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Historic Makeovers: R7 -> R9

brandall10

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Jun 26, 2022
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38
The 2007 goldtop I bought from Saul was also converted to a Burst !

I believe thats because I got a ridiculous deal on it and then remorse set in that I could not see the Maple

Oh cool, any photos to share?

Yeah, the deal I got on this was silly.... IIRC something like $1910 out of the door in late 2005 (so $1750ish before taxes). I believe MAP was $2600 back then.
 
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jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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3,263
Oh wow, I tuned out from online forums for several years and had no idea what happened. Routinely drove past that store as it's on a major street in downtown San Diego, and one day (late '00s?) noticed it was gone.

So I guess this was a temporary state of affairs as online sales are obviously still very much a thing?

I did much of my business virtually with Saul, but visited the shop several times given I had lots of business travel to Sand Dog! I got pics somewhere....

Yup, there was a consolidation to mega-dealers (GC, et al) under HJ until things didn't work out. And inconsistent treatment as some of the top-tierc dealers that we still know and love were permitted to post, others were not. Maybe [pure speculation] Saul was given the change to go all in Gibson and dump PRS, or something else, I don't know... But he was one of several who hung it up.
 

brandall10

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Jun 26, 2022
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Found pics... here's a shot of Centre City circa 2000.

View attachment 18593

I believe that's Saul's mom who he pressed into service :cool:

Wow, thank you for sharing, great to jog the memory of what I remember to be a super fun day. That shop certainly looks larger than I recall, definitely more guitars. IIRC when I was there everything on the right side of this wall was PRS, dragons/artists mostly. Everything to the left was the R4 -> R8s and customs, and on the front wall above the window seemed to the R9s.

Another super cool shop in San Diego was Guitars West, 40 miles north of this one. Have fond memories of ordering a Matchless 2x10 chieftain from them during the summer of '95. Remember visiting it often to ogle their selection of Tom Andersons and PRS Artists.
 

Dr. Green

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Dec 12, 2018
Messages
618
Found pics... here's a shot of Centre City circa 2000.

View attachment 18593

I believe that's Saul's mom who he pressed into service :cool:

God does this bring back memories - now Folks image walking into this store as I did in 2003 and Saul says to you " I have R4, R6, R7, R8, R9 and R0 all with Brazilian boards - I can give you a fantastic deal on any of them "

He had 2 Rossington Historic display cases with a Les Paul in one and a SG in the other right at the spot that this photo was taken.

He has the best selection of the ridiculously ornate Ultima Les Paul Historics

Riddle me this Batman : " when is a R7 not an R7 ? " ..... " when there is a R9 underneath "
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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God does this bring back memories - now Folks image walking into this store as I did in 2003 and Saul says to you " I have R4, R6, R7, R8, R9 and R0 all with Brazilian boards - I can give you a fantastic deal on any of them "

Plus he had cool builds like Koa-tops from the Custom Shop.

Also ample Quilty 356s, oddball Customs... and plenty of TV Yellow and TV White Specials / Juniors.

Even some Pilot Run prototypes, he must've had a good 'in' with the CS folks at the time.

I have pics of his Gibson safe, display cases, banners, and amps, plus cool stock. Perhaps someday I will make a thread.
 

brandall10

Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2022
Messages
38
God does this bring back memories - now Folks image walking into this store as I did in 2003 and Saul says to you " I have R4, R6, R7, R8, R9 and R0 all with Brazilian boards - I can give you a fantastic deal on any of them "

He had 2 Rossington Historic display cases with a Les Paul in one and a SG in the other right at the spot that this photo was taken.

He has the best selection of the ridiculously ornate Ultima Les Paul Historics

Riddle me this Batman : " when is a R7 not an R7 ? " ..... " when there is a R9 underneath "

The guy definitely seemed to be keenly aware of what guitar fanatics loved. Had a similar purchasing experience at the equally great/loved and now defunct Buffalo Brothers in Carlsbad when purchasing an acoustic. Said up front what my budget was and was hoping to get, and they took care of me for hours just bringing me guitar after guitar. They even brought me was I believe was a war time D45 w/ a $125k price tag on it (2001 mind you) to play for a moment lol. That experience and working w/ Saul were literally the two best purchasing experiences of my life. Glad to see he is loved/remembered so many years after.

In some ways I feel like it would be a crime to ever sell this particular instrument because how I purchased it was special, so happy I'm going through w/ this HM makeover and it turned out like I had hoped it would. Unfortunately I'll be out of the country for the next 6 weeks and have it shipped to my folks so it'll be a minute before we're reunited.
 

brandall10

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Jun 26, 2022
Messages
38
Looks like eastern maple to me.
Why? The crossgrain, lack of mineral streaks, lack of movement at different angles is what I associate w/ western. Though maybe I'm off and it's about the cut of the wood, QS or whatnot.
 
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Dr. Green

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Dec 12, 2018
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618
it looks good - thats one heck of a R7

you reminded me about the special editions Saul sold - all the trippy green Areosmith models - Zac Wilde models - Koa Customs - CUSTOM COLORS - Black beauties - he might have had a Jazz box L5 on occasion ,,,,,,

Buffalo Bros ? - Oh my God I remember playing some INSANE guitars there.

I passed on a Froggy Bottom which they had only just started producing - it was an amazing guitar - and it was cheap ! - crap

when I mentioned my regret to the owner years later he said " dont tell me about it- I can tell you stories about vintage Tele Blackguards and Bursts I regret not keeping "

plus you could walk in there and pick up stuff like a Travis Bean or a Trainwreck amp or a blonde bassman or a vintage plexi .... I may have seen a Dumble in there.

only thing I actually bought there was a National Tricone
 

jb_abides

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Apr 6, 2005
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Any parts changes or other mods apart from (...or a part of!) the HM work?
 

J.D.

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May 24, 2006
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9,908
That guitar looks spectacular! Hope it plays and sounds as good as it looks. I can't imagine any one of us here being less than thrilled with that guitar.
 

Joshabr1

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Apr 25, 2021
Messages
98
Why? The crossgrain, lack of mineral streaks, lack of movement at different angles is what I associate w/ western. Though maybe I'm off and it's about the cut of the wood, QS or whatnot.
Not all eastern maple has mineral streaks. Plenty of burst didn’t have them. Big leaf (western) is a straighter looking grain than yours. To me. But I may be wrong. It’s a beautiful top regardless
 

Amp360

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Feb 16, 2012
Messages
345
Saul was awesome, he put me in a soundproof room w/ a hand-wired bluesbreaker and hand fed me Les Pauls for 4 hours. Every single one that came off the wall went on a scale on the counter.

After about 45 minutes how could you tell any difference? Sounds like a fun way to spend a day, though!
 
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