Am I wasting my time looking for the perfect Les Paul (R8 or R9)?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Eskimo_Joe, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    I have been in the process of trying to hunt down the perfect R9 (or a great R8). The way I approach purchases is that I look for something I know I'll be happy with so I don;t have to go through the cycle of selling this one to get that one only to do it over and over again and never feel satisfaied ---a one an done type of approach instead.

    Anyway, I was thinking about it and my priorities are:

    1) Sounds good
    2) Plays good
    3) Light weight (8.6 or less)
    4) Looks good

    I can't seem to find all four. Maybe I'm too picky. But I want an LP I can have for the rest of my life. Thoughts?
     
  2. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    I think all those are great points we as players look for in a guitar adn really should be a standard. Its not easy to find the "one", so I think its all pretty normal.

    I'm actually looking for a nice Tele and I'm being super picky with this one. I also want another Strat too. For some reason, I think finding the right Fender is harder than a Gibson for me.

    With that said, I'm pretty much done with my LPs. I've got a killer R9 with a monster top, under 9 lbs, plays like butter, and I just threw in some sweet WB 6707 VTPHs. It's my #1. I also have a '57 Goldtop w/ a set of Holmes that rule! I have a few others that fill really complete a LP collection like a Classic Prem Plus, a Custom, and a R8/R9 1/Off all with killer tops and great players as well.

    I would like to find a '68-ish LP Custom, in ebony, in full gloss, with long neck tenon, loaded with nickel hardware, and under or right at 9lbs. I think I'm looking for the White Whale!

    Although,

    I do find that there are some of us that are just looking for the impossible. I don't think there is a perfect guitar but you certainly can find a great one.

    Good luck in your search!

    By the way, I got my #1 through the LP Forum and just lucked out it being the one at the right place at the right time and I had the money. There are some sweet ones that hang around there and get turned sometimes.
     
  3. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback! What are the custom items you mentioned above? Thanks!
     
  4. buchla300

    buchla300 Member

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    I'd scrap 4
    If it's for life, it will become yours anyway. For me looks are important but if I found a guitar that covered the first 3 points, I wouldn't worry about 4 at all.
     
  5. Sniper-V

    Sniper-V Member

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    I think #4 is very important...

    I wouldn't play, let alone buy a "Hello Kitty" guitar no matter how good it was with #1 through #3.

    Obviously, I'm exaggerating but you get my point...
     
  6. buchla300

    buchla300 Member

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    Have you ever seen an R9 or R8 that looks bad? Not worthy of playing? I mean some are not flash, but they look great in any case.
    Come on... if you pick up a guitar that sounds good, plays well, is light weight but doesn't have super fandaddydoo top, you would exclude it?

    It's my issue with flame tops... many players seem to listen with their eyes.

    Oh and it is possible to have all 4 (I have 2 like that :rotflmao ), but my point was that the one issue that can be excluded whilst not affecting the reason a guitar is there (to sound good, play well and let you make music) is point 4.
     
  7. xdisciplex

    xdisciplex Member

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    im picky too, it took me a couple years to find the right R9, but once i found it then it was worth it. i have no desire to ever sell it.
    my cousin just bought a R9 and hes been looking for the right one for 3 years and he finally found the one that meets his demands.
     
  8. Matt F

    Matt F Member

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    I took a crap shoot on an 01 R8 a couple months ago. It meets all the criteria above and I couldn't be happier.

    I'm a picky bastard too. The 01 almost sound liks an acoustic strummed unplugged, has great frets thanks to a recent dressing and plays great. weighs about 8.5lbs, and has a killer top that looks great! Installed some Wolfetone Legends and it will bring a smile to your face.

    So, I don't think you are wasting your time. There are lots of great LPs out there. I just happened to get lucky and found one that worked for me.

    Keep looking and don't be afraid to take a chance because the result can be magic ;). Here's a picture of "notagoinanywhere"

    [​IMG]
     
  9. James

    James Member

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    I went through two flametop Les Paul Reissues (R8, R9) before settling in and finding the "magic one" (a Cloud 9 chambered reissue R9). In hindsight, I bought my first two without really going through enough of them. You really have to just play as many as you possibly can and compare. This can be tough depending on where you live. I agree that it can be a drag to buy one, only to sell it when you find one that's "better" (with the "better" part being very subjective). But for me, each Les Paul was an "upgrade" and closer to what I really wanted. It's a bit of a "quest" if you will. I don't mind ditching a guitar if I find a better example. Finally, at the risk of stating the obvious, I've really noticed a big difference in feel in each Les Paul (as with all guitars) so there again, you just have to search until you find one that speaks to you.

    And when you do find "the one" I'd recommend upgrading the pick-ups.

    Good luck! :dude

    James
     
  10. Goldstrat

    Goldstrat Member

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    I've had 2 R7's and 1 R8 that didn't make the cut and I don't even care about what they look like!
     
  11. Patrick Ginnaty

    Patrick Ginnaty Member

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    They're out there, keep looking. This is my '98 R8. I found it on eBay.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    Keep looking. When you DO find it, you'll know it. ;)
     
  13. DrewB

    DrewB Member

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    My late-'06 G0 meets your four criteria. It's a honeyburst plaintop. The finish isn't my favorite, but it's so over-the-top in the sounds-great and plays-great departments that what it looks like isn't even on my radar.

    As to finding the right one, the one I own is the one out of 14 Historic-series Les Pauls that made the tone cut when played through my Champeluxe amp, a 5F1 circuit in a tweed-Deluxe-sized cab with a 12" speaker. You're gonna have to play a bunch of them until the right one comes along but, when it does, it'll be a lifer.
     
  14. Rotten

    Rotten Silver Supporting Member

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    I played a ton of Les Pauls and had similar criteria to yours. I finally chose a 9.1 lbs. R8. I wouldn't let 4 or 5 ounces be your guide, usually they are criteria set by people who post. The neck is absolute perfection.

    Later on, I came across an R7 that just sounded killer. This one was 8.7 lbs. and sounded noticeably better than a bunch of other Les Pauls that were in the low 8s. The neck is not as perfect for me as the R7, but it gets a slightly different sound that complements the R8 and keeps things fresh. I'm thinking that I prefer Les Pauls that hover around 9 lbs. However, I play pretty clean, hovering around output tube distortion.

    My advice is to buy two. If you keep one in the case and switch every few weeks or months, it's kinda like getting a new guitar; it seems to have cured my compulsion to look for a guitar that is more perfect. It's also fund to A/B two guitars that you break in to your specs and get to know really well.
     
  15. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    great feedback you guys. I appreciate your thoughts. To address the part about "looks" it's not that I am going for a "killer top". I actually like stuff that's a bit more subtle most of the time. I can find a million great looking Les Pauls on the internet, but I'm trying to buy one in person after having played it so it is harder to meet the criteria on a local basis. Thinking of heading to some guitar shows possibly.
     
  16. Thundersteel

    Thundersteel Member

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    If you have your heart set on an R8 or R9, then by all means take your time in looking for it. You'll know it when you find it, as it will "speak" to you.

    However, if you've looked and looked, and still can't find "the one," then maybe it's not the brand/model that's right for you.
     
  17. Sean French

    Sean French Supporting Member

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    For new give Saul a call and tell him what you want.
    He can and will get it and have a great price too.
    www.ccitymusic.com

    For used Mark is the man.
    www.marksguitarloft.com

    I've bought several LP's from each and both are great honest guys to deal with.
     
  18. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    You've got all the right points as near as I can tell. The problem is that you wind up spending a lot of time looking.

    I finally settled for good looking, plays good. After that I replace whatever hardware or electronics are necessary, and they usually sound good after you do those things.

    The feel and playability are first for me. I have beater Les Pauls that totally feel great that I've then upgraded the other items on and wound up being my "go to" guitars for most situations, such as my Orville Les Paul Goldtop.

    Bought it on eBay for $700 shipped. Found a used Gibson hard shell case for $75 shipped. Installed new bone nut, had the frets dressed, $160. Grover tuners $25. WCR BetSet $240. CTS 500k pots, Sprague Black Beauty caps (.015 neck, .033 bridge) $40. Bridge and tailpiece were fine, I put new knobs on it, $10.

    Grand damage $1250 including all the upgrades.

    It's got the medium C 59 neck profile so it plays great without being too big, or the slim taper neck.

    Best of all, it's already got some dings and chips, so if anyone runs into it, I don't care, cuz it sounds great. It actually retired my original 1968 Les Paul Custom I've had since 1974, which has 14 trillion notes on it. The Orville felt the same, sounded great, so I was happy with the results.

    If you can find a Gibson Les Paul new like that, you'll be real lucky. Usually they all need something swapped, fixed, tweaked or upgraded to sound their best, in my experience.

    Good luck!
     
  19. Jon C

    Jon C Silver Supporting Member

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    I would junk #4 and not worry so much about weight... the very very best LPs I have ever seen, including real vintage and the R6, R8 and R9s, are right around 9 lbs.

    IMO 8.6 lbs is too low a cut off. I have a fantastic 9.1 lb R6 & R8, put a good 3 1/2" or 4" leather strap on them (as I do for all LPs) and they are perfectly balanced and relatively comfy.

    I'm not overly pure but for my own subjective taste, I want a "real" LP not a weight relieved swiss cheese model, so I will live with that extra few ounces on a 9 pounder. My cut off/preference is about 9.2-9.3 lbs.
     
  20. treeofpain

    treeofpain Member

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    It's not asking too much to find THE ONE when you have a $3k-4k budget that these guitars cost. The definition of what that means varies from player to player, but the guitars with primo tops and light weight are going to be in high demand and therefore hard to find.
     

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