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New Studio 60's Tribute vs. 2010 Traditional Plus


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Well, I bought my first Gibson in December, a Traditional Plus. Figured it would be my first and last, never having bought a guitar over $700 before (although I have had a couple dozen guitars over the years. Even built some myself. Just never had the means). Well, it is true what they say--buy one Gibson and chances are you will buy more. So, when the new Studio 60's Tribute came out I just had to get one--a Gold Top no less. For the price I couldn't resist. Hell, they were selling on eBay for over a grand. Figured I could for sure get my money back if it wasn't for me...


I'm not planning on selling either of my Gibson Les Paul's any time soon.


I've attached some pics of both. The Traditional is in Iced Tea and is near perfect (once I got the cracked knobs replaced). The Studio is a fine example too. I've been A/B'ing them for several days now. I spent most of today playing them unplugged actually. Here are some random thoughts in no particular order except for number one:


The necks: Well, I've never had a worn finish before but I really like it better regards neck feel than the gloss. The actual shape for me is not much of an issue. I can't tell the difference between the thicker neck of the Traditional or the slimmer profile of the Studio. To me it feels like they took a Traditional type neck and sanded it down a bit flatter, the stickier gloss finish for me is the issue. The traditional wins for fret feel though--I think those nibs and binding make for a nicer feel.


Fit and Finish: They both are really nice. The Traditional is nicer though. Other than the cracked knobs (that's how you know it's a real Gibson) the Traditional is almost perfect. There is one scuff from a file near the 14th fret at the bottom of the neck--that's it. The Studio is a worn finish and I like it. I didn't think I would, but I get it. To me it looks like the finish is less filled and they put less coats on. The Gold Top is very nice--can't find a flaw in it. Nice even satin-gold. No grain shows through, no orange peel or debris. The back grain can be felt through the finish--the finish looks to be quite thin. Since the grain wasn't completely filled, you can feel the grain variation. I don't think of these as flaws though, it's wood after all, not a piece of plastic. I would buy another worn finish again if this is a typical example. I like how the maple cap makes it look like it has binding. The headstock on the Traditional is nicer--the Studio is silkscreen.


Weight: Studio wins hands down here. Feels half the weight of the Traditional. I have no scale to weight them though. The Traditional does feel more stout, which I like. When you strap it on you know you have have something special!


Sustain: Well, unplugged the Traditional has more. The sound is more full than the Studio too. Weird, but almost like the difference between the HB and P90's. Plugged-in the Traditional wins for sustain too, but how long do you really need to let that chord ring? Cripes, my hand was getting cramped keeping it going. Both have more than seems necessary!


Sound: Well, they are different for sure. I really like the P90 sound, but I also really like the HB'er sound too. At least that is how I'm gonna 'splain it to my wife. I could pick either for my number 1.


Action/Set-up: The Studio plays better than the Traditional--it has better action. Since I took the pictures I have top-wrapped the strings. I will do this to all my Gibson style guitars from now on. A buddy of mine did some tests over the weekend and we are converted. Better action and sustain for sure. At least that is what we think. I can't seem to get the Traditional dialed in. It is within spec, but I can't get the buzzes out of it. I can't hear it through the amp, and I don't think it effects sustain too much either. I have been playing unplugged and at low volume lately though. Cranked up I can't tell.


Case: The gig bag sucks. But for the price I'm not complaining. Take 50 off the price and send me the guitar without one.


Bottom Line: I'm keeping both!











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Fantastic write up! I just got the tribute in honey burst. You made me wish I had waited for the gold top. My local GC took $30 off the price because I didn't want the crappy gig bag.


I agree with your comments about weight. My tribute is A LOT lighter than my blonde beauty even though they are both chambered bodies. Did you measure the thickness of the bodies? The tribute seems thinner.

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