After all the R9's I have played, I still prefer my R8

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,942
I got this R8 new back in 1998. It has aged well, and has always looked like an old guitar to me. The neck carve is correct, the weight is just under 8.5 lbs., and the top carve is right. The dealer I bought it from had a real burst and this guitar compared favorably to it back then.

I have a some other historic Lesters, but have never found a R9 I liked better than this guitar. To be fair, I have not played anything after 2012, so I don't know how much the hide glue and other changes have made. I still think the grade of mahogany in these older 90's historics is the reason so many of these guitars are recognized as good ones.



Anyone else prefer their R8 over the R9?
 
Last edited:

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
I had an R8 from 98 very similar to yours, one of the best historics I have played, it had some issues but I regret selling it. It was an awesome guitar! (plus I think my R8 had a braz. board.... looked at by experts)
 

custom53

Member
Messages
4,746
I love my R9, but it all fairness I have never played a R8, only because I don't care for the fatter necks.. I had a '70s Les Paul Custom and could never get passed the '50s neck.. The '59 necks seemed to be a bit "smaller" and more "rounded".. Perfect for me.. I also never cared for the '60s "thinner" necks all that much, although I do own a couple like that.

Axcess - '60s neck / R9 - '59 neck / Standard - '60s neck

 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
But now I got this .... it is better than any historic I have played.... I am not a big P90s guy, it sounds freaking awesome as is, but I am still tempted to throw in some real PAF humbuckers in it and am sure it will be mind blowing....

 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,747
That is a beautiful guitar. Maybe something about '96's. I have a '96 R4 and it's probably my favorite.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,942
I had an R8 from 98 very similar to yours, one of the best historics I have played, it had some issues but I regret selling it. It was an awesome guitar! (plus I think my R8 had a braz. board.... looked at by experts)
I think mine has a Braz board as well, and at least one guitar builder has told me the same when he worked on the nut recently. I have a '96 R4 that has a board that is smooth as ebony. It sure looks like pau ferro more than typical Indian rosewood, and it is not that dark. Back then, i think Gibson was just using the wood they had accumulated. Who knows.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
IMHO 94-96 were excellent years for the historic reissues.... far less guitars produced as well, compared to today.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,942
That is a beautiful guitar. Maybe something about '96's. I have a '96 R4 and it's probably my favorite.
I made a mistake, now corrected in my original post. My R8 is a '98, my R4 is a '96. I also have a '97 Oxblood. The 90's Historics are good stuff.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
I am sure mine had braz. board. 2 different experts independently looked at it... and I initially thought it could be braz as well, but I am no expert. It had certain singing overtone harmonics (when bending especially) that IMHO you only get from a braz. board. (didn't know this at the time). Unplugged you can hear this.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
What # is yours? Mine was one of the last ones made in 98, ending with 54 as far as I can remember.... the warranty card had Jan. 99 on it., but serial was from 98.

I think they only made about 1060 R8s in 98.
 

straightblues

Member
Messages
9,612
If you have a great R8 and love it, I don't think you are missing out on anything by not owning an R9. Especially when an R8 has a killer top like yours. I much prefer the 58 profile to the 59, so I would take an R8 over an R9 every time. Enjoy your guitar.
 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
Don't know if it was the age or the "ageing" on my 98 R8 but the finish felt like no new historic I have tried. Very glossy, not sticky.... or they used a different nitro formula back then... I'd love to buy mine back, but the buyer doesn't want to sell :)
 

mikebat

Member
Messages
11,248
The OP's guitar is stunning. If that was my guitar, and I bonded with it, I would never look over the fence and wonder about another LP, R8, R9....who cares. I am not the type of guy who cares which glue (or other detail) was used in my guitar. Once it sings, it sings. I attribute caring about one specific detail over another as what museum curator's do, not musicians.

To each his own.
 

67blackcherry

Senior Member
Messages
11,855
Beautiful guitar, OP!!

I've got a '98 R8 and she's awesome - great year, very good wood and I've never had the urge for an R9 either.


Recent upgrade to DiMarzio 36th Anniversary, they sound awesome!!!

 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,942
Nice guitar!

I upgraded my pickups to Lollar Imperials a long time ago, and had to get them aged to match the rest of the hardware. My bridge basically was self destructing as well. The plating was gone and one string would not intonate. I got an aged Faber bridge in its place and really like the way it sounds and intonates. The pots, caps and the rest is still stock.
 

Schweezly

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
703
That's beautiful. If it plays half as good as it looks...


I've got a LP Special 60 reissue from 1996. Its beat up but it rips. It isn't similar to yours in anything but age, but still.
 

buddastrat

Member
Messages
14,689
I had a bunch from '99 on up, R9's and R8's. Not all at once, but eventually settled on an '04 R8 for the best sound I liked. But the R9's always had the best feeling neck profiles. meaty but not bulky or square feeling. I bet they did that on purpose.
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,145
People with non-Brazilian Les Pauls need to stop thinking their Les Pauls have Brazilian Rosewood. Email the year / serial number to Gibson and see what they tell you. Aside from that, scrape a little off the board and have a lab confirm it for you. Short of that, it is not Brazilian Rosewood.

I really don't get why people think they can look at a piece of wood and 'confirm' the species and why others focus on the fretboard as being the reason their guitar sounds good. No, it's just a good guitar. Simple as that.

I like my 2008 R8 better than my Brazilian 2003 R0 (verified Brazilian. None of this hoopla) and my '59 replica. The 2008 R8 has Madagascar Rosewood from what I have read but I'm sure I could find at least one 'expert' to 'confirm' it is Brazilian that somehow snuck out of the Gibson factory unnoticed. I could care less what the fretboard is and don't try finding little reasons as to why I like this R8 so much. I just do. It is my favorite guitar. Period.

This picture was once posted on the Les Paul Forum and I have reposted it a few times when I see people think/claim somebody 'confirmed' their non-Brazilian Les Paul has Brazilian. Every piece here is Brazilian Rosewood. Still think anyone can just look at a piece of wood and prove beyond a shadow of a doubt it is Brazilian?

 

guitarnut_1

Member
Messages
1,978
98 R8 have some of the best neck profiles.... mine sure did have an awesome neck, but I gather similar impressions from other 98 owners as well....

But I generally can play big necks very well. It is not so much the size but rather the SHAPE that can be a problem (R9 R8... whatever)
 




Trending Topics

Top