Wondering About R9s, are they the be all and end all?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by BGTele, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. Tomm Williams

    Tomm Williams Tele-Afflicted

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    image.jpeg I have a 2002(?) R9 that is easily the finest playing guitar I've ever picked up. I put in a set of Pearly Gates as the stock PU's were not to my liking.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  2. speedy mcfeely

    speedy mcfeely Tele-Meister

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    I went on a search for an R8/9 last year. I played a handful then found a Traditional. That was the one for me. ABR bridge, aluminum tail piece, BB 1 and 2 pickups, non weight relieved etc. it’s basically a production line R9. Image1519322445.868460.jpg
     
  3. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Totally get this.

    In my case, I had amassed several guitars for some reason, that came in the "steal" category. CME's ridiculous blowout, which also had a further sale apply, "helped." I was able to trade three guitars for my R8. They were guitars that I didn't love. And my total outlay for them was LESS than the used R8 price. I love, love, love the R8.

    And for some reason I'm not afraid for it. During our last rehearsal, I realized with a mix of first horror and then delight that I was sustaining a partial chord and then started pounding the body with my fist, hard, to get it to ring and make cool noises that just fit the mood perfectly. Which pretty much confirmed I got it to play, not to display. Bonus - the guitar stayed in tune.

    There are places we play I won't bring it - and that I'll pretty much only bring my Jackson to (which I got for $200 trade). They're really small, we inevitably bang things up setting up and tearing down, and even just navigating stage will playing. But the Jackson is a great guitar. Another band I play in plays out less frequently, and then nice places, with nice stages with a lot of space. I can see the R8 getting a lot of use in that band.

    It's weird. Hard for me to reconcile, actually. Because I've sold other guitars that weren't as expensive new as this one, because I was a afraid to play them out. I'm predisposed not to like really expensive guitars. Something about this one was different. It just fit me perfectly. Probably part of it was that I made a mistake in buying the other three. I didn't need them. They didn't move me. It would have been a huge hassle and risk to sell them individually. I just kinda threw the idea out there and they bit. And it's so good, that even if I only played it at home, which is not even REMOTELY a priority for me, I'd still be happy I had it. which makes no sense to me at all.

    Ok, I'll get up off your couch now.
     
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  4. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

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    Played and handled a few, nothing longer than a few hours here or there with them. Great guitars, easily the best Gibson is making. It's clear the effort that goes into them. But if it's alot of money for you, I'd definitely play one before buying. Maybe play one side by side with something off their regular production line like a Les Paul classic or traditional or whatever they call it nowadays. I wouldn't drop that money on a guitar sight unseen. But it really depends on how much that amount is worth to you.
     
  5. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

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    Dude. You can sit on the couch, but this showing up 30 minutes early stuff, has to stop.
     
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  6. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

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    Also I don't know about "end all be all" for it. Great guitar sure, but it would be like an "end all be all ratchet" when there are different tools for different jobs.
     
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  7. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I played both extensively before buying my R4.

    Sat there for two hours with each. I went in expecting to buy the R6 and came out with the R4.

    Not saying that all R4’s are better than all R6’s, but that was my experience.
     
  8. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    that's the way to do it
     
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  9. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Funny thing is, at the time, I had never heard of a wraparound bridge. For much of the time I was in that guitar room I actually thought I was comparing two different R6’s!

    I walked out of the store loving that R4, but still having a few misgivings about intonation, which isn’t really an issue at all.
     
  10. BGTele

    BGTele Tele-Afflicted

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    Lots of great stories and great writing on this, thanks for the responses. I was thinking about R9s in a vacuum but now it is fleshed out a bit more. I have to find a way to play some. NYC is like 60 miles away from me and I don't see them used for sale locally (I'm in the sticks so to speak.) From what you all say, I'm getting closer to a fine thing.
     
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  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Here's a (perhaps obvious) buyers tip.
    As others have mentioned, buy gently used.
    CL is loaded with CS Gibsons.
    Have at least $2500 cash to offer.
    Though R8, R9, and R0 models are expensive new, many (new) buyers treat them like the real thing.
    The baby them, don't leave the house with them, and conversely, don't really enjoy them for what they are, good workhorse instruments.
    When the honeymoon is over, they are often the first to be offered for sale.
    I have purchased 3 clean Historic LPs recently for $2000 (each).
    I did not grind the sellers either.
    Bad manners, IMO.
    All three happily took $2000.
    The 58-60s reissues command a bit more, but I've seen them offered for $2500-3000.
    Most motivated sellers will accept $2500.
    Often you just have to beat what pawn and guitar shops will offer.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
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  12. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    You sir, are a gentleman. :)

    (I had no doubt)
     
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  13. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    I LOVE Les Paul's.


    But, mang, I don't know whats up with my "holy grails."

    I had an R0, it was OKAY in terms of tone/sustain/etc but not what I was hoping for but I loved the look of it. I got rid of it when I fell in love with my '72 Custom. Then, I got a real nice Tokai from the 80's that I liked more than the R0 and just as much as the R7 I loved at a local shop. I played it for a bit, then back to the closet! Then I sold it, still have the '72 though.



    And I'm just drooling over 2018 R8's at the moment even though I'm betting they'd take a back seat to my ES340 or Strat. But damn they's sexy as hell.




    I don't know what it is about Custom Shop Les Pauls, when I had my R0 I packed it in a beat SKB case and pretended like it was no big thing (cuz I worry, for good reason some of the spots I hang).

    But, I see some expensive guitars around fairly frequently from the gear closets in studios to the stage to buddies personal collections....yet so few custom shop historic Les Pauls. Lots of Standards and Classics and Customs, but, yeah, they almost have this "collectors item" perception & audience. I just don't see them getting proper gig love and the only times I can recall seeing one live was random touring rock'n'roll acts.

    It's like a badge of honor to have the original stickers on your "Tom Murphy Aged '59!"
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2018
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  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Perhaps I’m naive. How would someone know a guitar on stage is anCustom Shop LP vs a regular LP? I wouldn’t.
     
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  15. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, I don’t see how a cursory glance at someone playing one onstage would tell you whether it was a Custom Shop or. Traditional or whatever.

    And yes, I actually use my Historic LP at gigs. I don’t treat it like a museum piece.
     
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  16. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I guess mine came with a switch access plate that says "Custom Shop" and is made of metal. But I swapped that for the included standard plastic one anyway. As I do lean my R8 on my amp at shows (gasp), string side facing the amp, for more stability.
     
  17. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    I have three Bursts and I have had a few of the Historic Reissues.

    The absolute best R I have played are the CR or "Cloud 9" series. They're chambered (not weight relieved) and I don't know what it is about them but for my money they're the most authentic feeling as far as resonance and sound. I have an old set of PAFs in mine and it hangs with the Bursts I own.

    I think Gibson Custom and Historic is making some of the best guitars out there. They're pricey but there's a lot of used ones. They use lighter wood on the Historic models and the backs are one piece. The tops are generally nicer as well, but I've seen some production models with great tops as of late.

    I actually ordered a CR-4 with a custom finish based on how much I like my CR but I put Lollar P-90s and old NOS caps in it. I did one of those staple tops in the neck and love it.
     
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  18. noah330

    noah330 Friend of Leo's

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    You can spot the Reissues compared to the regular models pretty easily. The inlays, headstock, logo placement, etc... are all different.
     
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  19. FredDairy

    FredDairy Friend of Leo's

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    I have not played a R6. I have owned 2 R8s 1 R7 so I think I know what the TOM feels like. I've only actually played one R4 and it's a different animal.
    In one of those Les Paul books Mike Bloomfield discusses how the early goldtops had a different sound due to the bridge. I have to agree. It sure as heck feels different.

    I'd have a hard time choosing my R8 or R4. But I think the R4 is more rare especially the post 2013 years.
     
  20. deytookerjaabs

    deytookerjaabs Friend of Leo's

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    Everyone who owns one of these seems enamored by them, everyone who doesn't touts them as inferior "swiss cheese" guitars. :eek:

    I've never played one but I've really liked a few other chambered Les Paul models.
     
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