Les Paul R8, R9 comparisons?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Desmosedici, Jan 2, 2018.


  1. Desmosedici

    Desmosedici Member

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    Hi all,
    Just wondering what would be the actual differences between the R8 and R9.
    All I see is the neck profile being fatter on the R8....maybe...
    The Price....the R9 is 2K more expensive from what I see.
    What have I missed?
     
  2. peterjh85

    peterjh85 Member

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    In most cases you will find more flamed tops within the R9 camp. Not to say that flame tops don’t exist within R8’s, they certainly do especially within the recent runs. Just saying that you can almost certainly expect a highly flamed top when you encounter an R9.
     
  3. bossaddict

    bossaddict Supporting Member

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    ^^This, plus even less consistently, R9s will tend to weigh a little less. Like I said, that's a very loose rule, though.
     
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  4. bobeau

    bobeau Member

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    Right, that's basically it.

    - Neck profiles (R8s typically start ~.92 at the 1st fret, R9s tend to be more ~.89)
    - Weight, R8s tend to be upper 8s/low 9s, R9s low 8s/upper 8s.
    - Tops tend to be a better visual grade. The flamier R8 tops usually have more imperfections or are not terribly symmetrical. (Note: some people prefer that as it's seen as being more vintage correct -- most actual burst tops pale in comparison to your typical modern R9 top).
    - You're more likely to get a lighter or striped fretboard on an R8.

    I'll say this though - I was at a GC a few weeks ago and they had 3 R8s - two of them had what I thought were R9 grade tops. Nice deep flame and quite symmetrical.
     
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  5. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Supporting Member

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    Another reason R9s cost more is the association with 1959.
     
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  6. marshall2553

    marshall2553 Supporting Member

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    It just depends. I have a few R8's and in general the necks are fatter, but one of them is actually slimmer than the last R9 I had. Similarly R8's generally have plainer tops but one of mine has a top that is easily as nice as most R9's and the others have pretty decent flametops. I know they use lighter bodies for R9's but the weight difference seems to be minimal. Personally I can't justify the upcharge for an R9 with all the great R8's out there unless the R9 is something special.
     
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  7. DiPa

    DiPa Member

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    Or that Clapton and some other great icons sought them out in the 60s and made them popular ..
     
  8. Rhythm Rocker

    Rhythm Rocker Member

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  9. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Member

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    Everyone has pretty much summed up the differences, the neck and the top.
    Here's my '98 & 2002 R8's....nothing plain about them.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  10. kingrazor

    kingrazor Member

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    :drool
     
  11. drewl

    drewl Member

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    The '60 is my fave, I like the neck better.
    geez, what do those beano's go for? You probably need to be the CEO of Grey Matter to afford one of those. ;)
     
  12. agquake

    agquake Supporting Member

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    Two of my R8s, both 2013 models

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Member

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    There’s an R8 thread, take a look through that; plain tops to flame tops and everything in between.
     
  14. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Silver Supporting Member

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    Generally better tops, lighter weight body blanks, and slightly slimmer necks on the R9. But this can vary from year to year and guitar to guitar.
     
  15. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky Member

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    R8s have less "perfectly" flamed tops. Some folk prefer them and they save a ton of money. It used to be that lighter and better mahogany was set aside for R9s and R8s and the other Rs got the rest of it. It used to be that R8s had chunky necks.

    agquake's photo illustrates the point well. The tops have less symmetric flame. The maple exhibit less of a deep curl. Cosmetics play a huge part in the difference between R8 and R9. You pay for that.

    The R8s are the good smart buys of the Historic line. A nice R9 is a thing of wonder though. It is somewhat like (then young still nubile) Katherine Zeta Jones...and her sister.
     
  16. danelectro

    danelectro Supporting Member

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    Several of my R8s have smaller necks and lower weights than the average R9. Three of them weigh in less than 8.3 lbs. Each guitar is different, so shop around and if you find one you like, go for it.

    Generally R8s are less flamey, which is a good thing IMO because most 1958-1960 bursts had subtle and often irregular flame patterns. For example here are my R8 "plaintops"...

    2007
    [​IMG]

    2007
    [​IMG]

    2009
    [​IMG]

    2014
    [​IMG]

    2017
    [​IMG]

    2007 & 2014
    [​IMG]
     
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  17. kingrazor

    kingrazor Member

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    Man those are some fine looking guitars.
     
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  18. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Member

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    Because “liking” your post wasn’t good enough!!!
     
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  19. davess23

    davess23 Member

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    Lots of overlap between the two models.

    There are plenty of light R8s and heavy R9s. I just did a quick search, and at 8 lb. 11 oz. my 2001 R8 weighs less than most of the R9s currently listed at Mark's Guitar Loft.

    There are flamey R8s that would fool anyone into thinking they're looking at an R9. Some of them would even be considered exceptionally nice R9s. Check out the R8 porn thread here if you haven't seen it yet.

    Necks on R8s are often fatter, but not always. Mine's a big fat baseball bat, just like I prefer, but I've played skinny necked R8s. Gibson's been accused of many things, but consistency isn't one of them.

    It's really the same guitar, just be prepared to pay more money for the R9. If I were shopping for a LP Historic I'd buy used and I'd look at both models.
     
  20. 67blackcherry

    67blackcherry Member

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    This right here.
    Other than that ‘98 R8, all my other Historics (6) have been purchased used and I’ve saved a boatload of money.

    But that’s nothing compared to the money I’ve saved since I switched to Geico Insurance!!!!!
     

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