I picked up htis 02 R8 from Mark's Guitar Loft in New Hampshire. First off, what an amazing shop. All natural wood floors/ceiling/walls filled with a killer assortment of Gibson/Fender/etc. Mark was really nice and patient, and his advice was spot on. He know guitars, especially the ones he has in stock. I was pretty sure I wanted a 58, but was interested in the R9s also. I don't like huge necks, so that was one of my concerns. Mark told me that this one particular 58 had a neck smaller than most R9s. He was not wrong. I played 2-3 R9s, and 2 R8s. The neck on this one was by far the smallest. Being a late 02, it has Burstbuckers. Against all the other guitars, this one sounded dark and woody, just the way I like em. I was a little concerned how it would sound on my rig at home, but was very pleasantly rewarded when I plugged her in at home. It sounds amazingly close to the Duncan Custom 5/59 combination in my GC60. It only weighs 8lbs 7oz, and feels light.