine for home storage - but if I gig with this guitar, I'd probably get an SKB 58 with proper flight latches (wouldn't look as nice, but would take more beating-up).
So, overall I'm really happy with this guitar. If you're wavering, don't, you won't regret it - and don't forget, whoever dies owning the most guitars, wins!