Major differences between R8 and R9 Les Paul's

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by ecbluesman54, Jan 16, 2008.

  1. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    Just curious to what the major differences there is between the 2, other than fret size, and price tag.
    Of you owners out there, why did you choose the R8 or R9?
    Just curious, as I am currently in the market for one of the two.
    Thanks!
    Andrew
     
  2. buckwild

    buckwild Silver Supporting Member

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    flame maple top and neck shape, R8's tend to have more of a D shape with more shoulder
     
  3. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    Buckwild nails it. Check out the R0 if you want a smaller neck than the R8/R9.
     
  4. Mr. Crow

    Mr. Crow Member

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    I didn't realize that there is a difference in fret size on the R8 and the R9. Can anybody tell me which has the beefier frets? I'm also looking into a Historic R8 or R9 series guitar.

    Thanks.
     
  5. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    Well I like big necks in general. I really like the neck on my R7 Goldtop. Would the R8 or R9 be more like the Goldtop? Anybody have any experience with this? Or own both?
    Thanks!
     
  6. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    There didn't used to be a difference with frets 'tween those models. It did vary year to year. The '99's and '00's had huge square frets. Then in '01 and 02 they got real low and flat. A little bigger in '03. I'm not sure how the current ones are.

    An R8 and R9 always had the same size frets from the same year. I wouldn't go by the thing where Gibson says in 1959, the bigger fret wire came about... they're talking historically. But they may have changed things in the last couple years.
     
  7. fjs1962

    fjs1962 Silver Supporting Member

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    90% of the difference is the flame top on the R9, along with the different case. I guess you could argue that typically the R8 neck will be a little bigger and the R9 will be a little lighter weight, but there are big necked R9s and light R8s out there too. I played R8s for a long time and refused to pay the upchrge for a flame top. Then last year the flame envy finally got the best of me and I bought a R9. I had to hunt around though, because a lot of the R9's I tried didn't sound as good to me as my R8! So if all you care about is tone save the money and buy a R8. But if you crave the flame and can afford it go ahead and find a nice R9, because you probably won't be happy until you do.
     
  8. ecbluesman54

    ecbluesman54 Member

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    Good to know as I prefer the plaintop.
    Thanks.
     
  9. drfrankencopter

    drfrankencopter Member

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    FWIW, in 2001 and 2002 the R8s were flame tops as well. Generally the R9s were higher grade flames, and also tended to have more colour options whereas most R8s were butterscotch or lemonbursts. Those years R8s would be your best value in a flame top historic.

    Oh, or you could take a risk on an R7 from the same time-frame and get it re-finned. Lots of the R7s around that time had some nice flamed maple tops that were just sprayed gold. I guess gibson had lots of them around since the R9s and R8s were all flame tops back then.

    Cheers

    Kris
     
  10. bonchie123

    bonchie123 Supporting Member

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    If you like your R7 get an R8. They have roughly the same size necks and usually weigh about the same (a little more then R9's).

    Personally, I've just can't justify spending an extra 2-3 grand to get an R9 over an R8 simply because of the top and slighly smaller neck shape.
     
  11. stuagu

    stuagu Member

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    they do vary, i had an r8 (2005?) that had a huge neck on it compared to the r9 (1999)i had, it was almost exactly the same shape /size as a 57 (2004?) gold top i had but not as big as another 57 (2005?) i had which was ridiculous! ... a lot of i hads there... if only i couldve kept the things & didnt need to sell to buy the next "keeper". in my experience the extra wood in the neck does add a certain something to the sound & if push comes to shove id say i prefered the 58 sound wise although the r9 was the better player. suck it & see
     
  12. Dr. Tweedbucket

    Dr. Tweedbucket Deluxe model available !!!11

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    I had 1 R7 and 2 R8s. The R8 neck felt a little fatter than the R7. It's definitly chunky but I like it. I think the R8 is a killer bang for the buck. I've seen used ones as low as $2000.
     
  13. Burstplayer

    Burstplayer Member

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    Historically, R9's tended to be a little lighter than the 8's and 7's.

    This is on average though. Not an absolute.
     
  14. DrGonzo

    DrGonzo Gold Supporting Member

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    On new models it's the top (flame on R9, sometimes quilt, while the R8's have a plaintop) and the neck shape (slightly smaller on average on the R9's, beefier with bigger shoulders on the R8). The R9's are also spec'ed to be slightly lighter in weight although I've seen plenty of R8's that weigh less than R9's coming out lately.

    I really think that on average a thicker, stiffer neck is a good thing on Historic Les Pauls. Becuase of that I lean toward R8's on sound alone...though those flametops on R9's sure do look great and I've owned several that were killer guitars.

    I'd seriously consider checking out an R7 and add that to the list of options to consider. On average it has the beefiest neck of the three. It's usually the same price as an R8. You don't get the pretty burst top, but R7's have some of the best tone out there. IMHO of course.

    Each version will also come offered in either VOS finish (a dulled look) or a gloss coat top (usually runs at least a few hundred more). I have seen lots of people clean off the VOS goop and shine them up nicely. Good luck in your search. Shopping for Les Pauls is one of the most fun ways on earth to spend your time :AOK
     

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