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

guitarnut_1

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1,978
one can't tell with 100% certainty but generally I think a braz board would have far less pores. Color can vary A LOT. And yes, there are people who can tell with a decent certainty (100% is only lab)

If every guitar that has a braz board sounds outstanding is of course a different matter. I would say, no.
 

paintguy

Long Hair Hippy Freak
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I too have had a dozen or so Les Pauls over the years. Some really great ones. Early 70's models and R7's, R9's and everything in between. I had an 1973 Deluxe routed for humbuckers that was pretty special. My current R8 is not even closest to the flamiest (is that a word?) or the prettiest, but it does have the magic and rates right up there as my favorite Les Paul ever.

2001 R8 bought here on TGP.



Purchased it with Tones Pros parts, WCR Darkburst pickups, changed electronics, etc... I have since touched up the wear spot, changed the caps, stained the fretboard a little darker, changed the knobs to amber ... It's up there with my No.1 Guitar and can hold the spot on any given day.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
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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?

I don't really care whether any of my Gibsons have Brazilian boards or not. What I do want is a smooth and hard fretboard---Brazilian like, if you will. I don't like rosewood with a lot of open pores and cracks. Just a preference of mine. I think fretboard wood makes a good difference in tone, and the harder stuff sounds better to me.

There are builders that think they can spot Brazilian, and you are right, they are often wrong. I have a Suhr with a certified Braz board and one was sure it was Indian. I have a Suhr with a black Indian board he thought was Brazilian. I prefer the Indian board guitar over the Brazilian as well. A good guitar is a good guitar, even if it has a laminated fretboard.
 

Husky

Member
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12,215
It s pretty easy for an experienced builder to spot Brazilian if he is sanding it.
It has a smell like no other and sends my allergies in to alert whenever I sand it.
Naturally not everyone is going to let you scrape and smell their fingerboard.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
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14,426
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?
Is your presumption that R9's are categorically better than R8's? Because they cost more? They are different.
 

shallbe

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Is your presumption that R9's are categorically better than R8's? Because they cost more? They are different.
Interesting questions. It is not my presumption that an R9 is better than an R8. In the early historic years, the only difference was the level of flame between the two, with the R9's having more flame, typically. However, there are some killer topped R8's out there from the 90's for sure.

How different they are is also a matter of what years we are talking about. Later, the R8's had much larger neck carves, but the earlier ones had the same carve as the R9's.

I prefer my guitar to any R9 yet because of the nice neck carve, and the old looking top and burst. It is also naturally aged. Plus it is the correct weight and it sounds wonderful.
 

67blackcherry

Senior Member
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11,855
Interesting questions. It is not my presumption that an R9 is better than an R8. In the early historic years, the only difference was the level of flame between the two, with the R9's having more flame, typically. However, there are some killer topped R8's out there from the 90's for sure.

How different they are is also a matter of what years we are talking about. Later, the R8's had much larger neck carves, but the earlier ones had the same carve as the R9's.

I prefer my guitar to any R9 yet because of the nice neck carve, and the old looking top and burst. It is also naturally aged. Plus it is the correct weight and it sounds wonderful.
I purchased my '98 from a huge dealer (he would run a two page ad w/ all his R9's & R8's in Vintage Guitar magazine, this was pre-internet) he said "there's no difference between the R9 and the R8 Les Pauls. I make more money if you buy an R9, and I'll sell you whatever you want, but I'm telling you - the R8 is just as good, the only exception being the top and finish." My tobacco sunburst is from 2001 or 2002 and it's pretty much the same guitar as my other one. I've heard the neck carves are different later on (R9 vs. R8) but I cannot confirm nor deny that.


 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
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14,426
Interesting questions. It is not my presumption that an R9 is better than an R8. In the early historic years, the only difference was the level of flame between the two, with the R9's having more flame, typically. However, there are some killer topped R8's out there from the 90's for sure.

How different they are is also a matter of what years we are talking about. Later, the R8's had much larger neck carves, but the earlier ones had the same carve as the R9's.

I prefer my guitar to any R9 yet because of the nice neck carve, and the old looking top and burst. It is also naturally aged. Plus it is the correct weight and it sounds wonderful.
I am bias. Not a fan of the quarter sawn flame top thing... They are beautiful, but too garish for me. I also like the slightly larger neck of the '58. So obviously I would not pay mor for an R9. If I grabbed another reissue, it would likely be an R7.
 

schwa

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2,604
I'm fortunate to have a few Historics. An R9, R7 Custom, and an R6. Of the three, I like the R9 neck best, but don't have a problem with the bigger necks on the other two. When it comes to flame, it seems to come down to what they have handy. In '01 when I was shopping, nice flame was rare, but in '02 I saw many R8's that would have been R9's a year before (if a bit heavy).

I think the fret board wood differences are nonsense. I have guitars with Braz, and Madi RW, and can't hear a difference.

I'm sure there are R8'sthat are as good as R9's. I'm also confident that my R9 is as good as most R8's.
 

dead of night

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2,670
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.
What do you think of the Lollars?
 

shallbe

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11,944
What do you think of the Lollars?
I love them in this guitar. They are the lightly potted, regular wind in the neck and high wind in the bridge. The high wind is a misnomer. It is just a tad hotter than a normal PAF. The pickups are clear and sweet sounding, but gain up nicely.
 

TNJ

Gold Supporting Member
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28,827
I have a 2011 R9 that has become my #1 guitar...especially for gigging!
It weighs around 8.6lb, and is perfectly balanced with just the right neck size (middle of the '59 road) for me.
Burstbucker 1&2 pickups sound great clean and overdriven. On the gig this guitar sounds chimey and defined when clean
and like a 2 ton violin when overdriven. Power chords are POWERFUL.
Plus...flamey eye candy!

Overall, it's up there with the best LPs I've ever owned...I have never owned an R8, however.
Gibson Historics are all usually a cut above, IME.


S.
j
 

klatuu

Member
Messages
2,449
I've owned several historics over the years, and had a '98 R8 that was very flamey and played great. I had ( and still have) a 2004 R9 that sounded a little better, a bit more articulate maybe, and flipped the R8 for an amp or something. I wish I'd kept it! I have a cc#7 now that to me is just everything I ever wanted in an LP. I think a lot of it has to do with the transitional neck carve that is really comfortable, and the Shanks specific custom buckers. The low wind pickups are clear and punchy, and the neck is a little hotter than the bridge. I'd love to have set in my R9 that's currently sporting a WCR Bettset in the bridge and a Darkburst in the neck position.
 

straycat113

Member
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2,926
R-8/R-9/R-? Does it really matter? Whatever model does it for you is the "One" plain and simple! The OP's R-8 is a beautiful looking guitar and kudos to him for finding his -Grail.

Danelectro's- post is is quite the eye opener, as the first board looks Brazilian, the second- Rosewood, and the third kind of like Pau Ferro.
 




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