Les Paul experts...help with deciding on second LP

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,941
Hey guys, I have searched and read a bit about the various Les Pauls..

I too find the naming, etc. a little confusing. I was in the states last year and got a Les Paul Classic 60 (that is what is was called, but since then...not 100% sure except it is a '60 model) and I had tried a few and liked them all but the sound of this one was the clincher.

It has a slim neck. I have been playing a strat (with a fairly thick neck) for a while, and for the last year have just been loving the LP. The headstock snapped off in a freak guitar stand accident, is now glued on again, sounds good as ever, but it made me realize I want a good backup and since I am going that route, would like to get a slightly different model LP.

As far as I can tell, I think I want either a '58 or a '59. I am going to try and get to a music store with Gibsons (not that many of them here) to try and see how they sound and feel.

Seems like the concensus is the '58 is really something. But the '59 gets mentioned less. What are differences between them?
(I think these are the same as R8 and R9 respectively?).

I LOVE the sound of a LP. Found out I love playing it too...
Just looking for advice, with any kind of info to help me decide.
 

marshall2553

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,685
From what I understand, the only differences are the thicker neck on the R8 and the flamed top on the R9. I have an R8 and it is a great guitar.
 
Messages
1,261
The differences are in the neck shape (thick vs thinner) and top (figured vs nonfigured). I'd look for a GO (Guitar Center version of a '60 ri) which will have a similar neck profile to your Classic. Or an early Classic with Les Paul "Model" silkscreened on the headstock (vs Les Paul Classic silkscreen).

I have a '98 R8, my backup is an '87 Custom that I had borrowed occasionally over the last 10-12 years. I've owned 10 or so Les Pauls over the last 40 years. This pic was last Saturday (1/09).
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,941
This is where it gets confusing sometimes...

I should have ONLY mentioned the R8 and R9, because when someone mentions the thicker neck, I'm not sure if they mean in relation to my classic (for sure it is though) or the other model...

Just to see if I get it, BOTH the R8 and R9 have thicker necks...but are they essentially the same necks? Also the "flamed top" on the R9.

What does it mean though "flamed top"?

When you all mention "plain top" also, meaning that one was "countoured" and the other just flat? Which is which?

Thanks also, so far with all the help. I have good reach, and am not troubled with larger necks, I don't think. I also am pretty sure I'd be happy with any LP that was well made.

When I bought mine, mine had a neck that was made the "Normal" way according to the sales guy, he showed me another LP that he said they used a new method for making the neck...which insured better control, that it was the right bow, etc. Not sure which LP that was now, but it played very nice. It was a real toss up, but I kept bonding with the '60.

I think I would like a larger neck to just have variation when I wanted.

What about pickups, the same between R8 and R9?
Again, it seems like the R8 gets the most admirers of the '50's style LP?
 

marshall2553

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,685
The R9's generally have slimmer necks than the R8's. They are both probably going to be thicker than your's though. Pickups are the same. Flamed versus plaintop refers to the figuring of the maple, not the carve of the top. Purely cosmetic, just take a look here:

Plaintop R8: http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul/Gibson-Custom/1958-Les-Paul-Plain-Top-VOS.aspx

Flamed R9: http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Les-Paul/Gibson-Custom/1959-Les-Paul-Standard-VOS.aspx
 

56_Special

Member
Messages
2,007
The reissue's have hand carved necks and they vary a lot. Some R9's have bigger necks than some R8's. You have to try them and see.
 

Jmartin

Member
Messages
52
Both the R8 and R9's have much bigger necks that the Classic. I speak from experience, as I have an R8 and an R9. I sold my 1999 Classic about three weeks ago. I like a big baseball bat type neck, I never could bond with the Classic because the neck was too skinny. If you want to compare to a strat, the R8 and R9 are going to be a lot thicker then an American Standard, they would be more like the neck on the SRV Strat.

If you really like the neck on the Classic, don't mess yourself up with the r8 or r9, stick with a 60 reissue. The G0 would be a good choice.

As far as tops go, the flame vs plain has only to do with the appearance, not the contour.
 

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,941
Thanks all, this is helping a great deal. I think I need to try a few
R8's and R9's if I can.

New question... I see in both guitar stores "names" or descriptions, and in personal ads selling guitars SO many different ways of describing these.

How many are there that are the same thing? VOS? RI? I guess I am asking, pretty much any 1958 or 1959 LP is going to be an R8 or R9?

Sorry for the stupid question, I just see a lot of variations on the names.
 

XKnight

Member
Messages
11,089
New question... I see in both guitar stores "names" or descriptions, and in personal ads selling guitars SO many different ways of describing these.

How many are there that are the same thing? VOS? RI? I guess I am asking, pretty much any 1958 or 1959 LP is going to be an R8 or R9?

Sorry for the stupid question, I just see a lot of variations on the names.
VOS = Vintage Original Spec and is a type of finish treatment. It's not as glossy as a normal Gibson finish. It's duller and made to look like the guitar is older.

RI = Reissue

The guitars you're looking at are made by the Gibson Custom Shop. they are essentially Reissues of the 1958 and 1959 Gibson Les Paul. They are often referred to as Reissue or Historic series guitars. R8 or R9 will be ink stamped into the control cavity and the serial number on the back of the headstock will either start with an 8 or 9 to designate the year of the reissue.
 

twinrider1

Member
Messages
14,073
You can break Gibson down in two main branches, GibsonUSA and Gibson Custom Shop.
GibsonUSA is the regular production line. Here Gibson will try modern ideas and production methods: chambered/swiss-cheese bodies, robot tuners & electronics, short tenons. Here is where you find the Classic, the Traditional, etc.
Custom Shop is the higher end. The focus here is the customer that wants a guitar built the old way. Solid bodies, long tenon. No, they don't do it 100%, but that's the image they portray. Here is where you find the Historic Reissue. People will call them Historics, Reissues, RI, VOS, and R with the year of the reissue (R4='54, R7='58,etc)

Necks are generally thinner on the GibsonUSA models, as mentioned.
There are always exceptions with Gibson. There is a line of Historics that are chambered, etc. But that's it in general.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

phoenix 7

Member
Messages
25,746
Yeah, the only practical difference is the generally fatter necks on the 58 RIs. A lot of people find that they like the sound of the 58's better and believe that the fat necks have something to do with it. I own a 58 and a 59. Love the sound of them both.

ON EDIT -- fixed totally confusing typo in 2nd sentence.
 
Last edited:

StompBoxBlues

Member
Messages
19,941
Great info! Thanks once more!

So I am looking into RI, R8 and R9's.

Thanks so much guys! I really got weaned off the strat and with a LP, into a Budda SD-series....it's the sound and feel I always have been heading to, I finally got here. I love the 60 classic I have, but I don't think the bigger neck is a problem and I like the idea of having variety. Sounds like it will be one or the other, either whichever I try first and love, or AB'ing them. I think it's reasonably certain I'll be happy either way.
 




Trending Topics

Top