Gibson 2016 High Performance and Traditional Necks

Whether you prefer your guitars to be a little more traditional or a little more forward-looking, the Gibson USA 2016 line has something for you. You now have the option of choosing 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, as well as various different SG models. And you can learn a lot about the new models by directly comparing the T and HP versions of particular guitars.

Gibson 2016 High Performance and Traditional NecksFor example, it’s always been fun to compare the Les Paul Traditional to the Les Paul Standard. The Traditional has been the place to go for a Gibson USA built in the spirit of an original late ’50s Les Paul Standard, whereas the Gibson USA Standard is more of a ‘state of the guitar art’ guitar. For instance, the Traditional has a 12” fretboard radius, ’50s style neck shape and traditional weight relief body, whereas the Standard has a compound radius fretboard, asymmetric neck carve and modern weight relief. But now with the distinction between T and HP models, there are now four distinct guitars instead of two, with some intriguing differences and similarities.

Here’s one way to look at it: now you can zero in on your ideal version of what you need a Les Paul to be. If you want a Gibson USA version of the classic 50s Les Paul style, the Les Paul Traditional T is ideal. If you like ’50s-style construction and tone but you require a more comfortable neck, improved upper-fret access and the ability to rapidly switch between alternate tunings, the Les Paul Traditional HP is perfect for that role (just imagine being able to instantly switch between the various tunings used by Jimmy Page during an impromptu Led Zeppelin tribute jam, for example).

Then again, if you’re into the Les Paul Standard of recent years, with the stage-ready benefits of G FORCE™ tuners, Zero-Fret height-adjustable nut and comprehensive pickup switching, the Les Paul Standard 2016 HP covers those bases and builds on them with a more comfortable Soloist neck and fast-access neck joint. Meanwhile if you want the compound-radius fretboard, asymmetrical neck carve and lighter modern weight relieved body but would prefer traditional nut, tuners and other hardware, the Les Paul Standard 2016 T has you covered.

Let’s have a look at a few key specs for each model, and how they differ.

 

Les Paul Standard 2016 T ( Full Specs )

  • AAA transparent tops (Or C for Ebony, Gold Top and Blue Mist)
  • Grover Locking Kidney tuners
  • Standard toggle switch and 1/4" mono output jack with dual tip contact
  • Zamak saddles and TekToid traditional nut
  • Burstbucker Lead Pro and Burstbucker Rhythm Pro pickups
  • Coil taps, phase switch, Pure Bypass switch
  • Traditional Les Paul neck heel
  • Asymmetrical Slim Taper neck
  • Modern weight relief

 

Les Paul Standard 2016 HP ( Full Specs )

  • AAAA top (Or C for Ebony, Gold Top and Blue Mist)
  • Next-Generation Gibson G FORCE™ tuners
  • High Performance toggle switch with gold contacts and low noise
  • Gold-plated multi-contact jack
  • Titanium saddles and Titanium Zero-Fret adjustable nut
  • Burstbucker Lead Pro and Burstbucker Rhythm Pro pickups
  • New High Performance DIP Switch Control Assembly featuring:
  • Push-Pull switches for Coil splits, phase switch, and Inner/Outer Coil Selection
  • As well as internal DIP switch for Coil split/tap options, Volume control High pass filter (Treble Bleed) and Transient suppression limiter for digital recording.
  • Fast-access heel
  • Soloist neck
  • Modern weight relief

 

Les Paul Traditional 2016 T ( Full Specs )

  • AA top
  • Vintage style keystone tuners
  • Standard toggle switch and 1/4" mono output jack with dual tip contact
  • Zamak saddles and TekToid traditional nut
  • ’57 Classic and ’57 Classic + pickups
  • Traditional Les Paul neck heel
  • Traditional Les Paul neck profile

 

Les Paul Traditional 2016 HP ( Full Specs )

  • AAA top
  • Next-Generation Gibson G FORCE™ tuners
  • High Performance toggle switch with gold contacts and low noise and
  • Gold-plated multi-contact jack
  • Titanium saddles and Titanium Zero-Fret adjustable nut
  • ’57 Classic and ’57 Classic + pickups
  • Fast-access neck joint
  • Soloist neck

 

Essentially what it breaks down to is, 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’d prefer a traditionally made Gibson, the T series is for you. But the Traditional and Standard models offer a unique opportunity to select between four different variations with different ratios of ‘classic’ to ‘modern’ features.