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2012 R7 darkback, WTF?

wild.joz

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Mar 19, 2008
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I was at my favourite shop this afternoon, and grabbed a 2012 R7 darkback from the wall, to test drive it.
I don't know what they're thinking, but solid black has never been a shade of darkback in my book...

Are they all like that?
 

D'Mule

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Some can be very dark chocolate brown, like mine, but none should be opaque. Should still be able to see the grain.
 

vintage58

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Several years back (around 2003 or 2004), Dave's Guitar Shop offered a limited run of "darker"-back goldtops — these guitars featured a back color that is, as far as I'm concerned, as close as the Historic Collection has ever gotten to an historically correct goldtop back color. In terms of its darkness and transparency, the color was almost directly between the current "lightback" color and the current darkback color. It would be great if Gibson did another run of those now. Also, I do recall that last year there was a small run of R-4 goldtops and R-6 goldtops in Japan that had a back color called "ginger back," which looked good and was a little darker than the standard goldtop back color.
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J.D.

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Yes the correct color is a transparent walnut color, and Kim at Historic Makeovers nails it. I think Wildwood did a recent run that had this color pretty close (I didn't see Dave's run).
 

tdarian

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2011 WW Spec R7:

Picture017-1.jpg
 

vintage58

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That's a cool color, thanks for posting. The Dave's run from 2003/4 was darker and slightly more opaque than that. I think there were only like ten guitars in the run, but they looked really great.... not sure why Gibson didn't do any more of those.
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Steve Craw

Formerly Lefty Elmo
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Sep 9, 2004
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I had a makeover done on my R6. I love the color that Gord Miller did for me.
steve_craw_003.jpg
 

moonweasel

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Jan 20, 2004
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9,427
Several years back (around 2003 or 2004), Dave's Guitar Shop offered a limited run of "darker"-back goldtops — these guitars featured a back color that is, as far as I'm concerned, as close as the Historic Collection has ever gotten to an historically correct goldtop back color. In terms of its darkness and transparency, the color was almost directly between the current "lightback" color and the current darkback color. It would be great if Gibson did another run of those now. Also, I do recall that last year there was a small run of R-4 goldtops and R-6 goldtops in Japan that had a back color called "ginger back," which looked good and was a little darker than the standard goldtop back color.
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I have one of them. "4 408X". I asked Dave in an email about it back then. I don't remember the exact details, but I believe it was a total of about 15 guitars, maybe 2/3's being R6's, the rest R4.

EDIT: I just reread your post, it sounds like what you are describing is lighter than my guitar... Maybe another limited run?

The nearly "black" dark back was the ONLY darkback until around when Dave's run was made. Then a more medium darkback similar to Dave's was available and still is. Only occasionally have I seen the older nearly black one. I always figured it was to hide an imperfection in the wood.
 

wild.joz

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Messages
1,924
Thanks guys, and nice photos.
I started this thread because I'm well aware of the different darkbaks Gibson used and uses, but it's the first time I see an r7 with a solid black back, just like the Bonamassa GT.
I should have taken a picture. I will, next time I stop at the shop.
 

hank

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1,828
Thanks guys, and nice photos.
I started this thread because I'm well aware of the different darkbaks Gibson used and uses, but it's the first time I see an r7 with a solid black back, just like the Bonamassa GT.
I should have taken a picture. I will, next time I stop at the shop.

Here's a pic of my R4 darkback and former R7 darkback. The backs are very dark but not black. I've played the Bonamassa's and they are black.

DSCN2904.jpg
 

Minibucker

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Messages
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Yeah, the 'walnut' darkback I think is particularly beautiful. Absolutely opaque black is a curious decision, methinks as well.
 

vintage58

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I agree with the sentiment expressed by the original poster, i.e., that a lot of recent darkbacks are too dark-looking or opaque-looking. Below are two photos of a 2009 darkback that I own (not a goldtop, though), shown next to a 2010 sunburst reissue that has the typical cherry-colored back. The first photo was taken with flash, whereas the lower photo is without flash. I'm generally OK with the darkback color on this guitar because it does actually have some degree of transparency to it:
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lpf_30001.jpg

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lpf_30002.jpg

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vintage58

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Apr 13, 2003
Messages
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I have one of them. "4 408X". I asked Dave in an email about it back then. I don't remember the exact details, but I believe it was a total of about 15 guitars, maybe 2/3's being R6's, the rest R4.

EDIT: I just reread your post, it sounds like what you are describing is lighter than my guitar... Maybe another limited run?
Yes, the Dave's run that I'm referring to was probably separate from the one to which your guitar belongs. But the run I'm referring to was also limited to only maybe ten or fifteen guitars. But, as I recall, they were all R-7 goldtops and they were not intended to be darkbacks, IIRC. Rather, they were supposed to be a more accurate-looking version of the natural-back goldtop color. And I do think that Gibson was successful in satisfying that criterion, as these guitars' backs were noticeably darker than the (IMO) too-light natural backs that Gibson has been offering in recent Historic Collection years. But not dark enough to be mistaken for a darkback. The serial numbers, too, were stamped in dark ink (as opposed to light-colored ink), so I don't think the guitars were 'supposed' to be darkbacks.

Anyway, since the last of these guitars sold, I've never seen them come up in any discussion threads, and I haven't seen a single one come up for sale used, nor does it appear that any further examples were ever produced. I would guess that Dave Rogers would remember them, though. I thought they were a great idea.
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Minibucker

Active member
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Jan 12, 2003
Messages
6,340
I agree with the sentiment expressed by the original poster, i.e., that a lot of recent darkbacks are too dark-looking or opaque-looking. Below are two photos of a 2009 darkback that I own (not a goldtop, though), shown next to a 2010 sunburst reissue that has the typical cherry-colored back. The first photo was taken with flash, whereas the lower photo is without flash. I'm generally OK with the darkback color on this guitar because it does actually have some degree of transparency to it:
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lpf_30001.jpg

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lpf_30002.jpg

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Yours looks like a very dark cherry. Very cool, but I always associate darkbacks with having almost no red at all and being more of a walnut-ish dark-brown stain.
 

vintage58

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Apr 13, 2003
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Yours looks like a very dark cherry. Very cool, but I always associate darkbacks with having almost no red at all and being more of a walnut-ish dark-brown stain.
It could be the camera (or its "white balance" settings) creating that impression. To see this guitar's back in person, there is no red in it at all. Just a really dark brown. Very similar to the back color one might see on a single-cutaway 1950s Les Paul Junior.
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