Happy New Year’s Eve, y’all.  Drive safe tonight.

The new 2014 Gibson guitars look pretty cool.  The standard models have all sorts of new features that I’m not sure how I feel about (guess I’ll have to go try them).  They’ve got what looks like an updated version of the old “robot” tuning system on many of the standard models.  Also, coil tapping seems to be fairly ubiquitous now, along with a “switchable 15dB boost”.  This doesn’t seem to be an active boost, so I’m thinking it is either a series/parallel switch for the humbuckers or just a switchable resistor before the MV control.

I’m particularly interested in the new “LPJ” model, which is like an LP Studio, but at an even lower price point (similar to the satin-finish models they sold about 6 years ago).  It still has the maple cap and mahogany body, but has a maple neck like a 70s LP (Norlin).  Whether or not you believe this affects the tone is up to you (it doesn’t).  The important part is that the hardware is all still top-shelf, and I assume the fretwork is still good.  I think they’re saving money on the finish – all the finish options are rough satin in dark colors, which means they can spend less time sanding and buffing, and can use uglier wood (since you can’t see much of it through the finish).

Also, meet Derek.  He’s a pretty cool guy, and he owns his own music store.