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Did you upgrade your Reissues?

tpvl

New member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
7
Hi guys, just bought a brand new 2020 R8 and I'm so excited. I have been wondering how many of you upgraded your Reissues? Pickups, bridge, pots and caps? I don't know I should call it "upgrade" because I don't know how good or bad Gibson uses.

I have a few sets of PAF style pickups laying around, so I'm not really looking for pickups. But should I also change pots, caps and all that?
 

mjross

Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
76
Congrats! My CME Spec R8 was perfect right out the case. Thought I was going to make a bunch of mods but it was just right the way it is. You might just play your new R8 for a while than make your decision. Might surprise you, nothing wrong with stock. Rock on sir!
 

DANELECTRO

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2003
Messages
6,200
My 2018 R9 and 2020 R8 are the first Historics that I have been perfectly happy with in stock form. All of the hardware looks great, the Custombuckers excellent, and the electronics are just fine. I don't plan to change anything other than strings.
 

Tim Plains

Active member
Joined
Aug 1, 2013
Messages
708
2019/newer already come with paper in oil caps, so no need to replace them.

Maybe measure your pots to see if they all measure near/above 500K. Personally, I don't think it's worth replacing pots just for the taper but some older Gibson 500K pots I had measured in the low 400s.

Pickups are one of those things you can either leave them or experiment with replacement sets. Again, 2019/newer already come with unpotted sets.
 

tpvl

New member
Joined
Jun 28, 2021
Messages
7
Congrats! My CME Spec R8 was perfect right out the case. Thought I was going to make a bunch of mods but it was just right the way it is. You might just play your new R8 for a while than make your decision. Might surprise you, nothing wrong with stock. Rock on sir!
Saw a brand new CME R8, unbelievably light (7lbs 15oz), it was sold less than a day. :(
 

rockabilly69

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2001
Messages
2,640
My 2010 R0 is dead stock, and so is my 2014 R7, other than some RS Steel tailpiece studs that were gifted to me, and they didn't change the sound at all!
My 2019 R4 has a Mojoaxe tailpiece, but I bought it used and that's what it came with!
 

Keefoman

Active member
Joined
Nov 4, 2009
Messages
506
I have an R8 and an R0 Special, both 2006. The R8 has gotten RS electronics with Jensen caps, Tonepros lightweight and aged bridge and tailpiece and the mapleflame mod. The Special has gotten RS Electronics with bumble bee caps, Pigtail tailpiece and studs and Grover tulip tuners.
 

mjross

Member
Joined
May 11, 2019
Messages
76
Stock is where it’s at! This just might be me but I buy my guitars just like I buy my cars. I prefer “bone stock”!
 

stumphead

Active member
Joined
Dec 12, 2018
Messages
382
To answer the OP question Did You change out any parts or pickups on your R series guitars ?
yes -

I put in a German brass ABR bridge machined out of a solid billet instead of the stock cast pot metal one

I changed the screws in the pickups for high iron ones - dont ask me the specific steel number specification as I dont remember

burst buckers should be replaced - custom buckers can be very good

go with a low wind alnico 3 - non potted unless you are a pro and feedback requires wax potted pickups

steel tail piece studs - brass thumb screw washers and threaded studs

tail piece internal thread helicoil must be steel

pyramid nickel round would classic strings

oil in paper or even better teflon silver caps

potentiometers can be upgraded to more vintage specs
 

EXPLRGAB

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2020
Messages
70
2019 R8s, come with period correct frets....Some folks like them some do not...this is well documented. In early June, I decided to have the guitar refretted to 59 spec fret wire. It was not a typical nor easy decision since the period correct frets were in excellent condition, cost matters and the R8 was already terrific . Now that the refret is completed and I have had it several weeks: 1. For me, It was the right thing to do. 2. IMO, the playability and feel are spectacularly upgraded. 3. given the right guitar, I would do it again...to say I am happy with the work and the results cannot be overstated...I do not miss the nibs from a playability or cosmetic point of view. I offer this for folks who might be on the fence...It may not be right for everyone.
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,190
2019 R8s, come with period correct frets....Some folks like them some do not...this is well documented. In early June, I decided to have the guitar refretted to 59 spec fret wire. It was not a typical nor easy decision since the period correct frets were in excellent condition, cost matters and the R8 was already terrific . Now that the refret is completed and I have had it several weeks: 1. For me, It was the right thing to do. 2. IMO, the playability and feel are spectacularly upgraded. 3. given the right guitar, I would do it again...to say I am happy with the work and the results cannot be overstated...I do not miss the nibs from a playability or cosmetic point of view. I offer this for folks who might be on the fence...It may not be right for everyone.
What is paramount about what you say is you played it first and seasoned to taste. Beautiful! The OP saying "what do i need to do with this" implies you don't have your own opinion. First- get an opinion.
 

Steve Craw

Formerly Lefty Elmo
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
5,163
I upgraded my R7 with all-vintage parts, except pickup rings. PAFs, the whole nine yards. All the vintage stuff is now gone, replaced with aftermarket, repro. Throbak pickups and an RS harness sound great. In hindsight the vintage parts are about bragging rites, the guitar sounds every bit as good and looks just as cool. Given the quality of parts Gibson is using now, I probably wouldn't change anything on a newer Les Paul Historic.
 

goldtop0

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,219
Coming into the 'historic LPs' in '03 it was mostly about changing this and that then...........but not now.
Provided you find one that suits you, the parts are as per the '50s guitars sans the brazilian rosewood fretboard which isn't a biggie.
The current Custombucker pups are outstanding in my books.
 

Cav

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2014
Messages
210
I always udgrade the pickups to suit my needs. Sometimes I change the caps or the tuners as well.
 
Last edited:

El Gringo

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,482
yes -

I put in a German brass ABR bridge machined out of a solid billet instead of the stock cast pot metal one

I changed the screws in the pickups for high iron ones - dont ask me the specific steel number specification as I dont remember

burst buckers should be replaced - custom buckers can be very good

go with a low wind alnico 3 - non potted unless you are a pro and feedback requires wax potted pickups

steel tail piece studs - brass thumb screw washers and threaded studs

tail piece internal thread helicoil must be steel

pyramid nickel round would classic strings

oil in paper or even better teflon silver caps

potentiometers can be upgraded to more vintage specs
Very Impressive . You certainly have done your home work and I applaud your desire to get the best out of your instruments . Bravo ! ☀️
 

axeman565758

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 23, 2007
Messages
1,056
my '18 R7 Goldtop M2M had a bad/sticky bridge volume pot after approx 7 months. Otherwise I was happy with all electronics. I upgraded with a RS Guitarworks Vintage Prewired kit. All is perfect now.
With my '20 60th Anniv R0 M2M, everything has been fantastic. At this point I won't change a thing. I like the tone and the response, so unless something goes bad, I'm leaving as is. If it aint broke....
 
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