Welcome to Gibson 2018
It’s that time of year again, where Gibson announces the list of new and exciting guitars for us all to lust over. The 2018 roster includes everything you’d expect, with a few neat surprises thrown in for good measure.
The two-tier ‘traditional’ and ‘high performance’ range breakdown is here to stay. This made its debut last year and effectively splits the individual styles down according to their features. It works well though and gives potential purchasers a clear idea of whereabouts they sit in the overall range. Let’s take a closer look at the new Gibson 2018 range and see what takes your fancy.
Gibson Les Paul Standard 2018 Range
As mentioned, the 2018 Les Paul guitars from Gibson adhere neatly to the two-tier system. Sitting proudly at the top you have the Gibson Les Paul Standard. No great surprises there. The traditional Les Paul Standard comes equipped with a frankly stunning AAA flame maple top, along with the new ubiquitous Burstbucker pickups.
The flagship high performance Les Paul Standard range does add in a few bells and whistles. Most notably is the way the pickups are now installed directly to the body, removing the need for the pickup ring. Aesthetically, this does change the look of the new range slightly, making it appear slightly leaner and meaner.
The high performance models also keep the additional tricks from 2017, including the G-Force auto-tuning system and zero-fret nut. G-Force has now been around long enough for it to have earned a certain level of credibility. Perhaps more headline-worthy is the inclusion of ‘cryogenically treated’ frets. This is where the fret wire is blasted with some kind of icy magic before installation. Gibson believe this hardens them against rust and bacteria, thus making them outlive their regular counterparts.
Gibson Les Paul Classic / Studio / Tribute 2018 Range
Next up is the Gibson Les Paul Classic. The first thing you’ll notice here is P90 pickups. These deliver the attack and clarity of a single coil, but with the rounded bottom end you’d expect from a humbucker. We try and keep these articles fairly balanced but right now I’d probably sell my granny off to get my hands on the Pelham Blue version. Extremely attractive, and really nice to play.
Rounding off the Les Paul range is the new Studio range, which deliver high quality, USA-made guitars without some of the bells and whistles. And, just under that sits the new Les Paul Tribute range. And yep, there’s a Les Paul Tribute Gold Top version. Shut up and take my money.
>Gibson SG Standard 2018 Range
The 2018 Gibson SG Standard range follows the same path as the Les Pauls. Four new ‘traditional’ models start the range on the right foot, offering that classic SG look, feel and tone you know and love. The ebony model will easily fulfil any Tony Iommi fantasies you have, while the iconic faded cherry model is back and ready to rock.
The high performance versions of the Gibson SG standard are real headturners; using the same rear-install pickups gives the HP models a futuristic look. This is further developed on account of some of the more flamboyant colourways on offer. Hot Pink Fade anyone? Each HP model also benefits from the G-Force tuning, easy access neck and zero-fret nut additions.
Gibson SG Special & Faded 2018 Range
At the entry point of the range, you have the Gibson SG Special and Gibson SG Faded. Each gives you that amazing American-made playing experience, while not weighing down as heavily on your wallet. The Special makes use of some amazing mini humbuckers, while the Faded has a glorious satin finish with a pair of meaty humbuckers which can cope with whatever you have to throw at them.
Gibson Flying V 2018 Range
We love a Flying V here at Dawsons, and the Gibson 2018 Flying V does not disappoint. It comes in that amazing faded cherry finish we know and love, and plays like a dream thanks to its slim taper neck and Burstbucker pickups.
Gibson Memphis 2018 Range
Finally, the Gibson 2018 range delivers us a handful of superb looking semi-acoustic models to drool over. Sitting pretty up top if the Gibson Memphis ES-335 Figured in Aquamarine. This colour really goes some way to accentuating what is a high quality guitar in anyone’s books. It’s the flagship of the traditional ES-335 range, which utilise modern MHS pickups and a maple centreblock which makes playing at higher gain a doddle.
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