For those guys who have played multiple Custom Shop Les Pauls...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by guitarded_1, Apr 1, 2015.

  1. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    So I'm seriously thinking about buying an R8. I have an R7, and I think it's fantastic, but my R7 is the only Custom Shop Historic Les Paul that I have ever played. It's my only frame of reference. Now granted, I would expect darn near every R8 to sound/play really well. I'm assuming that the Custom Shop work is very consistent. The question is - how consistent?

    When I look at a web site Like Dave's Guitar Shop, there are a ton of beautiful R8's on there. And while I could just select the prettiest one, I can't help but think that perhaps one or two in particular may stand out quite a bit from the others.

    Have any of you guys ever sat down and played multiples of the same model back to back? What did you think? Was there a clear winner or one that spoke loudly above the others?

    If I'm going to drop that kind of coin on a guitar, I'm actually tempted to fly up there and play a bunch of them. I can't help but think that even if I like the one guitar shipped to me, there may be others sitting in the same shop that would blow me away even more if I could actually get my hands around them.

    Am I going crazy here?

    :omg
     
  2. BadAssBill

    BadAssBill southofnash.com Silver Supporting Member

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    If you're buying over the net I would recommend marks guitar loft, he has talked me out of guitars because they were not what it was looking for. I've bought from Music Zoo and they were nice too.
     
  3. Beng2040

    Beng2040 Supporting Member

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    There are some that are clearly better than others. I've owned 6 R8's and kept selling them off til I found the perfect one for me. That said, they were all good but the one I kept is great. You should definitely try before you buy for that kind of money.
     
  4. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

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    aren't all Historics "high quality"? Ive played a few and they all seemed like quality instruments. you can have your preferences with the top and the weight, but is there ever a "bad one"?

    I'm yet to see one (I've worked in guitar retail).
     
  5. RRfireblade

    RRfireblade Member

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    There are cherrys and pitts in every run of everything.
     
  6. guitarded_1

    guitarded_1 Member

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    I'm not suggesting that there's a bad one with the historic series. I'm curious if the best ones are really THAT much better than the others.
     
  7. timsmcm

    timsmcm Member

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    I have 2 really good ones. I have had some I could not get rid of fast enough. I have had one I can't believe made it out the door of the custom shop. I quit buying new gibson guitars.
     
  8. johnh

    johnh Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been to a couple of large stores with a selection of R8's. While none of the guitars may have been "good", or "bad", I always found that there are significant differences between them (looks, weight, brightness, midiness, darkness, balls, etc).

    There would be no substitute, in my mind, for taking a day, going to one of those stores, playing several over a few hours, and buying your favourite of the bunch.

    Also, providing the trip doesn't cost that much, there are few better ways of spending a day off indulging your self in a store like Dave's, or Chicago Music Exchange, MusicZoo etc. Makes for a really memorable day.
     
  9. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    No.

    I did it the hard way. I bought and sold nearly 15 R9's with a few R8's mixed in, in search of my version of perfection. They definitely all sounded a bit different, some I came to love, others not so much. And while I did finally find one that was tonally perfect to my ears, I still eventually sold it. The only Historic LP I still have and really will never sell is an '03 Custom Historic '54 RI, and a Byrdland if that counts.

    So no, not crazy at all. You will definitely hear the differences between them.
     
  10. Coldacre

    Coldacre Supporting Member

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    I just found that the tonal differences between each Historic were minor and could all be negated with pickup selection.
     
  11. gibsonES330

    gibsonES330 Member

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    Sometimes, if you don't spend a lot of time playing each guitar, you can fool yourself into thinking one is much better than the other, when the difference might simply be in the setup. If someone else has jacked the bridge up or down, or the pickups are at slightly different heights, that can affect feel as well tone. If one has a super straight neck, but the other has a bit of neck bow, because the retailer isn't keeping an eye on such things, that will also affect the feel/playability. If the retailer changed the strings on one, but not the other, that can throw you off, too.

    Just make sure that the neck carve is to your liking and that the body is nice and resonant - you can fix/replace most everything else, but the wood needs to be good.
     
  12. straightblues

    straightblues Member

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    I have played several back to back on multiple occasions. They aren't all created equal. I haven't found bad ones, just ones that aren't special. There are special ones if you look. If you are spending over $3 for a new guitar, you may want to consider going to a large city where you can try several in the same day. I am in Los Angeles and I could probably get my hands on at least 10 R8's in a single day. I would recommend you do the same. Turn it into a mini vacation.
     
  13. sws1

    sws1 Member

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    I've owned 5. Still own 2. 2 of the 3 I sold sounded OK, but for whatever reason, they just didn't get played as much. 1 of the 3 (the most expensive - Duane Allman signature) was like playing a door. But I sold it for a 50% profit, so it most than covered the depreciation on all the others.

    Odds are you won't get a bad one. Whether it'll be magic to you...well, only you can decide.
     
  14. C-4

    C-4 Member

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    Something you guys and gals need to understand who have not purchased or chased Gibson Historic guitars. That is that they are still production guitars only built to different specs on another assembly line.
    They will all still be different one-to-the-next, just as the regular Gibson stock production line guitars are.

    If you are chasing "pretty" guitars you may find a great sounding and playing one early on...maybe, if pretty is what matters most to you. I learned a long time ago that even original bursts and '57 GT's are just as different then as the new ones are now.

    My favorite was a very plainjane looking '59 burst with a sunburst that had faded to an ugly green color where the red used to be. However, it had everything else any guitar should have. After that, I chased to tone, feel, and playability not the looks.

    Since I don't live near any Historic Dealer, I had to do a lot of on-line shopping.
     
  15. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    I've purchased 10 Historic LPs over the years, R7s, R8s, R9s all sight unseen and online. I only had one dud so to speak .... it just had a thin tone to it :huh: pickups and strings didn't fix it.

    Oh, and one minor problem... a plek'ed R7 that shipped from California had a slightly high 12th fret. They are just pressed in there, so it could have popped up a bit. :dunno

    Most of the R8s and R9s have been fantastic guitars tone wise and quality wise. They all have their own personality to a degree. I'd do it again in a heartbeat. You just have to ask the right questions and get a good feel for who you're dealing with. Ebay is a pretty much no fault buyers market these days, but still it's a hassle to have to return anything... especially expensive, so keep that in mind.
     
  16. PW214

    PW214 Member

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    Agreed. I think many Gibson fans think that "Custom" means made by a Luthier. I've seen that on this forum several times. Or that it wasn't an assembly line style guitar. Because we live a world where genuine handmade guitars are being ordered and sold on a much more regular basis, the lingo alone confuses people.

    And I also agree that you have to play many to find the one that works for you. I've never found this to be so much the case as I do with Gibson guitars. But when you do find "the one" you know it.

    So I'm an advocate of making a trip and playing as many as you can. When you spend that kind of money, you don't want regrets.
     
  17. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    I've had 4, and have spent considerable, real world time with two more. They're all different, and I've only had one that I couldn't get along with, but the guy I sold it to loved.
    In order to buy one without playing it, figure out what you like in a Les Paul. Tastes are different. I don't like the necks to be massive, so I've really liked the recent('13 and on) ones. I like the weight right around 8 1/2 lbs. I like the neck angle to be a certain way. Get a few in your hands.
     
  18. StratStringSlinger

    StratStringSlinger Member

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    This is so true but doesn't get brought up here enough. I hear people's stories on here swapping guitars and parts like they do socks; I wonder how much time these same people spend on setup? I take weeks maybe months to dial in my guitars. Just last week I found too much relief in a guitar I had for over three years, tightened up the trussrod and bam! It went from occasionaly played at home to possibly my new number one.
     
  19. Faded

    Faded Member

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    I have owned many CS Reissues and Customs. I can tell you that they are not all created equal. When I was in the market for a second Collectors Choice of the 4 Montrose CC's I played there was only one I would have taken home. In the course of my search I found an R9 that was spectacular and ended up buying it instead.

    When looking for my most recent R9 I tried eight and found only two that I liked. I chose the one I purchased because I prefer gloss over VOS.
     
  20. Suhrlicious

    Suhrlicious Member

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    I've owned three R8’s....sold them all. Completely and utterly overrated, despite what TGP seems to think. Not horrible guitars you understand, but nothing amazing either. Laugh if you will, but I've been happier with my $1400 2013 Traditional LP and saved $1000+. I just sold my latest R8 acquisition after getting it and A/B'ing it for over a month with my Traditional. I preferred the way my Traditional played and tone wise, they were so close anyways, I couldn't justify keeping it.
     

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