Gibson High Performance
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If you see the phrase "Gibson High Performance" and think "but all Gibsons are high-performance guitars," you're certainly not alone in wondering what's up. The answer is simple: even the most amazing instruments have room to take things to the next level, and that's what Gibson was aiming for with the 2016 release of the High Performance Series guitars. They use Gibson's most legendary models as their foundations - then they apply a laundry list of adjustments, revisions and part swaps to improve playability while preserving the unmistakable tone that made these some of history's greatest guitars.
The least subtle difference between a traditional Gibson and an HP model is the neck shape: these instruments are among Gibson's first to feature their new "soloist's" neck width, making the frets a bit more nimble so you can really nail those faster and more challenging riffs and solos. You'll find a new fast-access heel at the base of the revised neck, and on the other end there's an adjustable titanium zero-fret nut chilling with a set of G FORCE tuners. These add up to a package that makes the strings super easy to control, while keeping them stable and in-tune at all times.
Along with the hardware upgrades, Gibson also ups the ante with the materials in these High Performance Series guitars. Inlays are genuine mother-of-pearl, and all the wooden components are made from higher-grade pieces. Some features may depend on the specific guitar model - for example, the Gibson 2016 Les Paul Traditional HP Electric Guitar includes an aluminum case, while the 2016 Les Paul Standard HP and 2016 Les Paul Studio HP are outfitted with a dip switch that expands their rewiring potential to over 150 options.
Since choosing a guitar depends heavily on your own personal preferences, nobody can tell you which Gibson High Performance model will be the best fit. But one thing we can say is that they're all excellent choices for a guitarist in need of a blazing-fast, reliable, highly-playable instrument. Beyond that, it's up to you - you could go for a classic SG or Les Paul, or maybe something a little more exotic like the Gibson Explorer 2016 HP Electric Guitar or Gibson Firebird 2016 HP Electric Guitar. Browse for what speaks to your individual style, and you can't go wrong.