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Buying a 2006 era R9 what do i expect?

hopkinwfg

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2023
Messages
57
Heya Historic Gibby slingers....

I have a 2008 R8 in plain top in burbon burst which weights 4.3kg or so... it has a good tone comes with burstbuckers... pretty cool guitar...

And now am trying to getta R9 i see online whom it has great top, weights 4.1kg in my opinion it should be good , thou i hope it could have been slightly weightier....

So far its rather in pristine well used condition,it came without cert thou...

So what will i be expecting from its appointments of a 2009 era R9... ie what type of mahogany it has , what kinda maple top etc and what a good R9 tone should i expect from ?

My R8 sound beastly loud acoustically it has a very distinct high mid "quacky" immediate tone....
 

hopkinwfg

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Joined
Oct 26, 2023
Messages
57
I am a broke collector trying to get the best LP from Gibson within my means... but also a player whom trying to get close or closer to the holy grail of the LP tone....

I read many says if ya want a more historically accurate gibby getta newer modern era from 2010 onwards? Where if you want good wood package tone with less historically accurate getta 90s era ?

How true is this? Does this implies that the newer gibbies are made with less of the wood quality ? Ie: Density of the wood, grains,pores, figures and natural wood color , due to scarcity of the tone wood on specific specie....
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

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Sep 28, 2023
Messages
318
About the only thing you can learn about a guitar historically and from a distance, besides it's construction that can vary in design and quality, is its actual specs. Minus parts, that you can change, the biggest of these being the wood it is made out of.

Gibson specs were 1993 Hard Rock Maple. 1994 to 2003 Western and Eastern Maple (Hard Rock possible). 2003 to 2008 Eastern Maple (Hard Rock possible) unless specified as Western Maple, as in a Quilt Top. 2008 onward Western and Eastern Maple (Hard Rock possible). I don't know what spec is for the last 6 years. 1994 to 2003 you see more Western. So, a 2006 will most likely be Eastern Maple unless it is a Quilt Top or Special Run.

The reason I mention this is very important. Harder maple sounds brighter and Softer maple sounds darker. Most likely the reason some people prefer certain years and others prefer other. You might want to investigate this with the type of music you play to decide what you like better.

The good wood years term was coined after 2003 when spec went to Eastern Maple. Eastern Maple generally has more irregular flame. Western Maple generally has more vivid and even overall flame which other builders like PRS were using and was popular at the time. Hence the original coining of the words used by many sellers of Gibson guitars after 2003.
 
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jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,376
First, every Historic Reissue LP will be different, even within a year, so picking by year for basis of net sound based on year is not absolute.

Second, you can consider wood, and so-called 'good' but really every mahogany and maple piece used can vary, when cut and glued-up, so again, it's going to vary.

Third, electronics especially pickups mated to any guitar body/neck will probably have more net impact all other factors being equal, which as discussed above never happens -- its a hypothetical construct. You may get similar wood but never same.

Fourth, the 'other' components matter, the wiring harness, pots, caps, resistors. The bridge and posts. The stop tail. The nut material but more how well it's cut. Contributing, but less so than the pickups, I'd say. Taken together all matter as much or more than wood selection based on year.

Then, there's trad-offs between 'approaching accuracy in replication' versus the wood thesis. So, if you are more a stickler for the historic reproduction, then post-2013 and post-True Historic spec give increasing accuracy but if you believe in so-called 'good wood' then you are trading off specs.

Add to this that the earlier years have the 'truss rod condom' sheathing of the metal rod which is felt to deaden vibrations and were removed.

Add to this hide glue, especially in the neck set, but then also in the top-to-back construction.

So are you going to get a 'good wood' just to send off to Historic Makeovers for an overall... remove the TRC and re-glue the neck, and at what cost... versus getting a latter-spec model.

As you've mentioned... consider a good weight for you, but really that weight contributes to the guitar on an individual basis, too. Light weight is desirable from a playability perspective, but some heavyweights just may help when paired with the right neck and other kit.

And where do you chose to optimize based on hardware and electronics from there...?

It's all a varying recipe whose outcome can only be tasted based on an individual guitar, one's desire for historic accuracy versus tone goals... which are a matter of perception to the individual owner's preferences and ears.

Personally, I don't think the wood today is either better or worse to such an extent to override any spec change, and the random combination of the other factors outlined contribute more to the outcome. I also hope for the loud acoustically resonant angle, but again, that's no guarantee given how certain pickups behave. So you take a swing and assess, then refine.

If tone and feel matters most, apart from being a stickler to historic accuracy [excepting for how this influences tone], your best process going forward would be to play many and pick what speaks to you, then if you prefer, tweak little-by-little and gradually, making 'tasing notes' and only do what's easily reversible until you really know what you are looking for. Something which also may change over time.

Then when you are feeling confident and bold, proceed with any major change, like a Historic Makeover. And only if those changes really really matter to you, after living with the thing. Everything else may pale to what you have in-hand, and you're satisfied, so do nothing.

If you've played many and feel you found a really good one for yourself, don't overthink the year/specs.

...

PS > I have plenty from 2000 thru a current spec VOS [no Murphy Labs for me] and don't love any more or less because of any of the above factors. YMMV.
 

hopkinwfg

Member
Joined
Oct 26, 2023
Messages
57
First, every Historic Reissue LP will be different, even within a year, so picking by year for basis of net sound based on year is not absolute.

Second, you can consider wood, and so-called 'good' but really every mahogany and maple piece used can vary, when cut and glued-up, so again, it's going to vary.

Third, electronics especially pickups mated to any guitar body/neck will probably have more net impact all other factors being equal, which as discussed above never happens -- its a hypothetical construct. You may get similar wood but never same.

Fourth, the 'other' components matter, the wiring harness, pots, caps, resistors. The bridge and posts. The stop tail. The nut material but more how well it's cut. Contributing, but less so than the pickups, I'd say. Taken together all matter as much or more than wood selection based on year.

Then, there's trad-offs between 'approaching accuracy in replication' versus the wood thesis. So, if you are more a stickler for the historic reproduction, then post-2013 and post-True Historic spec give increasing accuracy but if you believe in so-called 'good wood' then you are trading off specs.

Add to this that the earlier years have the 'truss rod condom' sheathing of the metal rod which is felt to deaden vibrations and were removed.

Add to this hide glue, especially in the neck set, but then also in the top-to-back construction.

So are you going to get a 'good wood' just to send off to Historic Makeovers for an overall... remove the TRC and re-glue the neck, and at what cost... versus getting a latter-spec model.

As you've mentioned... consider a good weight for you, but really that weight contributes to the guitar on an individual basis, too. Light weight is desirable from a playability perspective, but some heavyweights just may help when paired with the right neck and other kit.

And where do you chose to optimize based on hardware and electronics from there...?

It's all a varying recipe whose outcome can only be tasted based on an individual guitar, one's desire for historic accuracy versus tone goals... which are a matter of perception to the individual owner's preferences and ears.

Personally, I don't think the wood today is either better or worse to such an extent to override any spec change, and the random combination of the other factors outlined contribute more to the outcome. I also hope for the loud acoustically resonant angle, but again, that's no guarantee given how certain pickups behave. So you take a swing and assess, then refine.

If tone and feel matters most, apart from being a stickler to historic accuracy [excepting for how this influences tone], your best process going forward would be to play many and pick what speaks to you, then if you prefer, tweak little-by-little and gradually, making 'tasing notes' and only do what's easily reversible until you really know what you are looking for. Something which also may change over time.

Then when you are feeling confident and bold, proceed with any major change, like a Historic Makeover. And only if those changes really really matter to you, after living with the thing. Everything else may pale to what you have in-hand, and you're satisfied, so do nothing.

If you've played many and feel you found a really good one for yourself, don't overthink the year/specs.

...

PS > I have plenty from 2000 thru a current spec VOS [no Murphy Labs for me] and don't love any more or less because of any of the above factors. YMMV.
Appreciate your long write out.... yeah its kinda compelling on terms like wood,hardwares, etc.... but its always good to know what kinda wood package we be getting since we pour hard earn cash on these expensive gears....

Now the thing on tubeless trussrod, when did gibson started using them? Its a blue color sleeve that acts as a dampner on vibrations...? it sort of perturbs me after watching a video about truss rod... stating that a well snug groove where the truss rod lies should be snug fit tight and wouldnt require a "tube" or sleeve to fill up the gaps.... unless gibson has the groove slot routed big ?
 

hopkinwfg

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Joined
Oct 26, 2023
Messages
57
Can someone provide a reference to the definition of “hard rock” maple as opposed to eastern. I couldn’t find any.
Think the eastern maple is also known as harder maple... hard maple are normally used for Charvel,ibanez,jackson where are normally flatsawn.... i presume the term eastern maple were sourced off from that family tree with good flame and figures?
 

jb_abides

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2005
Messages
5,376
Appreciate your long write out.... yeah its kinda compelling on terms like wood,hardwares, etc.... but its always good to know what kinda wood package we be getting since we pour hard earn cash on these expensive gears....

Now the thing on tubeless trussrod, when did gibson started using them? Its a blue color sleeve that acts as a dampner on vibrations...? it sort of perturbs me after watching a video about truss rod... stating that a well snug groove where the truss rod lies should be snug fit tight and wouldnt require a "tube" or sleeve to fill up the gaps.... unless gibson has the groove slot routed big ?

Gibson has used them in some form as early as the 60s but we'll restrict the answer to the Historic Reissues from the Custom Shop: they've had them since 1993 and removed them in 2013, coinciding with the switch to more historically accurate hide glue. A principal reason for sheathing was to prohibit modern glues from interfering with the movement of the metal rod, whereas this was never an issue with hide glue. Most likely nothing to do with fitting the groove per se, although folks did notice a benefit of having the condom was a reduction in metal rattle.

Folks state the presence of the blue sheath 'condom' created a dampening effect which hurts vibration/sustain. This is anecdotal observed phenomena; very hard to measure with any objective verifiable evidence or metric. Yet the condom kept the truss rod functional whilst using modern glue (Franklin Titebond, if I recall correctly)... obviously very necessary. Once Gibson switched to back to hide glue, they reverted to no condom... AKA a 'free ride'.
 

Subliminal lanimilbuS

Active member
Joined
Sep 28, 2023
Messages
318
I just wanted to add in here that from a distance all you can really tell about a guitar are its specs. You can't tell if a guitar was built poorly, has an inferior design or doesn't sound good without having it in your hands.
 

60thR0

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Joined
Nov 1, 2021
Messages
65
That doesn’t answer my question. I’m asking the difference between eastern and rock maple. In fact the website you are referencing for rock maple doesn’t have a seperate entry for eastern maple.

However after digging around on that site it seems that the hard or rock maple is simply a commercial categorisation of the lumber based on density. It’s not a specific species as noted in the definition of so-called soft maple:. https://www.wood-database.com/soft-maple/
From that page:
Common Name(s): Soft maple

Botanical Designation: Not a distinct species of maple. Soft maple is a commercial term meant to differentiate the wood of some types of maple from hard maple (Acer saccharum).

OK so basically if it’s not “hard” on the janga scale then it’s “soft” maple. On this page they say there is a huge difference in janga hardness between hard maple and, well anything else (almost 1500 vs around 800). But how does that come about given it’s the same species? And if it’s just natural variation based on location (caused by say mineral content) then wouldn’t it be a continuum of hardness, not a huge step change from all other types of maple up to “hard” maple which is much much harder and yet is the same species (as “soft” maple)? It still doesn’t make sense to me.
 
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Subliminal lanimilbuS

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Sep 28, 2023
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Generally speaking, using pieces of maple with the same moisture content, Hard Rock Maple is heaviest. There is no strict definition or cutoff point that I know of in describing Hard Rock Maple. Sugar maple (Acer Saccharum) grows in the following regions - Nova Scotia and New Brunswick westward to Ontario and Manitoba, southward through Minnesota eastern Kansas into Northeastern Texas, eastward to New York and back up to Canada. Generally speaking, in terms of these locations, the farther north you go the denser it gets. Black Maple (Acer Nigrum), although less dense than Acer Saccharum, is also considered a hard maple. Acer Saccharum and Acer Nigrum can cross with each other so once again a strict definition is hard to define.

I am sure Gibson has used both and trying to figure out what you have in a finished guitar would be hard, unless it came with some kind of documentation saying so. Best chance of finding a guitar from Gibson with Hard Rock Maple documentation would be to search out early 2000 guitars produced for Yamano in Japan. Also, the 1993 guitars I mentioned above, but I don't think many were made.

There are most likely Hard Rock Maple guitars in many years of Gibson production, but I have absolutely no idea how to tell. I could post a picture of my 2011 guitar that is supposed to have it, but I don't think it would be any help. Looking at Maple including Silver Maple, Red Maple, Big Leaf Maple, Mountain Maple, Black Maple and Sugar Maple it is hard to see that much of a difference. Other than maybe the Hard Maples having mineral streaks in a lot of them. One thing you could maybe tell is the region it came from as trees grown in colder climates generally have tighter growth rings. Tighter growth rings generally means denser. All of these Maples grow in Michigan where Gibson was building the Les Paul's in the 50's.
 
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hopkinwfg

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Oct 26, 2023
Messages
57
I generally think it would be quite easy to know between an eastern flame maple vs western flame maple due to a richer hue or shade on western maple flame....

But think it be a task to see and tell if its western or eastern on R8 which has a plain maple top.... or R8 pain tops uses only eastern maple?
 

Wizard1183

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Jan 20, 2018
Messages
787
I am a broke collector trying to get the best LP from Gibson within my means... but also a player whom trying to get close or closer to the holy grail of the LP tone....

I read many says if ya want a more historically accurate gibby getta newer modern era from 2010 onwards? Where if you want good wood package tone with less historically accurate getta 90s era ?

How true is this? Does this implies that the newer gibbies are made with less of the wood quality ? Ie: Density of the wood, grains,pores, figures and natural wood color , due to scarcity of the tone wood on specific specie....
And what EXACTLY is this holy grail tone you’re after? Or trying to emulate? I’ll first ask what amp or you using? Cause much of that “tone” is the amp they used. Are you using same model?
 

hopkinwfg

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Joined
Oct 26, 2023
Messages
57
And what EXACTLY is this holy grail tone you’re after? Or trying to emulate? I’ll first ask what amp or you using? Cause much of that “tone” is the amp they used. Are you using same model?
I know where ya coming from.... just like to say after i heard Gary moore's parisienne walkways it literally blew me off... the tone is so fat yet tight and crunchy...


I just generally percieve the gibson tone to be this... i have no idea what pickup is has probably this the current greenie hold on by Krik Hammet ?

And from then i took note of what Gary moore said about how he spot a toneful guitar... as he then replied: he just picked it up and play the les paul acoustically and hear the tone ringing sustain....

I now own two gibson R7 BB, R8 in solid plain maple top and a 2023 Heritage H150, all these guitars has that distinctive high mid tone when i played them acoustically... but the gibson R8 is more pronounced and louder acoustically sustain is also crazily badass.... the Heritage H150 sounded more warm and less of the high mid bark of the gibsons...

I play thru Fryette UL, Mark IV and Wizard MTL... am a metal guy.... am happy with the gibsons so far
 
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