I have mixed feelings about this one... I think that this could definitely be cool if Gibson were to incorporate a Classic-styled bridge that were able to adjust to have perfect intonation... Or an automated truss rod... Or tuners that mechanically reinforced the tension on the string to minimize slippage so that bends would remain accurate. The benefits of all of this alone make me kind of excited - and the fact Gibson is doing it first with the Les Paul, that makes it even better! For me, this could potentially be the ultimate guitar. Well, if they could incorporate all of that functionality into that new 24-fret S Prestige, then maybe that would be my "Ultimate".
But that's getting too far off track. As you flip the coin, notice that we have a whole new issue to begin with, which would be the way that it's incorporated into the guitar. Hmm?
Now, I'm the kind of guy that likes to pull out my Les Paul Standard and not only admire its simple-yet-sophisticated-and-elegant do-all tonal warmth, but I like it to LOOK and FEEL like a LES PAUL, too! I don't want it adorned with a bunch of space-aged gimmicky gizmos that serve no purpose other than to add that "futuristic" pizazz that is sure to make the long-loved Les Paul a total deviation from what we have all grown to intimately know and love. (just let me sensationalize a little bit longer! okay?)
One of two things are going to happen here folks. This will be the dawn of a groundbreaking "must-have" for every quality instrument in the future. This will be a moment in history defined by the genius and innovation of some underpaid bastard over at Gibson, paired with the technical engineering mastery that will eliminate the jobs of many guitar techs. It could be, dare I say, REVOLUTIONARY?
OR. Gibson could be half-assing on the actual technology because they're possibly overlooking the fact that NOBODY with $2500 to spend on a guitar is going to give a dead rat's ass about a cleverly-designed "Axe of the Future"... A gimmick combination of stainless steel accents on "futuristic" colors... A design that would feel more at home in the corner of Elroy Jetson's bedroom.
A fusion of the classic, like the one below, would be a good start:
But the interface housing is rather imposing, don't you think? I know that I can hardly stand looking at it, let alone worry about how that thing is going to get in my way! Is there no way to implement this on the side of the body? Underneath some type of cover, perhaps?
So for me, it's going to be a matter of how true the guitar's playability and classic appearance remain. Or... Will I find a compromise in the styling if I can ultimately play a lot of heavy bends without my string going out of tune? What about a tremolo? It wouldn't be the first time someone has installed a Floyd trem in a Gibson. Hell, that isn't all that uncommon. But what about one that will stay in tune for an entire gig?
I guess I'll just have to see what happens. One things for sure, though... If these things flop, they'll be worth a ton money in the future. If they prove to be functional and not let any of the newly implemented electronics get in the way of what has made the Gibson Les Paul a truly Great guitar, then the potential "pioneer" could be worth, again, a TON of money.
I may buy one of these just to add to the collection.