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Recent R9s / R8s with darker "wine red" back color

martie6621

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Joined
Dec 9, 2001
Messages
436
Have noticed seeing more and more Historic R9s and R8s coming out of the factory with deep wine red backs. Some are so dark, it almost blends over the black inked serial number. Some are even close to purple. While I liked this color when it was common on SG Specials back in the late 60s era (see Pete Townshends SGs), I am not used to seeing it on Historic Les Pauls (or the real ones)

Anyone else noticed this? Why the change from the cherry red color? Whazzup here?
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
4,437
This is exactly the color of my latest M2M Les Paul that came to me last year .
 

axeman565758

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Joined
Jan 23, 2007
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1,042
which is why went the opposite way with my 60th Ann R0 M2M.
I went with a dark brown stain. 2 pics below. left after stain/pre-nitro and right pic, R0 on left, my '18 R7 GT M2M on right
 

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Arnold M.

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Mar 29, 2018
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230
my TH came with a very dark almost plum reddish back, much too dark in my humble opinion ... a few good doses of July UV rays fixed the colour pretty quickly
 

harleytech

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Joined
May 19, 2017
Messages
61
My 2020 R8 has the same type of dark back also... I kind of like it though...
It looks like a dark back on a Gold top kind of...
 
Last edited:

renderit

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Jan 19, 2009
Messages
10,072
I think a lot of the older ones (prior to True Historic) were maybe a little TOO red. The darker hits closer to my memory of them (back in the 70's).

I have both and love them both.

Actually the brighter red is the reason I bought 'Skid Mark' (r8) because it was so neat with the Yellow burst.
 

DANELECTRO

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Feb 24, 2003
Messages
6,198
The original backs were medium-red in color. Of course many faded to orange or brown, but unless they were exposed to extreme levels of grime, nicotine, etc, they really did not darken. As they fade, they lighten in color. Here are 66 different examples of 1959 bursts for reference.

Burst Backs 2.jpg Burst Backs 1.jpg
 

Wizard1183

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Jan 20, 2018
Messages
148
my TH came with a very dark almost plum reddish back, much too dark in my humble opinion ... a few good doses of July UV rays fixed the colour pretty quickly
You must have a lot of clouds in your area.....I put it in the sun? It'll be almost light tan in color from the heat.
 

brandtkronholm

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Joined
Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,206
The original backs were medium-red in color. Of course many faded to orange or brown, but unless they were exposed to extreme levels of grime, nicotine, etc, they really did not darken. As they fade, they lighten in color. Here are 66 different examples of 1959 bursts for reference.

That pretty much looks like the same spectrum of "medium-red" that I've seen on any reissue.
 

brandtkronholm

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Dec 3, 2006
Messages
2,206
My point. So what’s with the Merlot backs all coming out now ?
Ah...I see.
I haven't noticed this phenomenon, but then I haven't needed to go to a guitar shop for several years - and I haven't been in over a year!
Could it be photos - or are you seeing this color in-person?
 

DharmaBum

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Joined
Mar 16, 2020
Messages
3
My 60th R9 has a very dark, deep wine red back. Perhaps not historically correct, but I like it a lot.
 

6L6

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Mar 30, 2002
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I assumed the darker red backs were more like the originals when they were new?
 

Big Al

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Apr 24, 2002
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14,294
The originals were cherry red. Same as Jrs and SGs. Not a fan of the new darker color on replica guitars as I always liked the deep cherry pore filled mahogany. That said, the prior cherry pore filled finish was often too light possibly from omitting the transparent cherry red coat over the sealed pore filled backs as per 50's.
 
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guitarbob123

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Jan 2, 2009
Messages
172
The problem Gibson haven’t clocked is that if they’re going to do the back in the same manner as the originals left the factory, then surely they should be doing the tops in a similar way?

It’s a mismatch if you’ve got a lemon fade on the top as if the guitar is 60 years old but then the back is factory new. Either fade the back and the top or have a full cherry burst on the front and the back can be dark too.
 

Brek

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Joined
May 23, 2020
Messages
41
Count me as not a fan either, my R0 60th is so dark in places you cannot see the wood at all, coupled with some less than perfect binding leaves me wondering about buying another new one. I might stick to good used from 13/14/15 years, wood seems a different quality as well on the newer ones.
 

C-4

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Joined
Jan 5, 2005
Messages
1,748
I have a 60th Anny Lemon Fade R9 with the darker red back. I found that using Virtuoso Cleaning compound does lighten up the back a bit. I saw the color coming off very slightly on a rag I used on the guitar, when using this product. I've only done this one time, but from my results, if you continue to use that product or something similar, you will lighten up the red back and sides until you get it to your personal taste. A cleaning compound such as Dupont used on car paint should also produce similar results.
 

Brek

Member
Joined
May 23, 2020
Messages
41
hah, i just discovered the same today, back looks a lot better for a few going's over with that polish.
 
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