Please explain R6, R7, R8, R9, R0

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by slopeshoulder, Jun 1, 2008.

  1. slopeshoulder

    slopeshoulder Senior Member

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    For most of my years playing I knew Les Pauls with names like standard, goldtop, custom, black beauty, and fretless wonder.
    Can someone please explain to me what the R# thing is all about. I stopped paying attention to Gibson because I think they are satanic. But I'd sincerely like to know. Some of y'all seem to like them.
    Thanks.
     
  2. 22Top

    22Top Member

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    They refer to the year of the model being reissued. R6 is a 1956, R7 in a 1957, R0 is a 1960... I'm about 99% sure of this. The R7 is stamped in the control cavity of my goldtop.

    I found it right confusing at first too
     
  3. XKnight

    XKnight Member

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    R = Reissue

    The number after the R reflects the date.

    6=1956
    7=1957
    8=1958
    9=1959
     
  4. Bluedawg

    Bluedawg Member

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    Don't forget:

    2 = 1952 trapeze tailpiece LP, these are rather rare
    4 = 1954 stop tail piece except the customs which have the tunomatic bridge
    0 = 1960

    If the LP serial numbers begins with CR then it is a chambered historic reissue,

    CR7 is a chambered 1957 reissue.

    :BEER
     
  5. mike80

    mike80 Member

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    Thanks for asking this question. I wondered about that myself.
     
  6. Blind Rat

    Blind Rat Member

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    Same here.
     
  7. traviswalk

    traviswalk In the Great State Gold Supporting Member

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    Same here, thanks for asking! I've been calling my 1959 Reissue the wrong name for some time, no wonder she hasn't responded well....R9 it is!
     
  8. LPguitarman

    LPguitarman Member

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    So what are the main differences between a Reissue built in 2008 and a new Les Paul? They still have the same tone woods. Are the electronics different? Is it chambered vs. non-chambered? Are there dimension differences? I have a 2007 Classic Antique and I love it. What am I missing?:jo

    Bump
     
  9. shawntp

    shawntp Member

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    also - were there really that many differences going on in Les Pauls between 1956-1960?

    I imagine p90 to humbucker but I for one have never understood the market for each individual year and the changes implemented in the various reissues.
     
  10. AdamGian

    AdamGian Member

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    Thanks for asking. And thanks for all the good answers. I was wondering this myself and backed away from buying a reissue because, being a Strat guy, I didn't want to bother to figure it all out.
     
  11. jcmark611

    jcmark611 Member

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    What makes Gibson "Satanic"?
     
  12. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    So - an R9 can be a reissue, a historic, and a custom shop or not? Would a classic be called an R7, R8?
     
  13. DocRock

    DocRock Supporting Member

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    My understanding is that the R series is built to the same exact standards as the originals. I think a regular Les Paul Standard from today has some modernizations to it. I know the pickups are different for sure ... they use 490T and 498T ceramic pickups. The R series is supposed to be a point-by-point reconstruction of an original from whatever year, 1957, etc. Vintage-style pickups, too. My R8 is the best Les Paul I've ever played, and it has Bustbucker pickups in it. I've owned four LP's, one of them being an original Black Beauty Custom from 1969, that had the original Pat. pickups in it. The R8 kills it, though.

    The disclaimer that I'll give, though, is that Gibson is so inconsistent. Just because it's an "R" series guitar doesn't mean it will be a good one. I played other R8's side-by-side with the one I ended up getting, and the others weren't nearly as good overall. Bottom line ... try before you buy. There is nothing in the world like a great Les Paul, but you really have to try them first. A lot of them are real dogs, sorry to say.

    Doc :)
     
  14. Tuco

    Tuco Member

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    I'm gonna be as brief as possible.

    The Gibson Custom Shop Historic Les Pauls are Gibson's best attempts at recreating the iconic Les Pauls of the '50s. Since the official program got started in the '90s, they have used many original examples as templates for their reissues. However, and the real nitpickers will agree, Gibson's Custom Shop has consistently failed to get all of the details right. Complaints have ranged from incorrect top carves to wrong glues in assembly to lack of Brazilian Rosewood to lack of top notch electronics to the dreaded truss-rod condom, and the list goes on and on. However, most would agree that they are a better choice for a "replica" than any of Gibson's other efforts.

    When compared to Gibson's other LPs, the Custom Shop gets first choice of the woods. While machines do much of the rough carving, the CS instruments do get a lot of hand shaping and other personal attention.

    The Custom Shop's program has undergone a number of changes through the years. Instruments from the '90s are well respected for their accurate neck shapes (for some reason, the necks took on more shoulder in the 2000s). However these same instruments had their flame "enhanced", something the original LPs certainly did not have.

    Also, the ABR-1s on the 2002 instruments lack a retaining wire, just like the originals. But that only lasted one year.

    In 2003, the marketing department decided that people were getting a bargain on the R8s, because while they sported flame tops often as good as the R9s, but the retail price was cheaper. So from 2003 forward, the R8 has been a plaintop burst (there are a few exceptions here and there).

    No, there weren't many differences in the original LPs between '56 and '60, except for the switch to humbuckers in '57 and the switch to a slim-taper neck in '60. Some will argue that the switch in humbuckers from long to short magnets was a profound change in PAFs, but there seem to be many detractors to this arguement.

    One should keep in mind that guitar production in the '50s involved much more hand work than today. Today's computer aided machines allow tighter tolerances and specs. Instruments from the '50s and '60s will vary more when it comes to necks shapes, top carves, and hardware placement.

    The R* designations are reserved for the Gibson Custom Shop Historic Reissue program.

    Hmm, that's a lot more than I thought I would say, and there's a lot more I could say, but unfortunately, I don't have time at this moment.
     
  15. MikeB_18

    MikeB_18 Member

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    An R9 is a Historic model as are the rest of the "R" guitars. All Historics are made in the Custom Shop.

    No, a Classic is a standard production USA model, although not to confuse you but I have seen a few Classic's that are made in the Custom Shop, however they have a stamp on the back of the neck that says Custom Shop.
     
  16. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    NO. A reissue is a historic, and historics are made by the Gibson Custom shop. A Classic is a Classic, and are made by Gibson USA.
     
  17. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    I was at Centre City looking at them and the R0 seemed to be about $1000 more than the rest, and Saul only had one. I'd like the explanation for that. :puh
     
  18. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    Not really that many difference back then. What they are doing today is marketing. It may seem confusing at first, but it's really there to help seperate their offerings. And it gives them the ability to set different price levels. It's in very general terms, and there are more than a few exceptions. Once you get into humbuckers, the models help you seperate the tops.
    Goldtop, R7
    Plain 'burst, R8
    Flame, R9
    I imagine that's the bulk of their Reissue sales.
    Then the '60's which have a thinner neck than the 50's.
    Plain, G0 (only at Guitar Center)
    Flame, R0
     
  19. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Member

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    Flame top.....and it was the only one. :)
     
  20. mkoetter

    mkoetter Member

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    So maybe this is obvious, but I guess you have to get an R0 if you want a thinner 60's neck?
     

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