Question about Tom Murphy R9's

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Eskimo_Joe, Feb 9, 2008.

  1. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    Trying to educate myself a bit. Is there any difference between a regular R9 and a Tom Murphy R9 other than looks? I played some Les Pauls yesterday and the Tom Murphy was the best sounding and I wondered if the was a specific reason for that or if it was a coincidence. Thanks!
     
  2. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    It's funny, I've owned 7 R9s, and my latest and only one is a Murphy (my first). To me, they all sounded great....each one a little different, but great in their own way. So I sprung for this Murphy. Feels especially great and sounds great....but not necessarily 'better' than the others, again, just a bit different with its own character. But the funny thing is, that while my player friends liked my other LPs, every one has commented on the amazing mojo this Murphy seems to have. Mind you, I have trouble making that distinction, but for whatever reason, others seem to find some special magic in this one. So I ask....is it really special even in the rarified company of Historics, or is their perception effected by the fact that the Murphy label is presumed to yield a special product? Not sure myself yet. Great guitar though!
     
  3. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I was asking the same thing. I asked several store owners and each had a different answer. Some said that Gibson just ships a bunch of LPs to Murphy and he ages them. Others said that Gibson ships the better LPs to Murphy to age.

    All I know is, I've had some awesome LPs in my day and some great Historics. Then one day my local dealer let me take 8 Historics and 3 Murphy's home. Overall, the 3 Murphy's sounded better to me and one in particular was heads above the others. I bought that one, sold off my two Historics and haven't wanted another.
     
  4. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    Cool, thanks for the responses! The theory that Gibson would ship the better ones to Murphy seems to make sense. I think that's what I'd do if I was them.

    Anyway, a couple other questions...

    - the one I played is used and has some dings here and there. It doesn;t bother me, but I was curious if they come that way (does Murphy go as far as to put a few dings in them), or are the dings a result of the first owner?

    - What's the going rate for an R9 Murphy? This one is a tobacco burst, a 2005. The top is nice, but not as extreme as some you might see. The shop wants $6200. Is that high?

    Thanks again! I offically have Les Paul fever now. :)
     
  5. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    Mine has a couple of minor dings, not much. They retail for about $11K so that is about right, maybe a bit high.
     
  6. bfoster

    bfoster Member

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    I thought I would jump in on this one on the price issue.

    I bought a new 2007 R9 Murphy for less than what you have above. I think if you do a little shopping and talking to shops and some of the online dealers you should be able to get a better deal than that, but as always some of the tops just seem to command a higher price than others.
     
  7. soldano16

    soldano16 Member

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    The story I heard is that he picks the ones he works on.
     
  8. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    Yes, they come with a reasonable amount of dings and what looks like normal wear, especially near the binding/edges where you'd expect to see it on a 'well loved' LP. The vast majority, if not all of them, are probably not the doings of the previous owner. Around $6000 is about right for a new one, a few hundred less for pre-owned.
     
  9. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    I would definately try to play a few.
     
  10. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    I know, that's the tough part. It would be hard to by a guitar that I haven't played. For me, and everyone I think, you can only tell if you're going to dig it by playing it, no matter how great it looks or whatever. I'll probably take a trip up to Chicago or something.
     
  11. GAT

    GAT Gold Supporting Member

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    If you like the Murphy at the store, just make them a lower offer. Maybe pull up some ads off the internet and ebay and just make them a fair offer.
     
  12. Kappy

    Kappy Member

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    It's funny there was one at a shop near me a couple years back. I would have bought it if it weren't $10k (on consignment). Felt and sounded great.
     
  13. Red Suede

    Red Suede Member

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    I heard the same thing as soldano16. Tom Murphy would go down the line and listen to the ones he would work on. How would the employees know the good ones from the bad ones? I just knew the same qualities he liked about Les Pauls I liked too, for the most part.
     
  14. TNJ

    TNJ Gold Supporting Member

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    I've owned 2 Murphy's...one R9 and one R7.
    Loved 'em both...especially the R7.
    I'd love to have THAT one back. :(
    I do think that Murphy has a vote in the selection process...and that man has some amazing ears.
    I've not heard a bad one in the ones I've played.

    One day, I'll have another.

    Maybe next year with the bonus $$.
    :D
    Until then, my '04 R7 with Wolfetones is gettin' it done.

    S.
    j
     
  15. Eskimo_Joe

    Eskimo_Joe Rocker, roller, way out of controller Supporting Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback you guys!
     
  16. BluePowder

    BluePowder Member

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    I've never played or even seen a real Murphy in the flesh, but I have the utmost respect for what this guy does.

    To all the Murphy fans, here's a couple of Murphy videos I watched the other day on youtube. Here he tells the whole story of how he started out, his process of aging the guitars, etc. The videos are lengthy and can be slightly boring to some I admit, but all in all I found it very interesting.
    What really strikes me is the amount of sheer passion he has for his craft.

    Really cool guy!

    http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=tom+murphy+gibson+guitars&search_type=

    Hope you guys enjoy them!
     
  17. tonedaddy

    tonedaddy Member

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    Very cool, thanks for the link!
    :AOK
     
  18. tj1004

    tj1004 Member

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  19. Drowned Rabbit

    Drowned Rabbit Black Beauty Beats Burst

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    I have an '05 Murphy and I've heard both stories about how they are chosen as well. Could never get a definitive answer. I do know that my Murphy is the best LP I've ever played, and I've played a few. Part of that is undoubtedly the WolfTone Legend PUPs in mine (really sweet 'buckers). Another thing that most likely adds to my appreciation is the somewhat esoteric nature of a Murphy Les Paul. You don't see them everyday and they have a kind of mystique around them for many people (including me). Not to mention the expense.

    Last thing. My buddy's got a real '68 LP. Total road warrior and I drool over it every time I pick it up. It just FEELS SO GOOD! That's what the Murphy feels like. Comfortable. Any of you remember your Father's shotgun when you were a kid? I Remember when my Dad started teaching me about hunting, how to properly and safely handle a weapon. There's nothing quite like that experience. And even when I got old enough and got my own .410, it never felt as good in my hands as my Dad's 12 gauge. Well, for me, picking up a Murphy is a tiny bit like that. It's a guitar worthy of being passed down a generation or two.
     

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