My new R4

Discussion in 'Historics & Reissues' started by k.guitars, May 8, 2009.

  1. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    It's a full gloss ice tea, also with a walnut back;

    LPR4ITWBNHI

    It also has light figuring on the back and neck that would be easier to notice in low light if it were a light back. But it's getting easier to see on the back of the neck where the finish is wearing lighter.

    I had noticed in the Vintage Gutar Price Guide last year there was an entry for R4's that included a special model;

    2007 R4, limited, 1/4 sawn, fleck, valued slightly higher than the normal models

    Did some research and presumed the 1/4 saw and so called ray fleck figuring was all about the hog and not the maple. Tried to find out more official word about it from VG and Gibson about how to ID those models but could not. But that made me start looking closer at all of the R4 back woods timber and started to find some that had it, finally lo and behold I noticed mine has it too.
     
  2. mattymel

    mattymel Senior Member

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    ....must...not buy gear this month.

    i was about as close to busted as i have ever been last month. guitars, amps, speakers, finally caught up to me.

    but man...ive been eyeing plexis lately. REALLY want a 50 watt 4 input early 70s Marshall. NO master. no use for it...just fun.
     
  3. k.guitars

    k.guitars Senior Member

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    The Nocaster went back, for a number of reasons that I'll get into at a later date. In the meantime, I got another Tele. It's a Mark Jenny '63 Telecaster, black, double-bound, pretty heavily relic'd. Not as big a neck as I normally like, but it's got soul!


    [​IMG]
     
  4. companydamned

    companydamned Senior Member

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    looks great K. I'd be interested to hear about the nocaster story. Did the neck not end up behaving? On another note, I put a nice ding in the headstock of the R4.... felt sick to my stomach. Not big but it is the first one. I guess it's just startin down the road of mojo!
     
  5. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    Just keeping myself in picks and strings and fresh tubes is going to be enough for me for the whole year. But I do need a new soundhole humidifier for the acoustic. On balance I'm prolly closer to selling off a bunch than I am to buying any more.

    I look for a sort of a long term overall balance in all my gear and sometimes plus or minus one piece makes more of a difference than I would expect in the long run. If you feel you are one more amp away from having a stable balance in all of your gear I'd say go for it.

    If you are serious about jazz and need to cut through a bunch of loud horns in a bad club mix I could see the need and use for a larger amp for sure.

    The thing I like about a black double-bound Tele is it goes well with any suit.

    To me there's a world of difference between an ash/maple Tele with A3 pups vs an alder/rosewood with A5's. I can handle a smaller neck for playing live but for my everyday practice all week I need a bigger neck. I spent most of my time this week on the largest neck I have the CR7 goldtop.

    companydamned, Sorry to hear about the first ding. I once was down in Texas playing with only one guitar with me, an old LP Std Primo Plus, took it off and lifted it up and it hit an overhead fan...

    I looked up after I felt the thump, expecting the worst, but only one gash between two tuners on the back edge of the headstock, did I feel lucky!

    I've seen quite a few old vintage Gibsons that are overall very clean except for the headstock which will be covered with dings all around the edges.
     
  6. k.guitars

    k.guitars Senior Member

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    The thing I really love about that photo is that from the chord I'm playing and the look on my face, I was doing "'Old Love". It's been a staple of mine for a long time but last Saturday, the day that photo was taken, was the first time that I felt I nailed it vocally. I've only been singing for a few years and before that I've always worked with great singers, so my bar is high. I'm just starting to be comfortable with my voice and I must say that once you're over the hump it feels even better than playing guitar!
     
  7. mattymel

    mattymel Senior Member

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    man...switched to unwound G this last week. bad idea. intonation issues.

    just ordered 10 sets of pure nickel john pearse 011.s with wound G. he makes nice strings!
     
  8. neils

    neils Senior Member

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    K, You do look completely at home and in the zone in that photo.

    Still would like to hear you gig someday.

    Neil
     
  9. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    Ditto on the singing chops paying dividends. Going way back to frat house band days I used to sing a couple of short sets without much trouble or thought, but after I got into doing solo P&W I put much more work into it and my voice became an entirely different kind of instrument. Hardest, most stressful thing about it for me is to remember all the words to new songs. It takes a good couple of weeks for me to really ingrain a bunch of new verses so that they come natural. I was wondering if that stand you have in front there has any charts or just words?

    Possible to fine tune your wrap tail intonation by slight variation in the unwound string guage too of course.

    Looking forward to jamming with K sometime hopefully soon myself...
     
  10. Man Thighs

    Man Thighs Junior Member

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    I love the R4 models and am really considering purchasing one. They sound spectacular.

    Does anyone know fair market price for a black R4? I have an offer for $2350. I would love to buy it, but it has a good bit of scratches on the front of the body. I've attached a pic.

    Thanks for the help!

    Michael
     

    Attached Files:

  11. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    That is a semi reasonable price but not the lowest I've seen.

    If that was sold as a VOS it may be possible the scratches are just in the VOS gunk and it would clean up ok.
     
  12. k.guitars

    k.guitars Senior Member

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    I have to admit that I have a real soft spot for the R4 Customs. If I ever buy another Les Paul, that'll be it... but mine will have a Bigsby! I think anytime you can buy a Historic Les Paul around the $2K mark seems like a pretty good deal to me.

    I have restrung my Telecaster several times in the last couple of days and I have decided that I don't like 10's on it. Either string it with 9's and make it slinky, or 11's and make it beefy. 10's are neither.

    Might go back up to 12's with a .019 plain G on my R4.
     
  13. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    It's the alnico V neck pup in the R4 Custom that I am most attracted to.

    I have a bud who plays a vintage Super 400 with alnico V's and it's really sweet.

    If you do ever end up with a set of 9's on there for a bit I would suggest checking out how much more you can to with the pick attack with lighter strings vs heavy. That's where push comes to shove with me.
     
  14. k.guitars

    k.guitars Senior Member

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    I hear what you are saying, but I like Fender extra-heavy picks (or a reasonable facsimile) and tend to be way too heavy handed to play light strings. At home they sound great, but as soon as I get on stage I just tear them apart.
     
  15. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    I use extra heavy pics too.

    Ah, yes, of course, intonation is definitely tied to how hard you pick. You have to be careful when you tune up to pick the same as you play or else prepare to have issues.

    I have to continually calibrate my touch every day or it will get ever heavy.

    I use both pick and fingers. Pick for slow speed and fingers for fast. I use my finger picked notes as a baseline for calibration of how hard I want to pick with a pick. Also hammered notes, so fingers, hammers, and pick all sound the same if possible with the same dynamics available.

    So per my style I need my finger picked and hammered notes to sound like my plectrum picked notes, if the plectrum gets too heavy it's all out of balance and not as musical or effective.

    Calibrating touch is one of the hardest and most challenging things to do imho, it's a life's work that's never done, always a work in progress.

    I think it all goes back to measuring myself and my chops vs the Tele, lately I'm sort of taking all my Tele love and giving to my LP's...
     
  16. neils

    neils Senior Member

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    I also like a heavy pick. Years ago they were called "Herco Heavy", now Dunlop sells more or less the same thing and I like to play with the corners that have the "grip" to strike the string.

    And I play with a heavy left hand too. A friend keeps reminding me to play to the fret and not to the board. Ya can't always do that. So a heavy touchand I like to start a phrase with a hammer and then vibrato that hammer. Boy can I push a guitar out of tune!!!!

    I've had 11's, now have 10's and like 9's too on the R4. They all sound different as well as feel different, but K, come on. 12's? I feel like a girl if you do that.


    Neil
     
  17. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    I don't think there is any truth that somehow heavy strings are harder to play. You obviously need way more control of your playing with lighter strings to achieve the add'l nuances available. Guess it depends on how you define level of difficulty.

    In the horn world, going to a larger mouthpiece does make it more difficult to play, and also gives you the additional range of articulation. So that's more of a pure trade off. In the guitar world it seems to be backward of that to me.

    I'm looking to do what a large mouth piece on a horn will do, for that I need light strings.

    I buy picks by the gross. I use Extra Heavy Fender 451 Jr's, the std shape but slightly smaller version. Fits better in my fingers. There's also one almost like that with a sharper point that I use sometimes too.

    When you talk with your tongue you need a stiff tongue to make a proper hard consonant sound. For me the pick is the tongue and I need a heavy pick for that reason.

    To pick light with lighter strings, just don't hold the pick as hard, learn to hold it with control but with a slightly looser grip. Grip harder to get the extra volume when you need it, back off the grip to go lighter touch.
     
  18. k.guitars

    k.guitars Senior Member

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    I find my biggest problem is that I sing while playing, so when I am belting vocally the hands just sort of follow, and I end up kicking the shit out of the guitar. When I am playing in a sideman role it opens up a whole pallette of tones and subtleties, and I love it for that reason.
     
  19. Tele Jr.

    Tele Jr. Senior Member

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    To properly calibrate touch for performance playing I need a good warmup that concentrates on that. You hear of people who have to warm up for hours before they play, imho that's all about calibration of touch. I use a regimen of finger independence exercises for my warmup. I should prolly share that with you guys.

    Last night I sang and played through like 10 songs with my acoustic for a little private Sabbath service I do every Friday night. I was a complete brute and kicked the crap out of it.

    After I started doing it I knew what was going on, but then it was too late. I just started banging away with no warm up, in fact I sort of hurt my left hand in doing so I was such a brute about it. So it's something that never comes automatic, even though I work on it all the time, it's one of the hardest skills to master and nurture and always a work in progress, never a finished work.

    There is a higher level skill of musicianship where you listen to yourself but also hear everything else going on, and lay yourself back to blend in with the rest. Also to not just play along with the beat but internalize the feel of the beat so you can bob and weave with it and sort of play with it vs the other players so you can lay back behind and scoot ahead during certain passages.

    One of the things I like the very most about the Lollar P-90's I have in my R4 now is how well they respond to dynamics, almost like a percussion instrument. Even when playing low volume with complete clean tone you can still rock it up and down back and forth to a farily well by just digging in and getting more aggressive with the attack and backing off.
     
  20. k.guitars

    k.guitars Senior Member

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    Yesterday, I strung up two Telecasters with 11's. One feels quite slinky, almost as if they are 10's. The other feels quite stiff, almost like they're 12's! Has anyone else noticed this before? You'd think they'd feel the same, but they don't at all.
     

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