Hey guys, After so many years of reading the forum and battling GAS, I must say that I finally gave into temptation. This is my first historic and frankly, it is the most I have ever spent on a piece of equipment. After working in a music store for a few years I always shopped the used market, or built partscasters and the like... However, I could not get the feel and beautiful craftsmanship of the R8 out of my head. I have been saving up for the past year and a half to finally snag one, but with the vintage market slumped at the moment, I contemplated my options. Hell, since I already had a USA SG Standard and a custom Thinline Tele, I thought about trying something different and perhaps get a Rick or something or the like, but that R8 kept creeping back into my consciousness whispering, "You know you want me." So I finally decided to give our forum brother, brettk7 a call up at Eddies. I must say, I always thought he was an awesome guy, but the amount of effort he put into finding me the "perfect one" made all the difference in the world. He took the time to answer all of my questions and even handpicked two R8s from his stock that met my criteria and even gave me an incredible price that I wouldn't pass up in a million years. I will let the pictures do the talking here... These are the pics Brett sent me, but I feel that they truly capture the look of this guitar. After-all, once I saw these pics, I knew I that this was my guitar. I guess its really true that some really do pick us. I received the guitar last week, but in between grad school and two jobs, I really haven't been able to really sit down and put her through her paces until last night. I must say, I can only compare 6 or so pre-2009 spec R8s to her, but I must say Gibson knocked this one out of the park! My SG has been modified with an RS harness and WB '57 Wire H A Bs, but the stock electronics in this baby are very nice! The taper of the pots is so close to the RS stuff that I really don't feel a need to replace them, but I do have the very last set of WB BB Customs waiting in the wings. Now I must say, the Burstbuckers sounds pretty damn good. The bridge pickup is very airy and has a great character reminiscent of a great tele bridge pickup, but when compared to the WBs, they simply fall short in the clarity department. Acoustically, the guitar is LOUD! I usually can judge a good guitar by strumming a few open chords and when I hit the 'E' on this one, it just lit up like a Christmas tree. This thing almost resonates better than my dad's old Martin. The tone is very fat, yet very balanced just the way I like them. The neck is super comfy. It reminds me of a late 50's Junior I played at the shop I worked at. Rounded shoulders, yet fat enough to fill my large hands. The set-up and finish were superb right out of the box, but I did clean off the VOS gunk with some Virtuoso. Overall, I think I will really try to leave this one alone as far as mods go. However, I did pick up a set of Retrospec Inlays since the stock ones bug me, and while I was able to snag Kim's inlays super cheap on ebay this past weekend...I thought what the hell? But I am trying to draw the line for changing out the plastic. The guard looks great, but the rings do have a tinge of Barbie to them. Gil's rings look mighty tasty right now, but it seems as if he may be sold out. I had planned on swapping out the caps, pups, and studs, but I think after the inlays I will have to see how she grows on me over time. It was really nice to finally snag a guitar that I didn't strip down and start from scratch on, but then again, after spending that kind of cash on this baby, I really hope that wouldn't be the case. So, if any of you guys have an untreatable case of GAS, I highly recommend giving Brett a call because he will treat you with care, and total class. Thanks bud! I owe you one!