History ZLS90 LP Style Honeyburst Japan 2005
History ZLS90, made in Japan 2005, honeyburst. History is house brand for major Japanese instrument chain Shimamura, who have stores all over Japan. They're made at the legendary Fujigen Gakki plant, the very same factory that made all those famous Fender Japan guitars from 1982-96 as well as producing Ibanez Prestige and other tasty biscuits to this day. This one is a modern MIJ twist on the classic 50s style Les Paul Standard. You get the cute double moustache headstock and split inlays, as well as some classic stuff like the flame maple top, bound fretboard etc. The build quality on offer is outstanding: many have heard of the famed consistent quality of the 'lawsuit Les Pauls' from the 70s and 80s, many of which were made at Fujigen, but it's definitely fair to say these modern-day offerings absolutely live up to that standard. It's loud and responsive unplugged and the moderate round neck feels instantly familiar in the hands. The 'Circle Fretting System' means frets are pre-shaped to match the board radius before being attached, so that keeps contact with the strings really consistent and makes for accurate harmonics and easy playing. The tone on deck is a chiming, lively take on the classic LP growl: heaps of creamy low end balanced by a snappy, articulate treble. There's a lot to love here, and given this currently going for less cash than many Chinese-made Epiphones etc., it certainly represents exceptional bang for buck. Sweet as honey.
Model: History ZLS90
Made: Japan, 2005, Fujigen plant (serial J050410)
Finish: honeyburst over flame maple top, dark red stain back/sides, gloss poly
Body: 2-piece mahogany, 2-piece flame maple cap
Neck: 1-piece mahogany with rosewood board, 24.75" scale, 10.5" radius, moderate '59 style profile
Pickup: Fujigen BH-1 humbucker x2
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. Headstock has some minor dimples on the end. Neck is clean and smooth in the hands, no major marks. The back has a few scuffs around the body but no major marks. The sides have a couple of very minor dimples near the jack, no major marks. The front looks tidy, just some light play wear on the guard and horn. Overall: excellent condition (9/10)
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets have very little wear, 9/10 for fret life left. Wearing fresh 10/52 Moonshiners strings.
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