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Did I get a bargain R9?

Essex Guitarist

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Joined
Jan 19, 2024
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7
New to the forum so first post looking for some advice from people that will know a lot more than I do about Les Pauls. I recently bought a 2014 R9 from a private seller in the UK. It was described as a Benchmark R9 heavy relic with wizz "beano" pafs. It came with case and all the case candy and I am very pleased with it. Beautiful guitar. Anyway, I sent an email to Gibson with pictures and they wrote back telling me that it is a benchmark R9, one of nine that were produced and personally painted and aged by Tom Murphy. Its this last bit of info that I am interested in. From what I can tell, there is a premium for Tom Murphy aged guitars (Murphy Lab). This one is pre Murphy Lab, but aged by him (as evidenced by Gibson). As far as i can tell, there is no TM signature though (I have looked around the tone pots) This was not in the description of the guitar when I bought it, so I can only assume the seller had no idea. I paid £4.5k, the condition is excellent...did I get a bargain? Thx in advance
 

Essex Guitarist

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Jan 19, 2024
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7
go read authenticating a r9 post
Yes I have read that post with interest. Mine has come with all the paperwork and seems 100% legit...right pots, correct headstock shape , tuning pegs etc etc and Gibson were happy with all the pictures I sent them. But I am taking no chances and it is going to a professional guitar builder/restorer on saturday to be looked at to make sure its the real deal (no reason for me to think otherwise but just for peace of mind)
 

Essex Guitarist

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Jan 19, 2024
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Any clue on the colour? Gibson didn’t help - I’m thinking unburst of some kind?
 

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Joined
Jan 2, 2023
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90
Nice R9! congrats!🤘 Honey lemon is what it looks like to me? Mine might be a touch lighter in shade but real similar and Gibson calls mine "Honey Lemon fade"
 

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Essex Guitarist

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2024
Messages
7
Nice R9! congrats!🤘 Honey lemon is what it looks like to me? Mine might be a touch lighter in shade but real similar and Gibson calls mine "Honey Lemon fade"
Honey Lemon - good shout (lovely guitar btw) . It does have a bit of staining next to the neck near the pick up switch, but that's the only contrasting colour to the flame top (second picture), as if they thought about doing a burst then changed their mind :)
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Messages
90
Honey Lemon - good shout (lovely guitar btw) . It does have a bit of staining next to the neck near the pick up switch, but that's the only contrasting colour to the flame top (second picture), as if they thought about doing a burst then changed their mind :)
Mine is a 2018 and Gibson changes the finish color names every year. I did some quick detective work and the finish name Gibson called your R9 back in 2014 was more than likely "Lemonburst or "Dirty Lemon" Hope this helps
 
Last edited:

MarcB

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Sep 1, 2023
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948
Did you get the COA? If so what’s the wording of the paragraph. As far as I’m aware benchmarks have a particular wording to them. Eg the name of the shop the guitar was issued too.
 
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Messages
90
I sent an email to Gibson with pictures and they wrote back telling me that it is a benchmark R9, one of nine that were produced and personally painted and aged by Tom Murphy. Its this last bit of info that I am interested in. From what I can tell, there is a premium for Tom Murphy aged guitars (Murphy Lab). This one is pre Murphy Lab, but aged by him (as evidenced by Gibson). As far as i can tell, there is no TM signature though (I have looked around the tone pots) This was not in the description of the guitar when I bought it, so I can only assume the seller had no idea. I paid £4.5k, the condition is excellent...did I get a bargain? Thx in advance
If you can verify with proof Murphy did the work then you definitely got a great deal! There are no Murphy R9's under $5K(usd) trust me i looked when i was shopping for my R9. at that time they were all $7K and up used. Here is a example, https://jimmywallaceguitars.com/products/gibson-custom-shop-les-paul-r9 This varies of course but as a baseline i would say IF he was involved then the price you paid was a Bargin IMHO. I would have definitely paid the amount you paid as long as i could verify his involvement with the painting and aging.
 

Essex Guitarist

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2024
Messages
7
Did you get the COA? If so what’s the wording of the paragraph. As far as I’m aware benchmarks have a particular wording to them. Eg the name of the shop the guitar was issued too.

New to the forum so first post looking for some advice from people that will know a lot more than I do about Les Pauls. I recently bought a 2014 R9 from a private seller in the UK. It was described as a Benchmark R9 heavy relic with wizz "beano" pafs. It came with case and all the case candy and I am very pleased with it. Beautiful guitar. Anyway, I sent an email to Gibson with pictures and they wrote back telling me that it is a benchmark R9, one of nine that were produced and personally painted and aged by Tom Murphy. Its this last bit of info that I am interested in. From what I can tell, there is a premium for Tom Murphy aged guitars (Murphy Lab). This one is pre Murphy Lab, but aged by him (as evidenced by Gibson). As far as i can tell, there is no TM signature though (I have looked around the tone pots) This was not in the description of the guitar when I bought it, so I can only assume the seller had no idea. I paid £4.5k, the condition is excellent...did I get a bargain? Thx in advance
STAND DOWN everyone - i just got a follow up email from Gibson. The very helpful chap has done some more digging through the log books at the custom shop and my specific guitar (which was a run of 9 benchmark aged r9's) was not aged by Tom himself but his colleague - so not quite the provenance they had led me to believe from their earlier response. Never mind, i'm still over the moon with it. But - a bit more mystery maybe ? I have just gone through all the case candy and noticed some Tedeschi Trucks Band 2019 tour after show passes in the case ?! was it owned by Derek Trucks haha? (it does have "beano" pick ups which I think he uses?) ... I will probably never know. Lets just play the thing and enjoy it.
 

Essex Guitarist

New member
Joined
Jan 19, 2024
Messages
7
STAND DOWN everyone - i just got a follow up email from Gibson. The very helpful chap has done some more digging through the log books at the custom shop and my specific guitar (which was a run of 9 benchmark aged r9's) was not aged by Tom himself but his colleague - so not quite the provenance they had led me to believe from their earlier response. Never mind, i'm still over the moon with it. But - a bit more mystery maybe ? I have just gone through all the case candy and noticed some Tedeschi Trucks Band 2019 tour after show passes in the case ?! was it owned by Derek Trucks haha? (it does have "beano" pick ups which I think he uses?) ... I will probably never know. Lets just play the thing and enjoy it.
More digging has revealed the previous owner of this guitar was Thomas Nilsen (founder of Cream T pick ups) - so not Derek Trucks lol - but does explain the connection as from what I have found online, he made bespoke pick ups for Derek Trucks as well as Billy Gibbons and Keith Richards....
 
Last edited:

corpse

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Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,876
Just to clarify- I didn't pay $1000 for a HM- but I did pay $4600 for an RDS from the guy that paid $1K for the guitar. A very nice piece with a stinger.
I think it sold last year for over $8k- it has been for sale several times. I do miss it but love the ones in between.
 
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