The New Gibson Core Collection
Under the guidance of newly appointed CEO James Curleigh, Gibson have revamped their entire range. There are some curveballs and a number of new artist models, but for the most part, the new range represents a triumphant return to form for the iconic company!
Back To Basics
Since taking on the role of CEO, James Curleigh has promised big things for Gibson. It’s been a turbulent few years for the US company, but JC hit the ground running with an optimism and approach that spelled hope for the company’s future.
And at the 2019 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, Gibson delivered – in spectacular fashion. Now they’ve made details of their revamped range of guitars available to the public, and boy is it good news. With a return to the classic specs that put Gibson’s legendary guitars on the map, the new line-up looks set to be a real crowd-pleaser, designed to inspire a new generation of players while keeping traditionalists onside. Here are some of the key highlights of the collection:
- Back to basics ‘Standard’ models – the Les Paul & SG Standards have been restored to their former glory. Classic, no-frills specs with heaps of old-school character – the definitive Gibson guitars.
- ‘Modern’ variants – updated Les Pauls and SGs with modern specs combining the classic sound you’re after with cutting-edge playability & versatility.
- SGs with vibrato – arguably one of the most striking elements of the new range, a couple of SG Standards have been armed with Vibrola trem bridges!
- Expanded Junior & Doublecut guitars/basses – Les Paul & SG Juniors, two varieties of Les Paul Doublecut guitars and a selection of Les Paul Junior DC basses. Rock 'n' roll indeed!
Gibson Les Paul & SG Models
The Les Paul has had arguably the biggest overhaul. '50s and '60s models, the new Modern range, a new set of stunning Doublecuts and much more. But its little brother, the SG, has a few curve balls too. All in all, there's something that'll please both traditionalists and contemporaries alike!
The Les Paul Standard is the flagship model for Gibson. As the iconic design creeps closer to its 70th birthday, Gibson have rather fittingly taken it back to its roots. The ‘50s Les Paul Standard is the true essence of Lester Polfus’ definitive instrument, down to the finest detail. Key features include a '50s-style neck profile, Trapezoid inlays and PAF-style Alnico II Burstbucker pickups - and don't forget that P90 model!
The Les Paul Modern is built on their High Performance formula that emerged in recent releases. It represents everything that makes a Les Paul what it is – but cranked to 11. By supercharging everything from the pickups to the ergonomics, Gibson have created an extremely powerful, versatile instrument aimed squarely at cutting-edge players.
If you’re looking for a pure rock 'n' roll machine, the Les Paul DC is a serious contender. You've got two varieties in the core range: the Special Tribute and the Junior Tribute. The former has dual P90s while the latter employs a single pickup config for a no-frills attitude.
The Tribute series is the most affordable and accessible Les Paul model that Gibson offer. It boasts legendary Les Paul sound in a raw, stripped back form. Key features include 490 PAF-inspired pickups and ultra-modern weight relief.
With its timeless finish, classy cream binding and zebra Burstbucker pickups, the Les Paul Classic appeals to traditionalists and contemporary players alike. 61T/R pickups, 9-hole weight relief and a Slim Taper profile.
Gibson Designer Models
The term 'Designer' refers to Gibson's offset body shapes. This includes the Flying V, Explorer and Firebird models. Again, Gibson have stripped the range back to provide a focused, straight-to-the-point collection. There are some classics, a few curveballs - but it's mostly just straight-up rock 'n' roll!
Gibson Semi-hollow/hollow Electric Guitars
Production of Gibson’s semi-hollow/hollow guitars is now shared between their Nashville Core and Custom Shop factories. It’ll now be referred to as the ES range. Let's take a closer look at the ES models from the new Core Collection:
Gibson SG, Firebird & DC Basses
Again, a few tweaks designed to take the range back to basics. There are a few interesting variations, but for the most part it’s straight to the point – and we’re not complaining! Let's take a look at what's what: