I compared this model to a Gibson Les Paul Standard 2008, the chambered body version with burst bucker pro pickups and Newtrik jack. The first thing I notice is the 2008 has thick lacquer buffed to a high gloss and the binding is not as tidy as on the Koss, so you can feel a ridge all around the edge of the body. The frets on the 2008 are also slightly higher than on the Koss and the general feel is not as smooth or comfortable to play even though the action is about the same. The trapezoid inlays on the 2008 are also rounded at the edges unlike the Koss model which have a sharp and finely cut detail. Though the 2008 is chambered, it is still slightly heavier than the Koss VOS guitar, which is a testament to the high grade of the wood used on the unchambered Koss model.
Plugging in, the Kossoff bridge pickup provides a nice chime with harmonically rich tones even on a barred A chord at the fifth fret: a position which can sometimes sound a little lacklustre. The tone controls have a lovely smooth effect instead of being all or nothing. The neck pickup is neither too powerful or too bass heavy and it has the perfect tone for Free’s Heavy Load solo. The bridge pickups on the 08 is not as chimey or toneful as the Kossoff and lacks just a little top edge bite. The 08 neck pickup has more bass but lacks that certain tone. The guitar came from the factory really well set up and the intonation is spot on with no fret buzz anywhere, the frets are impeccable. The original Paul Kossoff Les Paul was digitally scanned, measured and tested in England and 350 are available worldwide, that’s 250 VOS models (Vintage Original Spec) and 100 aged versions.
There is a huge array of Les Paul models from Gibson and the current trend of Signature Models like Clapton’s Beano, the Marc Bolan tribute guitar etc can make it difficult to see whether these tribute types are nothing more than regular standards with a few tweaks. Having compared the Paul Kossoff VOS with a regular Les Paul with Chambered body, I can say without a doubt this is not a tweaked standard and the feel, sound and the extra special vibe comes through.