New Gibson 2016 Electric Lineup
It’s what guitar players have been eagerly awaiting – the hugely anticipated Gibson 2016 electric guitar lineup. There’s no denying that their 2015 range was a bold move – it was innovative and gave us features that we have never seen on electric guitars before. Gibson pushed the limits of guitar technology and solidified their status as a giant of the guitar world.
However, this newly announced ‘Traditional’ (T) Gibson 2016 range focuses on the heritage of more traditional guitars, delivering those classic models without a lot of the new progessive techonology we’ve seen recently. So we’re talking classic tuners, graph tech nut, regular neck width etc.
The new Gibson 2016 electric guitar range represents a return to classic, old-school Gibson, whilst not turning their backs on those who favour the more contemporary features, as I’m sure there’ll be something to suit everyone in the coming model year.
The models within the 2016 Gibson range that have a T in the name means that they feature a more traditional specification. That means:
Regular Graph Tech nut – This replaces the zero-fret adjustable brass nut that featured on the 2015 models. Not as easy to adjust the setup, but gives you a more traditional feel.
Regular electronics – The Gibson 2016 T models don’t have any of the new boost or coil toggle switches that we’ve seen over the last couple of years – back to basics!
Fixed scratchplate – Models that should have a scratchplate have a fixed one, replacing the removable pickguard that was introduced last year.
The Gibson 2016 Lineup
You’ve got the usual culprits, like the Les Paul Standard, Les Paul Traditional, Les Paul Studio, SG Standard, as well as a few new (reissued) models such as the Les Paul Studio Faded, Firebird, the Les Paul 50s and 60s Tribute and the SG Special Faded, which makes for an incredibly affordable all American-made Gibson guitar. We also warmly welcome back the Flying V, the Explorer, and one of my favourites, the SG Standard loaded with a pair of P-90s.
Let’s take a look at each model in a little bit more depth…
REVIEW: Gibson Les Paul Standard 2016 T
The Gibson Les Paul Standard is the flagship guitar of the range. Since 1952, the Les Paul has evolved along with the advancement of music and players’ needs; the Les Paul Standard is the embodiment of this. In the 60s and 70s, players wanted a more aggressive sound as distortion and overdrive became more widely used so Gibson used different magnets and pickups. Nowadays, many players want the convenience of single coil and humbucker tones in one guitar; hence split coil pickups. The 2016 Gibson Les Paul Standard T has these features and more.
In this guitar, you’ve got a pair of Burstbucker Pro pickups; these remain clear even when used within a high gain rig so metal players can use it just as much as the classic rockers and the blues guys. The tone has the classic Les Paul sound to it; harmonically rich and sweet – classic but with enough bite to cater for the more contemporary players out there. The Les Paul Standard 2016 T model features a weight relieved mahogany body, to lighten the load a little, and depending on the finish, either a Grade-AAA flame maple (translucent finishes) or plain maple (solid finishes) top that will lend bite and articulation to your sound. The T in the name means that it has a traditional spec; regular tuners, classic neck width and more traditional Graph Tech nut, making the Gibson Les Paul Standard 2016 T a great mix of contemporary and convention.
The Gibson Les Paul Standard has found its way into the hands of an enormous array of players and the 2016 edition will no doubt ensure that this continues. The split coil pickups mean that you can get all sorts of different sounds, so you can go from classic Les Paul tone one second, to a thinner, brighter single coil sound the next. Its versatility is one of the main reasons why I like it so much. It’s great to play, it’s even better to listen to and it’s certainly eye catching, no matter which finish you go for. The Gibson Les Paul Standard is a timeless classic and a firm favourite here at Reidys.
REVIEW: Gibson Les Paul Traditional 2016 T
Are you inspired by the likes of Jimmy Page, Joe Bonamassa, Billy Gibbons, Joe Perry, Keith Richards and (early) Eric Clapton? If so, this could well be the guitar for you. The Gibson Les Paul has been played on countless classic songs and albums over the last six decades or so, especially within rock and blues. The Gibson 2016 Les Paul Traditional T captures the essence of those early original Les Pauls played by our heroes with a spec that’s pretty close to those incredibly hallowed and sought after guitars.
For the 2016 range, Gibson have given the Les Paul Traditional T a 57 Classic pickup in the neck position and a slightly overwound 57 Classic Plus in the bridge position. Together these will give you some lovely, 50s era PAF style tones. Articulate, warm and clear in the neck position, the 57 Classic sounds great on both clean and distorted channels and, given that bridge pickup is slightly overwound (to make up for the fact that the strings physically move less near the bridge), it will break up a little bit sooner making it ideal for solos and lead work. With the body, you’ve got a traditionally weight relieved mahogany back and a Grade-AA figured maple top which not only looks incredible but lends a bit of bite and snap to your sound. Given that this 2016 Gibson Les Paul Traditional is a T model, you’ve got vintage style tuners, a classic neck width and a regular Graph Tech nut, so if you like how the Les Pauls were in the good old days, then the Traditional could well be the one for you!
I’ve always been a sucker for the 50s style Les Pauls so I absolutely love this model; its comfortable to play and it sounds amazing. Gibson have taken their contemporary approach to building guitars and used it to produce an instrument that is so clearly inspired by the Les Pauls of the 1950s. Any kind of rock player, old or new is sure to instantly fall in love with it though, as with any Gibson, it’s versatile enough to please a wide range of musicians.
REVIEW: Gibson Les Paul Studio 2016 T
The Gibson Les Paul Studio made its way into production in the early 80s. It missed out on some of the aesthetic features to keep cost down but it still sounded and played like a Les Paul should have done. Now, it’s an incredibly popular model and no wonder – they sound fantastic and though they’re a little bit thinner and don’t look quite as flash as some of the more expensive Les Pauls, they’re still certainly eye-catching.
This year, Gibson have loaded the Studio T with Alnico 498T and 490R pickups; a classic combination that gives you clear, defined, punchy PAF style tones that are quintessentially ‘Les Paul’ in character. They also have the coil split function – this means that you can make the pickups sound more like single coils, adding a huge layer of versatility to the 2016 Les Paul Studio T. With this being a Traditional (T) model, you have regular tuning pegs, classic neck width and a more traditional Graph Tech nut. The Gibson Les Paul Studio 2016 T is a very comfortable guitar; the neck feels great for all styles of playing and the body is fine both when sat down or stood up (it’s weight relieved too, making the guitar a little lighter).
You might wonder what the difference is between this model, and the slightly cheaper Les Paul Studio Faded 2016 T. Well, this model has a high-gloss nitrocellulose finish, as opposed to a worn finish. The pickups differ too – though both sound great, the fact you can split the coils on this model means you’ve got a much wider range of tones available. You also get a hard case with this one, instead of the padded gigbag that comes with the Studio Faded, and with the more expensive model, you get a thicker rosewood fingerboard.
The Les Paul Studio has always been a great all-rounder and Gibson’s 2016 model is just that. Whatever style of music you’re into, you’ll love playing it with this guitar. The Les Paul Studio 2016 T helps keep the price down without sacrificing the most important aspects of tone and playability.
REVIEW: Gibson SG Standard 2016 T
The Gibson SG was born in 1961 and since then has become a staple throughout the world of popular music. Its double cutaway means that access to the highest frets is easy and its thinner body means that it’s lighter too (compared to a Les Paul). The Gibson SG Standard 2016 T is a nod back to the SGs of the 60s and we, here at Reidys, really like it.
Gibson have reverted back to regular tuners, classic neck width and a more traditional Graph Tech nut for the 2016 SG Standard T so for those who want a guitar that’s similar to the originals, this is a great option. The pickup configuration is an Alnico 498T in the bridge and a 490R in the neck position; this gives you vintage style PAF-like tones. The pickups in the SG Standard have plenty of punch, great clarity and a rich, slightly enhanced upper mid frequency helping cut through in a live band situation. Gibson took to slightly thinner neck profiles in the 60s and the SG Standard 2016 T is no exception; this means that technical lead playing is easily executed.
Everything about the Gibson SG Standard 2016 T is classic; very little has been changed. The pickups are versatile so whatever style of music you play, you’ll feel at home with this guitar. It comes set up by the guys at Gibson USA and the superior finish that they apply not only helps it look great but enhances the guitar’s tone too. The Gibson SG has found its way into the hands of George Harrison, Frank Zappa, Kelly Jones, Angus Young, Robby Krieger and many more; the 2016 SG Standard will feel perfect in yours!
REVIEW: Gibson Les Paul 50s Tribute 2016 T
Old school look and sound at an amazing price point. The Gibson Les Paul 50s Tribute 2016 T does what it says on the tin – it gives you a modern remake of a 50s style Les Paul – classic looks, tones and feel. I’m a huge fan of the old Les Pauls so I’m really glad to see this guitar make it into the 2016 Gibson electric guitar range.
The pickup configuration in the Les Paul 50s Tribute is classic; an Alnico 490R in the neck position and a slightly hotter 498T in the bridge. This combination gives you the old school Les Paul sound you’ve heard on countless classic records. So, whether you’re into punk, blues, classic rock, anything, this guitar will give you a nice vintage character to your sound. The woods used for the Les Paul 50s Tribute are what you might expect – mahogany body with a grain textured maple top. It’s also worth noting that the body features modern weight relief which helps lighten the load, especially when playing stood up for long periods of time. Staying true to the 50s styling and being a Traditional (T) model, the guitar features a nice rounded 50s neck profile as well as classic tuners, a regular neck width, and a more traditional Graph Tech nut, all of which are sure to please the purists out there.
This guitar lets you enjoy the delights of an old 50s style Les Paul at well under £1000 and as such might make for a cheaper alternative to the Les Paul Traditional. It has that instantly recognisable Les Paul sound to it, including that famous sustain and is great to play. The Les Paul 50s Tribute 2016 T has tons of old school character; it looks, feels and sounds the part.
REVIEW: Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute 2016 T
Another very well built American Gibson guitar at a great price. The Gibson Les Paul 60s Tribute 2016 T is a guitar that embodies the essence of one of the most progressive and creative decades in music history. Complete with some retro looking and sounding pickups, period correct tuning pegs, regular neck width and a nice slim neck profile, you’ve got a guitar that couldn’t be more 60s if it had a mop top, Chelsea boots and a grey suit.
The Les Paul 60s Tribute T comes with a pair of vintage-style P-90s. These are basically oversized single coil pickups so, though they do sound differently to humbuckers, they’re clear and bright and have a lovely bite to them. They’re also made made in the same way they were in the 60s so they retain that classic Gibson character. If you want them to clean up, they’ll do that nicely but if you want to let them scream, they can do that too! Though this guitar probably won’t be the first choice for metal players, it’s perfectly suited to rock, pop, blues, soul, punk, country – all sorts! Its slim neck makes it very comfortable, especially if you’re playing some fast lead work. The mahogany body is weight relieved which means the guitar is a little lighter and resonates really nicely.
I have always liked P-90 pickups so I was pleased to see that the Les Paul 60s Tribute T made it into the Gibson 2016 electric range. It’s got a great sound to it and the P-90s mean that this guitar would be ideal for a Les Paul fan who perhaps wants a slightly different tone. It’s built well, it’s a delight to play and the finish is superb too!
REVIEW: Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded 2016 T
The ‘no-frills’ Les Paul is back. The Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded T 2016 is an incredibly well built, fantastic sounding guitar at an extremely affordable price. The guitar boasts the classic combination of mahogany body and maple cap but doesn’t have binding around the body and doesn’t have a glossy finish. Missing out on some of the aesthetic features seen on some more expensive Les Pauls means that the price can be kept down without sacrificing tone or playability.
The Les Paul Studio Faded comes loaded with a pair of incredible Gibson Burstbucker Pro pickups. These are very versatile pickups, giving you everything from thick, warm clean tones to blistering high gain sounds whilst still retaining that classic Les Paul character. The neck is a ’59 Rounded profile which is in between the classic 50s thickness and the 60s slim taper; it sits nicely in your left hand and will suit a range of players. Given that this is a Traditional (T) spec model, you’ve got a traditional set of tuners, regular nut and a classic neck width – like they were way back when! The worn finish of the guitar gives it some real character too; vintage sound and look!
Whether you’re looking for your first electric guitar or adding to a collection, the Gibson Les Paul Studio Faded T 2016 gives you classic Les Paul sound, look and feel at an affordable price. The pickups sound fantastic for any style of music and it plays superbly. Whilst it lacks on a few of the features seen on the more expensive Les Pauls, this is a superb choice for someone that wants a well built , quality, straight-forward guitar that looks and sounds the business.
REVIEW: Gibson SG Faded 2016 T
The Gibson SG Faded 2016 T offers you the classic double cutaway guitar at an amazing price. It’s a guitar that boasts incredible construction, great tone and fantastic playability. With a classic look and classic sound, you can join the likes of Angus Young, Tony Iommi, Pete Townshend, Kelly Jones, Derek Trucks and more, at a more affordable price than ever.
The two cutaways in the body of the Gibson SG makes it easier to access the highest frets so lead players that are going for those super high notes will find it easy to play. Whatever style of music you play, the Gibson SG Faded will help you sound great with a pair of Alnico 490 humbuckers. These pickups will give you that classic full, beefy Gibson sound; from warm and clear cleans to high gain screaming lead tones, with everything in between. The pickups are housed in a solid mahogany body to increase sustain. This SG Faded Is a Traditional (T) model so it features regular tuning pegs, a normal Graph Tech nut and the classic Gibson neck width.
This Gibson SG Faded 2016 T would make for a very good first electric guitar; it’s durable enough to withstand years and years of practicing and gigging. Plus, because it’s a Gibson and it gives you that classic sound, seasoned pros will like it too. Well made, very comfortable to play with a great tone, this Gibson SG Faded 2016 T is a great all-round workhorse.