Thanks to the blow out prices at AMS, I just received my "2013 Model" Gibson Les Paul Bass and thought I'd post some initial impressions. Out of the box the QC is dead perfect. Wow! I can't find any of the typical Gibson issues (wavy nitro, unfinished edges, overspray, messy control cavity, etc...) that Gibson owners sort of come to expect. This is one of the best finished Gibson instruments I have seen in a very long time. AMS didn't have pictures to choose from like Sweetwater, but I was pleased to see the burst is not abrupt or too contrasting. It has a very nice warm and almost Honeyburst tone to it, unlike my '00 Les Paul Classic. The maple top also has some nice and noticeable grain pattern to it. The bass looks huge, but feels very light. I haven't had a chance to weight it, but I would guess it's not any heavier than my Thunderbirds. The neck feels nice and slim at the nut like a Thunderbird, but widens out and has more of a chunky feel as you progress up the neck. Overall balance is very good, but I think I will add a strap button to the neck heel if I decide to keep her. The action out of the box is very very low. That's not exactly my cup of tea, but I know a lot of folks prefer that. The pickups also were raised very high- right up close to the strings - making it super loud, and overly bright to my ears. I lowered both pickups down quite a bit, and the volume leveled off and the low end blossomed nicely. It went from a ringing piano tone to now having more of a woody and "upright bass" tone. Even though the neck pickup is not as close to the neck as on the Thunderbird, I can't really tell that much difference in tone. The archtop naturally makes me want to rest my right hand at that location anyway, so it makes a good anchor point right where it is. After playing it for about an hour, I'm really liking the way it sounds and feels. Looking forward to taking it out on this weeks gigs!