Gibson USA has just unveiled their 2016 line-up and the coolest thing is that now you have the choice between Traditional (T) and High Performance (HP) versions of a huge variety of models including the Les Paul Traditional, Standard and Studio, the Firebird, Flying V and Explorer and various SGs. Click here to pop open the link in a new window to check them out.
For example, you can now get a Les Paul Standard 2016 T with traditional Grover tuners, Historic original neck width, classic Les Paul heel etc, or a Les Paul Standard 2016 HP with next-generation Gibson G FORCE tuners for storing a huge range of alternate tunings, titanium bridge saddles and Zero-Fret height-adjustable nut, more comfortable Soloist neck width, fast-access heel, noiseless toggle switch and gold-plated multi-contact jack.
Now, if you’ve read my bio on the side of the page you’d know that I write news and feature articles for Gibson.com. And I feel obliged to point out that nobody at Gibson has asked me to write this blog post. This is purely my own opinion. So here goes:
I think this is the perfect move for Gibson. There are many players who want a traditionally constructed Les Paul with standard nut, tuners, neck and hardware, and now they can get it. But there are also players who are looking for something a little more modern. Basically if you’re one of the players who has said “I love the look and sound of a Les Paul but I prefer more modern-feeling guitars,” the HP is for you. And if you’re one of the players who looked at the Gibson 2015 line-up and said “I wish they still offered the option of a traditionally made Gibson for those who want to choose,” they’ve covered everything for you. So I think this is a great move. And if you’re sitting on the fence I urge to to try both models and see which one works for you. I think metal players in particular will appreciate the more comfortable neck and instant alternate-tuning capabilities of the HP line.