While news and video reviews of the 2016 models were already out about 2 months back, the official word from Gibson is finally here.
Fans will be glad to see prices actually coming down from 2015 models, largely due to the omission of “innovative” features such as robot tuners, metal nuts and what not. 🙂
Gibson has dubbed the class of 2016 “The Best Year Ever”. Let’s hope that this is a good year for the company.
By creating the Traditional (T) and High Performance (HP) lines, Gibson has cleverly tried to keep regular fans happy, and at the same time try to reap returns from investments like MinE Tunes and Zero Fret.
The T line sees the return of the familiar 1.695 inch nut width as oppose to the 1.795 seen in most 2015 models. Gibson also revived the “basic guitars” in the form of LP Faded and SG Faded. These are essentially the 2016 equivalent of the SGJ and LPJ models.
The Les Paul Studio Faded T looks simple and cool with a US$799 retail.
The SG Faded T retails at US$739, but the more interesting model for me is the SG Faded Special with mini humbuckers (also US$739).
The Les Paul CM was launched very quietly in mid-2015 but now becomes part of the 2016 line. I love its simple looks and one pickup setup, but the back is quite disappointing. Guitarbear doesn’t like wood grains covered by boring black paint. The CM now comes in 2 guises – T model retails at US$699 while HP model with the useless robot tuners and fat necks go for just above US$1000.
The most interesting 2016 model in the T lineup for Guitarbear is actually the Flying V 2016 T. The no-pickugard look is the real deal. Retailing at US$1299, the cherry one kicks some serious butt.
The HP line is really the T line with add-ons. Obviously Gibson cannot discard their recent introductions just yet, so they have created a line of guitars for 2016 with features that appeal to select customers. Yes, if you read guitar forums, you’d find that robot tuners and fat necks do have fans. 🙂
The LP Standard 2016 HP is drop dead gorgeous in the trans amber finish. Comes with new features like fast neck heel and AAAA flamed maple top. Beautiful.
The miser in Guitarbear predicts fast sale for the lower end T models as there is no better way of owning a USA made guitar at such prices.
While the verdict is still unclear for the G-Force tuners and wide neck, there is relief that Gibson has moved these features to a separate line and continue to bring their products closer to the average guitar fan.