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So you want a gold top les paul?

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
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14,489
You have between 2.5 and 3.5k to spend.... Do you look for 2007 R7, wait a bit for some 2013's to come on the used market, or do you get an early 70's like you had in high school?
 

Tweedman

Member
Messages
1,692
I would personally go with the R7 and that comes from someone who has a 2013 Trad and also owned an early 70's Norlin.
 

ahab

Member
Messages
1,770
'07 or a '13?
I would play as many as possible until I found the one I liked (that's what I did with my 2005 R6). I'm not all that concerned with the variations that Gibson Custom has done over the years, although I realize many do track this sort of thing. When I'm shopping for a guitar, I'm really only concerned with how a guitar plays and sounds. I could really care less about hide glue or the kind of dye on the back (mine doesn't have either of these 2013 upgrades and it sounds incredible).
 

Tom CT

Old Supporting Member
Platinum Supporting Member
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17,898
The only difference in R7s over the years that might be of concern are variations in neck size and fret size. I owned a '99 with a '59 size neck (not skinny and not huge) and what I would call "standard" size Historic frets (not sure what the Dunlop # would be). My current '03 has a huge neck, and significantly smaller frets which were featured that year. The neck took some getting used to with my small hands, but I really like the fret size. As always, it's a personal, subjective thing - there's no wrong or right.
 

smolder

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
14,489
Why limit your R7 search to those two years?
From all of the reading I've been doing on multiple forums, these turn up as outstanding years for Gibson Custom shop wood and manufacturing. I'm not looking at those exclusively, but they seem to be prime years and it made the choices simpler for the sake of this discussion. Would love to hear other opinions... I'm on a fact finding mission after all.
 

kracdown

Custom User Title
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,978
Get an R7. Any year. My 2012 is still the best I've tried. This was just as the 2013's started coming out. No price reduction. Sounded and played better.
 

Steve Ouimette

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
562
I've had two R7 Goldtops and I never fell in love with either. Had three 70's, routed-for-humbuckers, pancake-body, heavy-as-all-get-out Deluxe's and loved every single one many time more. Don't know if it was because the music of an era I loved was made with those guitars or they simply "had it" but I'm still wishing every day that I hadn't sold any of them.

An R7 is a fine guitar, maybe I just prefer 70's LP's.
 

Strat58

Member
Messages
2,152
Hi would be still be playing mine 78 custom if itwasn't that heavy, I am happy now with lighter custom shop Gibsons. Mine back is thanking me for that desicion :)
Peace Strat58
 

eflatminor

Senior Member
Messages
2,284
I'd go for the 2013 model.

From what I've read, 2013 is the year when the gold tops where not only made closest to the originals in appearance, color, etc (still not exact of course) and the use of hot hide glue, but it was also the first year in which they removed that darn 'rubber' from the truss rod. I just can't stand the idea of a plastic insert inside the neck.

While I've not compared and contrasted every model you're considering, I have played many gold tops over the years and several of the 2013s. The 13s are the best sounding/playing examples I've come across. Like you, I'm holding out for nice used example.

Alternatively, if finances allow, you can get any recent Custom Shop gold top and send it to Kim LaFleur at Historic Makeovers for a top carve, Brazilian rosewood fingerboard, real inlays, and maybe some Throbak, Bare Knuckle, or other top notch pickups. Now that's gold top heaven!
 

Killcrop

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,783
Any year R7 is going to be pretty darn good. I have an '01 that is just huge sounding. I also have a '13 R9. As others have stated the biggest difference is the neck. From '06 or so on the necks have a little less shoulder. I don't really know if there is any benefit to hot hide glue.

I nice Gold Top is the prefect guitar. My number one for almost 13 years.
 

schristie

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,229
I own an 07 R7 so I'm biased, after half a dozen LP's over the years I found the right one for me. Amazing guitar IMO.
 

killer blues

Member
Messages
3,397
You have between 2.5 and 3.5k to spend.... Do you look for 2007 R7, wait a bit for some 2013's to come on the used market, or do you get an early 70's like you had in high school?
I could care less about the screw counting crap and go with another '96-'99 R7. Some damn good wood there and excellent sounding to boot.
 

Tom CT

Old Supporting Member
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
17,898
I've had two R7 Goldtops and I never fell in love with either. Had three 70's, routed-for-humbuckers, pancake-body, heavy-as-all-get-out Deluxe's and loved every single one many time more.
Opposite experience. My '69 P-90 Goldtop, routed for humbuckers, was a tone turd. The three R7s I've owned have all been far superior in sound and playability in my experience.
 






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