Soooo....if you have been following the other thread, I have been slightly interested in another R9 after playing a buddies R8 on and off for the last few months. I saw @DiPa s thread on the 60th anniversaries, and he was having trouble finding one with a killer top. Out of the goodness of my heart, I had seen a few incredible Murphys at Wildwood recently, (especially one), so I put a link to in in his thread, and told him that's the one I would buy! Well, by the end of the day I realized that WAS the one I would buy, and I better hurry and beat Dipa to it!! So....a quick call to Wildwood, and I made sure it wasn't going to get into his grubby little hands!!! Hey! He already has like 35 of them or something! Seriously now, I have owned my share as well, and this thing was going to take selling a few guitars I really did not want to sell to cover the $$$. Wildwood was very cool, and actually grabbed two of them for comparison and gave me the low down on the tones. So purchased the guitar, and had it overnighted. Way to costly to take a chance on ground. I really am not into reliced guitars anymore, but of course the one with the sick top and ultra light weight was reliced. Oh well, see if this Murphy guy lives up to his reputation. The guitar arrives the next day, and the wait for the temp to come around is painful. Finally, I am able to unbox it. Right away, by looking at the aging on the case, I realize this is NOT your Fender Custom shop relicing job. Little threads pulled out, the rust looks real, and the color and markings on the case would have you totally thinking it's just a REALLY old case that's in great shape. I had already gone over with Wildwood I was only interested if the guitars top actually looked like the pics. No dead or weak spots, and no BS "Peek a boo" flame. I am a PRS guy through and through, and I wanted a Private Stock grade top. They assured me it was every bit as good as the pics, no enhancements or angling to get the figure to show. Still wondering, I took a deep breath and opened the case....this was looking back at me.... Like the worlds greatest coffee lover said... TOO SWEET TOO SWEET!!!! Looked over the entire guitar.....Murphy is a true artist. There is nothing that would make you think anything was fake. The aging process to me, totally adds to the patina and overall feeling of the instrument. Its exquisite to say the least. For me, the weight of the instrument is of maximum importance, and this one is 8.01 lbs, which I new 9 times out of 10 would make it resonant as could be acoustically. So I reached my hand around the neck....and the first disappointment. What happened to the big fat killer R9 neck?? This was the second largest they had at .92 or 93 to 1.01. Bummer. Then disappointment #2. It said the binding was hand rolled, which I love. This has almost a 90 degree angle on the edge where it meets the fret board. Damn. For the price, everything had to be perfect. Looks like it's going to go back. So, grab a pick and start to play it acoustically. About 3 to 4 notes, and I pretty much knew right then, it was NOT going back! My 2013 R9 was a killer guitar, and rang out acoustically really well too, but nothing like this. It rings louder than any LP I have ever played, and almost sounds like it has a trem from the vibrations! I am positive much of this is the 8 lbs, but even so, it is amazing. And it has a bounce to the notes that is instantly addicting. Then the action!!! I would not have believed a guitar could play better than my Private stock PRSs. This LP does. Along with my Gibson L5P, this is the easiest playing guitar I have not only owned but played. If you cant play on this thing, quit playing. Not sure if its Wildwoods setup or Gibsons, but it is off the charts. Next step...plugging it in to my Louis Electrics Deltone, Columbia and 64 Fender Twin reverb. Confusion. Where is that big, huge, mid humped R9 tone?? This is soft, warm, round, squishy and very even sounding. What's going on? Grab my PRS to see if my ears are messed up. Now my other R9s were all very similar to my PRSs in terms of output, bass and treble response. My PRS is sounding like 20% louder, but with a hard edge and certain brittleness I have never heard before. Ok..grab my newest PRS HB594 with the low turn pups. Play the LP...over to the PRS HB.....same thing. The PRS is 20% louder, punchier, but has a hard edge and brittleness I have never noticed. Sooo...I play the LP, and I play, and I play, and I cant stop playing. Round, warm, INCREDIBLE squishy feel when you pick a note. Zero hard edge. Just this beautiful, totally controllable attack. This is unlike any guitar I have played before. Probably closest to my buddies original 58 335, but a softer, more controlled attack on the note. Back to the PRS....monster punch, but hard edge and brittle. So I keep playing, clean, and with a MP Simble overdrive. The dirty tones instantly reminded me of vintage Ted Nugent. Stranglehold! THATS the tone!! So I play more, and I dont stop until its 330 AM. I have become addicted to that feel. It is totally unlike any other guitar I own. I wake up this morning....plug it in...same thing. Over to the PRSs...Loud, punch, but hard. Strat, Tele....hard, brittle. So for a final test, I bring it to my buddies who has the killer R8 Brazilian that got me interested in these again. First off...the neck on mine is not that much smaller than his R8, so maybe I was just use to my huge Fender and L5 necks. My buddy thought the neck was chunky and very similar to his R8. Strange. Play them acoustically. The R9 rings WAY louder and has that insane bounce to the feel. Plug them in....R8....typical huge, punchy, very similar to my PRSs tones. R9....brighter, clearer, softer, rounder, sooo easy to play!! I am addicted. Only time will tell if this is going to take over from my PRSs, but right now I am blown away. A totally unique sounding and feeling R9. I think guys who play clean and classic rock will HAVE to have it. Guys who play with a lot of gain and really loud volumes will hate it. Cant believe that for ME, it's an unbelievable guitar that was completely different than what I was expecting, and threw me for a loop. No way it's going back!! Gibson/Wildwood/Murphy, incredible instrument.