1997 vs 2014 vs 2017 R8

Ericatunc

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I've been wanting an R8 and have run across 3 that I like about equally (can't play them before buying). The 97 has 57 Classics, newer ones Custom Buckers. I want a real workhorse, one that I can gig the hell out of and that will take any abuse I give it.

Do you have an opinion on which year I might lean?

Thanks,
Eric

Edit: Removed pic. Not sure how a pic got attached to my post.
 

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XpensiveWino

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My 1998 has the same early 57 classics. I love mine, and gig it every chance I can. Not fortunate enough to have owned more than one though ; ) Can't tell you anything about the '14 or '17.
 

Sct13

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2014

nuff said....

nothing wrong with a 97....But personally I think the 57's are a bit shrill but that's a subjective opinion. I have owned quite a few ....so far I have kept the 2011, 2013 and 2014 the longest
 

RAG7890

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You can't pick a Guitar by year.

FWIW my '97 R0 was a stunning Guitar.

Had a really thin finish, no flaws & a great IRW Board.

:cheers2:
 

THDNUT

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I'd buy the one that has the coolest top and the best rosewood on the fingerboard. Some of the recent rosewood used on the fingerboards is not very good in my opinion.
 

Sct13

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True .... its difficult to find that exact combination. Top and board.... color.... of course an internet buy you have to dispence with the test drive....
 

Ericatunc

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The newer ones would be plek'd I imagine, but that's not to say a non-plek'd would play bad.
 

bossaddict

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Don't buy based on pickups either. Those are easily swapped.

If you can't play first, you really just have to go with your gut. Without seeing, I would say probably the 2014, but with no real basis other than they seem to be very consistent.
 

Farquad

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I vote for 2016 as they began to roll the boards on the reissues and not just the TH's. More comfortable to play, and you also get the CB's.
I suspect the 2017 would be the same.
 

Travis19

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I don't have a '97 or '14...but, I do have a '98 and '13 (close enough?)

Anyway, I agree with the sentiment above that the '57 classics in the '98 are a tad bright (though not quite shrill) and I'm contemplating swapping the bridge to zinc and/or replacing the pick-ups (Tyson Tone "Precious & Grace" set). But my '13 is perfect in every way.

Based on my two guitars, I'd go 2014.


1998 R8 & 2013 R8
TP_guitars_01 - Copy - hi-res - Copy.jpg
 

XpensiveWino

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Yowza! Nice one. I think we've all drooled over that one for the past month. Congrats!
 

mudface

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Awesome pick, I wonder what your other options were........:hmm:
 

Bigcat2017

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True .... its difficult to find that exact combination. Top and board.... color.... of course an internet buy you have to dispence with the test drive....
It's possible to find a perfect one with all you like, then the price tag blows you away.:naughty:
 

Ericatunc

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Awesome pick, I wonder what your other options were........:hmm:
These were the other two options (I think #3 is also a forum member). I'm trying to trust my instincts more, and the 97 was the one that first blew me away and started my search of an R8.

Option #2

Option #3
 

Curious George

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Own 2014 and 15 LPs that I think are just flat out amazing, however I think time will be kind to the 97/98's given they have that monster top reputation and fewer made than recent LPs.
 
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hackenfort

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First let me start off by saying I'm a big fan of the early Historics, but IMO just about every 13+ Historic I've played/owned have been the cream of the crop as far as R8/R9 reissues.

In general the 13+ sound and feel great, many that don't have great tops or plain top can be had quite reasonable.
 

Mockbel

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I am always concerned about old guitar in terms of level of wear ! If the 1997 is in mint or excellent condition it would nail any newer model I guess, but if I will buy without personal inspection, I would pick the 2014
 




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