Gibson Memphis have announced the new 2016 line up for all their semi-hollow bodied ranges this week. The new line up includes all the old favourites including the ES-335, 339 and BB King Lucille models, as well as ‘studio’ versions of some of these classic guitars.
The new upgraded features for this year’s lineup includes using hot hide glue (the old traditional method from the 1950s) which is used to hold the Adirondack quarter-sawn internal bracing in place; Titanium saddles on all the Core models (though not on the Studio models); and also more precise and perfect fretwork across all the models… Surely all guitars should have perfect fret work anyway? Hmmm…
There is also a ‘new’ neck profile on the ES-335s and a new rolled binding on the bound necks which Gibson say will give the guitars a more comfortable and ‘played-in’ feel. Last year’s new neck width on many Gibson models divided opinion on a lot of guitar internet forums (many players couldn’t get along with the wider necks) and so hopefully this new profile will be well-received this year.
The ES-LP Bass is also still in the range and has been similarly treated to the new ‘upgrade’ for this year’s lineup. The bass has a short scale and is touted as being lightweight and gutsy. I’m pretty sure it will be lightweight, as it is hollow. So, hopefully it will be as well made as its six string counterparts, able to give a decent low end growl as stated in the Gibson blurb.
Gibson’s Memphis factory have a good reputation for semi-hollow instruments, and I have to say that most of their previous models that I have played in recent years have had much better quality control when compared to Gibson’s solid bodied guitars. This is hopefully something that will carry on into 2016. This year’s range isn’t a massive change compared to last year’s lineup in terms of looks and models, however I like the idea of upgraded titanium saddles (I’m a fan and have done this upgrade myself to a number of my own guitars), sourcing better woods and using more traditional methods to build such vintage-inspired guitars.
You can check the full range over at the Gibson site. No official videos are online as yet, and I have yet to see any up for sale, unlike the solid bodied Gibson guitars which a lot of dealers are already listing for sale online.